New Delhi: Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, one of the greatest cricket captains India has produced, died on Thursday after battling with a lung infection which was diagnosed about three months back. He was 70.

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"He passed away around 6.30 pm. His condition had deteriorated since yesterday. He was suffering from interstitial lung disease (interstitial pneumonitis) which worsens rapidly inspite of the best treatment available," Dr S P Byotra, Department of medicine in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where Pataudi was admitted, said.

Pataudi's career timeline
December 13, 1961: Makes debut against England in Delhi, scores 13.
January 10, 1962: Scores maiden century in his third Test, 113 against England in Chennai.
March 23, 1962: Leads India in his fourth Test, in Barbados, thus becoming Test cricket's youngest captain at the age of 21.
February 12-13, 1964: Scores career-best 203 not out against England in Delhi.
February-March 1968: Leads India to their first overseas Test victory in Dunedin. India go on to win an away series for the first time, beating New Zealand 3-1.
January 23, 1975: Plays his final Test match, scoring 9 in each innings against West Indies in Mumbai.

Pataudi was admitted to the hospital last month.After investigations, he was found to be suffering from interstitial lung disease, a condition in which the passage of oxygen to the two lungs is less than normal.

"He was unable to maintain his oxygen level in spite of maximal treatment. He continued to remain in the ICU for nearly a month. He had this disease which had been static since the last three months and worsened very acutely over the last four weeks.

"The possibility of lung transplant was discussed very early as soon as his condition worsened but he was not a suitable candidate for it," the doctor said.

He was being treated by a team of pulmonologists and critical care specialists here.

Pataudi, regarded as one of the finest Indian captains, played 46 Tests for the country, scoring 2793 runs for an average of 34.91 with an unbeaten 203 being his highest score.

In all, he smashed six centuries and 16 fifties in his career.

Pataudi : India's visionary and charming captain
A 'Tiger' on the field and a Nawab off it, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was unarguably one of India's best captains ever and a batsman par excellence even though damaged vision didn't allow him to realise his potential statistically.

The 70-year-old cricketer, who breathed his last here this evening after battling a lung infection, led India in 40 of the 46 Tests he played and would forever be remembered for leading the country to its first Test series win abroad.

Although, in overall analysis, the teams under him won just nine of the 40 matches he led in, Pataudi instilled the belief that victory is possible in a side that was defeatist in its approach especially while playing outside India.

With 2793 runs at an average of 34, which included six hundreds and 16 half centuries, Pataudi's stats are not too impressive but they don't reveal the colossal figure he became in Indian cricket with his fine leadership and extravagant strokeplay.

Son of Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, the last ruling Nawab of Bhopal who captained the country in 1946, the right-handed batsman made his debut for India at the age of 21 in a drawn match against England here in 1961.

Just a few months before his debut, Pataudi had damaged his vision in a car accident but Pataudi still managed to impress with an 103-run knock in the fifth Test of that series, ensuring selection for the tour of the West Indies.

Nari Contractor was leading the side on that tour and Pataudi was merely warming the benches in the first two Tests. But the scene changed dramatically when Contractor got injured during a practice match.

With seniors in the team showing reluctance to take over captaincy, a three-Test old Pataudi was handed the leadership reins and he held on to that position for nearly a decade.

His finest moment came in 1967 when India defeated New Zealand 3-1 to record their maiden overseas Test series triumph.

In 1964, Pataudi was bestowed the Arjuna Award before being honoured with a Padma Shri in 1967.

A star not just on field but off it too, Pataudi married the then reigning queen of Indian cinema Sharmila Tagore in 1969 and the glamorous couple had three children -- Saif Ali Khan, Soha Ali Khan and Saba Ali Khan.

Interestingly, none of Pataudi's children took to cricket. While Saif and Soha made a name for themselves as film actors, Saba chose to stay away from the limelight as a jewellery designer.

After being dropped from the national team in 1975, Pataudi played first-class cricket for a year more before retiring.

Post-retirement, Pataudi served as an ICC match referee between 1993 and 1996, incharge of two Tests and 10 ODIS during the period.

Pataudi had a brush with controversy too when he was arrested for poaching an endangered Blackbuck in 2005.

In 2008, Pataudi was appointed to the Governing Council of the Indian Premier League and after serving for two years, he refused the BCCI's offer to continue in the job in 2010 in an honourary capacity.

In fact, he went on to sue the BCCI for non-payment of dues earlier this year.