Connect with us


Happy Birthday Gundappa Viswanath: Five interesting facts about India’s wristy genius

Legendary India batter Gundappa Viswanath turned 75.

One of the greatest Indian batters of all time, the legendary Gundappa Viswanath turns 75 today. India’s original master of the wrist-work, Viswanath cemented himself as the undisputed king of Indian batting dominating world cricket along with the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath in the 1970s and the early 80s. Considered by many as India’s most versatile Test batters of all time, Viswanath played 91 Tests and 25 ODIs for India and remained associated with the sport even after his retirement in various capacity.

File image on Gundappa Viswanath.(Getty Images)

On the occasion of Viswanath’s birthday, we take a look at some of the lesser-known facts about him and legendary career

Discover the thrill of cricket like never before, exclusively on HT. Explore now!

Whenever Viswanath scored a Test hundred…

India never lost. Yes, in one of the most stunning facts of all time, India have never lost a Test match in which Viswanath scored a century. And he scored 14 of them. Viswanath’s maiden Test century – 137 against Australia in Kanpur in 1969 – had resulted in a draw, but barring this one game, the remaining 13 matches in which he scored a hundred, were all won by India

Bond with Sunil Gavaskar

Viswanath and Sunil Gavaskar were not only teammates but also shared a personal relationship. Gavaskar is Viswanath’s brother-in-law and besides being the two mainstays of Indian batting, they are extremely close to each other. In fact, in a country that has produced many a great batter and the term ‘greatest’ is throw around a lot, Gavaskar acknowledged Viswanath as the greatest Indian batter of all time. For several other former cricketers such as Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri, Vishwanath was their idol.

Always the gentleman

Viswanath believed in fair play even as his opponents didn’t. In the 1979-80 Golden Jubilee Test match against England, Vishwanath called back English batter Bob Taylor as he felt he was wrongly given out by the umpire. But for Vishy, being fair and just took priority over the match result. Vishwanath’s decision did not end up well for India as Taylor struck a century and won the game for England, but this gesture from Viswanath earned him plaudits from all over the world.

That chase

Chasing a target of 400 is next to impossible today, let alone 50 years ago, but Viswanath and Gavaskar did so when India nailed down 403 against the West Indies in 1976. Gavaskar was the architect with a 102 but had it not been for Vishwanath’s 112, which formed the bedrock of India’s innings, the chase wouldn’t have been possible.

No 38 out of 100

Vishwanath scored 14 Test centuries for India but is best remembered for his heroic innings of 97 runs against West Indies in Chennai in 1974-75. As the entire batting order struggled against the fearsome Windies bowling quartet, Vishwanath’s innings not only salvaged the team’s performance but also led them to victory. Wisden recognised this match-winning performance by ranking it as the 38th best innings of all time in their top 100, and notably, it stands as the 2nd best non-century innings.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Must See

More in News