Many of cricket fans know Sanjay Manjrekar, courtesy of his blunt commentary and the controversial comments regarding the players and their game. However, before taking the mic in his hand, Manjrekar formed an invaluable part of the Indian cricket team. Making his debut in the Indian team in November 1987, Manjrekar oozed class and confidence with the willow and delivered a lot of fine performances.
With the renowned commentator turning 56 years old, let’s flip the pages and revisit some of the spectacular performances by the right-hander.
108 vs West Indies, Barbados, 1989
Manjrekar scored his first Test hundred against a dominating West Indies in Barbados. The second Test of the four-match series saw India facing initial hiccups. The visitors lost their first four wickets at a mere score of 68 while batting first. This is when Manjrekar walked in the middle to bat at number six.
The right-hander helped in shifting some momentum back to the Indian camp as he played a remarkable knock of 108 runs off 221 deliveries. Manjrekar’s batting efforts helped India in posting 321 runs on the scoreboard. However, in the end, the result didn’t go in India’s favor as the formidable West Indies side won the game by eight wickets.
113 not out vs Pakistan, 1st Test at Karachi, 1989
During the first Test of the four-match away series against Pakistan in 1989, Manjrekar showed signs of brilliance. The right-hander. The fourth innings of the match saw India chasing a score of 453. In the crunch situation, Manjrekar showed his resilience and valiance as he hammered 113 runs in about six hours against Pakistan’ decorated seam line-up.
The veteran faced 243 runs and managed to send the ball over the boundary rope for 13 times. The exploits by Manjrekar ensured that the high-profile Test match ended in a draw.
218 vs Pakistan, Lahore, 1989
Manjrekar caused carnage on the field with the willow during the India tour of Pakistan in 1989. The batsman was the wrecker-in-chief for the visitors as he smashed a stunning 569 runs in four Test matches. Meanwhile, one inning that made heads turn in the cricket fraternity came in the third Test match in Lahore.
Manjrekar registered his highest score in the purest format of the game as he smacked 218 runs off 401 deliveries to help India post a mammoth score of 509 after initial hiccups. In the end, the match ended in a draw while Manjrekar was adjudged the Man of the Match award.
105 vs South Africa, New Delhi, 1991
Manjrekar played one of the finest knocks of his One Day career during the last ODI of the three-match series against South Africa in 1991. India had already clinched the series by winning the first two One Day Internationals and were hoping for a series whitewash. Batting first in the game, Manjrekar oozed class and confidence with the willow as he played a delightful knock of 105 runs to help India post 287 runs on the scoreboard.
What makes the knock more special is that the renowned commentator took just 82 balls while bathing at a strike rate of 120. However, the efforts by the batsman went in vain as the visitors managed to secure a victory.
104 vs Zimbabwe, Only Test at Harare, 1992
Manjrekar’s last ton in the purest format of the game came when Zimbabwe made their maiden Test appearance in 1992 against India. Batting in the first innings, the hosts produced a heartening show as they racked up on a score of 456. In reply, India succumbed to a torrid start as they kept losing their wickets.
The pressure situation saw Manjrekar showing his class and temperament as he played a sublime knock of 104 deliveries while facing as many as 456 balls. Manjrekar helped India in making a comeback against the dominant Zimbabwe as the match ended in a draw.