A wonderful bat, who captained India 14 times, Hazare amassed a career first-class average of 58.19 over 32 years of cricket, including 57 centuries. His record in domestic Indian cricket was phenomenal, with two triple centuries - the second an amazing 309* out of a total of 387. His made a fourth-wicket stand of 577 with Gul Mohammed. His Test average is bettered only by Gavaskar (excluding current players), and he recorded at least one Test century against each of his opponents. In 1947/48, he made two hundreds in the Fourth Test against Australia, the first Indian to do so. His technique was founded on a very solid defence, and his powers on concentration. He had, however, a wide repertoire of attacking shots, notably his square cut. A small man, he used his arm strength and wrists, and at times would improvise to great effect. He was also a useful medium pacer, more so in first-class cricket with 565 wickets at only 24.83 than in tests, and an excellent fielder. A quiet and undemonstrative captain, he had moderate success, drawing his home series against England, then losing heavily in the return in 1952, and was discarded as captain after a narrow loss in the West Indies. He played another 13 years, but never again in Tests.
(Article: Copyright © 1998 Dave Liverman)
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