When India started playing cricket for the first time, there were question marks all over. Well for any side, the first steps you take leads to a stutter. However, it is braving that stutter that you get to a point where you initially start walking and then roll and rumble and finally get those wings in place as you fly high.
For the Indian cricket team, they tried over and over again to land their first win of the season and yet hit a barricade every time despite coming close. It was never going to be easy. England, the ones who devised the entire contest were burning bright at that point in time while they had Australia as their prime contenders.
It took India more than a decade to get that first step while stuttering all the way. It was on 8th of February, 1952, that a bunch of ragtag rebels finally tasted success and it came in some way that you can’t even imagine. As we look back at 72 years of flight and history since then for the Indian cricket team, here are the heroes of 52.
The man was an absolute ravage. Very underrated during his playing days, Mankad showed what he is made of. Razing through the English batting line-up in both the innings, he claimed 12 wickets in all. The first innings though took the cake as he bagged eight wickets that included the likes of Tom Graveney, Jack Robertson, Allan Watkins, Cyril Poole, Donald Carr, Malcolm Hilton, Brian Statham and Fred Ridgway. He claimed another four in the second innings removing Allan Watkins, Hilton, Brian Statham and Fred Ridgway.
The first brilliant shard of resilience with the bat came from Pankaj Roy who blasted an excellent 111 that allowed India to get their ship sailing. More importantly, it took him a while to find some concrete support as the hosts lost the likes of Mushtaq Ali, Vijay Hazare and Vinoo Mankad. Roy struck 15 fours in that innings.
India’s First Test Win#OnThisDay in 1952, with the help of left-arm spinner Vinoo Mankad’s 12 for 108 (also India’s first 10-fer in Tests) India register their first Test victory, on their 25th attempt when they beat England at Madras (now Chennai) by an innings and 8 runs. pic.twitter.com/jj3dL5aO6M
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In terms of numbers his knock may not be exactly what you would worship. But he played a crucial role in context of building a crucial partnership with the ultimate batting hero of the Test, Polly Umrigar. That resilience from Phadkar saw him rocking just a solitary six and no other boundaries in the course of the entire innings.
Umrigar was the true warrior for India as he stayed unbeaten till the very end, smashing an extraordinary 130. Knitting the innings with patience, resilience and brilliance, Umrigar rocked the show with a full-blown century. The England bowlers couldn’t get the better of him and it was a hero’s welcome for him when he walked into the gallery.
Like the way Mankad continued his torment in the second innings, similarly Ghulam Ahmed got the top-order of England in a twirl. He claimed four wickets in the process removing the likes of Tom Graveney, Jack Robertson, Cyril Poole and Donald Carr, the English captain. His bowling partnership with Mankad got the job done for India.