RIP Bishan Singh Bedi: Revisiting the Indian spin legend's top 5 spells in Test cricket
Bishan Singh Bedi's legacy as a cricketing icon, formidable spinner, captain, mentor, and an individual who stood by his convictions will forever be etched in the hearts of cricket lovers worldwide.
On Monday, the cricketing world bid a somber farewell to one of its iconic figures, Bishan Singh Bedi, who was not just a former India captain but also one of the greatest left-arm spinners the sport has ever seen. Bedi's illustrious journey was marked by his mastery over spin bowling, unwavering dedication to the game, and an indomitable spirit.
Born in Amritsar in 1946, Bedi's tryst with cricket began early, and it didn't take long for him to establish himself as a formidable force in the world of spin bowling. Over the course of his Test cricket career, which spanned 67 matches, Bedi took 266 wickets, with 14 five-wicket hauls and one remarkable 10-wicket haul.
Bedi was a pivotal part of Indian cricket's golden quartet of spinners, which included Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chadrasekhar, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. Together, they formed the core of India's bowling unit for over a decade, from 1966 to 1978, and etched their names in the annals of cricket history.
Bedi's tenure as captain of the Indian cricket team was equally notable. Leading the team for nearly four years in Test cricket from 1975 to 1979, he earned admiration as one of India's most respected and admired captains.
As the nation mourns the loss of the Indian spin legend, here's a look at Bishan Singh Bedi's top 5 spells in Test cricket, showcasing his exceptional talent and influence on the game:
1. 6/71 against Australia at Kolkata (1969):
In a series-defining match against Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Bedi displayed his wizardry with the ball. He spun a web around the Australian batsmen, picking up six crucial wickets for just 71 runs in the first innings. His extraordinary control, flight, and turn helped India secure a historic victory, marking a turning point in the series.
2. 7/98 against England at Lord's (1974):
Bedi's mesmerizing spell of 7/98 at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground in 1974 is etched in cricketing history. His impeccable line and length, combined with prodigious spin, bamboozled the English batsmen. This spell played a pivotal role in India's first-ever Test win at Lord's, a venue known for its challenging conditions for spinners.
3. 10/194 against Australia at Melbourne (1977):
During India's tour of Australia in 1977, Bedi orchestrated a remarkable performance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He captured ten wickets in the match, showcasing his relentless accuracy and subtle variations. His match-winning spell of 5/55 in the second innings helped India secure a historic victory on Australian soil.
4. 6/92 against West Indies at Port of Spain (1971):
Bedi's artistry wasn't limited to subcontinent conditions. In Port of Spain in 1971, he produced a magical spell of 6/92 against a formidable West Indies batting lineup. His ability to extract turn and bounce on a benign pitch showcased his prowess as a spinner par excellence.
5. 7/98 against Pakistan at Delhi (1979):
In his farewell Test series against arch-rivals Pakistan, Bedi bowled his heart out in front of his home crowd in Delhi. His spell of 7/98 in the second innings was a fitting tribute to his remarkable career. Bedi's final appearance in Test cricket was a testament to his unwavering dedication and artistry as a spinner.
Bishan Singh Bedi's legacy as a cricketing icon, formidable spinner, captain, mentor, and an individual who stood by his convictions will forever be etched in the hearts of cricket lovers worldwide. Bedi's impact on the sport transcended his playing days, and his passing leaves a void that will be difficult to fill.