|Full name||Padmanabh Govind Joshi|
27 October 1926|
Baroda, Gujarat, India
|Died||8 January 1987
Pune, Maharashtra, India
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Test debut (cap 53)||2 November 1951 v England|
|Last Test||2 December 1960 v Pakistan|
Joshi was born in Baroda, Gujarat, India in 1926. He first gained attention as a cricket player when he scored 100 notout for Central Province Governor's XI against the touring Commonwealth XI in addition to dismissing six batsmen. This earned him a place in two unofficial Tests against the same team. Joshi played cricket at a time when India had three or four wicket keepers of the same class. In a career that lasted for nearly ten years, Joshi played only twelve Test matches.
He made his Test debut against England in the first Test at Delhi in 1951-52. In the first innings, he caught two and brilliantly stumped two others, but his errors in the second helped England to save the match. Joshi was replaced by Madhav Mantri for the second Test, who in turn gave way to Probir Sen in the third. Joshi was picked for the fourth and discarded in favour of Sen for the final Test. Here Sen stumped five batsmen and Joshi found himself out of the team to tour England in 1952.
Writing in 1985, N. S. Ramaswami remembered that Joshi "impressed as a dapper and neat performer. Between the overs he walked from wicket to wicket with a certain jauntiness. He seemed to wear the gloves as a lady might at a fashionable ball." Yet in his opinion, Joshi came lower down in the hierarchy of contemporary wicket keepers. Sen and Mantri occupied the top rung, Naren Tamhane came next, followed by Joshi.
Joshi played in four Tests in the West Indies tour of 1952-53 and three Tests in England in 1959. In a match in the Pune summer league in 1957-58, he had a hand in all ten dismissals in addition to scoring 68 out of 117 allout.
He was again selected for India against Pakistan for the Bombay Test of 1960-61. Here his career came to an abrupt end. On the fifth over of the first day, he dropped Hanif Mohammad off Ramakant Desai, 'a simple catch', when the batsman was 12. Hanif went on score 160. "If ever a catch marred or made a series", wrote Vijay Hazare, "it was this one." Later in the match he made his career best score of 52* and added 149 for ninth wicket with Desai, five runs short of the world record at the time and still an Indian ninth wicket record. But the selectors did not pardon him and he never played another Test.
Joshi captained Maharashtra team between 1960–61 and 1962-63. He also served in the Maharashtra cricket selection committee. His benefit match in Sangli in 1974 earned him 1,25,000 rupees. He dismissed nine batsmen against Gujarat in 1959-60 which equalled the then Indian record.
Joshi's father died when he was eight. His mother brought the young Joshi and his brother to Poona where she brought them up under great hardships. She maintained the family by sewing and providing food for students while Joshi used to clean the utensils and serve food. She supported Joshi until he completed his college education and got a job. Joshi had his schooling at Bhave School and then went to S.P. Bhau college and Wadia College in Pune where he took a B.A. degree. He worked for Standard Vacuum and Hindustan Petroleum in Pune, Maharashtra, India before dying from liver cancer in 1987.
- Central Province Governor's XI v Commonwealth XI, Nagpur, 1949-50
- N.S. Ramaswami, Talent thwarted by time, Special Portrait, Indian Cricket 1985
- Obituary in Indian Cricket 1987. It would be interesting to know whether these were all wicket-keeping dismissals because Wisden 2006 lists only one instance in minor cricket of a wicket-keeper having a hand (through catches and stumpings) in all 10 dismissals in an innings
- Ramaswami. The Hazare quote and the link between Hanif's catch and Joshi's exit are from this article.
- India v Pakistan, Bombay, 1960-61
- Maharashtra v Gujarat, Ahmednagar, 1959-60
- Richard Cashman, Patrons, Players and the Crowd., Orient Longman (1980)
- Obituary in Indian Cricket 1987