Home > Features >

5 things you need to know about Gulabrai Ramchand

Gulabrai Ramchand holds the record of best bowling figures in Pakistan © Getty Images
Gulabrai Ramchand once held the record of best bowling figures by an Indian in Pakistan. He is also the only batsman to score hundreds in four consecutive Ranji Trophy finals © Getty Images

Gulabrai Ramchand, the first captain to lead India to a victory over Australia, was born July 26, 1927. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at five things cricket fans ought to know about him.

Gulabrai Ramchand was a hard-hitting batsman, a penetrating bowler, an outstanding fielder, and a successful captain. A champion at First-Class level, Ramchand went on to lead India to their first Test victory against Australia when Jasu Patel ran through the tourists at Green Park in 1958-59. Let us, then, relive a few bits of trivia about him on what would have been his 87th birth anniversary.

1) A Taylor-made situation

Ramchand was present in a cricket awards ceremony in the 1990s; since few recognised him (as is often the norm in India when it comes to most former cricketers) he went from player to player to collect autographs for his niece. It was then that a visiting cricketer (obviously trailed by an enthusiastic crowd) walked up to him: “Sir, my name is Mark Taylor. I am here to receive an award on behalf of my team. Can I request to shake the hand of the man who led India to their first win over us?”

2) An inauspicious debut

Though he led India to one of her most historic victories, Ramchand did not have the most auspicious of Test debuts. Playing at Headingley he bagged a pair, though he managed to avoid both Alec Bedser and Fred Trueman: he was caught by Allan Watkins off Jim Laker in the first innings and stumped by Godfrey Evans off Roly Jenkins in the second.

In the process he became the 16th cricketer and the first Indian to achieve this “feat”. At the point of writing this article 38 cricketers and three Indians (Maninder Singh and Rashid Patel being the others) have faced the ignominy.

3) The record that stood 28 years

At Karachi in 1954-55 Vinoo Mankad gave Ramchand the new ball, and he rose to the occasion: doing the bulk of the bowling himself Ramchand finished with figures of six for 49, skittling out the hosts for 162. In the process he set a new record for best bowling by an Indian in Pakistan, going past Polly Umrigar’s six for 74.

The record stood till 1982-83 before Kapil Dev picked up seven for 220 at Faisalabad (and bettered it with eight for 85 at Lahore in the same season).

4) The man for the finals

Ramchand was a crucial cog for the Bombay Ranji Trophy side in their halcyon days from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, having a penchant for big scores in the finals. He remains the only batsman to score hundreds in four consecutive Ranji Trophy finals.

Season Venue Winner Runners-up Ramchand’s scores Margin  
Innings 1 Innings 2
1959-60 Brabourne Bombay Mysore 106 innings and 22 runs
1960-61 Udaipur Bombay Rajasthan 118 DNB 7 wickets
1961-62 Eden Gardens Bombay Bengal 107 innings and 31 runs
1962-63 Jaipur Bombay Rajasthan 102* innings and 19 runs

5) The nephew

Not much of a trivia, but Ramchand is one of the few Sindhis to have played Tests for India (the first being the wonderfully named Naoomal Jeoomal; Gogumal Kishenchand and Pananmal Punjabi are two others). Ramchand’s nephew Alan Sippy was a swashbuckling left-handed batsman who averaged 49.38 in First-Class cricket and 55.80, but stiff competition in Bombay cricket kept him out: he played only 27 First-Class matches in seven years.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014 (16:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 12, 2014  at Sharjah

New Zealand won by 4 wkts

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: Samuels and Chanderpaul rebuild for West Indies

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India reach 71/1 at stumps

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Shane Bond named among Kiwi reserve players

West Indies slump to 184 for 6 at Tea on Day 3 vs South Africa at Centurion

Kane Williamson completes 13th ODI fifty; New Zealand 100/2 in 22 overs vs Pakistan

South Africa vs West Indies 1st Test at Centurion, Day 3: Samuels and Chanderpaul take West Indies past 150

Saeed Ajmal returns impressive figures on return to competitive cricket

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail ought to take leaf out of Australian tail’s book

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India’s pathetic bowling performance, Mitchell Johnson’s onslaught and other highlights

India’s inability to dismiss Australia’s tail can have huge impact

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: New Zealand likely XI

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Pakistan likely XI

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here