In the time when we shout Sachin… Sachin… and girls go mad over Virat Kohli’s looks, we don’t know about Bapu Nadkarni. Rameshchandra Gangaram ‘Bapu’ Nadkarni born on 4th April, 1933 in Nashik ,Maharashtra is a former Indian cricketer, one of the best of his time.
On 12th January, 1964, in the first Test between India and England in Madras, Bapu Nadkarni bowled 21 maiden overs in a row — a record for six-ball overs that still hasn’t been broken, or ever will be, unless all Tests are played on the sort of wicket that England and India were presented with in Nagpur late last year. Bapu finished with figures of 32-27-5-0. He was frugal in the second innings, too, and ended up with figures of 6-4-6-2.
Bapu Nadkarni, known as the left hand, all-rounder, came into cricket after appearing in the Rohinton Baria Trophy for Pune University in 1950-51. He was known for being an economical bowler.
Nadkarni was one of the most commendable bowlers in test cricket – his economy rate was just 1.67 runs per over in test cricket, which is excellent by every standard of cricket, and because of this he was known as a miser.
It is said that he used to keep a coin on the ground while practicing his bowling techniques and used to precisely aim at the coin. This ultimate precision was so controlled that it became a subject of research.
Bapu Nadkarni played 41 matches and took 88 wickets with an economy rate of 1.67 in his test career. He also scored 1414 runs at 25.70, with one hundred and seven fifties.
His first test début was against New Zealand at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on December 16, 1955 and his last test was against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland, March 7, 1968.
The record for bowling 131 scoreless balls or 21 maiden overs in succession in 6 ball per over format is still in Bapu Nadkarni’s court.
Not only a commendable bowler. he was a batsman in a class of his own. During one test match against England he hit 52* and 122*. He scored 283* in his six hour long innings during the 1960-61 semifinal in a Ranji match against Delhi.
Though, we have had phenomenal cricketers in Team India but a cricketer like Nadkarni never came. He is a gem of Indian cricket history and nobody can be like him. His passion for the game reflected in the dedication he showed.
Listen to Bapu Nadkarni talk about cricket to know more about him and his ideas: