On This Day in 1985: Mohammed Azharuddin Scores Century on Test Debut

Last Updated: January 03, 2023, 08:18 IST

Mohammad Azharuddin scored 110 runs off 322 balls against England in his debut Test. (Representative Image Instagram)

Making debut against England, Azharuddin played a few wristy strokes and brought the Eden Gardens crowd to its feet

England had arrived in India for a Test series back in 1984-85 and they were shot out by the mystery of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan in the first Test. However, the visitors were hit back in the second Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Kapil Dev was dropped for the third Test as was Sandip Patil, both of whom had played reckless strokes.

Chetan Sharma replaced Kapil, while Patil was replaced by a debutant from Hyderabad, Mohammed Azharuddin. Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar won the toss and elected to bat.

India got off to a rather weary start and both Gavaskar and his opening partner Anshuman Gaekwad were dismissed for 35. Mohinder Amarnath joined hands with Dilip Vengsarkar, but India kept being watchful all day.

Both batters were dismissed and in walked Ravi Shastri who was joined by Azharuddin as the scoring rate started to improve marginally. Rains intervened and the day’s play was called off. The following day, rain and smog allowed only 20 minutes of play and India could add just 8 runs – all these runs were scored by Azharuddin.

Day 3 was when Azhar finally announced his arrival at the international stage. He played a few wristy strokes and brought the Eden Gardens crowd to its feet. The wristy flicks and the languid drives kept enthralling the crowd.

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They added 100 runs, but India’s tactics were baffling. These 100 runs took forever to come and despite the boos and jeers from the crowd, Shastri kept blocking at other end. Azhar got to his hundred and received warm applause from the crowd.

Norman Cowans finally broke this stand when he had Azhar caught by David Gower at gully for a marathon 110 runs off 322 balls. This partnership had added 214 at less than 2 and was together for over 7 hours.

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