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Saturday 20 September 2014
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Wonderful Vengsarkar

RK

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.”

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