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5 unlikely Indian heroes who have now been forgotten

Deeptesh Sen
Editor's Pick

International cricket is so cruel that a lot of great players are never given the long rope by selectors in spite of their great performances. Indian cricket is full of such examples -- players who promised much and gave match-winning performances but were dropped early in their careers.Over the years, there have been unlikely heroes for India, who with superhuman performances won matches for India when people least expected them to do well.Let us look at 5 such Indian cricket heroes who have now been forgotten.  

#5 Sadanand Viswanath

Sadanand Vishwanath (kneeling, extreme left), a forgotten hero of the World Championship glory

Long before MS Dhoni became successful, the Indian team boasted of a series of brilliant wicket-keeper in the early 80s. Syed Kirmani bowed out in the mid-1980s and was succeeded by Kiran More till the mid-90s. There was also Chandrakant Pandit who was so good with the bat that he even played as a specialist batsman.

But the man who was perhaps more talented than this trio but enjoyed the least international success was Sadanand Viswanath. An ODI average of 9.00 and a Test average of 6.20 hardly tells you the entire story. His highest ODI score of 23 not out against Australia in the 4th ODI at Nagpur in 1984 was a match-winning innings.

Chasing 241, India were 204 for 7 when Viswanath joined Ravi Shastri. As Shastri played the holding role, Viswanath took the Australian attack to the cleaners, finishing with a match-winning 23 off 25 balls.

He is also remembered for his remarkable glove-work during the World Championship of Cricket held in Australia in 1985. The Indian batting did wonders in that tournament so that Viswanath had to bat only once. His most significant contribution, however, came from  behind the stumps as he finished the tournament with 9 catches and 3 stumpings.

In the final against Pakistan at the MCG, his stumping off Shivaramakrishnan to dismiss Miandad is still talked about to this day. It was brilliant glovework -- fast, furious and completed in the blink of an eye.

Gavaskar went on to write about him in One Day Wonders: “People will talk about many other reasons why we won the World Championship of Cricket in 1985 but one of the main reasons was the presence of Sadanand Viswanath behind the stumps.”

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