Ratra becomes 7th Indian wicket-keeper to score ton

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2002, 1:20 [IST]
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Ajay Ratra became the 7th Indian wicket-keeper to score a century in Tests when he scored an unconquered 115 in the 1st innings of the 4th Test at St John's, Antigua May 12.

Ratra, who joined V V S Laxman when the West Indian bowlers threatened to cut short Indian innings, overcame initial hiccups to record his highest score in first class cricket which was 77 made in Ranji Trophy against Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu in 2001- 02. Ratra, who made his Test debut in the current series against West Indies at Port of Spain had the dubious distinction of registering a duck in his debut innings and had failed miserably - his scores being - 0 and 2 at Port of Spain and 1 and 13 at Bridgetown. Critics had already started pointing fingers at him for his lack lustre batting display. But Ratra fought hard in his 3rd Test to score a century. The diminutive Haryana lad was involved in a record 217-run stand for the 7th wicket with V V S Laxman. Ratra remained unbeaten as the innings was declared at 513 for nine. Ratra had kept wickets encouragingly and it was only on his batting abilities everyone was commenting. Ratra has now silenced the critics with his magnificent batting display and looks forward to become the leading wicket-keeper for India in the years to come as age is still on his side. Ratra's century is the 10th among all centuries made by Indian wicket-keepers including V L Manjrekar, who kept wickets as a stop gap arrangement in the West Indies at Kingston in 1952-53 when the regular wicket-keeper P G Joshi was injured and could not play in that Test. Incidentially this has become the first century by an Indian wicket-keeper in Tests outside India. Budhi Kunderan, Farooq Engineer and Syed Kirmani have all recorded two centuries each in their Test careers. Kunderan is the only wicket-keeper to score two centuries in a series and he also remains as the wicket-keeper with a highest score of 192. Details of the 10 centuries recorded by Indian wicket keepers are as under arranged in chronological order:

ScoreWicket KeepervsIngsTestVenueYear
118Manjrekar VLWI2nd 5th Kingston1952/53
192Kunderan BKEng1st 1st Madras1963/64
100Kunderan BKEng2nd 4th Delhi1963/64
109Engineer FMWI1st 3rd Madras1966/67
121Engineer FMEng1st 5th Bombay1972/73
101*Kirmani SMHAus1st 6th Bombay1979/80
102Kirmani SMHEng1st 1st Bombay1984/85
152Mongia NRAus1st 1st Delhi1996/97
100Das Gupta DEng1st 1st Mohali2001/02
115*Ratra AWI1st 4th Antigua2001/02

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