11 May, 2021

Spirit Of The Times

India's  first century, Lala Amarnath's last.

Spirit Of The Times

December 17, 1933

The score was 21 for 2 when 38-year old Indian captain CK Nayudu strode to the crease to join 22-year-old debutant Lala Amarnath. This was only India's second Test match, the first in India, and England, led by Douglas Jardine, were heading for an innings victory, still 198 in front as India's second innings seemed set to unravel. Legend has it that Nayudu whispered something in Amarnath's ear as the partnership began. Normally, a captain would tell a debutant in a situation like this to be patient, forego his strokes, just hang in there. Not this captain. Not this debutant.

In a dazzling counterattack that would make Adam Gilchrist seem a plodder, Amarnath took the momentum - and the breath - away. An imperious driver of the ball on either side of the wicket, he savaged anything pitched up, and was equally comfortable on the backfoot, cutting and pulling with an ease that befuddled the Englishmen. Using his feet to throw left-armer Hedley Verity -one of the greats of the game - off his length, rocking back to hook...

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