Rajkot: Vijay Samual Hazare, one of India's finest cricketing sons, is fighting against his health at the age of 85. But the moment you start talking cricket his eyes light up. Such was his commitment when he played for India almost half a century ago.
Hazare played 30 official and 21 unofficial Tests and was a stone waller in the real sense of the word. Occupying the crease for days on end was his hall mark. He was very reliable against any kind of attack and never gifted his wicket away to any bowler.
Bowlers used to heave a big sigh of relief if he got out quickly. He was a near perfect batsman and the best shot of his vast batting repertoire was his cover drive.
"If I crossed 20 to 30 runs, then I had to score a century and that was the goal with which I batted. But, the two wickets of Don Bradman are my prized possessions," Hazare told Thatscricket.com in an exclusive interview.
Do you still remember the heroics of the 1945-46 tour of Australia, especially the Adelaide Test?
It was memorable tour. It turned out to be my most cherished tour both with the bat and the ball. I was confident of doing well at the very outset of the tour and even today I'm very happy talking about that particular series.
What about the Adelaide Test where you scored two centuries and thus became the first Indian to do so?
The century that I scored in each innings helped us a lot. I remember that Australia had piled a huge score of 650 plus and we a lost couple of early wickets. It was difficult to bat against the hostile bowling of Lindwall and Keith Miller.
They were really quick but I did well and scored a ton, which helped India to score 381 runs in the first innings. Following on, India again lost the wickets of Vinoo Mankad and Lala Amarnath quickly and I had to face the brand new red cherry again. I stuck to the task and scored 145 runs.