Ajit Wadekar, the man who led India to their first series triumphs in England and the West Indies, died on Wednesday at the age of 77.
The former batsman, who led India to victories in England and the West Indies in 1971, scored 2,113 runs in just 37 Test matches, including one century.
Tributes poured in on social media for Wadekar, from the Prime Minister, President, to the cricketers he played with and the cricket lovers he enthralled through his career.
Sachin Tendulkar said he was a big influence on him as his career changed once he started opening the batting in ODIs, while Anil Kumble and Mohammed Azharuddin said Wadekar was like a father figure to the team.
It was under Wadekar that Azharuddin, who was till then struggling as captain, having lost Test series in New Zealand, England and Australia, got a second wind from 1993 to 1996. For Kumble, Wadekar was godsend after getting dropped post 1990 tour of England. His comeback coincided with Wadekar’s entry as manager during the 1992-93 tour of South Africa. He was never dropped during the next 16 years till his retirement in 2008.
Sanjay Majrekar had tweeted a video of Wadekar in cricket gears one last time during a charity match at the Shivaji Park Gymkhana in Mumbai.
With inputs from agencies