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Meet Test cricket's specs stars

Last updated on: March 4, 2013 21:42 IST

Meet Test cricket's specs stars

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Rediff Sports Desk

Virender Sehwag has started wearing glasses. Have spectacles reduced The Sledgehammer's batting to a dismal spectacle?

Rediff.com looks at other cricketers who played with glasses.

Virender Sehwag turned up for the first time in glasses in a Test, in the Chennai Test against Australia.

The dashing opener, who has been struggling for runs, apparently realised that his eyesight was not 100 percent.

He batted with glasses at the Indian team's preparatory camp in Bangalore just before the Chennai game.

Sehwag joins a small club of Test cricketers who wore glasses at some stages in their careers.

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Image: Virender Sehwag, in glasses.
Photographs: BCCI
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Anil Kumble

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Spin legend Anil Kumble played with glasses for many years before switching to contact lenses in the late 1990s.

He is India's most successful bowler with a Test haul of 619 wickets and 337 wickets in One-Day Internationals.

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Image: Anil Kumble, circa the mid 1990s.
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
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Sourav Ganguly

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Sourav Ganguly too played his initial Test years with spectacles before switching over to the comfort of lenses.

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Image: Remember Dada in this avatar?
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images
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Narendra Hirwani

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Bespectacled leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani made a dream debut in the Madras Test against the West Indies in 1987-1988, taking an incredible 16 wickets.

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Image: What a debut Hiru had!
Photographs: Simon Bruty/Getty Images
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Pankaj Roy

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Pankaj Roy set the record opening stand with Vinoo Mankad when the duo put on 413 runs against New Zealand in Madras in 1956.

Roy made his Test debut in 1951, but started wearing glasses four years later after a run of poor scores.

Another opener Anshuman Gaekwad and left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi were two other Indian greats who played with glasses.

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Image: Pankaj Roy during a match against the Indian Gymkhana Cricket Club at Osterley Park, London, April 23, 1959.
Photographs: William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images
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Vizzy

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Lieutentant Colonel Sir Vijay Ananda Gajapathi Raju, the Maharajah of Vizianagram, or 'Vizzy', as he was almost universally known in the cricket world in his time, also played with glasses.

Vizzy captained India during the 1936 tour of England and his infamous spat with Lala Amarnath ended in the flamboyant all-rounder, who had scored a Test century on debut three years earlier, being sent home without playing the first Test.

Vizzy was also president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from 1954 to 1957.

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Image: Vizzy in England, April 30, 1936
Photographs: Hudson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
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Clive Lloyd

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Glasses didn't ever come in the way of Clive Hubert Lloyd pummelling bowling attacks around the world.

At the Wankhede stadium in 1975, he made an awesome unbeaten 242, his highest Test score.

Perhaps the finest captain of his era, Lloyd never graduated to contact lenses. His bespectacled, uncle-like appearance, disguising a shrewd cricketing brain.

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Image: The Awesome Clive Hubert Lloyd.
Photographs: Adrian Murrell/Allsport UK
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Zaheer Abbas

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Zaheer Abbas was another special player who never had a problem playing with glasses.

The classy Pakistani batsman was often referred to as the 'Asian Bradman' during his 16-year playing career, which extended from 1969 to 1985.

Half of his 12 Test centuries came against India.

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Image: Zaheer Abbas, March 1984.
Photographs: Adrian Murrell/Allsport UK
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Geoff Boycott

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In his playing days, Geoff Boycott was arguably the most unpopular member in the English cricket team.

'Boycs' was often attacked for being selfish, accused of putting his interests above the team's.

Once after scoring a double hundred against India, he was dropped from the next Test for slow scoring!

Boycs wore glasses during the early years, making the switch to contact lenses during the final years of his career.

Ironically, after his retirement, he has become a much loved figure in the commentary box, admired for his wisdom and frank talk.

In India, he is something of a superstar.

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Image: Geoff Boycott, one of England's great openers.
Photographs: Central Press/Getty Images
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Daniel Vettori

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Daniel Vettori's trademark are his glasses and his unflappable demeanour on the field.

Vettori has a strong case for being counted among the greats -- the left-arm spinner has 360 Test wickets (112 Tests) and 282 ODI wickets (272 games).

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Image: Daniel Vettori is New Zealand's Mr Reliable.
Photographs: Hannah Johnston/Getty Images
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Eddie Barlow

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To watch Eddie Barlow in his prime was to have seen a most amazing cricketer.

Though he played just 30 Tests for South Africa before his country was banned from international sport for its apartheid policy, Barlow was one of the finest all-rounders in his time.

He coached Bangladesh for a year before a stroke left him incapacitated in 2000. He passed away in 2005.

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Image: Eddie Barlow, then nearly 39, bowls during a game in June 1979.
Photographs: Allsport UK /Allsport
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Charles Coventry

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Zimbabwean Charles Coventry shot to fame in 2009 when he smashed a world record 194 in an ODI match against Bangladesh, and equaled Saeed Anwar's highest score in One-dayers.

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Image: Charles Coventry, the attacking Zimbabwe batsman.
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Getty Images
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Dirk Wellham

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Australian Dirk Wellham, who played with big glasses, had a modest international career as he featured in only six Tests despite starting with a century on debut.

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Image: Dirk Wellham
Photographs: Allsport UK /Allsport
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Sonny Moloney

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Sonny Moloney played three Tests for New Zealand in 1937.

He was killed in the second World War in 1943, when he was a prisoner of war in Egypt.

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Image: New Zealand's Sonny Moloney walks out to bat against England at Old Trafford, 1937.
Photographs: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Walter Hadlee

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Walter Hadlee played 11 Tests, captained England, but is better known as Richard Hadlee's dad.

His other sons, Dayle and Barry, too played cricket for New Zealand.

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Image: New Zealand Captain Walter Hadlee, left, and his English counterpart Freddie Brown during the toss for the final Test at the Oval, August 13, 1949.
Photographs: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Michael John Knight Smith

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Michael John Knight Smith played 50 Tests for England between 1958 and 1972.

He captained England in 25 Tests and also played international rugby for his country.


Image: Michael John Knight Smith
Photographs: Central Press/Getty Images
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