Bookmark Indra Vikram Singh has written a cricket lover's tribute to Don Bradman, with the precision of a researcher
A book on Don Bradman in times when a knock of mere 30 swells your reputation and bank balance! Out of tune, maybe, but not short of reason, for Bradman is a subject that continues to fascinate cricket writers and analysts of all generations. Great achievers are remembered in every era and Bradman remains one of the most talked of and most written about sporting icon of all times.
For Indra Vikram Singh, it had been a dream to write on Bradman. What if he had not seen him play or even met him. He had perused literature on the Australian batsman for years and it was time now to put pen to his own thoughts. “It was a mission really,” says the modest Indra.
“Don's Century” is a tribute by a cricket lover. It is a passionate narration of an epic career that set benchmarks for all times to come. Written in a lucid style, Indra's hard work is reflected in his research that highlights the joy of Bradman's batting.
Indra was keen to explore Bradman's exploits with an approach that concentrated on the Aussie's achievements. Was he just a statistical delight? Triple century in a day; average of 99.94; a feast of batsmanship! Indra wanted to see if he was great in other areas too, and the book amply brings out the other aspects through some well-crafted analysis.
As Indra argues, most English have grudgingly accepted Bradman as the greatest run-getter. They rated W.G. Grace and Jack Hobbs higher. Wally Hammond was said to be the most brilliant on off-side. The debate continues, but Indra elicited response from Bob Wyatt, deputy to Douglas Jardine in that infamous 1932-33 Bodyline series.
“Bradman would have dealt with (present-day bouncer) as well as anyone. Like all the really great players, his head was motionless until the last moment,” said Wyatt.
Bradman's quality to dominate has been well documented in this book, also his penchant to excel in tough situations. He was indeed far ahead of his times, forcing changes in the laws and tactics. Bradman was not a run machine but the ultimate in terms of bringing aesthetics to the crease, no pushing or prodding. “It was an enormous stride forward or back and across,” as Indra writes.
The book may not offer much new on the subject of Bradman but it is an honest study of his cricket. There was a reward for Indra from the great man, a letter wishing him well. “It is a priceless treasure,” prides Indra. The book is a worthy tribute to cricket's greatest batsman.