5 Lesser-Known facts about legendary Cricketer Vijay Hazare

Vijay Samuel Hazare, simply called Vijay Hazare, was Born on 11 March 1915 in the Sangli District of the Bombay Presidency of British India (now Maharashtra, India). He was a right-handed batsman and also a right-arm medium pacer. He played for Maharashtra, Central India, Baroda, and Holkar domestic teams throughout his career and played 30 tests for the Indian National Team between 1956 and 1953.

Hazare captained India in 14 matches between 1951 and 1953. He led the Indian Cricket Team to their first ever test victory against England in Madras during the 1951/52 tour. This Test Victory came in India’s 25th test match and almost 20 years after India achieved Test status. Apart from this legendary feat, Vijay Hazare had a very successful test and first-class career.

5 Lesser-Known facts about legendary Cricketer Vijay Hazare:

Here are some facts about Vijay Hazare that you probably didn’t know:

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1. Longheld records of:

Some of the records Vijay Hazare made lasted for more than half a century. These records were:   

He scored centuries in both innings, playing against Sir Don Bradman’s Australia at Adelaide in 1947/48. The interesting fact is that he was the only Indian batsman to do so till 2014, which is more than 65 long years. In 2014, Virat Kohli equalled his record by scoring 115 and 141 in both innings on the same ground.

Vijay Hazare and Gul Mahomed held the record of registering the highest partnership for any wicket in first-class cricket. They added 577 runs together for Baroda against Holkar in the 1947 Ranji Trophy Final.

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2. Rivalry with Vijay Merchant: 

Vijay Hazare and Vijay Merchant were considered to be arch-rivals as both of them used to pile up a mountain full of runs in the Indian Domestic Cricket. During the second world war, international cricket around the world had stopped, but Hazare and Merchant continued their hunger for runs in the Indian Domestic Cricket. 

1943 turned out to be a successful year for the Indian Legend as he scored 5 centuries and 2 half-centuries, including a triple century and 3 double centuries. Around this time, Vijay Merchant bettered his highest score of 248, though Hazare reclaimed it with his 309.

3. Captaincy:

Vijay Hazare was the 5th player to Captain the Indian side. Hazare captained India in 14 test matches, out of which India won only one. The only victory that came under him was the legendary test win against England. After the legendary test victory under Vijay Hazare, India’s next test victory against one of the major teams came 23 years later against West Indies.

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Despite guiding India to their first test win, he wasn’t considered suited to captaincy. It was believed that his batting suffered as a result of his captaincy, even though his batting average was 47.65. His rival, Vijay Merchant believed that captaincy kept him from becoming India’s best batsman.  

4. Troubling the greatest:

Vijay Hazare not only troubled his opponents with his bat but also with a bowl in his hand. He had an incredible first-class bowling record with 595 wickets at a bowling average of 24.61 with 27 five-wicket hauls and 3 ten wickets in a match. 

Hazare used to trouble the greatest batsmen of that era with his medium-pace leg-cutters, including great Sir Donald Bradman. He took 20 wickets in his Test career, out of which Sir Don Bradman fell for him twice.

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5. Post-retirement life of Vijay Hazare:

Hazare acted as an Indian Test Cricket selector for a brief time in his retirement. He along with Jasu Patel became the first cricketer to be honoured with Padma Shri in 1960. He passed away on 18 December 2004 due to Intestinal Cancer at the age of 89. To honour his contributions to Indian Cricket, BCCI named its One-Day Domestic Tournament after him. Since then, we know it as the Vijay Hazare Trophy. 

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