New Delhi: Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who overcame an impaired eye to become a visionary and pioneering captain of the Indian Test team, has died in Delhi at the age of 70. He was suffering from interstitial lung disease. He is survived by his wife Sharmila Tagore, his son Saif Ali Khan and his two daughters Soha and Saba Ali Khan. Tagore, Saif and Soha are prominent actors in India's film industry. The body of Pataudi is expected to be moved to his village at on Friday morning where his last rites will take place. (Also Read: Pataudi's body moved to Delhi residence)
Pataudi played 46 Tests between 1961 and 1975 and was arguably India's greatest captain. He was given the leadership in his fourth Test, when he was 21, in Barbados in 1962, because the regular captain Nari Contractor was in hospital after getting hit on the head by Charlie Griffith. Pataudi was the youngest Test captain, a record that stood until 2004. He led India in 40 Tests and had a successful career despite impaired vision in his right eye, which was damaged in a car accident. He also captained Sussex and Oxford University.
India won nine Tests under Pataudi and it was during his tenure that the team began to believe it could succeed. He advocated the multi-spinner strategy because he believed India needed to play to their strengths and used it to achieve their first overseas Test win, in Dunedin in 1968. India went on to record their first away series victory, beating New Zealand 3-1. Pataudi was the Wisden Cricketer of the Year that year.