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On This Day In 1985: Azharuddin Became the First Batter to Make a Century in Each of His First Three Tests

The day was February 1 and the year was 1985. A boy from Hyderabad came on the pitch of Kanpur’s Green Park and at the age of 21, scored his third century in a row leaving everyone stumped. The boy was Mohammed Azharuddin, a name which has been written in the golden letters in the history of cricket. Azhar created history by scoring the third consecutive century in the third Test series of his career. At such a young age, Azhar proved his worth.

During 1985 Test series against England, Azhar was put in the third replacing Dilip Vengsarkar. If we remember the match, it was a hot time when Captain Sunil Gavaskar was clean bowled and Azhar entered the pitch in his style. No one was expecting the younger player to play first. Azhar was well in form when the England fielders couldn’t see the ball passing from their sides and all they did was looked at the unbeatable fours he was giving. The bowlers tried to give him some tough time by dropping short balls outside the off-stump. However, Azhar faced all the balls fiercely.

The partnership of Srikkant and Azhar added 150 runs in just 37 overs before Neil Foster came ahead. Azhar, who had posted his fifty in quick time and was steadily approaching an unprecedented third straight hundred since debut, suddenly found it difficult to score. Having reached 90 with an hour`s play still left in the day; he could add only eight more before close.

Off the last ball of the day, Dilip Vengsarkar pushed one to cover and scampered a single — thus ensuring that the young man did not have to come out and face the first ball the next morning. Vengsarkar and Azhar did not often see eye to eye down the years, but that day one had to applaud the gesture of the senior pro.

During an interview, Azhar revealed that he slept peacefully that night. However, the same was not true for his growing number of fans who waited with bated breath for the morrow.

Despite the powerful performance of Azhar, Team India struggled to win the series. The series was set in the name of England with 2-1. Although, the sound of the applause Azhar got that day still is loud enough to make our hearts melt. The crowd with 40 thousand people stood and gave a loud round of applause to the evergreen player.

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