Interview with Venkatapathy Raju

Indian left-arm spinner, Venkatapathy Raju, was interviewed on the irc channel #cricket during the closing stages of India's tour match against Eastern Province at Port Elizabeth on 23 December 1996. The interview was conducted by Sarah Chesterfield (grimmett on irc), with assistance from Vishal Misra, and Ravi Sista.

vishal: Do you like the name Muscles, and is Mrs. Raju doing something about getting rid of it?

Raju: No, I like the name :-)

wz: Raju-ji, are you fully recovered from the injury to your hand?

Raju: totally recovered

krish: Raju, Why would you think you didn't perform up to expectations on the England tour? And do you think you're better prepared for this tour or in better bowling form now?

Raju: In England I didn't play many games, only one Test - I am better prepared now - and England was freezing - I couldn't grip the ball properly.

Vishal: How do you get Lara out so often?

Raju: The Indian pitches were helping us -that was my best series, everything was going right for me

                    O     M    R   W  Avg   Best  5WI 10WM Econ
SLV Raju          172.5  31  463  20  23.15  5-60   2   -  2.68

krish Can you promise to give McMillan lots of balls to sweep ? He seems to love to get out sweeping :-)


Raju: Brian is a good friend of mine- he was the one who gave the name of "Muscles" to me

wz Raju-ji, your batting seems to be improving leaps and bounds too. Any tips for Sachin, Saurav and the rest?


Raju: no.... rather concentrate on my bowling than giving tips on batting :-)

vishal: Who is your spinning hero?

Raju: Bishan Bedi

krish: raju, do you remembering getting M Waugh and Jones stumped in Aus. in '92? Do you tend to bowl a bit flatter these days?

Raju: Yes, we are playing so many one day games now. in Aus the grounds are very big and there you can afford to flight the ball more than elsewhere; other places you have to bowl flatter.

vishal: Were you afraid to flight to Latif in Banglore? You did get him stumped and sealed it for India.

Raju: it was such a tense game - they were going for everything but there was nothing to be afraid of

Raju: namaskar Ravi

Ravi: hello Raju...I am from Banjara HIlls...Went to Govt. Junior College, Aliya (yes same as Azhar) :-)

Raju: I'm from secbad

Ravi: Marredpally? :_)

Raju: tirmulagiri

Ravi: Oh..

Raju: any gossip from Hyderabad?

Ravi: Raju : I have left the country 4 years back...used to follow each and every match of Hyderabad at Zymkhana..both Ranji and Subbiah Pillay(those days)..(ofcourse all the India matches at the good old Fateh Maidan)..during NTR regime I think there was a talk about building a full fledged stadium at Zymkhana? what happened since then?

Raju: The new stadium hasn't come yet -they are having problems with the ministry of defence for permission for the ground

Dave Liverman: do you prefer bowling over the wicket or round the wicket?

Raju: Round the wicket most of the time -might change if the pitch is really turning

vg: How does it feel to be in and out of the team and perform really well when in the team?

Raju: Naturally you feel depressed, because you have to start everything from the beginnning again

vishal: will you play the Muscleman in a Sanjay Manjrekar movie?

Raju: (laughs) - no, I won't

vg: Will the Indian team come to US after their West Indies tour?

Raju: No, we shall go straight home, because we have the Independence Cup coming up

wz: Who are the single players on the Indian squad, and which of those are the biggest flirts? :)

Raju: Nobody flirts...the singles are Srinath, Dravid, Kumble, Ganesh and Dharmani

krish: Raju, one more request, can you bowl arm balls at Hudson? He loves getting out lbw, plus with your muscle, it shouldn't be hard bringing the ball back in:-)

Raju: (laughs) yeah, I don't mind bowling arm balls at Hudson. I don't think I will be playing in the first or second tests - because the pitches are for fast bowlers they wil probably play three seamers and Kumble as the only spinner

Liam_: How do you feel about one off test matches?Is there the need for some kind of world cup to find out just who is the number one team?

Raju: Not a bad idea -play a tournament - one test match each

wz: Raju, you think the third seamer is likely to be Johnson?

Raju: : yes, probably

vishal:what do you think of Mushtaq - how has he suddenly turned around?

Raju: Mushtaq is a very good bowler- it is basically a lot of bowling - more exposure leads to greater confidence. Also, Mushtaq said he spoke to Shane Warne about some things.

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Date-stamped : 28 Dec96 - 14:15