Ramakant Bhikaji Desai, who is better known as Ramakant Desai, was born on 20th June in the year 1939 in Mumbai (Bombay).
Career of Ramakant Bhikaji Desai
Ramakant Bhikaji Desai was unusually fast as a bowler who stood less than 5 feet 6 inches. His size earned him the nickname 'Tiny Man of Indian Cricket'. Ramakant Bhikaji Desai made his Test debut against West Indies Cricket Team in 1958-1959 took 4/169 in 49 over. He troubled the batsmen with bouncers, which was unusual for an Indian bowler at the time.
He toured England in 1959. Then he toured West Indies in 1961-1962 and Australia and New Zealand in 1967-1968. Ramakant Bhikaji Desai also played against Pakistan Cricket team in 1960-1961. There he took 21 wickets in the series. At Mumbai, he scored a quick 85 batting at No.10, an Indian record, and added a record 149 for the ninth wicket with Nana Joshi. His best bowling performance in Tests was 6 for 56 against New Zealand at Bombay in 1964-65. At Dunedin in 1967-68 his jaw was fractured by a ball from Dick Motz, despite which he added 57 runs for the last wicket with Bishen Bedi.
Career of Ramakant Bhikaji Desai in Domestic Cricket
In his first year in the Ranji Trophy, Ramakant Bhikaji Desai took 50 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 11.10. It is still a record for Bombay Cricket Team. It included a performance of 5 for 10 and 6 for 28 against Saurashtra Cricket Team. In the Ranji Trophy final in 1960-61 he took 7 for 46 and 4 for 74 in Bombay's victory over Rajasthan. Two years later, also against Rajasthan in the final, he scored his only first-class century, 107, in another victory. In his 11 years in the Bombay team (1958-59 to 1968-69), he never finished in a losing side.
Ramakant Bhikaji Desai as a Bowler
As the only bowler of pace in the Indian team, he was perennially overworked. When Desai retired from regular first-class cricket after the 1968-69 season, he was only 29 years old.
Ramakant Bhikaji Desai as a Board member
Ramakant Bhikaji Desai was the Chairman of Selectors from 1996-1997. He resigned from the post a month before his death. He died four days after being admitted in a hospital for a cardiac arrest. He died on 28th April in the year 1998 in Mumbai.