When Vijay Hazare Replaced Merchant as captain of India
When Vijay Hazare replaced Vijay Merchant as captain of India though, I was all along under the impression that as long as Merchant was fit to play, he would be appointed to the Captaincy. In fact, he had led India in the Unofficial Tests against the last, Commonwealth side. Even against the first Commonwealth team, Vijay Merchant was originally appointed captain. Because he was injured I led India in the last three ‘Tests’.
It appears that Vijay Merchant himself was not aware of an effort to remove him from captaincy. I have never given any undue, importance to becoming a captain. My job was to play cricket for my state in the National Championship and for India at the international level in whatever capacity I was needed. In those days India’s Test captain was appointed not by a Test selection committee but by majority votes of the constituent members of the Control Board.
I later learned that the majority wanted me to captain India in the coming Tests. At the Annual General Meeting of the cricket control Board, a vote was taken and it was announced that I secured more votes than Vijay Merchant and was elected Test Captain. Vijay Merchant made it clear later that he had no idea that there was such a move afoot. He categorically stated that in that case, he would have himself withdrawn from the contest. As for me, I was completely in darkness about the whole episode.