Woorkeri Raman was born on May 23, 1965, in Madras. He started his first-class career as a left-arm spinner but eventually turned into a middle-order batsman. Raman’s standing stance is unusually tall at the crease, with a left-hander’s fondness for off-side play. Woorkeri Raman was a batsman who should have ended up with more generous returns than 11 Tests and 27 ODIs.
Woorkeri Raman made his Test debut in his home town of Madras (now Chennai) against the West Indies in 1987–88. He was the top scorer in the second innings with 83 and took the wicket of Courtney Walsh in the first over that he bowled in Test cricket. India was bowled to victory in that match by the memorable performance of Narendra Hirwani, who took 16 for 136 in his debut Test match.
In those days, India was struggling in the opening slots. As with many other batsmen of his time, Raman was forced to open the innings in order to play for India and he did so with modest success. Therefore, Woorkeri Raman played just ten more Tests for India until 1997. And he also played in 27 ODIs during the same period. However, he was relatively unsuccessful on the international stage. His only international century, 114 off 148 balls, came in the 3rd ODI at Centurion in the Friendship Tour of 1992–93.
Where he marshaled a tricky chase and led India to victory against South Africa. He hit six fours and one six to hold his nerve for a tight finish. He declared himself the man of the match. This was his only ODI century, which was very admired by cricket fans and experts. Raman became the first Indian to score a hundred against the South Africans.
Thus, between November 1988 and December 1992, India played 25 Test matches, of which only one was played in India. This impacted many young players’ careers as there were not any ‘A’ tours in the outside conditions. Raman was one of those players.
Raman’s strength was his ability to out-think batsmen rather than impart outrageous spin or deliver an unreadable arm-ball; he picked up a wicket in his first over in Test cricket, off Courtney Walsh. But Raman proved to be a batsman of considerable skill. He hit a run-scoring period in 1988–89 by scoring a magnificent 313 for Tamil Nadu against Goa and notching up two more double-centuries. Raman ended the first-class season with a record 1018 runs, surpassing Rusi Modi’s 44-year-old record for most runs in a season.
WV Raman also missed a century in his second ODI against the West Indies at Rajkot in 1988. He produced a composed inning of 95 off 123 balls with the help of six fours. However, his innings were overshadowed by Viv Richards’s 110 not out in just 77 balls with 7 sixes and 7 fours. Eventually, the West Indies won the match by six wickets with 17 balls to spare.
His next composed inning was 58 off 86 balls vs. Australia at Hamilton in 1990. His efforts were in vain, as Australia won the match by seven wickets. His last ODI fifty came against Zimbabwe at Pune in 1993. He scored 66 off 86 balls with seven fours and two sixes.
Raman’s international career never really flew, and when Vinod Kambli was favored over him during England’s tour of India in 1993. Vinod Kambli cashed in those chances, however, Raman’s career remained a question of what might have been. The record will show, however, that he scored 96 (his highest Test score with the help of 13 fours and One Six) against New Zealand at Christchurch in 1990.
He also produced a decent inning of 72* at Auckland in the third test of this series. Then experts were predicting a bright future for Raman. But after a few failures, he lost the place. After some absence, Raman also went to Sri Lanka in 1993 and, unfortunately, did not take part in any single first-class game.
His last Test fifty came against South Africa at Kanpur in 1996, where he scored 57 runs with the help of 12 delightful fours. He was eventually ignored after the next two tests, when he just managed to score 24 runs in five innings. Raman Test’s career ended in India.
Therefore, Woorkeri Raman scored 617 runs in 27 ODIs at an average of 23.73 including 1 hundred, 3 fifties, and 2 catches. In 11 Test matches, he scored 448 runs at 24.88 with the top score of 96, including 4 fifties and 6 catches.
In his first-class career, he amassed 7,939 runs at 45.62 with a top score of 313, including 19 hundred and 36 fifties, and 91 catches. In 87 List-A matches, Raman scored 2,892 runs at 35.26 with the help of 4 hundred and 18 fifties. Raman, who has equipped himself with the highest qualifications to coach, is now the coach of the Tamil Nadu team and continues to be one of the shrewdest thinkers of the game.