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  EAS Prasanna
  TA Sekhar
  Madan Lal
  Shivlal Yadav
  Roger Binny
  DK Gaekwad
  Vijay Hazare
  Kiran More
  Eknath Solkar
  Madhav Apte
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  Ajit Wadekar
  Balwinder Sandhu
  Baloo Gupte
  Polly Umrigar
  Chandra Nayudu
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  Mansur Pataudi
  Maninder Singh
  Chandu Sarwate
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Eknath Solkar (Part II)

Meet Eknath Solkar Face to Face as part of CricInfo's video/audio interview series.

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Eknath Solkar
"The wicket was such a good wicket to bat on. And in the first innings we nearly scored 300....It was sheer bad luck."

[ Complete profile of Eknath Solkar ]

Cricnfo: Most of your close in catches were purely instinctive and reflex catches. Do you think it was just because of training or was it purely natural?

Eknath Solkar: Yes some of the catches were natural. During my schooldays, I used to take about 500 catches almost every day. As a small boy, when I was not doing batting or bowling, I used to take 100 to 500 catches everyday. So that's why there was no fear for the ball. This was the reason for my reflexes and anticipation when I used to take a catch.

CI: So it is a result of practice..

ES: Yes, practice. [Video | Audio]

CI: When India toured England in 1974, you had a sort of mastery over the English opening batsman Geoff Boycott by getting him out a number of times. Can you give the reason for the hold you had over him?

ES: I used come over the wicket for right hand batsman and Boycott had a two-eyed stance and used to open up. He tried to play each and every ball which was going away from him and missed. In one match that I can remember against Yorkshire at Bradford, Charlie Elliot was the umpire. Boycott wanted to leave a ball that pitched outside the off stump and coming in. He left the ball which hit his pads and he was given out leg before. From that day, he was in two minds whether to play or leave and he used to get out like that. [Video | Audio]

[Geoff Boycott]


CI: On that tour, India were all out for 42 in a Test match. You were the only player to get into double figures and in fact you made 18 not out. What was the reason behind the Indian batsman throwing their wickets.

ES: No, no, they did not throw away their wickets. It was a good wicket to bat on. In the first innings we scored about 300 and in the second innings we fell because of the weather. Sometimes at Lord's, because of the river near the ground, the ball used to swing in the air. It was one of those days and it was bad luck, sheer bad luck. [Video | Audio]

[Len Hutton] [Scorecard]

CI: Your only Test century came against West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium in 1974-75. In that innings you came into bat at number 3. It was a unusual position for you. How did this come about?

ES: I remember that innings. Initially I was supposed to go at number six with Anshuman Gaekwad supposed to go at one drop. After being in the field for a long time, Gaekwad was a little tired and captain Pataudi asked me to go number three. [Video | Audio]


[AD Gaekwad] [MAK Pataudi]

CI: You have played in the Ranji Trophy for many seasons both as a player and captain. How did you feel when Bombay won the Ranji Trophy in the 1980-81 season. Was it the most satisfying moment for you?

ES: Yes, because I can remember that players like Gavaskar, Vengsarkar, Ghavri and others were in Australia playing for India. So they wanted one senior cricketer to captain in the match as we had a good junior team. Only myself, Ashok Mankad and Ramnath Parkar were the only three senior cricketers. The youngsters played well that season as it was a good opportunity for them to come good for Bombay and we succeeded because we had a good combination of youth and experience. We beat Delhi in the final. [Video | Audio]

1980-81 Ranji Final: [Scorecard]

[RD Parkar] [KD Ghavri] [SM Gavaskar] [AV Mankad]

CI: How do you look back your career, any regrets?

ES: No regrets. I played for merely six to eight years and I feel happy with my performances. Only during the first tour game in New Zealand in 1976 at Napier, I fractured my finger. I could not play the whole series there but was retained for the rest of the tour. The team management wanted to send me back before the West Indies tour, but Sunil Gavaskar told Bishen Bedi, who was the captain that my experience on the previous tour would benefit the side and I was retained. I played only one Test match during the tour in Trinidad which India won. [Video | Audio]

[BS Bedi] [M Amarnath] [Brijesh Patel] [GR Viswanath]

CI: What was the atmosphere like in the dressing room when India were chasing the 400 plus target? Did the team think they could win the match?

ES: Yes. We thought we could win when we were chasing the target of 400 plus runs. Brijesh Patel, Gavaskar, Vishwanath and Mohinder all got runs and easily too I would say so. It was a memorable moment. [Video | Audio]


CI: Finally, what is the level of your involvement with the game today?

ES: Nowadays I am doing coaching. I was the coach of Assam for one season and also the coach of Orissa a year. I like coaching the youngsters. I coached the Kerala under-19 side and also the Assam under-16 team. I also coached the Bombay under-16 side for three years. I want to give back something to the game and train young cricketers. I'm happy to see some cricketers, especially Ajit Agarkar and Wasim Jaffer in the Bombay side as I was their coach of the Bombay under-16 team in which they played. So I am happy that somebody's playing today when I was their coach. [Video | Audio]

[Wasim Jaffer] [AB Agarkar]

Eknath Solkar: [Part I]

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