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On This Day in 1996: Mohammed Azharuddin Became the First Indian to Score 6,000 ODI Runs

Mohammed Azharuddin was the first Indian batting superstar in ODI cricket. The former Indian captain was fondly referred to as Azhar or Azzu by his teammates and fans. From stylish wristy flicks through midwicket to his bottom handed cover drives- Azhar had every shot from cricketing books in his armour. Before the towering personality of Little Master Sachin Tendulkar started dominating Indian batting, Azhar was the batsman who scaled run charts in one-day internationals.

And on this day, exactly 25 years ago, Azhar became the first Indian batsman to cross the mark of 6,000 runs in ODI cricket.

What Azhar had in store for the world cricket was clear from his arrival when he scored three consecutive hundred in his first three test matches. It was just a matter of time after that. From red ball to white ball- Azhar delivered some of the most memorable batting performances and left an unforgettable memory in cricket fans’ minds.

Azhar breached the mark of 6,000 ODI runs during his partnership of 161 runs with Rahul Dravid against arch-rivals Pakistan in the 3rd ODI of Sahara Cup in Toronto, Canada. He played an 88-run inning and along with Dravid (90) helped India reach a total of 264/6 in the allotted 50 overs.

While the match ended with India on the losing side, Azhar displayed pure class in his innings.

The former Indian captain went on to break the record of West Indies’ Desmond Haynes of most ODI runs and continued to be on top of the list till he played cricket.

Azhar finished off his career with 9378 runs in 334 ODIs at an average of 36.92 with 7 centuries and 58 half-centuries.

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