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Face to Face

  EAS Prasanna
  TA Sekhar
  Madan Lal
  Shivlal Yadav
  Roger Binny
  DK Gaekwad
  Vijay Hazare
  Kiran More
  Eknath Solkar
  Madhav Apte
  Karsan Ghavri
  Ajit Wadekar
  Balwinder Sandhu
  Baloo Gupte
  Polly Umrigar
  Chandra Nayudu
  CD Gopinath
  Mushtaq Ali
  Mansur Pataudi
  Maninder Singh
  Chandu Sarwate
  Chetan Chauhan

Shivlal Yadav (Part I)

Meet Shivlal Yadav Face to Face as part of CricInfo's video/audio interview series.

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"Well as a schoolkid, initially I was a football player, it so happened that the cricket team was short of one player..."

[ Complete profile of Shivlal Yadav ]

CricInfo: Could you please tell us about your junior days as a player I mean growing up in Hyderabad as a junior player.

Shivlal Yadav: Well as a school kid, I initially started playing football. Then it so happened that we were short of one player in the cricket team and I was included in the side. I just fielded and that was the initial stage where I got into the game of cricket. [Audio]

CI: Did you start of as an off spinner?

SY: Actually, I started as a medium pacer, but my coach Eddie Aibara, suggested that instead of bowling fast why don't you bowl off breaks which will be ideal for you. [Audio]

CI: Were your family and friends supportive of cricket for it must have been very difficult to find encouragement in those days?

SY: Yes, in fact it is my father who encouraged me all along. Being a sportsman himself he always encouraged me for he was a wrestler who represented Hyderabad. It was his guidance which made me work hard. [Audio]

CI: So, when did your first break for Hyderabad come through?

SY: I got my first breakthrough to represent Hyderabad way back in the 1976-77 season under Abid Ali who was my first captain. Of course, I did play under ML Jaisimha not for Hyderabad, but in other matches. [Audio]

CI: What are your memories of your first Test series against Australia 1979-80 in India?

SY: I have very fond memories of my first Test series for I took 24 wickets in five Test matches as I was selected for the second Test of the six Test series. So it definitely was a good start to my career as an youngster. [Audio]

CI: What are your memories of the 1980-81 Australian tour in which Greg Chappell was the captain?

SY: Well, it was a tough tour. Having got a reasonable success against the Australians at home, going over there was not that easy. But, in two Test matches that I played, I got about 8 wickets. So, it was a fairly good series for me. [Audio]

CI: During the Adelaide Test, Sandeep Patil made a big hundred and you saved the match with your bat with Ghavri. What are your memories of that match?

SY: It was a very tense moment we had during the match. Let me tell you an incident which inspired me to hang on in the last stages of that Test match. During a tour match I was trying to take most of the strike. In the bargain I got out and we lost the match. After that, Sunil Gavaskar fired me and said that being a professional cricketer (I used to play in England as a professional), you should know to look after yourself and leave the rest for the others. This taught me a lesson so that I did my job and left the other player to do his. That made me to hang on in the second Test, where in the last 15 overs or so, I defended with Karsan Ghavri and ensured a draw for the side. [Audio]

CI: Do you remember the innings of Kim Hughes, who made 213 in the Adelaide Test before you had him caught by Yashpal at long off of your bowling?

SY: I remember very clearly the knock played by Hughes. I felt he should have been out leg before on 88 off Kapil Dev, but he was given not out. Later, he went on to score 213, which was a brilliant knock. [Audio]

CI: Your thoughts on the third Test match at Melbourne which India won coming from nowhere...

SY: The wicket was a little bit dicey right from the start of the match and we were lucky to have won the toss. On the first day, we thought the wicket was good but somehow we lost wickets at regular intervals but for a brilliant century from GR Vishwanth. I was associated with Vishy in a partnership of about 70 odd runs, which was crucial at that stage for batting last was always going to be difficult. [Audio]

CI: When you started your career the spin quartet had retired and you had a new partner in Dilip Doshi. How was it bowling with Doshi at the other end?

SY: Dilip basically was a bowler who tests the patience of the batsman and keeps the batsman quiet. But to some extent it is always good because he keeps one end tight and at the other end you can experiment a little bit. I enjoyed bowling along with Dilip and more importantly the time we played together, the wicket was totally different for it was more helpful to batsman. Particularly in India, the wicket was batsman friendly as there were hardly any wickets where we would get a turner and therefore we had high scoring matches. One had to struggle and bowl long spells and get whatever wickets by remaining patient and waiting for the batsman to make a mistake. [Audio]

CI: After the tour of Australia in 80-81, you were generally in and out of the side. Then you made a brief comeback against the West Indies and again were dropped. Later you were selected for the tour of Pakistan in 1984-85 where you had a long bowling spell at Faisalabad. Tell us about the comeback game in Pakistan?

SY: Yes, it was in the Test match at Faisalabad. It was like bowling on a cement track. If you could turn the ball an inch it was a milestone. Unfortunately Kapil and Shastri were injured, so we were left with only two and a half bowlers: myself, Maninder and Anshuman Gaekwad who had to continue to bowl till Pakistan either declared or were bowled out. So I had to bowl about 75 overs. [Audio]

CI: It seems like you played Australia a great deal. You joined Ravi Shastri and Sivaramakrishnan for the 1985-86 tour of Australia. What are your memories and especially the Test match in Sydney where you did well?

SY: I did well in both Sydney as well as Melbourne. In the first Test match at Adelaide I got just 1 wicket of, I think David Hookes. In the Melbourne Test I had six wickets and in Sydney eight. In fact, we should have won the Test series 2-0 for it was just sheer bad luck that both the Sydney match as well as the Melbourne game were washed out when we were on the verge of winning. [Audio]

CI: You had a big partnership with Sunil Gavaskar during the first Test at Adelaide. He was injured and came back to score a big 100. You added 94 with him. What was it like to bat with Sunny?

SY: When Gavaskar came back, the third new ball was due and I was batting along with him. It was a great experience batting along with a batsman of Sunil Gavaskar's stature. But I had to be very careful that we did not get run out, at least Sunil should not get run out. So I had to make my call very clear, whether it is a yes or no. Definitely, it was a great experience batting along with Sunny. [Audio]

Shivlal Yadav [Part II]

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