Bishen Singh Bedi the Classical Left arm Spinner

M G Singh By M G Singh, 9th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/183xtosj/
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In the 1966 test at Calcutta against the West Indies, a young lad wearing a Patka made his debut. He brought cheer to the veterans watching the match. He was BS Bedi who later made a big name in world cricket,

A Spinner in the Classical Mould

In the 1966 test at Calcutta against the West Indies, a young lad wearing a Patka made his debut. This man, gladdened the hearts of the veterans in the pavilion as he bowled over after over of classical spin bowling and kept on leash players of the caliber of Rohan Kanhai, Butcher, Lloyd and Sobers. Here was a bowler who showed that India is the home of spin bowling. His dismissal of Clive Lloyd caught behind for 5 with a floater was classical bowling at its best.

Bedi soon became a permanent member of the Indian team and went from strength to strength. He was a slow left arm bowler, who flighted the ball and beat the batsmen with his flight. He was a finger spinner in the true sense with a classical bowling action and a rounded arm, unlike Murlitharan who bowled with a twist. Bedi is recognized rightly as one of the greats of the game. His 266 test wickets in 65 test matches stand testimony to his performance.

Bedi was an artiste, who raised the level of spin bowling to the sublime. It is hard to imagine, that on the 1971 tour of the West Indies, on wickets that were as hard as granite, Bedi spun and flighted the ball to such an extant that all West Indian batsmen were held on a leash when he bowled. With two forward short legs, Bedi kept the pressure as though he was a fast bowler.

Spinners we all know come in pairs and the partner to Bedi was EAS Prasanna, a classical off spinner, who again was a finger spinner who flighted the ball. On the 1967-68 tour of Australia and New Zealand, the spin twins of Bedi and Prasanna snared over 75 wickets among themselves and were instrumental in India winning their first series win abroad against New Zealand during that tour.

Bedi slowly faded from the team after a disastrous tour of Pakistan in 1978 under his captaincy. Bedi however was not a successful captain as is evidenced by his action of throwing the towel after Holding and Company had started bowling bumpers and short stuff against the Indians in the 1976 Kingston Test. One can't imagine that Bedi declared the innings at 97 for 5 as a few Indian players were injured. This will certainly require some explanation.

But as a spin bowler, Bedi was a class apart and he is often compared to the great Verity. His left arm spin bowling gave India the edge in many tests. On slightly helpful wickets he was an ogre and a very good spinner on hard and true wickets. He certainly deserves his name to be included in Crickets hall of fame from India.

Tags

Bs Bedi, Indian Cricket, Spin Bowler

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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Comments

author avatar Ptrikha
9th Sep 2014 (#)

A great spinner indeed. Great article!

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author avatar M G Singh
10th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks Ptrikha

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
9th Sep 2014 (#)

great article again Madan indeed...

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author avatar M G Singh
10th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks Carolina

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th Sep 2014 (#)

Good highlight, Madan. He was also a colorful personality and called a spade just a spade when it came to doubtful action. He was one of the triumvirate of bowlers with Prasanna and Chadrasekhar and we can add Venkat too in the list - the golden era of Indian spin bowling - siva

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author avatar micheal
13th Sep 2014 (#)

I used to love to play cricket, just can't get into watching it though, so i'll just keep my eye for the results, good article tho Madan.

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