Just as Rahul Dravid isn’t fascinated by the nickname ‘The Wall’, another elegant right-hander before him simply hated being called ‘The Colonel’.
It was meant to be a compliment, but somehow, Dilip Vengsarkar didn’t like to be compared with anyone else. He was, after all, his own man. From the classical Mumbai school of batsmanship, Vengsarkar was tall, upright, beautifully balanced and wonderful to watch when in full flow.
He reserved some of his best batting for England in general and for Lord’s in particular. To date, Vengsarkar remains the only non-Englishman to have made three Test hundreds at Lord’s.
An established English batsman gets at least one, occasionally two, Tests a year at Lord’s. A non-Englishman plays a Test at the headquarters once in four years, at most, so the chances of his making three hundreds there are fairly miniscule.
No one, of course, had told Vengsarkar that. He followed up centuries in 1979 and 1982 with another memorable hundred in 1986, setting up India’s only Test victory at Lord’s. He had a chance to make it four on the trot, but had to be content with scores of 52 and 35 in 1990.
“Anybody would dream to get a hundred at Lord’s and I was no exception,” Vengsarkar said recently. In terms of atmosphere, Lord’s is right up there.”