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Monday, December 1, 2014

he bowled fast - but .... played only one Test - Yograj Singh

In the  Vijay Hazare Trophy, Rajasthan plummeted to a new low – being bowled out for 35. At Nagpur, Rajasthan, which is mired in uncertainty due to Rajasthan Cricket Association's internal tussles and those with the BCCI, put up a dismal performance.  It is the second-lowest total in India's domestic one-day cricket, after Saurashtra's 34 against Mumbai in 1999-00. Rajasthan’s score card reads :  0;0;0;0 – 4; 13(no); 4;0;1;6;4. Railways bowling : Anureet Singh 8-3-16-5; ACP Mishra 7.3-3-18-5.

At  Abu dhabi, in the first Test against Pak – against a huge 1st innings score, Tom Latham scored a century becoming the 3rd pair from New Zealand (of father-son who scored test hundreds) – the earlier ones have been   Richard & Walter Hadlee, and Hamish & Ken Rutherford.  In some ways, the Match referee has an illustrious son – and he was once feared to be the fastest bowler in India.  He was in news for wrong reasons though, getting arrested in Chandigarh  on the grounds that he had  come to a house in Panchkula's Sector 2 for a party on Sunday night and was involved in an altercation with a neighbour over parking of cars. The neighbour, in his complaint to the police, alleged that the ex-player  and others assaulted him.

Kapil Dev changed the Indian scene showing that in the land of great spinners, fast bowlers too can emerge.  Kapil Dev was a class apart – Javagal  Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, Karsan Ghavri, Madanlal played for long.  The recent times have seen new ball attack of : Zaheer, Nehra, Pathan, Ishant, Sreeshant, Praveenkumar – seriously challenged by bunch of youngsters  :  Umesh Yadav , Vinay Kumar, Varun Aaron, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ashok Dinda, Jaidev Unakdat; then there have been some  nippy fast bowlers and some swing bowlers  who came along but never made their marks which would include: Yograj Singh,  Chetan Sharma, Raju Kulkarni, Rajinder Singh Ghai, TA Sekhar, Vivek Razdan, Bharat Arun, Subrata Bannerjee, AW Zaidi,  Rudra Pratap Singh, Doda Ganesh….

Remember the father of the illustrious Yuvraj Singh – ‘Yograj Singh Bhagsingh Bhundel’ – hailed as faster than Kapil himself.  TA Sekhar too was stated so.    Yograj sadly ended up playing a solitary test and 6 One dayers taking 1 and 4 International wickets. 

I remember following that Test no. 897 at Basin Reserve, Wellington in Feb 1981.  Kirti Azad, Yograj and a young Ravi Shastri who had just flown in as a replacement made their debuts.  NZ captained by Geoff Howarth batted first and made 375.  The captain remained unbeaten with 137.Kapil and Ravi Shastri took 3 wickets apiece, Sandip Patil scalped two while Binny and Yograj had one apiece.  The man who later became Indian coach John Wright was Yograj’s victim.  Indians were all out for 223 with only Sandip Patil (64) making runs. Lance Cairns took 5 for 33. 

In the second innings, Indians bowling so well demolished NZ for 100 in 49 overs.  Kapil took 4/34; Binny 2/26; Patil 1/12- Ravi Shastri took 3/9 …….. Yograj did not bowl a single delivery in the 2nd innings. Set to score 253 for a win, Indians were all out for 190.  They were 136/8 at one stage.

That was the only Test of Yograj singh. Yograj Singh married  Shabnam Singh and they had two sons.  Yuvraj and Zoravar Singh. After his cricketing  career was ended by injury, he entered Punjwood, the Punjabi film industry and acted in man films – sad that it was such a short career for someone who could bowl fast !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

photo credit : The Telegraph (which cites Kapil's book as source)         


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