Shivlal Yadav opens up about 1981 Australia series, Tied Test and COVID-19's impact

Shivlal Yadav, former India player and ex-president of the BCCI, takes a trip down memory lane to relive the 1981 Tour of Australia and Tied Test of 1986.

SHIVLAL YADAV

Shivlal Yadav feels the governing bodies of sports across the world will endure tough times after the coronavirus, hopefully, subsides.   -  V. V. SUBRHAMANYAM

Former India off-spinner and ex-President of the BCCI, N. Shivlal Yadav, feels there will be difficult times ahead for  the governing bodies of all sports across the world even after the coronavirus, hopefully, subsides.

“It is a very sad situation right now. The impact will be very severe and the BCCI may have to face losses in terms of revenue because it takes lot of time for the economy to be back on the rails,” he told Sportstar in an exclusive chat on Monday.

“I won’t say the sponsors would desert the BCCI completely but they will be hard-pressed to invest with the same kind of enthusiasm as they have been doing over the years,” he said.

From the archives: ‘I am not one to run away from responsibility’

“But, again, this is for no fault of the BCCI or any other sports federation for that matter. This is a situation which no one would have expected in the wildest dreams,” he added.

He continued that there was no immediate solution. “There is nothing that can be done right now. All one has to do is to obey the government guidelines during this lockdown and just hope and pray for the best.”

“What should be of bigger concern is the kind of impact this lockdown will have across different sectors once the situation eases,” he added, while appreciating the way current BCCI president Saurav Ganguly is handling the situation.

Sourav Ganguly, Shivlal Yadav

The Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly and team manager Shivlal Yadav before the team's departure to Australia at the Trident Hotel in Chennai in 2003.   -  N. Sridharan

 

“With the IPL almost doubtful, most of the players will be badly hit in terms of  gearing up for the mega event in Australia this October if at all it is held as per schedule,” he said.

“And, with Australia imposing sanctions on entry into their country for the next few months, I am sure there can be a rethink too on the original schedule,” Shivlal opined.

 - Trip down memory lane -

Going down memory lane, Shivlal recalled the tied 1986 Test match in Chennai as his one of his greatest experiences. 

“I have no regrets in getting out (9/344 and then Maninder Singh was the last man out at 347 with Ravi Shastri unbeaten on 48 and the scores tied) in those tense final moments. These are part and parcel of the game. We were all so tensed up there was no time to react. Yes, captain Kapil Dev was certainly annoyed with my dismissal but didn’t say anything to me,” he said.

RELATED| Tied Test of 1986: The suspense beats a Hitchcock thriller

“I am glad that was part of a historic Test match as it is the only second ever Test to be tied. What an electrifying atmosphere it was at Chepauk, one of  my favourite venues,” he recalled.

That single delivery that created history at Chepauk, Madras: It was second-last ball of the match. It came from Australian Greg Matthews and umpire Vikram Raju was quite emphatic in his lbw decision. Maninder Singh, the victim, looks a sorry figure among the jubilant Australians. The second perfect 'tie' in the history of Test cricket had thus occurred, on the last day of the First Test between India and Australia at M.A. Chidambaram stadium in Madras on September 22, 1986. Photo: The Hindu Archives

 

- 1981 Australia Series was special -

The former offie was also reminded of the 1981 Melbourne Test, when he was at non-strikers end as G.R. Visvanath scored that match-winning century.

“I tell you GRV is a genius, a joy to watch. He made batting look so easy and simple on Melbourne wicket which was very difficult to bat on. That actually spurred me to stay focussed,” he said.

“Once he came down to me after I was badly hit on the toe by pacer Len Pascoe which left it badly swollen, he advised not to remove my shoes. You just focus on batting and don’t think of it - he told me. Luckily, I could score a useful 20 not out and I didn’t bat in the second innings because of the injured toe,” said Shivlal.

“Oh yes, Karsan’s (Ghavri) dismissal of the great Australian captain Greg Chappel for a  ‘golden’ duck in the second innings was the turning point of the match. He actually attempted a bouncer but it shot through to bowl him round the legs. And, who can forget Kapil bowling, amazing five-wicket haul,” he said, tracing back those memorable moments.

Winning moment: Kapil Dev, who bagged five wickets for 28 runs against Australia in the second innings of the third Test of 1981, rushes towards an ecstatic Dilip Vengsarkar.   -  THE HINDU PHOTO LIBRARY

 

Shivlal also noted that the match-saving partnership with Karsan Ghavri to save the Adelaide Test match in the 1981 series was another high-point of his career.

“Well, before that Test match, we lost a four-day game when I got out trying to shield left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi. Sunil (Gavaskar) was furious and told me that as a professional cricketer you have to shield yourself and in the process help the team’s cause,” said the 63-year-old.

“So, after myself (0 not out, 28balls) and Karsan Ghavri (7 not out, 36 balls) saved the Test playing out about 11 overs, Sunil was very happy with my effort. I remember a headline in a local daily which said - the most valuable duck ever - referring to my knock during that fighting, unbroken ninth-wicket stand,” he remembered.

Interestingly, Shivlal played his last Test which also happened to be Sunil Gavaskar’s last Test - against Pakistan in Bengaluru in 1987. “It was a close match which we lost. Despite Maninder Singh’s great spells we couldn’t recover well. Yes, Pakistani spinners Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef Ahmed bowled better, we must agree,” he said. “Frankly, Kapil didn’t give me long spells for we had some differences on the field. But, again, it is past,” he added.

“But, that innings by Sunil was a masterclass in the art of playing spin under the most testing conditions when the ball was turning square, literally,” Shivlal said.

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