British press hails Pataudi

London: British press on Friday hailed late former cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi not only as one of India`s most successful Test captains but also a leading batsmen, who managed to averaged 34 in Tests despite having lost his right eye in a car accident.

"The death of Pataudi has robbed cricket of one of its most popular and distinguished characters. Not only was Pataudi an inspirational captain of India, he was also a hugely talented strokeplayer who averaged 34 in Tests despite having lost his right eye in a car crash," the Daily Telegraph wrote.

The Times newspaper also praised Pataudi, who breathed his last yesterday after battling a lung infection for the past few weeks. He was 70.

"More than mere statistics, his importance was in instilling in his team the belief -- after years when it was regarded as one of the lesser Test countries -- that it could succeed," `The Times` wrote on Friday.

"He was adamant that India should play to its strengths, and in particular to make use of its unique talent in spin bowling. Playing three spinners, rare for any Test side, became the orthodoxy. Modest about his own ability, he saw his role as extracting the maximum for his best players by making them realise their true worth," the newspaper added.

Pataudi is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.


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