Birthday Special: Vijay Hazare, Legend Who Got India Its First Test Victory

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Vijay Hazare represented India in 30 test matches. The right-handed batsman has scored 60 first class centuries during his cricket career.

By Malathy S S

Vijay Hazare, Legend Who Got India Its First Test Victory
Vijay Hazare

Legendary cricketer who led India to its first test match win, Vijay Hazare was born on this day in 1915. Mr Hazare had left an indelible mark in the history of Indian cricket.

Many of us today, know him only with his name and that to because of Vijay Hazare Trophy. Hazare won us first ever test victory against England in 1951/52 in Chennai.

Vijay Samuel Hazare represented India in 30 test matches. The right-handed batsman has scored 60 first class centuries during his cricket career.  Under Hazare’s captaincy, India played 14 matches between 1951-1953. 

Hazare was debatably at his peak during India’s maiden tour to Australia in 1947/48. At Adelaide, he struck century in both innings against Don Bradman’s ‘Invincible’ Australian team. Until 2014, he was the only Indian batsman to score two hundred in a Test match in Australia in consecutive innings.

Hazare earned a first-class record with a batting average of 58.38 for his 18,740 runs. This is the highest first-class aggregate for an Indian player after Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, and Rahul Dravid.

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Hazare was no slob when it came to the ball. His medium-pace leg-cutters caused problems for everyone, even Don Bradman once each in the Sydney and Adelaide Tests. In fact, during his career, Hazare struck Bradman’s stumps over twice. During his career, he got 595 first-class wickets at an average of 24.61. In an interview in 2000, he said, wiping away nostalgic tears, it (getting Bradman out) was this feat he remembered more than his centuries.

Hazare’s partnership of 577 runs with Gul Mahomed for Baroda in the 1947 Ranji Trophy final was the highest for any wicket until 2006 when Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene stitched together a 624-run partnership for Sri Lanka against South Africa in Colombo.

 In the Leeds Test of 1952, when India had lost their first four wickets for no run, as England’s  fast bowler Fred Trueman and seamer Alec Bedser dwindled India with their performance leaving it with the lowest total in Test history.  Hazare was nursing a painful injury but gallantly came out and blunted the attack scoring 56. In the same series at The Oval, India was 5 for 6 with Trueman on rampage on a wet pitch. Hazare scored 38 out of India’s 98. “It was the innings of my life,” he once had said.

Bobby Talyarkhan, one of the earliest cricket commentators, described him as “immaculate in appearance and studied in every movement, Hazare might well be dubbed the Indian Jack Hobbs.”

In the Romance of Indian Cricket, Sujit Mukherjee wrote, “Should ever a sculpture be made of Hazare, it should be in this, the most glorious of his batting postures, playing the cover-drive.

“A classy batsman with a faultless technique, solid defence and elegant stroke-play, he was a man of few words. A crisis specialist, he often came to India’s rescue in her darkest hours.”

On Vijay Hazare’s 107th birth anniversary, the Newster brings you some achievements credited to the legend—

  • First Indian player to hit three centuries in a row in Test cricket.
  • First Indian batter in first-class cricket to score a triple century
  • First Indian batsman to score two triple century in a single innings
  • First Indian batsman to score two runs in a match (against England at Kanpur in 1951/52).
  • Became the first Indian to score 50 first-class hundreds.
  • In first-class cricket, the highest partnership for any wicket. In the 1947 Ranji final, he contributed 577 runs with Gul Mahomed for Baroda. In 2006, Sangakkara and Jayawardene broke the record with a 624-run stand against South Africa.
  • First Indian player to score 1000 runs in Test cricket – The first cricketers to get the Padma Shri were Hazare and Jasu Patel.

Vijay Samuel Hazare died aged 89 in 2014. He will be always remembered for his great performance on India’s first tour.


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