Bishan Bedi: 5 major achievements of India's greatest-ever left-arm spinner | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Bishan Singh Bedi passes away at 77: 5 major achievements of India's greatest-ever left-arm spinner

By, New Delhi
Oct 23, 2023 07:12 PM IST

Bishan Singh Bedi was India's highest wicket-taker in Tests. He captained India in 22 matches.

Known for his outspokenness, late cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi often used to applaud batters when they smoked sixes during his spell. A true gentleman in the game, Bedi was born in Amritsar in 1946 and his stateside (Northern Punjab) roped in the talented spinner at the age of fifteen. Bedi made his debut when the mighty West Indies side starring Clive Lloyd and Garry Sobers toured India for a three-match series in 1966.

Bedi bid farewell to Test cricket with 266 wickets under his belt(Getty Images-PTI)
Bedi bid farewell to Test cricket with 266 wickets under his belt(Getty Images-PTI)

In the 2nd Test between the two sides, debutant Bedi bagged two wickets and bowled 36 overs at the monumental Eden Gardens. Bedi became an integral part of India's iconic spin quartet featuring Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna and Srinivas Venkataraghavan in the 1970s. The legendary spinner etched his name into record books on several occasions. Having said that, let's take a look at the top 5 achievements of the former India captain.

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1) Record 1560 wickets

More than any other Indian cricketer, Bedi managed to take a whopping 1560 wickets in his illustrious career. Bedi played for India from 1967 to 1979. Bedi recorded his final international appearance for India against England at the Kennington Oval in 1979. He achieved a remarkable bowling average of 28.71 at the time of his retirement.

2) India's highest wicket-taker in Tests

When Bedi retired, the star spinner was India's leading wicket-taker in the longest and oldest format of the game. Bedi bid farewell to Test cricket with 266 wickets under his belt. He bagged 14 five-wicket hauls for the Asian Giants. The spin-bowling great played 67 Tests and represented India in 10 One Day Internationals (ODIs). Smoking three sixes and as many fours, Bedi smashed his highest Test score (50* off 54 balls) in just 68 minutes.

3) County icon who captained India in 22 Tests

Bedi captained Team India for nearly four years in the red-ball format between 1975 and 1979. The star spinner succeeded Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi as India's captain in Test cricket. With Bedi at the helm, India played 22 Test matches. Interestingly, Bedi had a glorious career in the County Championship. Leading the bowling charge of Northamptonshire, Bedi bagged 434 wickets at 20.89 - the most by any Indian on the English County cricket circuit.

4) Played crucial role in India’s first ODI win

Though Bedi played only 10 matches in ODI cricket, he will be fondly remembered for guiding India to its first-ever win in the 50-over format. Bedi recorded memorable figures of 12-8-6-1 as India bowled out East Africa for just 120 at the 1975 World Cup. In 10 ODIs for India, Bedi picked up seven wickets.

5) India's first professional head coach

Did you know? Bedi was India's first professional head coach. He managed the Indian team back in 1990. Under his guidance, Punjab recorded its first and only Ranji Trophy triumph in the 1992-93 season. Bedi also masterminded Delhi's first two Ranji Trophy titles in the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons.

Bedi was 77

One of the greatest spinners in the history of the game, the former India skipper died at the age of 77 in New Delhi on Monday (October 23, 2023). Ailing for the last two years, the celebrated cricketer underwent multiple surgeries. Often dubbed as India's greatest left-arm spinner, Bedi is survived by his wife Anju, and two children, Neha and Angad.

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