Rakesh Shukla, the former Indian allrounder, passed away on Saturday aged 71. He represented India in a solitary Test but remained one of Delhi’s most important men throughout his distinguished first-class career. Rakesh Shukla created his own legacy in the domestic arena with his all round exploits. He was a late order batsman and a very fine leg-spinner.
One of the finest moments came in the final of 1981-82 Ranji Trophy final against Karnataka when he starred with the bat. He and Rajesh Peter added an unbeaten 118 runs for the ninth wicket to steer Delhi past Karnataka’s first innings of 705 for a memorable triumph. In the following season, he received his maiden call-up from India and played his only Test against Sri Lanka at Madras (now Chennai).
That game was also the first Test between India and Sri Lanka. Rakesh Shukla had a poor outing in the game. He finished with figures of 0 for 70 and 2 for 82 and did not receive any call up from the national team again. He, however, continued to impress in domestic circuit.
Talking about his first-class career, he made his debut in 1969 and retired in the 1985-86 season. He played 121 first-class games and left his mark with both bat and ball. Rakesh Shukla scored 3,798 runs with the help of 6 centuries and 17 fifties. His highest score was 163 not out. With the ball, he picked up 295 wickets.