India's opening batsman Sadagopan Ramesh (R) is out off the bowling of Pakistan's Abdur Razzaq 08 June 1999, during the Cricket World Cup match at Old Trafford, Manchester. The final will be at Lords on the 20 June 99. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE)
India’s opening batsman Sadagopan Ramesh (R) is out off the bowling of Pakistan’s Abdur Razzaq 08 June 1999, during the Cricket World Cup match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Many of you may not know about who the first Indian cricketer is to take wicket off his first ball in ODI. It is surprising to see the name of Sadagoppan Ramesh, who was left handed opening batsman and part time off break bowler.

Ramesh born on 16 October 1975 Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Sadagoppan Ramesh made a string of noteworthy performances with the India A team, ending in a dazzling century against West Indies A, that pitch forked him into the national senior side.

He started his Test career in an excellent way to have 50 plus average in his first six Tests. But after that his performance somehow dipped and he was dropped from the team after the tour of Sri Lanka in 2001. Although, Ramesh passed 30 runs in five innings, but only one innings was converted into 50.

He started his cricket career as a middle order batsman but moved to opening slot in an under-22 match where he scored 190. Then people applaud his batting and looking at me as a potential batsman. He feels the best thing is for an opening batsman to concentrate little until the ball is about to be bowled.

In fact, he was capable batsman, could easily play against world class bowlers. Unluckily he could not convert his innings into big scores.  Sadagoppan Ramesh played first class cricket for Tamil Nadu from 1995 to 2007-08 season. After cricket, he also acted in few movies and played a lead role in a Tamil movie Potta Potti.

Saddagopan Ramesh drives to the covers, India v Pakistan, Asia Test Championship, Eden Gardens, Calcutta 1999
Saddagopan Ramesh drives to the covers, India v Pakistan, Asia Test Championship, Eden Gardens, Calcutta 1999

Srikkanth was a big fellow of this young boy, who played some brilliant first-class innings. Which brings the good luck for him to include in Indian side against Pakistan in 1999.

The Tamil Nadu left handed gets the big break in his hometown of Madras (now Chennai). He showed great courage to displaying some qualities against pace of Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, and off spin magician Saqlain Mushtaq.

Ramesh ran up series of incessant scores including two hundred had abruptly unearthed a world class opening batsman. Pakistan had probably the most varied best attack in the world, a complete package for any captain to have such a dream attach. He showed brilliant technique against them.

In 1999 series against Pakistan, Kargil War create massive tension between two countries. Romesh could not got hundred in the Pakistan series. But his contribution was very significant. In the historic Test match at Delhi, where Anil Kumble ten-wicket haul, where he scored 60 and 96 have made him remember that.

A huge pressure was building by fans in that series due to this. The first Test was supposed to be played in Delhi which wicket was dup up by activist. All over lot of protests about Pakistan playing in India. Hence, in that crucial series, he played excellent cricket. He scored 50 plus in his last Test, then never given a chance. Even though he was second highest runs getter in this series.

Saddagopan Ramesh was also part of another historic Test match against Australia played at Culcutta, where India come back from no where (follow on) and won the Test match. Rahul Dravid (180) and VVS Laxman (281) inspired dressing room and battling it out for India. In the first inning Ramesh out without opening up his score, but played a defiant 30 in the second inning.

Overall Ramesh played 19 Test matches for India, in which he scored 1,367 runs at an average of 37.97 with the best score of 143 including 2 hundred and 8 fifties. As a fielder he held 18 catches as well. In 24 ODI’s he scored 646 runs at 28.08 with the best of 82 including 6 fifties, and 3 catches. In first-class cricket, 7,696 under his belt at an average of 43.23 with the highest score of 187 including 20 hundred and 38 fifties.

Sadagopan Ramesh of India walks away from the wicket after being bowled out at Old Trafford 08 June 1999 during the super six match of the Cricket World Cup match in Manchester.
Sadagopan Ramesh of India walks away from the wicket after being bowled out at Old Trafford 08 June 1999 during the super six match of the Cricket World Cup match in Manchester.

Also Read – Naren Tamhane – Finest Indian Wicket Keeper of 1950’s

Source: Wikipedia Cricinfo

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