The world of cricket mourns the loss of one of its finest, Bishan Singh Bedi, who passed away at the age of 77 after a prolonged illness. Bedi, a left-arm spinner, was not only one of India’s most successful bowlers but also a respected captain who led the Indian cricket team in 22 Test matches. Let’s delve into the remarkable stats and records that define his illustrious cricketing journey.
Over 1,500 First-Class Wickets:Remembering Bishan Singh Bedi: A Legend in Cricket’s Hall of Fame
Bedi’s First-Class career spanned over two decades, during which he consistently troubled some of the greatest batters with his mesmerizing flight. He left a lasting legacy by amassing 1,560 wickets in 370 First-Class matches, a record unmatched by any Indian bowler. His remarkable average of 21.69 with the red ball showcases his immense skill and talent. Additionally, Bedi also made his mark in List A cricket, capturing 71 wickets in 72 matches.
Record World Cup Spell:
In the inaugural World Cup held in 1975, Bedi produced a magical performance, recording an astonishing 1/6 in his allotted 12 overs against East Africa. This incredible spell earned him the distinction of having the most economical figures in a 60-over One Day International (ODI) match. Furthermore, these figures also stand as the most economical in World Cup history (Minimum: 8 overs). Bedi played a total of 10 ODIs, where he claimed seven wickets at an average of 48.57.
Eighth-Highest Wicket-Taker for India:
With 266 wickets from 67 Test matches, Bedi ranks as the eighth-highest wicket-taker for India in the longest format of the game. He was India’s most successful left-arm spinner in Tests until Ravindra Jadeja surpassed his record during the 2023 ICC World Test Championship against Australia.
Fifth-Highest Wicket-Taker Among Left-Arm Spinners in Test Cricket:
Bedi’s precision and consistency place him as the fifth-highest wicket-taker among left-arm spinners in Test cricket. He stands behind only Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath (433), New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori (361), England’s Derek Underwood (297), and India’s Ravindra Jadeja (275) in terms of Test wickets. Notably, only these five left-arm spinners have achieved the remarkable feat of amassing 250-plus Test wickets.
An Overview of Bedi’s Illustrious Test Career:
Bishan Singh Bedi is revered as one of the greatest left-arm spinners of all time. He was a vital component of India’s spin quartet, along with Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar. His Test career featured 266 wickets in 67 matches, with an average of 28.71. His best figures of 7-98 were achieved against Australia in December 1969, in Kolkata.
More Records Scripted by Bedi:
Bedi had a special affinity for bowling against England, claiming 85 wickets in 22 Tests. He also proved his mettle with 62 wickets against West Indies, 57 against New Zealand, and 56 against Australia. Five of his 14 five-wicket hauls came against Australia, including a memorable 10-wicket match haul. He also achieved four five-wicket hauls each against England and New Zealand.
Home and Away Records for Bedi (Tests):
Bedi excelled both at home and away. In home Test matches, he accumulated 137 wickets in 30 matches at an average of 23.99, including eight five-wicket hauls. In away Test matches, he was equally successful, securing 129 wickets in 37 matches at an average of 33.72.
Second-Most Wickets for India as Captain in Test Cricket:
As a captain, Bedi contributed significantly with his bowling, amassing 106 dismissals in 22 Test matches. This remarkable achievement places him as the second-most wicket-taker for India as a Test captain, second only to Kapil Dev, who leads the chart with 111 wickets from 34 Tests. These two Indian bowlers are the only ones to have claimed over 100 Test wickets while leading the national side.
Bishan Singh Bedi’s legacy in cricket is marked by an extraordinary career, an unwavering commitment to the game, and an unrelenting pursuit of excellence. His contributions have left an indelible mark on the sport, and he will forever be celebrated as a cricketing legend.