Colonel Hemchandra (Hemu) Ramachandra Adhikari
(born 31 July 1919 in Pune
— died 25 October 2003 in Mumbai
, Maharashtra) was an Indian cricketer
, representing his country as both a player and coach in a career that spanned three decades.
A talented right-handed batsman and occasional leg spin bowler, he made his first-class
debut as a teenager before the outbreak of World War II
in the 1936/37 domestic season. He immediately demonstrated his abilities on the local stage but due to the war, and his role in the Indian armed forces, his career was interrupted.
Adhikari made his Test
debut as a 28 year old in 1947 on India's tour of Australia and immediately established himself as an important member of the squad, although his continued official role in the army restricted his availability for the team.
Very good at playing spin bowling
and courageous against fast bowling
, Adhikari had some fine moments playing for India, including a national record 109-run
last wicket partnership with Ghulam Ahmed
in a Test against regional rivals Pakistan
. He captained India in one Test as he neared his fortieth birthday, scoring 63 and 40 while batting and taking three important wickets in a drawn game against the West Indies
Adhikari took to coaching after retiring from first-class cricket - with a very good batting average
of 41.74 - and was in charge of the Indian team as they established themselves on the world stage. He helped guide India to their first series win in... Read More