The magic of 1971: reliving India’s historic triumphs

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In the latest episode we chat about India’s historic triumphs against West Indies and England 50 years ago.

Cricket writer and author Nishad Pai Vaidya and veteran sports journalist Clayton Murzello join us to relive the heady moments through a series of anecdotes.

(PSA: We will be donating all your contributions till the end of June towards Covid relief in India. We plan to match your contributions upto $800) 

Talking Points:
  • Indian cricket in 1971 and what the sport meant for a young nation
  • The selection drama before the West Indies tour – Rusi Jeejeebhoy in, Daljit Singh out
  • The ‘great what if’ around Kenia Jayantilal
  • The dominating presence of Vijay Merchant in Indian cricket
  • A largely unknown Sunil Gavaskar on his debut tour – and his glorious returns
  • The inspired choice of Ajit Wadekar as captain
  • The value of Dilip Sardesai across the twin victories
  • Eknath Solkar and the never-say-die spirit – and that catch to dismiss Alan Knott
  • Salim Durani’s twin strikes in the Trinidad victory
  • Wadekar getting the better of both Garry Sobers and Ray Illingworth
  • The touching story of Saeed Hattea


Nishad Pai Vaidya (@NishadPaiVaidya)

Clayton Murzello (@claytonmurzello)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)


Twice Upon a Time: India’s Fairytale Cricket Victories of 1971 – Nishad Pai Vaidya and Sachin Bajaj –

Sunny Days – Sunil Gavaskar –

The Beginning of India’s Cricketing Greatness – Boria Majumdar and Gautam Bhattacharya –

My Cricketing Years – Ajit Wadekar –

India v West Indies, 1971 – Video – Jai Galagali’s YouTube channel

The History of Indian Cricket – Mihir Bose –

India’s day of glory – Martin Williamson –

The Oval Test of 1971 – YouTube video (uploaded by Martin Williamson)

Ajit Wadekar recalls his Test debut and gift from Sobers –

The other great ’71 victory – Clayton Murzello on Bombay’s triumph in the 1970-71 Ranjit Trophy – Mid-Day

Lord Relator’s calypso about Gavaskar – YouTube


Related photos:

(Govindraj, Saeed Hattea, and Kenia Jayantilal – all played in the Duleep Trophy match between West Zone and South Zone. Hatteea missed out on selection for the West Indies and England series. Pic credit: Saeed Hattea)


Lead image thanks to Nishad Pai Vaidya. Illustration by Austin Coutinho.

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