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Vijay Manrekar

by Saurabh Sharma May 30, 2020 • 09:28 AM

Vijay Laxman Manjrekar, one of the finest Indian batsman against fast bowling was born on 26 September 1931 in Bombay. India’s batting star of the ‘fifties; he was known for his hook and late cut. He was a good player of fast bowling in an era when Indian batsman used to struggle against the pace bowlers. He was the father of former Indian player Sanjay Manjrekar.

He made his debut against England at Eden Garden, Calcutta in 1951 and scored a composed 48. He scored his first Test hundred (133) in June 1952 against England at Headingley at a tender age of 20. He showed his class during this inning against a formidable line up of English bowlers - Trueman, Bedser and Laker. 

He however failed to fulfil his early promise and faced problems with his weight and footwork. Within nine months of his 133 at Headingley he scored 118 against West Indies at Kingston, sharing on that occasion a record second-wicket partnership with Pankaj Roy.

His best came in a home series against England in 1961-62.  He scored 586 runs at an average of 83.71 including a career best of unbeaten 189 at Delhi. Another notable performance was in 1964-65, where his innings of 59 and 39 helped India to a Test victory over Australia. He scored a ton in his final Test innings, coming against New Zealand at Madras in February 1965.

For a player of his caliber and technical brilliance, his career statistics of 3209 runs at 39.12 in 55 Tests didn't justify his potential. He will always be remembered for his champion hook and fearless batting against fast bowling.

He was also an an occasional off-spinner. He played at different times for six sides in the Ranji Trophy - Bombay, Bengal, Andhra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. In Ranji Trophy he scored 3,734 runs (average 57.44) and hit twelve hundreds.

By playing late, Manjrekar was able to negotiate any delivery on all sorts of pitches. EAS Prasanna realised this in the Ranji semi-final match between Rajasthan and Mysore. Played on the Central College ground in Bangalore, the ball did abnormal things that even bowlers like Prasanna and Chandrasekhar had no control over. But Manjrekar cut the ball with such finesse that the spinners looked novices. He scored 175 and impressed everyone including the renowned spinner EAS Prasanna who said in an interview 'With the defence of Gavaskar and strokes of Viswanath, I have no hesitation in saying that Gavaskar + Viswanath = Vijay Manjrekar'

He holds the records for the most test runs scored (3,208) without hitting a single six.

Abhishek De/Sahir

 

For a player of his caliber and technical brilliance, his career statistics of 3209 runs at 39.12 in 55 Tests didn't justify his potential. He will always be remembered for his champion hook and fearless batting against fast bowling.

He was also an an occasional off-spinner. He played at different times for six sides in the Ranji Trophy - Bombay, Bengal, Andhra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. In Ranji Trophy he scored 3,734 runs (average 57.44) and hit twelve hundreds.

By playing late, Manjrekar was able to negotiate any delivery on all sorts of pitches. EAS Prasanna realised this in the Ranji semi-final match between Rajasthan and Mysore. Played on the Central College ground in Bangalore, the ball did abnormal things that even bowlers like Prasanna and Chandrasekhar had no control over. But Manjrekar cut the ball with such finesse that the spinners looked novices. He scored 175 and impressed everyone including the renowned spinner EAS Prasanna who said in an interview 'With the defence of Gavaskar and strokes of Viswanath, I have no hesitation in saying that Gavaskar + Viswanath = Vijay Manjrekar'

He holds the records for the most test runs scored (3,208) without hitting a single six.

Abhishek De/Sahir

 

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