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Hercules Champions
Precocious debut of an Indian Youth

WD Balaji Rao made his first class debut, not in the Ranji Trophy as most Indian youngsters do, but for India Youth against England A on the visitors' tour of India in the 1994/95 season. Rao was still a couple of months short of his 17th birthday and he produced a performance he still ranks amongst his best in first class cricket. [More]

An active role in rewriting history

Prior to their meeting in the Ranji Trophy quarter final in the 1995/96 season, Tamil Nadu had never beaten Bombay in the competition. There was some indefinable quality to Bombay cricket that seemed to intimidate rivals - even palpably strong ones like Tamil Nadu - into submission. Whether it was a home or away engagement, whether Bombay had their top stars or not, the result was always the same. [More]

Seven wicket haul for Balaji Rao

Tamil Nadu took on Kerala in their final 2000-01 Ranji Trophy South Zone league tie at Kochi's Nehru Stadium. Six seasons earlier WD Balaji Rao had made his Ranji debut against the same team in Palakkad. It was not a particularly auspicious start for him as Tamil Nadu went down by 123 runs, still the only one of 45 encounters between the two neighbours which Kerala has won. [More]

A revelation with both bat and ball

WD Balaji Rao played a considerable role in South Zone's ascent to become joint owners of the Deodhar Trophy in December. Scheduled just after the India-Zimbabwe one-day series, South, like the other teams, were missing their established stars. The absence of both Sunil Joshi and Aashish Kapoor created an opening in the spin department for Balaji Rao, which he grabbed with alacrity. Having gone wicketless in the quarter-final where South overcame East comfortably by seven wickets, Balaji Rao reserved his best for the clash against holders North Zone in the next round. [More]

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WD Balaji Rao
WD Balaji Rao

Notable Performances
Interview (Audio)