Let's start by talking about your beginnings. How easy or difficult
was it to play cricket in Madras?
It was very difficult in Madras because there was nobody who bowled
really quick. My ambition right from a young age was to be a quick
bowler. I used to carry a photograph of Dennis Lillee in my kit bag at
all times. He was my idol...
It is very rare that we produce genuinely quick bowlers in India and
especially so in Tamil Nadu. You must have been overjoyed when you
made your debut against Pakistan?
I was playing a Ranji Trophy match and suddenly the news was heard on
television that Madan Lal was injured and that a replacement was
sought. My name was discussed and splashed all over the place, but
still TNCA was not willing to send me. When they got the official word
from the BCCI I was sent. When I reached Pakistan there was nobody to
pick me up from the airport because the team were not informed that I
After those 2 Tests you were overlooked by the selectors for many
years. Then again before the West Indies tour in 1989 you were asked
to join the camp in Madras but eventually did not get picked. How did
you rate your chances when that call came?
At that juncture I was playing for Madhya Pradesh as a professional.
Myself and Sandeep Patil were invited by Madhavrao Scindia to play for
Madhya Pradesh and boost the side. I didn't want to play for Tamil
Nadu because they did not think I had cricket left in me. I felt I had
enough in me to stage a comeback. By this time I had also become the
head coach of the MRF Pace Foundation...