Former India captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi had full faith in Rusi Surti as the former all-rounder was almost as good as the captain, according to Surti’s childhood friend.
GK Menon, who knew Surti since school days (Dr. Antonio Da Silva High School, Dadar), wrote in a column for MiD DAY that the cricketer moved to Bharda New School to hone his skills and immediately started making headlines since then.
The writer further added that the former all-rounder, who passed away on Sunday, had the glamour and stability.
Former India captain Nari Contractor was all praise for Surti. He was quoted by the newspaper as saying, “We at Parsi Cyclists Club had a set of characters who accepted a heavy workload with a big smile. One cannot but recognise his courage and conviction.”
Mehli Irani, a former Bombay player, praised Surti’s discipline, calling him a “dominating force.”
He said, “This courageous and faithful colleague of mine showed the discipline of an army officer while fully fulfilling his responsibilities. He was a dominating force.”
Surti, who was a brilliant fielder too, played his 26th and final Test also at the same venue -- Cricket Club of India -- against Bill Lawry's Australian team in November, 1969.
Surti was an integral part of the team led by the late Pataudi during the 1960s and toured West Indies under Contractor in 1962.
He notched up 1263 runs at an average of 28.70, with 99 against New Zealand at Auckland in 1968-69 being his highest score. He scored nine half-centuries and bagged 42 wickets. He also took 26 catches.
(With inputs from PTI)
First Published: January 14, 2013, 12:52 pm