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Feb 12, 1949: Viswanath jigs a leg
- Updated: February 13, 2017
The stroke-maker, the player of the finest square cut, was born on Feb 12, 1949. Gundappa Viswanath will always be remembered for his elegant and wristy batting and was the mainstay of India’s batting lineup in the 1970s.
His presence in the slip cordon was a blessing for the fielding side of things, for his safe hands rarely made a mistake.
Although he scored 14 hundreds in his Test career, his century at the MCG against Australia will always be held in high respect for leading India to a famous win in 1981.
Viswanath also had a brief stint as the Indian captain in 1979–80.
In the two Tests he captained, one was drawn and one ended in defeat, the latter being the Golden Jubilee Test against England.
Throughout his career, Viswanath was renowned for his sense of fair-play, and in this match, he recalled Bob Taylor to the crease after the umpire had given him out.
Taylor went on to score some vital runs for England which eventually set up their win.
Such was the aura of this player that legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar named his son Rohan Jaivishwa Gavaskar –First name was taken from Rohan Kanhai (former West Indian captain), the middle name honouring Jaisimha and Viswananth.
His rated his knock of 112 against the fearsome West Indies attack at Port of Spain, which helped India to reach the victory target of 403, as the best of his career.
At the time, this was the highest successful run-chase in Test cricket.
He retired from Tests in 1983, but his presence in the game continued. He served as match referee for the ICC from 1999 to 2004.
He was also the chairman of the national selection committee and served as the manager of the Indian cricket team.
Viswanath was awarded Col C K Naidu Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 by BCCI.