While the world waited with bated breath for Sachin Tendulkar to score his 100th international century, also his maiden Test ton at Lord's, it was Rahul Dravid who slammed his first ton at the 'mecca of cricket'. Dravid, who missed out on a hundred here on his debut, now has one thing to his name that Sachin doesn't, and so do seven other Indian batsmen - a century at Lord's.
India's go-to man, Rahul Dravid proved his worth to the side once again as he saved India the blushes in the 1st inning of the 1st Test at Lord's. The Wall, who made his debut along with Sourav Ganguly at this cricket ground in 1996, had missed out on a century then, falling for 95, but he didn't let the opportunity slip this time. Although the tumbling of wickets at the other end threatened to keep him from a hundred here yet again, Dravid got to the mark and remained unbeaten on 103.
Surprise, surprise. Yes, the last Indian to slam a century at Lord's before Dravid got to the mark on Saturday was Ajit Agarkar. The man who always flattered to deceive with his talent made 109 in the 1st Test at Lord's in 2002, his only Test hundred to date. He, however, didn't find much support from the other end and India crumbled to a 170-run defeat.
The Bengal Tiger announced his arrival on the international scene with a beautifully crafted century in his debut Test in 1996. After missing out on the first Test of the series, Ganguly made his debut at Lord's, a perfect venue for his 131 and made the cricketing world sit up and take notice.
The former India captain was known for his wristy strokeplay. The artistic batsman smashed 121 off just 111 balls at a strike-rate of 109 in the 1st Test at Lord's in 1990. His knock, however, went in vain as it was the same Test where England opener Graham Gooch proved unstoppable, scoring 2 centuries, including the 333 in the 1st inning.
In the 1st Test in 1990 at Lord's, where Azharuddin scored a century, so did Ravi Shastri. The all-rounder, who opened for India on the occasion, got his 100 and fell soon after.
The former BCCI chief selector has a prolific record in England and leads the chart here with not one but 3 hundreds at the Lord's, one each on the tours of 1979, 1982 and 1986. Vengsarkar has 508 runs in 4 Tests at an average of 72.57 at the English venue. The Mumbai batsman struck 103 in the 2nd Test against England in 1979 and followed it up with 157 in the 1st Test in 1982, his highest score at Lord's. The 1986 series that India won saw Vengsarkar hit 126 not out in the 1st Test. He walked away with the man of the series award along with England's Mike Gatting.
He is still among the favourites in the list of many people who have watched him play. He had the knack of coming good when the chips were down. And, he did exactly that at Lord's in the 2nd Test in 1979. After India were bowled out for a mere 96 runs in the first innings, Viswanath combined with Vengsarkar in the 2nd inning to avert disaster and ensure a draw. In the same match that Vengsarkar scored 103, Viswanath struck a patient 113.
He was one of the early genuine all-rounders that India had. In the 2nd Test in 1952, Mankad top-scored for India with a 72 in the 1st inning and then slammed 184 in the 2nd but could still not prevent an 8-wicket loss for the team. He also failed to score big in the other matches of the series.
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