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G.R. Vishwanath Biography

G.R. Vishwanath is a former Indian Test and ODI cricketer who is regarded as amongst India’s finest batsman. His full name is Gundappa Rangnath Viswanath and he was born on 12th February, 1949 in Bhadravathi, Karnataka, India. Pursuing his strong interests in cricket,Gundappa Viswanath went on to shine for India throughout the 1970’s. The major teams that G.R. Viswanath represented are India, Karnataka and Mysore. After retiring from Tests in 1983, Viswanath served as the Chairman of the selection committee, and as an ICC match referee from 1999 to 2004. He is married to the sister of fellow teammate Sunil Gavaskar.

Nickanmed ‘Vishy’ by players and fans alike, Gundappa Viswanath was an outstanding right-handed batsman who was adept at wielding the willow to secure several wins for his team. A strong wristy player with brilliant strokeplay and scintillating footwork, he was technically and mentally strong in the face of either a devastating pace onslaught or a crafty spin attack, standing tall to some of the greatest bowlers in the world.

Viswanath made his Test debut against Australia at Kanpur in November 1969, when he scored a brilliant century. Since then he has shone in 91 Tests, scoring 6080 runs, with 14 centuries and a highest of 222. Vishwanath had an unsuccessful stint as captain in two Tests held in India, however, he also had several notable performances including his fabulous innings against West Indies at Madras (1974/75), scoring 97 (not-out) withstanding the fierce attack of paceman Andy Roberts, which was later included in the Wisden 100 as the 38th best innings of all times in 2001. Also noted were his strong performances against West Indies at the Port of Spain (1975/76) and at Madras (1978/79). Viswanath has also played 25 ODI’s scoring 439 runs, including two Cricket World Cups in 1975 and 1979.

A fair player of the game, Gundappa Viswanath once recalled Bob Taylor to the crease, overruling the umpire’s decision in the Golden Jubilee match against England (1979/80), which they went on to lose. For his immense contribution to Indian cricket, G.R. Vishwanath was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1977/78.