Rajinder Goel was Dinesh Karthik of Left arm spinners when Bishan Singh bedi was the Dhoni of left arm spin. Rajinder who was unluckily born in an era when Bedi simply ruled the roost never played for India. Rajinder Goel was awarded the CK Nayadu Lifetime Achievemet award by BCCI for his contribution to the Indian Cricket.
The left arm spinner who was often hailed in the same league as Bedi never represented the country despite mastering the craft like no one else. Even Muttiah Muralitharan has honored him for his spin exploits. The man who practiced hard all the time and tormented the batsman along with his bowling partner Padmakar Shivalkar between 1950 to 1975 is a player who will always be respected though at large the cricket viewers of today’s or even the generation before us may have never heard his name.
Rajinder Goel who was born in 1942 was a slow left-arm orthodox spinner who played 157 first class games taking a staggering 750wkts to his name. 59 five wkt hauls and a career spanning almost 2.5 decades, Rajinder will always be remembered as one of the best spin bowlers the world never got to witness. Rajinder even got a place in CCI and President’s XI and was even included in the Indian squad but he was made to warm the bench with Bedi at that time being considered the best in the business.
Rajinder Goel’s longevity in domestic cricket and innumerable match-winning exploits were in a different league altogether. He would be a certainty in any all-time India XI made up of those players who missed out during their playing careers. He was a legend who was never hailed as a legend. Unluckily when Goel made his first-class debut for Patiala big names like Subhash Gupte, Ghulam Ahmed, the legendary Salim Durani, the wily Vinoo Mankad, Chandu Borde, AG Kripal Singh, VV Kumar and Bapu Nadkarni were already doing duty for India which made things all the more difficult for him to make a India debut.
Editor Haineel Shah