Dilip Vengsarkar, regarded as one of the finest Indian batters to have played the game, represented the country in 116 Tests and 129 ODIs, scoring 6868 and 3508 runs, respectively
Dilip Vengsarkar (Pic Courtesy: AFP)
Dilip Vengsarkar, regarded as one of the finest Indian batters to have played the game, represented the country in 116 Tests and 129 ODIs, scoring 6868 and 3508 runs, respectively. Noticing his exceptional batting prowess, he was inducted into the national side making his debut against New Zealand at Auckland, in 1976. Nicknamed as ‘Colonel’, he went on to feature in 116 Tests, scoring 6,868 runs with 17 centuries and 35 half-centuries. He also played in 129 ODIs, amassing 3,508 runs.
Vengsarkar has amassed 3,725 runs in India at 55.39 with 13 hundreds in 54 Test appearances. Only Virat Kohli has more home runs than him at a better average. Among Indians with more than 3,000 home runs, only Kohli and Azharuddin (3412 at 55.93) boast of better numbers. In India, Vengsarkar (55.39) has a better average than Sehwag (54.16), Tendulkar (52.67), Laxman (51.60), Dravid (51.35), and for that matter, even Gavaskar (50.16).
1979, Lord's - 103 vs England
Vengsarkar’s sublime 103 in the second innings saved India from the clutches of a defeat and escape with a draw at the Mecca of Cricket. His valiant knock came after India’s batting collapsed for 96 in the first innings. He, along with Gundappa Viswanath, ran riot against a formidable bowling attack comprising Bob Willis, Mike Hendricks, Ian Botham and Phil Edmonds to name a few.
1979, Delhi - 146* vs Pakistan
During second test of Pakistan’s 1979-80 tour of India, the first innings of the hosts folded for 126 after conceding 273 runs. India required 390 runs and a loss looked imminent. However, Vengsarkar steadied the innings as wickets kept tumbling at the other end and went on to score an unbeaten 146 runs, that guided India to a draw.
1982, Lord's - 157 vs England
Vengsarkar’s 157 runs in the second innings during India’s tour of England in 182 was the lone bright spot for India in the first Test at Lord's. However, it couldn’t save India from a defeat, costing them the series.
1982, Lord's - 126 vs England
Vengsarkar’s swansong came at the 'Mecca of cricket'. He came to bat at number four and went to run riot against English bowling line-up. The 'Colonel' went on to smack a sensational hundred. India went on to score 341 runs and win the match by five wickets.
1987, Delhi - 166 vs Sri Lanka
Vengsarkar's highest score in Test cricket came during the third Test of Sri Lanka’s 1986-87 tour of India. He batted brilliantly to bring his side back on track, as he went on to score superb 166 runs and powered the home side to 400 runs. India eventually won the match by an innings and 67 runs.