Rajinder Goel’s unsung legacy
23 June, 2020 | newsx bureau
Rajinder Goel holds the highest wicket-taking record in the Ranji Trophy. He played domestic cricket for 27 years.
If you have the highest wicket-taking record in the Ranji Trophy and played domestic cricket for 27 years and kept waiting for the chance in international cricket, but was also friendly with people who proved to be an obstacle in his career. Yes, Rajinder Goyal was one such amazing person who could do this wonder. On the death of this left arm spinner, the whole country is asking the same question today where the presence of Bishan Singh Bedi in Team Indi probed to be the reason for his not playing Test or there are some other reasons behind it. It is true that only one sword can remain in a `mayan`. Because both Bishan Singh Bedi and Rajinder Goel are left arm spinners. Bedi used to flight but Rajinder Goel used to flatter trajectory balls but that does not mean that he did not give flight. The only difference was that while Bedi`s flight was extremely slow in air, Rajinder`s balls used to have more speed in air. But here one should not forget the fact that Rajinder had the ability to perform on every type of wickets. Bedi was more bold in bowling by giving flights.
It is obvious that if Rajinder Goel had a chance to bowl on the wickets of Australia and England he would certainly have been more impressive than Bishan Singh Bedi. The question here is why he did not get a chance to play Test? When two off spinners – EAS Prasanna and Venkataraghavan can play together in same match, why could not two left arm spinners could have played together.
What could be worse than this that Rajinder was sure to get a chance against the West Indies in the 1974-75 Bangalore Test. When the team was declared on the eve of the test, his name was missing. Bishan Singh Bedi did not play this match because a disciplinary action was taken against hi in this Test but the team management decided to have both off spinners in the form of Prasanna and Venkat. This was also the debut test of Vivian Richards. Had he got a chance in that Test, it would have been an opportunity for him to secure a place in the team which Bishan Singh Bedi and his supporters did not like at all. Likewise, Goel performed brilliantly in the side matches against Sri Lanka and Australia. But no attention was paid to him. But he certainly won the hearts of top class cricketers playing across the country. Sunil Gavaskar even wrote in his book IDOLS that if he had to face Bishan Singh Bedi and Rajinder Goel, he would like to face Bishan Bedi. This is indeed a big compliment for Rajinder Goel. A feature of Rajinder Goel`s bowling was also that he did not allow the batsman to use the feet for the drive. His effort was to restrict the batsman on the backfoot. Speed various was another feature of his bowling. Many times the batsmen who played spin very well were also caught in front of them. Vijay Manjrekar, who played spin well, also used to play very carefully in front of him and he used to catch him in the hands of the closing fielder on the inside edge.
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Padmakar Shivalkar, another left arm spinner, considered him a bigger spinner than himself. Dilip Vengsarkar was waiting to play in this Times Shield. He had the opportunity to prepare for international matches by playing against Rajinder Goel. Bishan Singh Bedi has admitted that Rajinder Goel was a better bowler than him when he got his chance in Test.
The problem is that thousands of players in our country, from Rajinder Goyal to Padmakar Shivalkar and Rajinder Singh Hans, Babu Nimbalkar, AG Ram Singh, Amol Mujumdar, Venkataraman Shivramkrishnan Venkat Sundram and KP Bhaskar and many other, did not get a chance in spite of great talent. In such a situation, these talents have no choice but to remain disappointed.
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