We took Bedi, Prasanna to the cleaners; robbed them: Javed Miandad recounts India’s 1978-79 tour to Pakistan
Recounting India’s tour of Pakistan in 1978-79, former Pakistan captain and coach Javed Miandad said tackling the famous Indian spinners of that time was a cakewalk for them and in fact, the likes of Bishan Singh Bedi, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar and Erapalli Prasanna were taken to the cleaners by him and legendary Zaheer Abbas during that tour.
Miandad, who was relatively new to international cricket at that time having made his debut a couple of years ago, had a fantastic series against India in 1978-79 along with Zaheer Abbas.
Pakistan won the three-match Test series 2-0 and both Miandad and Abbas were severe against the famous Indian spin troika.
“Chandrasekhar, Bedi, Prasanna... India’s strength was this, their spinners. And they did well around the world but when they came here (Pakistan), they were taken to the cleaners. Our players robbed them for so many runs,” said Miandad in his Youtube channel.
The Pakistan batsman, who scored 8832 runs in 124 Tests at an average of 52.57, recounted a match at Faisalabad, which was also the first Test of the series to narrate how he and Abbas had rendered Indian spinners helpless.
“I remember that Chandrasekhar was giving some troubles to Zaheer bhai. Toh he told me ‘Javed please tackle him for me’. I obviously said yes. Meanwhile from the other end, Zaheer bhai was taking a lot of runs off Bedi sahib, Prasanna. Then I said, ‘Zaheer bhai please allow me to take some runs too, I will also use my feet against them. I’m stuck here. I won’t take a single off the last ball.’ During that time players used to look after each other. If I’m having some troubles then my partner will take control and vice-versa,” said Miandad.
Both Miandad and Abbas scored big hundreds in that game and forged a 255-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Zaheer Abbas was the top-scorer with 176 and Miandad scored 154 to take Pakistan to 503/8 dcl in the first innings.
India replied with 462/9 dlc with a hundred from GR Viswanath and fifties from Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar. The match was drawn.
The fate of the Indian spinners, however, did not change as Abbas slammed a double hundred - 235 - in the second Test at Lahore to lead Pakistan to an 8-wicket victory.
Javed Miandad scored another hundred at Karachi and India lost that Test match by 8 wickets despite a superb century from Gavaskar to lose the series 2-0.
Miandad praised Chandrasekhar, who retired with 242 wickets in 58 Tests for India, for his line and length.
“Chandrasekhar was a bowler who was very difficult to play on the front foot, you can’t play him off the front foot. When I played against them I kept that in mind.
When the Indian spinners were new in their spells and kept close-in fielders I used to charge down the wicket to make force them to take out the close catchers. Because I used to get restless if I didn’t score runs. It’s a different matter to stay in the crease but you have to score runs too, that is your main job,” added Miandad.