The gentleman’s game is replete with records and interesting facts throughout its history. However, it was on this day in 1996, two Indian cricketers, who went on to become legends of the game, marked their arrival on the world stage with a bang.
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid made their Test debuts against England at Lord’s, on June 20, 1996. Two days later, the duo etched their names in the record books as Ganguly became the second batsman after Mohammad Azharuddin to score a hundred on debut, while Dravid fell short of the landmark by five runs. Had he achieved a ton, it would have been the first instance of two debutant centurions in the same team in modern Test history.
Reminiscing the historic moment, the BCCI took to Twitter to share one of the joyous occasions of Indian cricket. They posted a throwback photo of a beaming Ganguly and Dravid and captioned it with details of the duo’s heroics “on this day in 1996.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 22, 2021
After a crushing defeat in the first Test and the sudden departure of senior batsman Navjot Singh Sidhu, Ganguly was handed his maiden Test cap in the second match at the Lord’s. Batting first England were bundled out for 344 runs in the first innings as Venkatesh Prasad picked five wickets for the visitors. They were mainly guided by Graham Thrope’s 89 and Jack Russell’s century (124).
India needed a strong reply, but they lost both their openers with just 59 runs on the board. Ganguly, in at number three and he went on to score 131 runs from 301 balls with the help of 20 boundaries. The southpaw was also involved in a 94-run partnership with Dravid for the sixth wicket. With his maiden Test century, he also became the 10th batsman to score a century on Test debut and the first Indian to achieve the feat at the Mecca of cricket.
Ganguly was finally dismissed by Alan Mullaly and India was left at 296/6. However, the visitors were eventually bundled out for 429, after gaining a lead of 85 runs over the hosts. The Three Lions registered 278/9 in the second innings as the match ended in a draw, but India lost the series 0-1 to the hosts.