Datta Gaekwad Biography
Distantly related to the Baroda royal family, Dattajirao Gaekwad was predominantly a front-foot player with a compact defence and a charming cover-drive. He was also a reliable all-round fielder, and at times bowled a mixed bag of seam and leg-breaks.
Gaekwad had the misfortune of being on the losing side in 7 of his 11 Tests. As captain he led 4 Tests in the 0-5 whitewash in England in 1959 (when he became India’s fifth captain in 6 Tests) — a series where he spent more time in the hospital than on the ground. With their leader off the field and clueless when he was around, the Indian team looked utterly disoriented.
His career amounted to 350 runs at 18.42. At domestic level for Baroda, however, he was a giant, leading them to the Ranji title in 1957-58: he scored 218 in the final himself, and his tally of 546 runs at 78 was only behind Polly Umrigar’s 594. His 5,788 First-Class runs came at 36.40, but for Baroda he slammed 3,284 at 46.25.
Gaekwad’s son Anshuman played 40 Tests, mostly as an opening partner of Sunil Gavaskar. His son Shatrunjay is also a First-Class player.