India was the No.1 Test side unofficially back in 1971: Deep Dasgupta lauds Ajit Wadekar’s team | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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India was the No.1 Test side unofficially back in 1971: Deep Dasgupta lauds Ajit Wadekar’s team

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com
Aug 19, 2020 01:13 PM IST

India had beaten West Indies in the five-match Test series in West Indies under Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy in March 1971.In August in the same year, Wadekar’s India had beaten the West Indies in West Indies by 1-0.

While speaking of great Indian captains and the legacy of Indian cricket, former wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasgupta said unofficially India were the No.1 Test side in 1971 when they had beaten England and West Indies in their own backyards.

Sunil Gavaskar was one of the main reasons why India won the series against West Indies(Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar was one of the main reasons why India won the series against West Indies(Twitter)

India had beaten West Indies in the five-match Test series in West Indies under Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy in March 1971. This series also marked the debut of one of India’s greatest cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, who scored a record 774 runs in the four Tests that he played.

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In August in the same year, Wadekar’s India had stamped their authority in world cricket by beating England 1-0 in the three-Test series.

In a recent interaction on Sports Tiger’s show ‘Off the Field’, Dasgupta said, “When we talk about captaincy, we do not talk about someone like Ajit Wadekar. We tend to forget that in 1971, India won two massive series away from home, against England in England and West Indies in West Indies. So, unofficially India was the No. 1 Test side way back in 1971.”

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During the interview, he also spoke highly of former captains and legends of the game like Kapil Dev who got India the 1983 World Cup under his captaincy, Sunil Gavaskar and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. He added, “We are so fortunate to have a legacy of such great captains and players that at times, we do not appreciate that.”

He also spoke about the new guidelines by ICC around the-usage of saliva because of the ongoing pandemic. He believes that this will definitely give an edge to the batsmen.

“Saliva is such an important aspect of the game.” He said. “From a bowler’s perspective, Saliva is such a versatile thing. It helps you maintain the new ball and once the new ball is older, then it helps in the reverse swing. So, there are two aspects to it. Once you take the saliva out of it, so it gets very very difficult for the bowlers and will be tilted not marginally but heavily towards batsmen.”

He believes that taking the saliva out of the game will take away a major weapon for the bowlers and to balance it out, it would be preferable to play on pitches which are very helpful to the bowlers. He said that it is very logical to take saliva out of the game right now considering the situation we are in but we need to also look at the other side and try to balance the tilt.

Deep Dasgupta is a very successful commentator now and was a wicket-keeper batsman who represented India in 8 Tests and 5 ODIs. Dasgupta averaged 28.67 in Tests and has a century and two fifties to his name.

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