We all tried to copy Pataudi's stance: Gavaskar | cricket | Hindustan Times
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We all tried to copy Pataudi's stance: Gavaskar

cricket Updated: Sep 24, 2011 21:57 IST

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Almost every budding cricketer in the 60s would try and copy late former India captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi's walking style and aspired to have a stance like him, recalls ex-skipper Sunil Gavaskar.

"I don't think there was a single budding teenage cricketer in the country who did not try to walk like him or have a stance like him," Gavaskar said while paying tribute to Pataudi, who passed away on Thursday after battling lung infection.

"The open stance was unique since he had lost one eye and so opened his stance to get a better look at the bowler with his one good eye. We all tried to copy that but kept getting out bowled or leg before playing across the line," Gavaskar, who first saw Pataudi before the Indian team's departure for a tour to West Indies in 1961, added.

Apart from his batting, Pataudi was well known for his fielding prowess, something the others could never dreamt of matching in those days.

"We couldn't copy his fielding since in that era he was pretty much a one-off who could slide and save the ball going past him. In fact his fielding was equally thrilling as his batting.

"What was remarkable was how he could bat with just one eye and how he could catch so well in the covers or in the slips. Just imagine if he had two eyes," he said.

Pataudi had lost his right eye following a car accident in England in 1961.

Taking a walk down memory lane, Gavaskar remembered how he was informed about being appointed vice-captain before a series against the West Indies in 1974.