Bedi : Recordholder for the most economical bowling figures in a 60-over ODI match : Bishen Singh Bedi, the slow left-arm orthodox bowler, who was an integral part of the Indian ‘spin quartet’ alongwith Prasanna, Venkatraghavan and Chandrasekhar, has had quite a few successful Test series’.
Starting off with the 5-Test home series against Australia in 1969-70 in which he took 21 wickets at an average of 20.57, Bedi went on to claim 25 wickets at an average of 25.28 and 1.69 economy against the Englishmen who toured India in 1972-73 for a 5-Test series. He had the best bowling figure of 5/63 in an innings and 7/122 in a match.
The guile spinner then went on to bag 18 wickets at an average of 25.33 and an economy of 2.27 in the four-Test series against West Indies when India toured under his captaincy in 1975-76.
The 1976-77 home series against New Zealand for a three-Test, saw this ‘patka’ sporting spinner claim as many as 22 wickets at an average of 13.18 and an economy rate of 1.42 with 5/27 and 9/70 being his best bowling performances in an innings and in a match respectively.
In the Indian tour to Australia in 1977-78 for a series of five-Test matches, Bedi emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the series, bagging as many as 31 wickets at an average of 23.87 and an economy rate of 2.52 with 5/55 and 10/194 being the best bowling figures in an innings and in a match respectively. He also had 3 ‘five-wicket’ hauls and 1 ‘ten-wicket’ haul in the series.
Bedi had the career-best bowling figure of 7/98 in an innings against Australia in Kolkata (then Calcutta) and 10/194 in a match also against Australia at Perth in 1978-79.
The original turbanator’s batting abilities also came to the fore when he went on to score an unbeaten 50* runs in the first innings against New Zealand in the second Test against New Zealand at Green Park, Kanpur, in the 1976-77 series.
In the process he also added 43 runs for the ninth wicket alongwith Srinivas Venkatraghavan (27) and also had an unbroken partnership of 31* runs for the tenth wicket alongwith Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (10).
The flamboyant left-arm spinner finished his Test career of 67 tests with a tally of 266 wickets at an average of 28.71 and an economy rate of a modest 2.14 with 14 ‘five-wicket’ hauls and 1 ‘ten-wicket’ haul.
With not too many ODIs being played in his era, Bedi had featured only in 10 encounters.
However, he holds the world record for the most economical bowling figures in a 60-over ODI match amongst the bowlers who had completed their quota of overs (12 overs).
In the 1975 World Cup, Bedi finished with 12-8-6-1 against East Africa at Headingley, which India conveniently won by 10 wickets and 181 balls to spare.
Bedi is second best to the West Indian, Lance Gibbs, in terms of bowling maiden overs per Test match. As compared to Gibbs’ record of 16.62 maiden overs per Test, Bedi clocked 16.35 and compared to Gibbs’ number of 4.24 maiden overs per wicket, Bedi registered 4.20, showing his ‘stinginess’ in giving away runs while forcing the batsmen to concede their wicket to him.