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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

CK Nayudu at Indore .. .. some history of Holkar dynasty !!

Today the 3rd test of the Series is played at Holkar stadium, Indore.  Do you know – which was the best bowling performance in ODI at Indore ?? 

For many Test Cricket is most enthralling – ways above slam-bang T20  !!  - the game or its addiction is not new !! – century or so ago, it was an elitist pastime, an imperial avocation and was not a mass sport.   Arthur Gilligan led an MCC side to India in 1926-27, consisting of worthies such as Maurice Tate, Andrew Sandham and the future England captain Bob Wyatt, they were expected to steamroll the opposition.  But that did not go as per their script.   Twenty-five thousand people trooped into the Bombay Gymkhana grounds on December 1, 1926 to watch the Hindus take on the might of MCC.   At 84 for 3, the Hindus were on the back foot when CK Nayudu unleashed an assault that would reverberate far beyond the confines of that packed stadium. In 116 minutes of dazzling strokeplay, he made 153 runs, treating the bowlers  with a disdain that  included 14 fours and 11 sixes, then a world record. 

Gupta Empire inscription mentions Indore as city of Indrapura in Gupta Indore Copper plate inscription dated 146 Gupta era or 465 CE.  Earlier the city was  known  as 'Indrapura'.  Indrapura   was then known for its sun temple, where in 464–65 CE, Gupta king Skandagupta had made an endowment for the permanent maintenance of the city's sun temple. The temple was constructed by two merchants of the city – Achalavarman and Bhikuṇṭhasiha.

Today the 3rd test got off to a disastrous start for India at Indore – as they were bowled out for paltry 109 !  Australians have given a strong reply 156/4 – all on day 1!!..   Kuhnemann, playing only his second Test, took 5 for 16 while Lyon picked up three wickets. Todd Murphy took one and the remaining batter, No. 11 Mohammed Siraj, was run out.

Indore  is the largest and most populous city in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is an education hub of the state and is the only city to encompass campuses of both the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Management. Indore is the cleanest city in India according to Swachh Survekshan Report 2022 sixth time in a row, conducted by MoHUA the world's largest urban sanitation and cleanliness survey. Indore traces its roots to its 16th-century founding as a trading hub between the Deccan and Delhi. The city and its surroundings came under Maratha Empire on 18 May 1724 after Peshwa Baji Rao I assumed the full control of Malwa. During the days of the British Raj, Indore State was a 19 Gun Salute  princely state   ruled by the Maratha Holkar dynasty,  and acceded to Union of India.  Indore served as the capital of the Madhya Bharat from 1950 until 1956.

Malhar Rao Holkar (1693 – 1766)  was a noble subedar of the Maratha Empire.    One of the foremost commanders of the Maratha Empire (1760), he participated in the great victory in the Battle of Delhi (1737), and the defeat of the Nizam in the Battle of Bhopal. He was also part of the campaign that wrested Vasai from the Portuguese in 1739.  From 1748 onwards, Malhar Rao Holkar's position in Malwa became firm and secure.

The Holkar dynasty was a Hindu Maratha royal house in India. The Holkars ruled as Maratha Rajas, and later as Maharajas of Indore in Central India as an independent member of the Maratha Empire until 1818. Later, their kingdom became a princely state under the protectorate of British India. The dynasty was founded by  Malhar Rao, who joined the service of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire in 1721  

Today’s match is played at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. It was formerly known as Maharani Usharaje Trust Cricket Ground, in 2010, Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association renamed it after the Holkar dynasty of the Marathas that ruled Indore State.  Indore city has another cricket stadium, Nehru Stadium which was used for International matches until 31 March 2001.

Its’ all fate !!  -  miles away when the first test was played at Nagpur, Matthew Kuhnemann was playing for Queensland against Victoria in a Sheffield Shield match at the MCG.   Less than three weeks later he has a Test match five-wicket haul against India in just his second Test having flown in as cover for Mitchell Swepson ahead of the Delhi Test. India bowled out in 33.2 overs after winning the toss and batting.  It is India's lowest Test total at home since 107 and 105 against Australia in Pune back in 2017.

This morning before the match a statue of CK Nayudu was inaugurated  by Rohit Sharma and Steven Smith at the Holkar Stadium.  Colonel Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu, captained India in their first Test match against  England. That was at Lord's in 1932 when, despite a painful hand injury received when fielding, Nayudu made top score, 40, in the first innings.  all and well proportioned, Nayudu was specially strong in driving, bowled accurately at slow-medium pace and was a fine fielder. He also shone at hockey and association football.

Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu (1895 -1967)   also known as CK, was the first captain of the Indian cricket team in Test matches. He played first-class cricket regularly.  In 1923, the ruler of Holkar invited him to Indore and made him a captain in his army, conferring on him the honour of a Colonel in Holkar's Army. Nayudu’s hailed from Machilipatnam and his father was a flourishing lawyer and pioneer member of All India National Congress party. CK Nayudu's younger brother CS Nayudu also played test cricket for India.

Other than this statue there is another -   Vijay Balla (Victory Bat), a giant bat commemorating India's Test-series wins in the West Indies and England in 1971. It features the names of the players who went on the two tours, all in the Devanagari script, and the captain's jaunty autograph, in English: Ajit Wadekar.  Three years after the bat went up, an irate mob defaced it, a reaction to 42 all out and every other misfortune that befell India on their 1974 tour of England. Wadekar never captained or played for India again.  Now the Victory Bat shows no signs of the defacement now.  

Getting back to the Q at the start – the best performance occurred on 3rd ODI at Indore on 15th Dec 1988 against New Zealand which India won  comfortably.  Indian innings was opened by dashers Krishnamachari Srikkanth and VB Chandrasekhar.  The great bowling performance was that of Krish Srikkanth with figures of 6-0-32-5.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
1st Mar 2023. 

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