Padmakar Shivalkar- The Unluckiest Spin Wizard of India



One of the lines from Mohd Rafi song“Jo mil gaya usi ko muqaddar samajh liya, Jo kho gaya main usko bhulata chala gaya, Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya” also happens to be Paddy shivalkar’s favorite song which is quite reminiscent of his own life too.

Gavaskar’s book ‘Idols’ which is a collection of short essays on cricketers he admired and considered his favourites. It includes legends like Kapil Dev, Gundappa Vishwanath, Chappell brothers and Richard Hadlee. From players who never played Test cricket, only two made into the list one was Rajinder Goel and the other one was Padmakar Shivalkar. Gavaskar himself admitted many a times that he treid a lot to get Paddy in the team but fierce competition always put him on the benches.

Padmakar Shivalkar is another classic example of a talent gone unnoticed which could have made wonders at the highest level. He comes in the list of players like Vaman Kumar& Rajinder Goel who missed out on playing for India with players like Erapalli Prassana, Chandrasekhar and most importantly Bishan Singh Bedi taking the spots in the Indian team. Though there have been many outstanding performances but his one perfomance against Tamil Nadu is a stuff of legends. When Mumbai was all out for 151, Tamil Nadu were all set at 61/2 before Paddy stepped in and took 8/16 reducing Tamil Nadu to just 80/all out. That was not all he took another 5wkts in the 2nd innings helping Mumbai win single handedly from nowhere by a whopping 123runs.

At par with any world class spinner of that time, Padmakar Shivalkar had the ability to rip through any batting order in no time and bowl long spells accurately. Even Bishan Singh Bedi who was his biggest competitor that time held him in high regards. Padmakar Shivalkar who played first class cricket till age 48 was a part of 20 Ranji Tournaments in 22years of his career out of which Mumbai won 18Ranji Trophies which is still an unbroken record.  It was his stellar contribution to Indian cricket with amazing accuracy, fitness and consistency he managed to take 589first class wickets in 124games which had a stunning 42 five-wkt hauls and 13 ten wkt hauls. He was also conferred the CK Nayadu Lifetime Achievement award by BCCI for his yeoman services to the game.





Editor Haineel Shah