Happy birthday, Javagal Srinath
Javagal Srinath was a special player. Not just because of his raw pace or for being only the second Indian bowler to claim 200 Test wickets or for being the first Indian to claim 300 ODI wickets. He was special because of the tremendous burden of responsibility he successfully carried on his shoulders throughout his career spanning over 11 years. It's hard to imagine another bowler who would have sustained the pressure of filling the void left by Kapil Dev and of spearheading an attack with the absence of a second reliable pacer for such a long time. But Srinath managed to do it due to his incredible work rate and his mental toughness.
At his peak, Srinath was amongst the fastest bowlers of his time. He reportedly touched 156 kpm (97 mph) during India's tour of South Africa in 1996. His pace may have deteriorated due to injuries in the later part of his career, but his dedication didn't. His industriousness set an example for a generation of future seamers like Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar and Ashish Nehra. On the 44th birthday of the 'Karnataka Express', we look back at the highlights of his career.