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Eknath Solkar “Poor men’s Sobers”

- March 22, 2021

Eknath Solkar aka Ekky made his test debut in 1969. He became the first Indian Test Cricketer to be born post independence. He is India’s best fielder at forward short leg and he is arguably the most fearless fielders there will ever be as he was always fielding close to the batsman. Ekky took India to their first victory in England mainly through his brilliant close in catches.

In 27 Test matches, the late Eknath Solkar took 53 catches. Solkar once said when asked about his brilliant close-range fielding: “I only watch the ball.” His 53 catches in only 27 matches is the best ratio for catches per test-match among non-wicket-keepers with 20 or more Tests. He is responsible for one of cricket’s most celebrated quotes, directed at Geoffrey Boycott: “I will out you bloody.”

Solkar had made 1,068 test runs with one century at an average of 25.42 and claimed 18 wickets. He had a successful series against Australia and West Indies in 1971. Same season in England he shared new ball with Abid Ali .In the first test he and Gundappa formed a 92 runs partnership which helped India to take the first innings lead. Solkar made a stubborn 67 in that match.

Former England player and commentator and Solkar’s teammate at Sussex Late Tony Greig touted him as the “best forward short leg fielder he ever saw”. Cricket was robbed of this gem in 2005 due to a heart-attack.