It was great catching up with one of India’s greatest cricketer Mr. Dilip Vengsarkar who spoke his heart out on a one to one Zoom Chat.
My first question to him was how he conquered Lord's by being the only overseas batsman to score three triple hundred at the Home of Cricket. He started on by saying that his first innings at Lord's was duck and when he went on to bat in the second innings he was very nervous as he did not want to get a pair. He scored a marvelous hundred in the second innings and helped India save that test match. In India’s 1982 tour of England Dilip Vengsarkar scored another hundred but could not help India save the
game but the third hundred at Lord's was special as it helped India to win its first test match at Lord's which was a record in itself and also made him the only overseas batsman to score three consecutive hundred in three series, 1978, 1982 and 1986. He added that the hundred at Leeds was more special as India went to win the series 2/0 and he was the deservedly named Man of the Series for scoring 360 in the three test match series.
My next question was obviously about he felt being a member of the World cup winning squad of 1983 which changed the face of Indian cricket and he said nothing can beat this feeling even though he did not play the finals as it made India to be recognized in the one-day format.
Vengsarkar also has six centuries against the fearsome West Indies whom he rates as the best bowling attack of the world which had a battery of five fast bowlers playing and six sitting in the dugout. And every hundred he scored was special as it came against the best bowling attack.
Dilip Vengsarkar also had a successful stint as Chairman of selector when India recorded his last test series win in England in 2006 under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. And also India winning the T20 World Cup in 2007 which was another feather in his cap.
When I asked him about one special knock of unbeaten 139 against Haryana, he says he still feels sad about the loss to Haryana by just two runs but he is proud of Mumbai winning 41 times the Ranjhi Trophy finals.
When I asked him about India's current series in England and what went wrong at Leeds for team India, he said the batsman were not applying themselves and gave Credit to England bowlers for coming back to win that test match. When I asked him about one advise for Virat Kohli who is going through a lean patch in the series, he replied Virat will have to be patient and spend time at the crease and not push for balls which are outside the off stump. He believes a big score is around the corner for Virat and Oval is
one ground Virat can get it. My last question was will India win the series and he said Indian team has the potential and if the batsman put on runs they should win the series.
Vengsarkar believes India should play an extra batsman in Suryakumar Yadav and should definitely include Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of Ravindra Jadeja. No doubt he is called deservedly the Colonel as bowlers feared him when he came on bat and playing
116 Test matches was no mean feat which is the highest form of Cricket.