>>As a matter of fact, no other Indian captain has a worse lose-win
>>record than Pataudi; although Vengsarkar was just as bad. And his
>>record abroad is simply horrible. Here are the records of Indian
>>captains in ascending order.
>>Captain Tests Losing% Winning%
>>======= ===== ======= ========
>>M.A.K. Pataudi 40 50 20
>>L. Amarnath 15 40 14
>>V.S. Hazare 14 35 8
>>N.J. Contractor 12 16 17
>You don't get it -- compare MAK with his predecessors.
>The willingness to take on stronger comers..
>And you conveniently compare him to captains after him -- ignoring
>that many of those captains (with the exception of Wadekar) has
>opportunities against Packer-decimated teams, and lately against a
>plethora of weaker sides that are babes to cricket...
>(Bangalore and Bombay) were crushing defeats, while the two wins were
>a lot narrower...
One should look MAK's statistics from the proper perspective. Let me try
to add some flavors to it. In those days in India the pitches were typically
made to help the spinners. As a consequence of that (or may be not) most
of the matches used to be low scoring ( and slow scoring ) ones. As I can
remember in 1972-73 series (Eng. vs. In in In.) India could cross 300 only
three times out of 10 innings. (448 in Bombay, 341 in Kanpur and 316 in Madras).
In 74-75 vs WI India could cross 300 only in 2 innings out of 10 innings.
(May be three but surely not more than that). So MAK's 30+ average was highly
acceptable in that period. In fact I clearly remember, MAK was called back
against England in the 3rd Test in Madras (72-73) as a specialist batsman
under the captainship of Wadekar. He scored 73 (highest) of Indian score of 316
in the first innings and 14 no out of 86 for 6 in the second innings which
helped India to a victory.
Except for Wadekar, no other Indian was able to utilize Indian spin trio as
MAK did. His handling of Chanrda was sort of amazing. Remember Chandra
used to get his length and line occasionally along with couple of
unplayable deliveries (LLoyd b. chandra 28 in 2nd Innings Calcutta test
74-75). But otherwise he used to be an expensive affair. As a fielding
side captain you have to decide when to introduce Chandra and when to
withdraw him from bowling because most of the cases you do not have luxury
of defending a big total. After the big disaster in 1974 in England
(0-3 defeat, 42 allout for India etc.) there was a crisis of Captaincy
in India in the home series against WI (74-75). MAK was chosen for this
position. ( This scenario is almost analogous of selecting Bobby Simpson
as Australian Captain in 76-77 vs India and selecting Mike Brearly against
Australia after England was down by 0-2). There came the series where his
personal record is 2-2 vs the mighty WI. I think at that time he was almost
burnt out as a batsman. But his cricketing scence prevailed. I can remember
his efforts to boost the m***of a team. In calcutta test against the fierce
attack of WI pacemen India lost three wickets quickly (usual scenario). MAK
came and he was injured badly and he had to go to the dressing room. At the
after tea session India was 6 wicket down MAK came again. WI took the new
ball. ( At that point you can imagine that Indian innings will close up
pretty soon with Pras, Bedi and Chandra at the tail end). MAK had to
demonstrate that it is not impossible to face Robetrs, Holder(younger days)
and Julian with the new ball to bring some confidence among the tailenders
and the debutant Gavri. He stretched himself out with the injury and
went on to score 19 runs in an over from Holder ( including 4 fours).
One has to feel his honest effort, I can not explain everything in words.
With this kind of instances one should not have much problem to call
him team man atleast as long as he is in the field.
As India lost the series to WI it did not takeaway the credibility of GRV's
139 in Calcutta and the superb inning of 97 no in Madras or Excellent
spell by Pras in Madras test. So why one should takeaway all the credit from
MAK because the series was lost ? After all, there are lot of steps
( like 1-3, 1-2, 2-3 , 1-0 etc) India had to cross before converting
0-5 defeat to a 3-0 victory in a test series. As Bharat already pointed
out He has handled Indian team in a very crucial juncture. The teams he
handled were not only unstable but also extremely unbalanced. India did
not have any genuine opener ( 74-75 was not a good series for Gavasker ), any
fast bowler and not to mention about the allrounder. Indian fielding was in
extremely bad shape. In lack of fastbowlers in domestic cricket even the
Test batsmen were not enough exposed to genuine fast bowling.
MAK had always better chance in India because what India
had were topmost spinners in the world and couple of good close in fielders
(like Solker ) to support them hence the pitches were made for the spinners.
Unfortunately in abroad the situation used to be completely different and
India had to suffer considerably.
Little bit of non-cricket now. As MAK came from a extremely rich family
he had lot of other destructions. You need to love cricket by heart to
get involved in cricket for entire life. I personally feel unlike the
other kings ( maharajas ) he did not got involved into cricket only because
it was a sort of status symbol. At the sametime I must agree his status used
to keep him isolated from others from the audience point of view. One
person fell from the gallery and injured himself seriously
trying to watch Sharmila Tagore during the Calcutta Test ( No comment please !).
Aniruddha [who is scared of the statistical warfare] Mitra