Bengaluru, July 30: Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is often slammed these days for his commentary.
It is also said that he was a poor batsman during his playing days and somehow did not know to respect the current generation of Indian players.
However, in the 1988-89 tour of the West Indies, Manjrekar was predicted to be the next Sunil Gavaskar by none other than West Indian legend Sir Viv Richards.
That was the period when Gavaskar had announced his retirement and Sachin Tendulkar yet to arrive. The few years saw the third 'Kar' dominating the scene as the next big thing and it was Manjrekar.
Having made his debut in November 1987 as a 22-year-old, Manjrekar was picked for the tour of the West Indies in March-April 1989. The team was led by Dilip Vengsarkar and the series turned out to be one of the most disastrous for India overseas. Some individuals yet shone bright and Manjrekar was one of them.
In the side games, too, Manjrekar excelled. He scored a century against the West Indies Under-23s as did Navjot Singh Sidhu while he top scored with 39 as India managed only 103 for nine against the West Indies Board XI. He made 57 and 41 not out against Jamaica in another four-day game.
Manjrekar did not get to bat in the rain-hit first Test at Bourda, Georgetown, but slammed 108 off 221 balls at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, where most Indian batsmen struggled against the Caribbean pace attack. India still lost that match by eight wickets.
Manjrekar made zero and two in the next Test at Port of Spain where India were hammered by 217 runs - their first Test loss at the venue since 1962. This loss saw the hosts clinching the series with the final game at Sabina Park remaining of academic interest. Manjrekar made 40s in the final Test against some fierce fast bowling but India still lost the match by seven wickets and they were thrashed 3-0 in the series.
"In Sanjay, India has found another Gavaskar. He has everything going for him - excellent technique, guts and determination," Richards had said of the man following Indian batting's meek capitulation.