‘I think they won’t select you’: How GR Viswanath’s legendary career came to an abrupt end
With Kapil Dev set to take over India’s captaincy in 1983, Viswanath was informed he may not be picked for the next series.Updated: Jun 27, 2020 23:35 IST
Former India batsman Gundappa Viswanath has revealed how extremely hurt he was after being dropped from the Indian cricket team following a poor series against Pakistan. Viswanath’s career came to a halt after the batsman scored just 134 runs in a six-Test series against Pakistan in 1982/83.
With Kapil Dev set to take over India’s captaincy, Viswanath was informed he may not be picked for the next series. The batsman was dropped from the next series – India’s tour of West Indies – and subsequently missed the bus to the 1983 Prudential World Cup.
“I was very, very hurt when I was dropped,” Viswanath said on Star Sports 1 Kannada show Diggajara Danthakathe. “At that time, in all the three times [innings] I took wrong decisions. It is part of the game. But in that [situation] in two innings, if I had scored well, they would not have removed me. Kapil’s captaincy was not announced but it was almost known to everyone. He told, ‘Probably I [Kapil] think they won’t select you, is it ok?’ How do you expect me to say no I am not ok?”
Viswanath, the first superstar batsman from Karnataka to play for India, played a pivotal role in the team’s Ranji Trophy triumphs. Viswanath quickly rose from domestic to international cricket because of his batting prowess and came to the limelight under the captaincy of Erapalli Prasanna for Karnataka and under Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi for India.
“Thanks to Prasanna who pushed for me initially. It helped me play for the state. Pataudi was playing for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy. As a part of Karnataka team, we had to play against him,” Viswanath said.
“He (Pataudi) saw me closely there. For a match playing for President’s XI, New Zealand had come in 1968 and I got a chance to play. Chandu Borde was the captain and we had a good partnership. He [Chandu Borde] recommended me to Pataudi and that’s how I came into prominence much earlier than what I expected.”