The legendary England captain, Bob Willis was known to be a “terror to face,” this statement is given by the none other than great Indian player, Kapil Dev on Thursday. He said that Team England’s fast bowling legend, who died at the age of 70, was the only one player that ever hit him with the ball.
In a Test Match that going on in England, Willis pitched the ball short and Dev did his signature “Nataraj” pull shot form, the former all-rounder player said that he gave his tribute to Willis whose death was declared on Wednesday.
Former Indian Captain And Other Former Indian Players Gave Their Tributes To The Legendary Player:
The World-Cup Winning Team India Former Captain gave his statement to Hindu Daily that, “It was a very sharp ball, faster than I had imagined, and hit me on the ear. It was the only time I was struck.” He also added that “Willis was a terrific fast bowler, with a run-up that was unique. Not a fluent run-up but once the ball left his hand it was a terror for the batsman.”
The former Indian skipper said, “I never heard Willis swear at a batsman, never saw him argue with the umpire. He did not believe in talking. He wanted his ball to speak for him. A true legend he was.”
Sandeep Patil recalled the time i.e. 1982 when Willis had six fours in one over, as well as for four fours in the 1983 World Cup semi-final, the Englishman was a tough player during that time for any team.
The middle-order player said that “he was never comfortable facing Willis. He would put fear in the mind of the batsman with his searing pace. You had to watch him very closely as he neared the stumps and be ready for the thunderbolts that he would unleash. Thunderbolts they were.”
Patil also gave his statement to the Hindu newspaper that during 1982 encounter, the Englishman player who was best known for his 8-43 demolition of Australia in the 1981 Ashes, had still congratulated him for achieving his century.
“How many would do that? He should have been annoyed with what I had achieved, but here he was patting me. He won my respect that day,” Patil stated.
Willis hit him on the helmet at the very next test match. Patil said, “He made a sign that it was all squared up. I had hit for six fours and he had struck me on my helmet. He did not speak a word. I never heard him abuse either, on the field. He was a lovable fast bowler.”
Yashpal Sharma, who had a faceoff with Willis in 1982 in Chennai while having a knock of 140, said that the Englishman was “second to none, in speed, skill, and feats.”
Sharma told the Hindu Daily that, “If the pitch helped him, he was a terror, unplayable. Willis was a bowler who never allowed you to relax for a moment. His incoming ball was hard to spot and tackle.” “He was a quiet man on the field. His bowling spoke for him. I would rate him alongside Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall in terms of speed. What I liked most was how he appreciated the opponent even though he competed hard on the field. A rare gentleman fast bowler.”