Rajinder Goel made us toil for our runs at Rohtak: Dilip Vengsarkar | Cricket News

Rajinder Goel. (Twitter Photo)

MUMBAI: Domestic stalwart Rajinder Goel‘s death has left many former Mumbai cricketers, who enjoyed many a battle against him, sad too.
One of the left-arm spinner’s most deadly spells against Mumbai came on a raging turner at Rohtak in the Ranji Trophy semifinal in March 1980. With the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Sandeep Patil and Ravi Shastri back in the pavallion, Mumbai were reduced to 24 for five in their second innings against a rampaging Goel (who picked up three wickets after getting three in the first innings) and off-spinner Sarkar Talwar, before Dilip Vengsarkar (76) and Karsan Ghavri (61) rescued them with fighting half-centuries, adding 105 for the sixth wicket. Mumbai eventually folded up for 150, but ended up winning the match by 114 runs within three days.
“Haryana had prepared an under-prepared track (for their spinners). As it is, Goel was an outstanding bowler. It was very difficult to play him on that wicket. I and Karsan had a long partnership, but throughout the innings, I ended up playing Goel, and Karsan played Talwar, when it should have been the other way round! For me to play the off-spinner was easier, and for him facing the left-arm spinner would have been easier. We had to grind, toil for our runs, but we were determined because we’d lost half our side pretty early. Even while playing in the Times Shield (he played for State Bank of India), he was a dangerous bowler, because we used to play in the months of April and May on dry wickets,” Vengsarkar, former India skipper, told TOI on Sunday.
“He took tonnes of wicket for Haryana season after season. Since these guys were playing domestic cricket throughout, it really helped us to improve our game against spin. It’s unfortunate that he couldn’t play for India. He was a very hard-working, humble and soft-spoken person. His contribution to Indian cricket is huge. It’s a great loss to Indian cricket,” he added.
“Great man. I scored a hundred against him in the Times Shield when he played for State Bank of India. He spun the hall from corner to corner. A real gentleman. RIP,” said former Mumbai captain and current chief selector Milind Rege.
“He was a great cricketer and a good human being. One of the best decisions taken by the BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA) was to bestow the ‘Life-Time Achievement Award’ on Goel and Padmakar Shivalkar together in 2017,” said Ratnakar Shetty, former BCCI manager, game development.

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