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India's 1959 tour of England hero, Surendranath is dead

Surendranath, a retired colonel in the Indian Army, will be remembered for his superb swing bowling on the tour to England in 1959, sharing the new ball with Ramakant Desai.


R Surendranath Pic/Gulu  Ezekiel Collection 

Surendranath took five wickets in the first innings of the fourth Test at Old Trafford, Manchester, those of openers Gilbert Parkhouse and Geoff Pullar, Ken Barrington, Ted Dexter and Fred Trueman, and five again in the only innings England batted in the fifth Test at the Oval — Pullar, Colin Cowdrey, Dexter, wicketkeeper-batsman Roy Swetman and leggie Tom Greenhough.

He bowled long spells in Test cricket with a remarkable economy rate for a fast bowler. In the Manchester Test his figures were 47.1-17-115-5 and at The Oval an amazing 51.3-25-75-5. On that long English tour, Surendranath ended up as the second highest wicket-taker with 79 wickets behind the great leg-spinner Subhash Gupte’s 95.

However, the wicket Surendranath and his teammates fondly talked about was that of Peter May in the second Test at Lord’s when he bowled May with a beauty. Surendranath, who revelled bowling for Services in the North, was unlucky to have played only six Tests at home apart from the five he played in England.  

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