Sometimes like Vishy, sometimes Douglas Jardine

Gundappa Viswanath‘s tenure as captain of the Indian cricket team was shorter than Sachin Tendulkar‘s but a lot more memorable.

In the jubilee Test against England in Bombay, the “Bhimsen Joshi of Bhadravathi” called back wicket-keeper Bob Taylor, who had been wrongly adjudged out by the umpire. Taylor then went on to cement a crucial partnership with Ian Botham which won them the match.

That incident on top of several others, before and after, fetched Vishy a “nice man” image that no other cricketer, Indian or foreign, seems to enjoy with such unanimous universality.

Not so Andrew Strauss, the English captain.

Ayaz Memon writes in DNA:

“Sometimes Cowdrey, sometimes Jardine, Andrew Strauss’s split personality has provided the Champions Trophy in South Africa with its most engaging talking point.

“The two former England captains, for the uninitiated, represent two extreme positions in the game. Colin Cowdrey was a gentleman even though a professional, while Douglas Jardine, a gentleman by the then definition, was a hard-boiled pro who would stop at nothing to win.

“Strauss, who overruled the umpire and recalled Angelo Matthews in the best spirit of the game after the Sri Lankan was run out because he had crashed into bowler Graham Onions, cussedly refused to give South African skipper a runner when he suffered from cramps.

“You should be prepared for such things if you play a long innings,” he said tersely after the match. Smith overcame his dejection and came back with a counter. “My experience suggests that this game, like the world, comes around completely.”

“England are touring South Africa shortly. Fireworks are expected.”

Read the full article: Ayaz Memon on Dhoni

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