Captain Ajit Wadekar’s Contribution to Indian Cricket

Published: 2021-06-17 10:16:15
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It will be unfair to not mention B.S Chandrasekhar’s heroics and Sunil Gavaskar’s masterful batting on their respective tours to England and West Indies in the summer of 1971 at the famous Ovals. But it will also be highly unfair to not mention the Captain Ajit Wadekar in the same breath in those wins. A major portion of his contributions go fairly unnoticed due to the presence of some stalwarts in the squad, but his sheer genius is equal to the worth its weight in gold. His innings of 45 runs at The Oval in a stiff 4th innings chase in seaming and swinging conditions in England will go down as one of the most tenacious knocks ever played by an Indian. It is not so much for the runs required which was 173 runs to be exact, but that knock gave meaning to the Indians who in those times were considered minnows in the cricketing world, criticized for not having the skills or technique to play in those conditions, but will also be remembered for defeating their former colonial masters in their own den.
But all this started and was made possible by the tactically adept Ajit Wadekar. During the time of war when India was engulfed in the fires that burned from the ashes of her sons, one of those sons with a bunch of a few good men went on a voyage to defeat and set the record straight, uncharacteristic of its nature but with fire in their bellies and a dream that was to be respected and to be a deserving one at that. Even though, the series of England and West Indies turned out not to be of personal satisfaction, but it rejuvenated and gave hope to the team that it so long desired and longed for.He also gave India and its cricket team some of the sport’s most cherished players whose name will be forever entwined with the destiny and history of the Indian Cricket Team. It also sparked a revolution among the Indian cricket fanatics who were to witness probably there most competitive and tenacious team assembled which were to receive its attainment in 1983 cricket world cup. The journey from being trained under the famous Mumbai batsmanship lineage to a chief selector and then the Indian cricket team coach, one should not forget the contribution of the man who gave the team its legs to run and the spirit to contend, eventually overcome the nasty but a fruitful to road to the victories to come.
The current Indian set up should obviously take inspiration from these glories of the past and not bother about the missed opportunities anymore, as these heartbreaking losses have been far and wide in between but these superstars of today breathe to bask in the glory and get their names etched in the turbulent but celebrated history of the Indian cricket team and its overseas triumphs which started with a few determined men and a fearless captain at its helm.

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