Former Indian bowler Rameshchandra Gangaram ‘Bapu’ Nadkarni passed away on Saturday at the age of 86. One of the most economical bowlers of his time, Nadkarni took his last breath on Saturday after a prolonged age-related illness. The 86-year-old breathed his last at his daughter’s residence in Mumbai on Saturday.
The former Indian cricketer played a total of 41 Test matches for his country in the 1950s and 1960s. He later also served as the Jt. Honourable Secretary of the Mumbai Cricket Association. Bapu was referred to as one of the most economical bowlers of his time. Out of the total 9165 deliveries that he bowled during his career, he gave away just 2559 runs in Test cricket at a miserly economy rate of 1.67- the fourth-best in the history of Test cricket.
Bapu’s most memorable spell came in Madras during the 1964 Test against England where he bowled 27 maiden overs and notched up barely believable figures of 32-27-5-0. Bapu was an epitome of patience- with both and ball. In the fifth Test of the same series, he scored a patient 52 in the first innings and then proceeded to bat for 418 minutes, scoring a patient unbeaten 122 when the Indians were asked to follow-on.
Condolences pour in for Bapu Nadkarni
Following the unfortunate news of Bapu Nadkarni’s demise, cricketers, as well as well-known personalities, have been of offering their condolences to the departed soul and his grieving family.
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar offered his condolences to Babu Nadkarni where he recalled how the former Indian cricketer- who used to come on quite a few tours as an assistant manager- was used to double-up as tactician, as he did during the 1980-81 tour of Australia.
Gavaskar said He came as an assistant manager for quite a number of our tours. He was very encouraging. His favorite term was “chhoddo matt” [hang in there]. He was a gritty cricketer despite playing in the days when gloves and thigh pads were not very good, not much protective equipment as you would get hit. But still hanging in there as he believed in “chhoddo matt”.
He added, “Every time he was on a tour he was very very helpful in terms of strategy. At lunchtime or team time, he would say try this if you were a fielding captain. He would tell bring this bowler or ask this bowler to bowl round the wicket. It was fantastic. Indian cricket has lost a real champion,”
Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan too offered their heartfelt condolences via their Twitter account. In all, Bapu finished with 500 FC wickets and 8890 runs in 191 games with the help of 14 centuries and 46 fifties.
Very sad to hear about the demise of Shri Bapu Nadkarni. I grew up hearing about the record of him bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs in a Test. My condolences to his family and dear ones.
Rest in Peace Sir🙏. pic.twitter.com/iXozzyPMLZ
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 17, 2020
Replying to Sachin Tendulkar’s tweet, Amitabh Bachchan said
… and when needed to spend time at the crease to delay the result he had the capacity to block every ball, frustrate the bowling opposition and just remain there without scoring anything .. prayers https://t.co/VLCRqNItkZ
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) January 17, 2020
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