Cricket is one of the most popular sports in India. Although the sport was initially popularised by the British colonizers in the country, it gained popularity after the country gained Independence in 1947. Since then, it has gained popularity at a steadfast pace in the country.
There are several milestones that Indian cricket has achieved over the years, including the 1983 and 2011 ODI World Cup wins. The long and illustrious history of Indian cricket consists of multiple facts and incidents which many may not even be aware about.
Let us have a look at some of those facts and incidents about Indian cricket that people are generally unaware of.
1. First Test
The very first test match was played by India in 1932 against England. It was a one off test that was played in Lords, with CK Nayudu leading the Indian side. India lost the match by 158 runs, but asserted its talents well throughout the match. The Indian bowlers were able to reduce the British to 19 for 3 in the very first innings, after the latter had opted to bat. The courage and determination of the team was apparent throughout the match and forced the news media to sit up and take notice.
Iftikhar Ali Pataudi, the father of legendary Indian cricket captain Mansoor Ali Pataudi and the grandfather of Saif Ali Khan, is the only cricketer to play for both India and England. He was a part of the English squad in Australia in 1932-3. He played a total of three tests for England but then later returned to India. In 1946, he led the Indian side against England as well.
The Indian cricket team holds the distinction of being dismissed twice in the same day in a test match. This took place in 1952, when it was playing a test match against England at Old Trafford.
The only Indian player to be knighted while still playing actively was the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram. He received the knighthood in 1936, after the India tour of England. Despite performing poorly both in the domestic as well as the international circuit, Vizzy, as he was generally known, managed to make his influence felt in both the colonial as well the post-Independence India and donned many hats – including that of a cricketer, a captain, a cricket administrator and a politician.
Around 2086 players have represented their countries in one day international matches till date. Out of them, more than 99% have not been able to score half of Sachin Tendulkar’s individual score in matches.
6. VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman has been the only Indian cricketer who has played 100 test matches but has never represented the country in a World Cup match. Laxman, along with Dravid, was one of the mainstays of the Indian test team for a long time starting from the end of the nineties to the beginning of the second decade of the twenty-first century. It is indeed weird to think that he has not played a single World Cup match.
7. Mohammad Azharuddin
Like VVS Laxman, yet another stylish batsman from Hyderabad had rocked Indian cricket – Mohammad Azharuddin. Known for his exquisite flicks, he has been the only batsman till date to have scored three centuries in the first three tests he has played.
8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
The Indian player Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been only the second batsmen to have been out for a diamond duck, which means being out on 0 off 0 balls. This unique feat was achieved not by a run-out, but because he got stumped off by a wide delivery which was his very first ball.
9. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar has played cricket for Pakistan. This is a bit hard to believe, but it has really happened. Pakistan and India were playing a practice match once at Brabourne Stadium in 1987. Sachin had represented Pakistan in the match as a substitute fielder.
10. Youngest Test Captain
The youngest test captain of the country was Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. Pataudi, who was known for his legendary captaining skills, became the cricketing captain of the country at the age of 21. His captaincy was marked by good performances by team India and fans still remember him fondly.
Indian cricket has a rich illustrious history much of which fans are unaware of. Given the craze and fan following for cricket, there is a lot more scope for unearthing and reading cricketing history. Thank you for reading and keep an eye on this space to know more about cricket