Kapil Dev, who made his international debut under the leadership of Bishan Singh Bedi, before going on to play a few hundred matches and putting India on the global map of cricket, said it was Srinivas Venkataraghavan who he feared the most among his former Indian captains.
In a recent interview with coach WV Raman, the 1983 World Cup-winning captain revealed that he used to find a place to hide whenever Venkataraghavan was around.
Kapil said, “In England, the evening break during a Test match is called a Tea break. Venkataraghavan always used to argue and fought saying why only Tea break? It should be tea and coffee break. So he was like that.
“I was very scared of him. Firstly he only used to speak in English and secondly we all know his anger. Even when he was an umpire, he used to give not out in a way as if he was scolding the bowler. When I went to England in ’79, he was captain, I used to find a place where he couldn’t see me.”
“We had Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrasekhar, so he couldn’t really say much to them. And naturally whenever he saw me, he used to fire up. I used to have breakfast sitting in one corner because I was a heavy eater and he would be like ‘he’s always eating,’” Kapil added.
Kapil Dev, one of the finest all-rounders the country has ever seen, played under several captains, also including Sunil Gavaskar, over his career.
Venkataraghavan, a member of the famous spin quartet that played for India in the ’60s and ’70s, played 57 Tests and took 156 wickets before retiring in 1983.