Flashback: India’s first Test double-centurion

Former player Polly Umrigar scripted history when he became the first-ever Indian to smash a double century in the history of Test cricket. Umrigar’s feat came against New Zealand in Hyderabad (Deccan) in 1955. He scored 223 with the match ending up in a drawn affair.

Umrigar slammed a memorable double century against the Kiwis in the first of the five-match Test series held in India 67 years ago. The home side batted first and posted a mammoth 498/4d on the board in their first innings. The right-handed batter r amassed 223, which included 26 fours.

The clash ended up in a draw but Umrigar had an unforgettable outing. In the following Test of the same series, Vinoo Mankad became the second Indian batter to achieve the landmark of a double hundred. India played its debut Test in the year 1932 and it took 23 years to find the first double centurion.

Born on March 28, 1926, in Solapur, Maharashtra, Umrigar first appeared in the longest format of the game against West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium in December 1948. He played 59 Test matches and scored 3631 runs at an average of 42.22. He struck 12 centuries and 14 half-centuries with the highest score of 223.

One of the all-time greats of Indian cricket, Umrigar also featured in 243 First-Class games. In 350 innings, he managed to amass 16155 runs at an average of 52.28. In FC cricket, he hammered 49 centuries and 80 fifties with the highest score of 252*. His last Test appearance came against West Indies at Kingston in 1962.

At the time of his retirement, Umrigar had played the most Tests (59), scored the most runs (3631), and registered more centuries (12) than any other Indian player. On November 07, 2006, he took his last breath as he died aged 80y 224d.