Gundappa Ranganath Viswanath is a former Indian cricketer and was one of India's finest batsmen throughout the 1970s. A right-handed batsman and a wristy stroke player, especially the late-cut, Vishwanath had the ability to play both spin and pace bowling with equal mastery and was crucial to many of India’s wins in the 1970s. In fact, he is one player who could rightfully claim that none of his centuries ever came in a lost cause. Though statistics don't convey it, Vishy was every bit as crucial as Sunil Gavaskar to the Indian team of the 1970s.
Vishwanath, known as Vishy to his team mates and fans was born on the 12th of February 1949, in Bhadravathi in the state of Karnataka.
In 1968 in Hyderabad a young slim boy named Gundappa Vishwanath marched to the nets, facing every delivery. As a result of rainfall the wicket was damp and the condition of the nets deteriorated. The diminutive youngster handled the rising ball with great precison playing the ball rising up to his chin down to the ground firmly. Test stars like M.K.Pataudi and M.L.Jaisimha watched him and were deeply impressed by Vishwanath. It was that very prowess which he displayed in the nets that marked the trend of this illustrious cricketer.
At state level, he played for Karnataka throughout his career and scored 230 in the Ranji Trophy on is debut. Vishwanath went on to play for the State Bank of India team and the South Zone side.
It was against Bill Lawry's Australian team that Vishwanath made his debut in 1969 at Kanpur .He failed in the first innings but made a cracking 137 in the 2nd innings, including 25 boundaries. His wristwork was exemplary against a competent attack and the little genius proved his true mettle.
He scored 13 more centuries in his Test career and none of them came in a match that was lost. This record emphasised his importance to the Indian team. He tended to produce his best performances on difficult pitches and a number of his best innings were not centuries, but were crucial to the team's cause.
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