Cricket Career of Eknath Dhondu Solkar
Eknath Solkar's excellent bowling prowess attracted the attention of the Mumbai cricket players. He appeared as a utility all-rounder player. His steady batting along with left-arm seam bowling got him appointed as the Captain of Indian schools.
Indeed, Eknath Solkar, proved his calibre, and showed that the selectors were not wrong in giving him a chance to rise as a player. In his Ranji Trophy debut for Mumbai, in 1966-67, he picked up six wickets for just 38 runs. He pocketed another six wickets for Sussex in a match of 1969; and then the same number for India.
Eknath Solkar is celebrated, till date, as the most accomplished fielder in Test Cricket. He had an awe-inspiring record of 53 catches in only 27 matches. His worthy and next best follower, in this respect is Bob Simpson with a glorious pride of 110 catches in 62 Tests, i.e. on an average of 1.77 per match, when compared to Solkar's 1.96.
The good normally functions from the slip cordon zone and most of Solkar's close catches were grabbed from forward short leg, clinging near to the batsman as an unavoidable trap. Bishan Singh Bedi, top Indian spinners of his times, attributed a greater part of their success to this master of fielding, Eknath Solkar: "His close-in catching was really intimidating. We would not have been the same bowlers without him."
Batting and Fielding Averages
Eknath Solkar's preying pounces culminated to India's well-fought victory in the West Indies in 1970-71. He seized six catches and scored an indispensable 55, to luxuriate in hi the win of his nation. Afterwards, in 1971, he turned out to be a necessity during India's first Test and series-triumph, in England. He attained 44 and three wickets in the decisive win at The Oval.
Unfortunately, India lost this precious presence. Solkar died on June 26, 2005. He was 57, and was assailed much by diabetes. Although this man of brilliance had left us, his memories will remain forever cherished to the nation, and in the history of Indian cricket.
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