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Which Indian tailender’s batting did you love to watch? Our readers have their say

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

There are few things as entertaining as a tailender in his element, be it a wild slash for six or an awkward defensive prod. India have had their own range of entertaining tailenders, masterful with a ball in hand, and delightful with the bat.

We asked Wisden India readers to name their favourites over the years, and the result was a string of popular choices, all evoking nostalgia.

There was no clear winner at the end of the exercise, but there were quite a few standout names.

Sreesanth, for one. He made a brief but lasting impact with the new ball in hand, but it’ll always be that one six, off South Africa’s Andre Nel (and the wild jig that followed), that’ll remain his most popular act on a cricket field.

Renowned for his prowess with the ball, Javagal Srinath was no mug with the bat, often sent in early to act as a pinch-hitter.

Zaheer Khan was a reliable customer with the bat, hanging around for entire sessions to boost India’s Test scores. But he could also give the ball a mighty wallop. Ask Henry Olonga.

Despite that century at Lord’s, it’s said that Ajit Agarkar never quite lived up to his billing as an all-rounder. Nevertheless, the high back lift and the fluent strokes gave India many valuable runs down the order.

Laxmipathy Balaji would often follow up a wild slog with that trademark dazzling smile, building a fanbase of his own through the mid-2000s.

There wasn’t a tailender as pugnacious as a fired-up Harbhajan Singh, who blasted back-t0-back Test centuries against New Zealand in 2010. Jason Gillespie who?

Anil Kumble took 619 Test wickets, but never celebrated any one of those as enthusiastically as he did his Test century at The Oval in 2007.

In the current team, Ishant Sharma has emerged as a handy lower-order batsman, showcasing his ability to spend sessions at the crease with minimal strokeplay. Umesh Yadav‘s name also generated considerable buzz after his 10-ball 31 against South Africa last year.

This gentleman just couldn’t decide. Neither could we.


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