Rated as one the best captains in the history of Indian cricket, Ajit Wadekar was the man who made India cricket believed in themselves after leading them to memorable wins against the best sides in the world during his tenure. On Wednesday, the former cricket captain passed away after a prolonged illness in South Mumbai.Also Read - India vs England 2018, 3rd Test Nottingham: Indian Players Wear Black Armbands as Mark of Respect to Ajit Wadekar
Known for his aggressive style of batting, Wadekar was a trailblazer in Indian cricket despite a mere 37 Test appearances, leading India to triumphs in England and the West Indies in 1971. Also Read - India vs England 3rd Test Day 1: Dhawan, Rahul & Kohli-Led Team India Wear Black Arms Bands in Memory of Ajit Wadekar
In this piece, we take a look a some of the unknown facts about Ajit Wadekar, who left an indelible mark in the history of Indian cricket with his exploits. Also Read - Cricketer Wadekar Cremated With Full State Honours
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1.If Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi had taught the team that they could win Test matches at the international level, Ajit Wadekar took that confidence on another level. Under his reign as captain, India create history eir first ever Test series against England and the West Indies in 1971.
2. Apart from those historic wins, Ajit’s ability to help the Indian team draw Test matches from precarious situations and thereby win the series was something which set him apart from his contemporaries.
3. The big names of Indian cricket – Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath, S Venkatraghavan and BS Bedi made their debuts under Wadekar’s captaincy and he helped each of them in their formative years of their career.
4. He managed to win a series with a team of young and relatively inexperienced group against the mighty West Indies which was led by Garfield Sobers and had the likes of Clive Lloyd and Roy Fredricks in their ranks.
5. Wadekar instilled that self-belief in Indian cricket that winning just Test matches isn’t enough and the habit of winning consistently away from home is a challenge the Indian team should learn to look up to.
6. India’s greatest-ever batsman – Sunil Gavaskar had time and again hailed Wadekar as one of then greatest captains to have led the Indian Cricket Team.
7. Wadekar was India’s first captain in the limited-overs format (ODIs).
8. Wadekar is the only cricketer apart from Lala Amarnath and Chandu Borde to have served as captain, manager, and selector in Indian cricket.