SUBHASH GUPTE (KANPUR, 1958-59)
Bare figures deliver no justice to Gupte. Garry Sobers believes to this day he was a better leg-spinner than Warne. Gupte played at a time when Indian teams featured the world’s worst fieldsmen.
At Kanpur in 1958–59, he took on the powerful Caribbean batsmen, and in one innings dismissed nine of them for 102. The only batsman he missed had been dropped.
At 6-88, captain Ghulam Ahmed bafflingly removed Gupte from the attack and brought himself on, letting the Windies off the hook, as Joe Solomon and Gerry Alexander steadied with a 100 partnership. Sanity was restored – Gupte was brought back and removed Solomon, before ’keeper Tamhane dropped Gibbs. We can’t blame Tamhane. Throughout his Test career, it seemed Gupte mystified team-mates as much as he did the opposition, and dozens of chances were grassed off his bowling.