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The Rediff Special/Harish Kotian
'Hazare's bat had no edges'
December 22, 2004
Chandu Borde played 55 Tests for India between 1958-59 and 1969-70, scoring 3,061 runs at 35.59, and claiming 52 wickets at 46.48. He played alongside Vijay Hazare for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy in the early 1950s.
The former India captain and chairman of the selectors walks down memory lane and recounts moments he spent with the late Indian great.
Vijay Hazare was one of the finest batsmen I have come across. I had the opportunity of playing with him for Baroda. Technically, he was the most correct player. His bat had no edges and everything used to hit the middle of the bat.
People do not realise that he was also a very good bowler. He had taken nearly 600 first class wickets. So you can call him a great all-rounder.
Hazare's concentration was fantastic. When he was playing, there was no helmet, no elbow guard, no restrictions of bouncers, no restrictions of popping crease when the bowlers were bowling.
Just imagine getting two hundreds in a Test at Adelaide against the likes of Ray Lindwall, Keith Miller at their best. It was a fantastic performance. As far as I am concerned, he was the finest batsmen I have come across. Why top ten? I would place him right at the top of the list of great Indian batsmen.
There was no rivalry between him and Vijay Merchant. It was the media who created the rivalry. In fact, Hazare was very much hurt when people said there was rivalry between them.
Both of them never thought of breaking each other's records. They never played that way to outdo each other. Hazare himself said this once.
There was a match Baroda played against Services in 1957, when we won the Ranji Trophy. In that match, Hazare scored a double century at the age of 40!
He was a great batsman and Indian cricket will be poorer for his loss.
Chandu Borde spoke to Contributing Correspondent Harish Kotian
Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images