Cricketers who scored centuries in both their first and last Tests
Two cricket greats, one a controversial Indian captain and the other a controversial Indian coach, make this illustrious list.
Test cricket is the ultimate form of cricket that tests a player’s skill, fitness, stamina, perseverance and cricketing intelligence to the extreme level. Every cricketer who represents his country wants to dawn the whites and prove his talent in this format so as to be known as a complete player.
A Test match century is the product of hours of hard work and determination in the nets the comes out of execution on the ground. An opportunity to feature in a Test match is an honour in itself and a century on debut just makes the occasion an ideal one for a batsman. It cant get any better if the same player signs off with another century to his name in his final match, further glorifying his cricket career and punctuating it with a fine full stop.
This article talks about four such cricketers who had the fair share of luck to go along with their talent to end up scoring centuries in both their first and last test matches.
The stylish right-handed Hyderabad batsman and former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin made his debut in the 3rd Test match of the series against England in 1984, under the captaincy of Sunil Gavaskar.
Coming in to bat at number 5 at the fall of Mohinder Amarnath, young Azhar showed great application as he stitched a 214 run stand with Ravi Shastri as both of them compiled well deserved centuries.
His 110 run knock consisted of 10 hits to the boundary rope, each of which had elegance and grace written all over them, enough to make the Eden Gardens crowd stand up and applaud in appreciation.
The wristy batsman’s dreamy start to his career was not yet over as he went on to score centuries in each of his first three matches, the only player in the history of the sport to have achieved this feat till date.
However, the emphatic end to his career brought about by the ban imposed on him due to match-fixing allegations drew curtains on one of the most celebrated careers in Indian sport. In his final match before the ban, played against the Proteas at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Azharuddin, who was stripped of the captaincy earlier, stroked his way to a century that comprised of 13 boundaries and a couple of sixes.
His 102 run effort could not save India from an innings defeat at the hands of the visiting South Africans and the match was followed by him going down in history as the first player ever to be banned for spot-fixing.
M: 99 | Inn: 147 | Runs: 6215 | HS: 199 | Avg: 45.04 | 100’s: 22