We love everything about Sachin and Kapil. Wait wait, but 'everything' includes captaincy....
Everyone misses Vishy's class and beauty. No one misses his fielding though.
We love Dada's aggression in driving spinners and rival skippers to madness but we may not reach out for our wallets if asked to bet for his work ethic.
We love Dravid's work ethic and determination but is he calling the shots when it matters?
Through a brief but informative piece I recently came to learn more about the only - I repeat ONLY - international cricketer in the subcontinent's cricketing history who combined typical cricketing abilities of an Asian cricketer with the no-quarters-given-or-taken work ethic of an European, an elusive combination many foreign coaches in these parts are breaking their heads to achieve. Read on.
He's our first and foremost one. Colonel Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu, CK in short.
And if this was not enough, his captaincy - in the colonial days when English folk were 'mai baap' - could make even Sourav Ganguly's stuff look like mother care. No wonder India placed a strong claim for Test status mainly through his efforts.
How I miss everything about him.
Update (31-Aug-10): This must be the most long delayed update I have ever written to a blogpost. Could not help it. I was reading a special Amit Varma post @ India Uncut on Indian chess and its cult figure Vishwanathan Anand, 'The man with the Maruti 800'. The last paragraph of that piece took me back to CK Nayudu.
Who knows, one of them* may even win the World Championship someday. But it won’t be as big a deal as this. Anand is special.* modern Indian chess players whose chess upbringing, as per Amit, has a much narrower gap with westerners compared to the hopeless scenario at the time when Anand learnt his chess
Earlier in this post I had brought up some chinks in the legends of some other great Indian cricketers in order to elevate CK's standing. But somehow I still could not precisely bring out what CK actually meant to Indian cricket in my eyes.
Amit gives me a chance to make up for that failing nearly 4 years after writing the post. I can now refer to his post and state with clarity what I set out to say in that post:
Sachin, Sunny, Kapil and the other cricketing greats named earlier in this post were world champs worth their weight in gold. But then all of them learnt their 'chess' availing facilities similar to the modern Indian chess players. CK was 'Anand'.
Tail piece: The last analogy may be debated. "CK was Dibyendu Baruah at most - Lala was Anand" and so on!! I close my argument here, others are free to continue.