Tiger Pataudi…I miss you

Dear Tiger,Tiger Pataudi

I know I am too young to call you Tiger but I know you like it.

I never saw you play…I heard you speak…I heard your peers speaking about you…

Just adored you…

My father had once told me that you had one eye made of glass!  Although factually incorrect it wasn’t notionally false.  For a young boy that had created a special place for you in my book.  Leaving cricket aside, you had an aura that I cannot describe.  An aura of a man, a man many of us can just marvel at.

I have not felt this way before.  The sense of loss caused by your demise has been overwhelming…I miss you Tiger.

You had many more years in you. I wish you could pull through…

with love,


5 thoughts on “Tiger Pataudi…I miss you”

  1. Someone who has never seen Pataudi paying a tribute…
    Hmm, i don’t know what is the ‘adoration’ about.

    But for someone older’ the (me) who grew up watching ‘The Tiger’s exploits, it is sheer nostalgia.
    We always loved to hear the radio commentary when PAT came in to bat. He was described as ‘majestic’. ‘royal’ and also as someone who had the uncanny knack of lofting the ball to ‘untenated’ parts of the field setting.
    Cricket has lost much of the ‘Romance’ of those days..
    ..and is poorer.

    A rather ‘related’ loss is the exit of Dara Singh.
    Since yesterday, there are many tributes and good words said about Dara Singh the actor.
    But to my ‘generation’, Dara Singh the actor came later.
    We remember him as our ‘he man in the ring’. – Rustom – e -hind.

    We remember him as the great wrestler whose techniques like ‘aeroplane spin’ and ‘Indian death lock’ were legendary.

    Again, the Romance is lost…..

    1. Sir, it is true that cricket has lost its romance. Although I don’t belong to your generation, I still love listening to live (test) cricket commentary on radio.
      As far as Tiger Pataudi is concerned, my adoration for him is largely due to how he carried himself in public (which was rare, hence more valuable). I wasn’t even born when he retired from competitive cricket. My father (like you) has listened to Tiger’s magesty on the cricket field. I have grown up listening to my father’s nostalgia.
      I come from the state which has given Gundappa Vishwanath to Indian test cricket. Rahul Dravid immensely admires Tiger Pataudi for what he stood for. Tiger was never into cricket’s ‘two samosa politics’. If I like Gundappa Vishwanath, I am sure you see why I love Tiger Pataudi.
      Dara Singh’s best memory I have is watching him carrying Everest Asbestos Sheet in the old Doordarshan advertisement. Do you remember that?

      1. Now that you mention Gundappa Vishwanath, Rahul Dravid and the ‘state’ from from which you come from, let me also mention another reason why my generation held the ‘tiger’ dear !!

        Tiger Pataudi’s prime years on the field also coincided with the rise of two magicians from the state I belong to ..(incidentally same as yours !)

        Bhagawat Chandrashekhar and Erapalli Prasanna. The redoubtable twosome formed the tiger’s most feared weapons.

        Test matches anywhere in India….just one or two overs into the opponents innings, the leather still shining…..the crowds would start roaring….
        “We want Chandra, Chandra…”. The Tiger would oblige ….it was magic.

        It was much before Television invaded our living rooms, but the pictures stay etched in our minds…Chandra’ ‘unplayable’ flippers coming out of his poliostricken slingshot arm, Prasanna’s flighted spin coming more from the brain than muscle…
        …and the Tiger’s daring captaincy (he was also a brilliant fielder)
        The Indian team didn’t win too many tests those days..but they won our hearts for sure !!

      2. Sir, Thank you so much for sharing some of your cricketing memories of Tiger Pataudi. Your comment made me very happy. I am glad to learn that you are from Karnataka. The golden spin quartet of Prasanna, Bedi, Chandrashekhar and Venkatraghavan owe a lot to Tiger. Although Karnataka has produced the bulk of Indian bowling (Prasanna, Chandrashekhar, Javagal, Kumble, Prasad) over the last 4 decades, I must give credit to the stylish batting school of Hyderabad too. In someways, Jayasimha, Tiger, Azharuddin (and now Laxman) all played a brand of batting that cannot be taught by a coach. In fact, I learn that it was Tiger who spotted Vishwanath (a young man with great wrist work and inimitable late-square cut) and pulled him towards the national side. Perhaps, Vishwanath represented the Hyderabad school of batting although he came from Karnataka. Dravid was solid, but he didn’t represent a particular school. I don’t see anyone coming from Karnataka into the Indian test team in near future. The future of spin…well…if India produces the kind of pitches it does now, then there is no hope for any kind of bowler (be it fast or spin).

  2. Intersting to see a young man talk of old cricketers..Jaisimha, Bedi etc..
    Your observations on the Hyderabadi school of batting are also interesting..even though I do not fully subscribe to that view.

    M L Jaisimha of course evokes fond memories for his ‘style’ …we kannada guys also always considered him ‘our own’ due to his karnataka lineage (Motaganahalli).But he was not particularly a ‘wrist’ guy… A pleasure to watch nevertheless, we remember him more for his ‘courageous’ knocks.

    Pataudi’s represented Hyderabad but his skills were honed at Oxford and marked by bold ‘lofted’ shots…cannot be particlarly classified as wristy. We loved the way his shots landed behind the fielders

    VVS Laxman and Azharuddin were, of course, wristy guys whose batting ‘bordered’ on the poetic – also true blood Hyderabadis..Very watchable and attractive batting styles and capable of hitting against spin.

    G R Vishwanath was wristy alright, but his batting was more than that. The late cuts and glances put him in the league of the legendary Ranjitsinhji, the Jamsaheb of Nawanagar’.
    Being a stylist and artist, he was not the guy to ‘pile up’ runs against smaller opponents or easy conditions. Statistics do ‘no justice’ to his ‘sheer poetry’.
    Cricket lovers of my generation can never forget the day, ‘Andy roberts of the west indies went on a rampage’ at Chepauk, cutting through the Indian batting line up with sheer speed and accuracy. Vishy’s 97 not out that day ranks as one of the greatest displays of batting by anybody…… I cannot imagine any other batsman being able to do that..

    Anyway, it has been great chatting cricket with you…and thank you young man..for taking me back a few decades…

    All the very best to you !!!

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