The title of the pioneer of Indian cricket has to go to Vijay Hazare. The man who broke all the shackles when the country was struggling for Independence, the World was going through a war. This is a lesser-known story of a man who led India to their first Test victory, the man to score centuries in consecutive innings, this is the story of Mr. Vijay Samuel Hazare.
Vijay Hazare Profile :
Vijay Hazare was born on 11th March 1915 in Sangli, Bombay presidency. He was born into the house of books as his father was a professor. Hazare drew interest in cricket from an early age and with support from the family he focused on his game.
He batted with his right hand and also practiced medium-pace bowling. Those were the times with limited facilities and hardships to make it to the top level. Hazare was a great talent and this talent was spotted by his first employer Maharaja Vikram Singh.
The Maharaja called Australian spinner Clarrie Grimmett to Madhya Pradesh and bring the best out of Hazare so he could represent the national side. Under Grimmett’s guidance and tips, it was not long enough when Hazare represented India.
Vijay Hazare made his debut for India on 22nd June 1946 against England. His career spanned over 7 years and he captained team India for 14 matches between 1951 and 1953.
It was under his captaincy when India recorded their first test win against England in 1951-52. India defeated India by an innings and 8 runs. Although there is a lot achieved by the great men that is untold and unheard of. Let's look at the series of events that happened in Hazare’s career.
It was an era where first-class matches were given importance and international matches were not so tight scheduled. Hazare had an illustrious first-class career. He scored 18,740 runs as well as took 595 first-class wickets. He became the first Indian cricketer to score a triple century in first-class cricket. Also, the first Indian to score two triple centuries.
The first of his triple century came against Poona in 1939-40. He scored 316 runs, his highest score in first-class cricket. He scored his second triple century in 1943, 3 years before making his debut for India. He scored over 50 first-class centuries and a record 577 run partnership with Gul Mohamed in 1947.
Hazare was already a big name before playing for India. Although the innings that made Vijay Hazare famous for generations to come was when he toured Australia.
It was a time when Australia was called the ‘invincibles’. They had sir Don Bradman, they recently defeated England in England without losing a single test. One of the greatest sides of all time.
Hazare scored a century in both the innings of the Adelaide Test. He scored 116 and 145 on successive days and these innings made him an admirer by Sir Don Bradman.
The next major feat in his career was when he started leading the side in 1951. Under his captaincy, India won their first test match 20 years after playing their first one.
However, what is considered to be a great achievement also brought his downfall. It is said that Hazare was not the best at captaining the side and while leading the nation his batting suffered. Hazare played a total of 30 test matches and scored 2192 runs. He averaged 47.65 and scored 7 centuries.
Sadly, his last match as a captain in 1953 was also his last appearance for the country. But Vijay Hazare will always be an institutional figure in Indian cricket history and also the first Indian to score 1000 test runs.
Mr. Hazare was the first cricketer to get honoured with the Padma Shri and is also remembered by a trophy in his name. The Vijay Hazare trophy.