16 June, 2021

First Among Rivals

Pakistan's first tour of India set the competitive tone for the future

First Among Rivals
My first recollection of an Indo-Pak tie dates back to Pakistan's maiden Test series in 1952-53 in India. Since then, cricket has indeed changed a lot. The first Test in 1952 was at the Ferozeshah Kotla and we lost by an innings and 70-odd runs. It wasn't a very memorable game for us, but one must admit that ours was a rather inexperienced side.

Nine of us, including me, were making our Test debut. Only my captain Abdul Hafeez Kardar and the great spinner Ameer Elahi had played Tests before, having turned out for undivided India. I was a 17-year-old then and not many remember that I had made my debut for Pakistan as a wicketkeeper. We were not aware of records at that time, but I am sure I must have been one of the youngest keepers in the history of the game. Pakistan had made 150-odd in their first innings in which I top-scored with 51. I therefore became the first Pakistani batsman to score a half-century in Tests. I remember opening the innings with the great Nazar Mohammed, who made 27. I also remember being dismissed by the great Vinoo Mankad, who had me caught by G.S....

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