Kolkata: Shocked over the demise of Ajit Wadekar, spin great Erapalli Prasanna on Thursday said his former teammate was one of the most elegant left handers he had played with.
“I am utterly shocked. I heard it in the morning and I still don’t know the reason. Ajit was the one of the most elegant left-handers I played with and under,” Prasanna told IANS over phone.
Wadekar, who was suffering from prolonged illness, breathed his last at the age of 77.
Wadekar was an excellent catcher in the slips and famously led India to historic series wins in the West Indies and England in 1971.
“He was a defensive captain but when the situation demanded, he used to up the ante and deliver the goods quietly. He went about his business without much ado,” Prasanna said.
Wadekar took over the reins from Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi during the 1970-71 West Indies tour thanks to the casting vote of Vijay Merchant, the chairman of selectors.
In later years, Wadekar served as India’s first ever official head coach, taking over in 1992.
“I will always remember him as a great leader and someone who never liked to lose. Bombay cricket has always been like that and he was no different. So he was defensive but when the chips were down, he knew how to get the results,” Prasanna added.