2021 ICC hall of fame inductee Vinoo Mankad gave Indian cricket reasons to cherish and celebrate. The biggest of them was India’s first-ever victory in cricket. His man-of-the-match performance of 8/55 against England in 1952 helped India win the match by an innings. Sadly, his playing career seems to be underrated and unnoticed.
This is the tale of a great Indian player back in the ’40s, who left the world speechless with his all-around performances and broke many records in his 13-year long career for team India.
Vinoo Mankad Profile
Born on 12th April 1917 in Jamnagar, Gujarat. Mulvuntrai Mankad was interested in cricket since his school life. He was a batsman and practiced slow left-arm bowling. Vinoo was his school’s nickname little did he know that this name would be the one he will be remembered for.
Vinoo debuted for India against England on 22nd June 1946. It was not a great first inning, but a half-century in the second innings made it a decent debut for him. It was just the beginning of this man’s excellence. There were days when he failed as a batsman, but sealed the deal as a bowler and vice versa. In short, his all-around abilities made him one of the best players of that time.
Mankad played 44 test matches and scored 2109 runs that includes 5 centuries and 6 half-centuries. In the bowling department, he took 162 wickets. This feat made him the first Indian to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets.
Taking a glance at this first-class career then that includes 11,591 runs and 782 wickets. Looking at these stats makes us feel that his induction in the hall of fame should have been a lot earlier. His stats made him the fastest player to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in first-class cricket.
One of the most bizarre facts about Mankad is that he batted at all positions in his career. From opening the innings to bat at number 11, the man has done it all.
One of the testimonies to the great man’s legacy back then is when the 1946 English tour came to an end, Wisden praised Vinoo by calling him a valuable all-around player. For those unaware of what Wisden is, then it’s a cricket book published annually in the UK and is referred to as the bible of cricket.
The 1946 tour witnessed some great bowling spells by Mankad when he took a 5 wicket haul in the second innings. And his all-around display included him among the list of top 5 cricketers in 1946.
Another memorable tour for Vinoo Mankad was when he toured Australia in 1947. He scored 2 centuries in the tour and wickets as usual were coming for him.
One of the rarest incidents on the cricket pitch happened in that tour when Vinoo Mankad dismissed the non-striker by running him out as he had stepped out of the crease. It was the origin of a new term in cricket. Mankading, named after Vinoo Mankad.
A great man’s identity is when they step up on big occasions. As mentioned earlier Vinoo Mankad’s spell where he took 8 wickets against England was the reason behind India’s first-ever victory.
In 1956 nearing the end of his playing career, Mankad created a world record when he and Pankaj Roy recorded an opening partnership of 413 runs that stood for 52 years.
Mankad retired from cricket in 1959 and took his last breath in Bombay on 21st August 1978. He to date remains India’s one of the finest all-rounders and yet forgotten.