Former Indian cricketer, national selector and two-time Indian coach Anshuman Gaekwad recently revealed how they congratulated the former Indian World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev after creating a world record by becoming the most wicket-taker in Test cricket history.
The all-rounder Kapil Dev made his both Test and ODI debuts in October 1978. While he first time tasted the Indian captaincy in September 1982, he became the regular Indian captain during India tour of West Indies in early 1983. In June 1983, Kapil led the Indian team to create a history as they won the 1983 Cricket World Cup.
Kapil continued his cricket for the long time. Though his last captaincy for the Indian team was during the semi-final of the 1987 Cricket World Cup, where his team suffered a 35-run defeat against England, the all-rounder stretched his international cricket till October 1994.
With the time progress, the all-rounder was reaching some remarkable milestones in international cricket history. In February 1994, during Ahmedabad Test against Sri Lanka, Kapil moved on top of the list of most Test wicket-takers after claiming his 432nd Test wicket by dismissing Hashan Tillakaratne.
Congratulations, you have broken the record, but tell us: Now what?: Anshuman Gaekwad asked Kapil Dev
After that record, then national selectors Anshuman Gaekwad and Gundappa Viswanath went to Kapil to congratuale him for his milestone. Without questioning directly, they wanted to know about his retirement period.
During a recent Facebook Live interview with Sportskeeda, Gaekwad recalled, “When Kapil broke Richard Hadlee’s record in Ahmedabad, we had carried him for a while, we had gone pretty slow. But then Vishy and I went and talked to him. We said, ‘Congratulations, you have broken the record, but tell us: Now what?’ So that nobody feels embarrassed. These are the interactions you have to have.”
Kapil played only one more Test and finished his Test career with 434 wickets in 131 matches. Also, the right-handed batsman scored 5248 Test runs with an average of 31.05.
However, Kapil stretched his international career till October 1994 as he played a few more ODIs before retiring from the game. At the end of his ODI career, the right-arm fast-medium bowler bagged 253 wickets in 225 ODIs. Also, he scored 3783 ODI runs with an average of 23.79.
Gaekwad further opened up about the role of a selector.
He said, “Your experience as a player and as a selector, your foresight is very important. You can’t just go by stats or domestic performances. A selector must know whether this XYZ has scored or got a lot of wickets and whether he will be successful at that level. This level can be understood only by those who have gone there – the pressure you have to take and the performances you have to give.”