On this day.
Vijay Hazare made his debut at the age of 31 against England in 1946. He played his last Test against West Indies in 1953 but continued to play in domestic cricket till 1961.
He played in 30 Tests for India. India's first Test win came under his captaincy. He had a batting average of 47.65 despite starring in only 3 Test wins. In the 1946 Test series against England, he gathered 1344 runs at an average of 49.77. He also took 56 wickets at an average of 24.75.
In the 1947-48 tour of Australia, he became the first Indian to score a century in each innings of a Test match. These came in Adelaide against a team that was lead by Don Bradman. In the same series, Hazare clean bowled Bradman not once but twice. In a later interview, he admitted that Bradman's wicket meant more than his centuries.
Hazare also became the first Indian to be dismissed on a duck in each innings against England. He is also the first Indian to score 1000 Test runs. Hazare was the first Indian to score a century in three successive Test matches.
The pressure of captaincy took a toll on his career. Also, the lack of support from other players in the team shortened his career.
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He is the first Indian to score a triple century in first-class cricket. In the final of the Ranji Trophy, he amassed 577 runs along with Gul Mahomed. These came in against Holkar in 1947. It was a record partnership for any wicket in first-class cricket. This record stood tall for 59 years, until 2006 when Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene put together 624 runs for Sri Lanka against South Africa.
The domestic one-day trophy started in 2002-03 was named Vijay Hazare Trophy in his honour. In 1960, the Indian government awarded him with Padma Shri award. He was the first cricketer to receive this award along with Jasu Patel.
Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka was also born on 11th March. He made his international debut in the year 2008. He announced his arrival in the Asia Trophy 2009. His spell of 6 for 13 allowed Sri Lanka to win their fourth Asia Cup title. In the Test series against India, he took 26 wickets. After this series, he was called the future of Sri Lankan cricket by none other than Muttiah Muralitharan. However, he struggled to find his place in the side once he was decoded by batsmen around the world.