Mumbai: About 200 people turned up at the CK Nayudu Hall of the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai to listen to former India batsman Vijay Merchant's few surviving team-mates speak on the occasion of his birth centenary on October 12. Former players Madhav Mantri, Madhav Apte, Vasant Raiji and Merchant's fellow commentator Anand Setalvad related stories of their interactions with a cricketer who was widely acknowledged as the best Indian batsman of his generation, and who later became a respected administrator, commentator and writer.
Also present in the audience were former players Bapu Nadkarni, Ajit Wadekar, Milind Rege and BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty.
Through the anecdotes of the former players emerged the picture of a near-complete top-order batsman whose was unsurpassed in technique, temperament and concentration, qualities that reflect in his first-class average of 71.64, next only to Donald Bradman. His approach came to be known later as the Bombay school of batting.