We wander back a long way for today’s “On This Day”, all the way to 1955. It was a day of records at the Fateh Maidan, Hyderabad as India resumed the day on 252, with centurions Polly Umrigar and Vijay Manjrekar taking up where they left off. Having come together at 48 for 2 against New Zealand they extended their stand to 238 before Manjrekar was dismised by Johnny Hayes. It was the then best 3rd wicket partnership for India in test matches.
Umrigar was not done and by the end of his stay, caught behind off Hayes, he had made 223, a record for India that stood until….seven weeks later. This innings passed that of Vinoo Mankad, who made 184 at Lord’s in 1952, and who would make 223 a fortnight later, and 231 in January 1956. I guess he took the loss of the record personally.
Polly Umrigar is described by the cricinfo blurb as..
” A burly six footer, Umrigar was a commanding figure at the crease – whether batting, bowling, directing operations as captain or standing in his usual position at first slip. Umrigar excelled in full blooded drives but he could also hook and pull powerfully.”
His 223 was part of India’s then record total of 498 for 4 declared (there was a hundred for Kripal Singh, on debut, which would be his only hundred in a short test career), beaten a few weeks later, but today was Polly’s day.
In the UK, Indian batsmen in the 50s were always underrated because of Fred Trueman in 1952. But Ted Dexter rated Umrigar very highly. And his overall record bears it out. A batsman in a weak bowling team is always going to struggle… Eg Atherton.
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Thanks MiaB. I’m just glad someone is reading these. I really enjoy doing them. We’re not just a load of entitled millenials who think our team should win every game, and johnny come latelies to the game. We love it, for all the reasons people do, and for me, because of the history of the game.
Umrigar did indeed have a very fine record, especially rattling off four hundreds in six innings in 1960-1. The fourth of those was against Dexter’s England…
Im reading them. Not much to say, but I am reading them.
Tomorrow’s one is an “I was there” memory.
Ditto – I’m reading and enjoying them but waiting for one where I’ve something to add before commenting!
As for “entitled millenials who think our team should win every game”, do I think the second richest and fourth largest nation in the FMs should win quite a bit? Yeah, sorry about that. Not much hacks me off more than those who try to excuse England blunders with phoney “respect” for the opposition. Real respect is watching the opposition, following their game and valuing it. As for a millennial, I’m not far off being closer to the earlier millennium!
Just jumping on the “bash the millenials” bandwagon 🙂
Someone needs to take a good look at the series when India, with a young Gavaskar, beat the just -past – their best WIndies with Sobers, Gibbs, January, around 1970. Cook fans should look and reflect.
For January, please read Kanhai. Auto correct again
Ted Dexter’s blog is always interesting, if maddening. However he was a great batsman. Why he was chosen as selector is another matter. Dexter the cricketer and Dexter the selector are 2 different beings