Vijay Merchant

Country: India
Born: October 12, 1911, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right arm Medium
Died: October 27, 1987, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, (aged 76y 15d)

Vijay Merchant Bio

Vijaysingh Madhavji Merchant, fondly known as Vijay Merchant, was an exceptional cricketer hailing from India. Born on October 12, 1911, in Bombay (now Mumbai), Merchant left an indelible mark on the game with his skillful batting and remarkable achievements on the field. Despite not receiving the same recognition as legends like Don Bradman, Merchant was considered the closest to matching the great cricketer’s prowess.

From a young age, Merchant displayed remarkable talent and passion for the sport. Standing at only 5 feet 7 inches, he defied his physical stature with his fine footwork and an extensive stroke repertoire. His elegant cut shots, grass-cutting drives, delicate glances, and late-cuts were a testament to his exceptional technique. The brilliant hook stroke also featured in his arsenal, showcasing his versatility as a batsman.

Merchant first made his mark in Indian cricket by representing the Hindu team in the Bombay tournaments between 1929 and 1946. He later played for the Bombay team in the prestigious Ranji Trophy from 1933 until his retirement in 1952. Throughout his career, Merchant displayed an extraordinary consistency, amassing a total of 44 first-class centuries, including 11 scores above 200.

One of Merchant’s most memorable performances came during the 1943-44 season when he scored an unbeaten 359 runs against Maharashtra. In that innings, he formed crucial partnerships, including a record-breaking 371-run stand with teammate Mushtaq Ali for the sixth wicket and a remarkable 210-run partnership with R.S. Cooper for the eighth wicket. His remarkable run continued the following year with a 373-run partnership with Mushtaq Ali against Western India.

Despite missing out on the 1932 England tour due to political reasons, Merchant earned his first Test cap during the inaugural home Test series in 1933-34. Although he had a relatively modest Test average of 47.72, Merchant’s impact was felt in the domestic circuit. His crowning achievement came during the 1936 England tour, where he topped the batting charts with 1745 runs at an average of 51.32. He carried his bat through both innings at Old Trafford, becoming a Wisden Cricketer of the Year as a result.

Merchant’s career ultimately culminated during the 1946 England tour, where he served as the vice-captain to Nawab of Pataudi Snr. Despite the challenges posed by the rain-soaked summer, Merchant showcased his brilliance, scoring 2385 runs at an average of 74, including seven centuries. His exceptional form continued in the Test matches, where he amassed 245 runs in five innings.

In his final Test against England in 1951-52, Merchant notched up his highest Test score of 154, displaying his phenomenal batting skills. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury forced his retirement from the game at the age of 40.

Merchant’s remarkable career statistics speak for themselves. In his 10 Test matches, all against England, he accumulated 859 runs, while in the Ranji Trophy, he reached the three-figure mark 16 times in 47 innings, averaging a staggering 98.75. Over his entire first-class career, Merchant amassed over 13,000 runs at an impressive average of 71. With his medium-pace off-spin, he also picked up 65 wickets.

Following his retirement, Merchant remained actively involved in cricket as an administrator, writer, and broadcaster. He contributed significantly to the sport as a Test selector, playing a pivotal role in the appointment of Ajit Wadekar as the captain of the Indian cricket team, replacing Pataudi Jr.

Off the field, Merchant was known for his charitable work among the handicapped, earning him immense respect and admiration in the cricketing community. He was revered as a modest and amiable individual, leaving a lasting legacy as one of India’s greatest cricketers.

On October 27, 1987, Vijay Merchant passed away in Mumbai after suffering a heart attack. His contribution to the game and his impact on Indian cricket will forever be cherished and remembered by fans around the world.

Vijay Merchant Career Stats

Vijay Merchant Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 10 18 0 859 154 47.72 - - 3 3 - 0 7 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 150 234 46 13470 359* 71.64 - - 45 52 - - 115 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Vijay Merchant Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 10 2 54 40 0 - - - 4.44 - 0 0 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 150 - 5087 2088 65 5/73 - 32.12 2.46 78.2 - 1 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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