I would have been around 9 years old when I saw Mohammed Azharuddin for the first time on television. If I remember correctly, it was in the winter of 1984 and England was touring India. The first two matches saw results – both the teams had won a match each in the 5 Test Match Series. India had won the opener in Bombay and England defeated India convincingly at the Ferozshah Kotla Maidan in Delhi.
Both teams met at the Eden Gardens at Kolkata for the 3rd Test. It was in this match that Azhar made his debut at Eden Gardens when India was down at 126/3. Azharuddin’s debut was as fabulous as one can imagine.
He went on to score three centuries in three consecutive test matches – At Eden Gardens, MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and Green Park stadium in Kanpur and thus etched his name in the annals of Indian history as the only player to score three centuries on debut. Some would term it as “Golden Debut”
Compare that to his grand entry to the Congress team.
The Andhra CM is battling his political life – With the Satyam scandals giving him nightmares, Asaduddin Owaisi and his All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen turning out to be a roadblock for Muslim votes in Hyderabad and Chandrababu Naidu gaining strength to strength, Congress had to find a savior who would take the baton and move on. With three big threats and a possible loss in the assembly elections looming, Congress sees a savior in Azhar – out to lambast the opponents. Azhar announces his grand entry into politics and yet another Golden Debut.
Will have to wait and watch, this time, if he can prove his critics wrong.
The Foreign Connection
Azhar was always compared to David Gower for his wrist flicks – a shot that he became characterized with, for the rest of his life. The grace and fluidity of his wrist once prompted John Woodcock, a noted cricket writer, to say,
“It’s no use asking an Englishman to bat like Mohammad Azharuddin. For, it would be like expecting a greyhound to win the London Derby!”
And now when he joined Congress, his foreign connection seems to have resurfaced again– No prizes for guessing the foreign connection!
The Moolah Machine
If you are not from a business family, a corporate czar or a black marketer in India, there are only three ways you can make money – Politics, Bollywood or Cricket. With his entry into politics, Azhar seems to be the only one who has hit the jackpot in all the three fields. Will his second innings prove to be as pocket heavy as in the first ? Only time will tell.
When Chips Are Down
Azhar has this uncanny knack of picking up things when the chips are down. Take his entry into cricket – it was when India needed support in the middle order and in walks Azhar who along with Ravi Shastri would hold the turf for years to come. And who would forget Azhar’s entry when Sangeeta lost her love interest in Salman. And now Congress!
One thing for sure – There is no denying the fact that he is talented and that fans still love him. We want him to succeed and may be he will. Hopefully he does so, doing the right thing, fighting for the right cause..and winning many hearts ….unlike his previous innings!
Image Credit: Prakhar