Was very scared of him, used to find a place where he can’t see me: Kapil Dev on former India captain S Venkataraghavan
Kapil Dev, who made his debut under Bishan Bedi’s captaincy and played a lot under Sunil Gavaskar, said S Venkataraghavan gave him a hard time when he was the Indian captain.Updated: Jul 17, 2020 07:05 IST
Apart from being termed as India’s best seam-bowling all-rounder, legendary Kapil Dev is also highly rated as a captain. Under his leadership, India won its maiden World Cup in 1983 that revolutionised cricket in the country. The former India all-rounder, who commanded respect from his teammates on the back of some outstanding individual performances, revealed that he was scared of Venkataraghavan when he first came into the side in the 1978-79 season.
Kapil, who made his debut under Bishan Bedi’s captaincy and played a lot under Sunil Gavaskar, said Venkataraghavan gave him a hard time when he was the Indian captain.
Kapil played four Tests and three ODIs under Venkataraghavan’s captaincy. Kapil said Venkataraghavan, who later on became a successful umpire after retirement, always used to get angry just by seeing his face.
“In England the evening break during a Test match is called a Tea break. Venkataraghavan always used to argue and fought saying why only tea break? It should be tea and coffee break. So he was like that.
“I was very scared of him. Firstly he only used to speak in English and secondly we all know his anger. Even when he was an umpire he used to give not out in a way as if he was scolding the bowler. When I went to England in 79, he was captain, I used to find a place where he can’t see me. We had Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrasekhar, so he couldn’t really say much to them. And naturally whenever he saw me, he used to fire up. I used to have breakfast sitting in one corner because I was a heavy eater and he would be like ‘he’s always eating,’” Kapil said in an interview with former India opener WV Raman.
Kapil then went on to narrate an incident about a Test match against the West Indies in Barbados in 1983 when he was the captain and Venkataraghavan was his teammate. Kapil said he got confused when the off-spinner questioned him about bowling changes with such authority despite Kapil being the captain.
“I will tell you an incident when we were playing a Test in Barbados. That wicket was bit bouncy so fast bowlers were bowling more and the first spinner I introduced was Ravi Shastri. Venky was waking from the slips. He said ‘Kapil’. I said ‘Yes Venky!’ By that time I had started to call him Venky but before that it was ‘sir’ only. He said ‘Did I say I don’t want to bowl?’ I didn’t understand who was the captain, he or me. I said ‘Yes Venky your time will come’. His nature was so lovable. He used to scold despite me being the captain.”
Venkataraghavan retired in 1983 after playing 57 Tests and 15 ODIs for India picking up 156 and 5 wickets respectively.