Eden Gardens forever holds a special place in former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin’s heart where he has had a few memorable performances, including a debut hundred in 1984-85 and match saving one in 1993.
Eden Gardens also witnessed Azhar lift the Hero Cup in 1993 and tri-nation series in 1994. While there are multiple theories about what prompted him to give Sachin Tendulkar the last over against South Africa, Azhar said that it was just for the heck of being different.
“My teammates told me to try someone different. I thought any bowler would anyway give five runs and said that if this works, it’s great and if it doesn’t, I will take the brunt. I was facing it anyway,” he said during a panel, which also included West Indies great duo of Brian Lara and Carl Hooper.
“Quite a few times Eden had saved my career. I would not be sitting here had it not for Eden,” the Hyderabadi stylist walked down the memory lane during a talk show to celebrate the 25 years of stadium’s first match under floodlights.
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“Those were days when most of the stands were concrete. Now, it has chairs. The ground is always special to me,” he recalled.
Azharuddin further said that India has a good chance to win in Australia, although it will have to push hard for every inch as it won’t be easy Down Under.
“India have a good chance Down Under. They are a good side and I fancy them winning there. Of course, it won’t be easy. It never is in Australia. But, this team can do it,” Azharuddin said.
Smith criticised the Kookaburra ball which will be used in Australia and Azharuddin said: “I think different balls are used in different countries and you can’t do much about the rules. Yes, with the Kookaburra ball, it doesn’t swing a lot but in England, they use the Dukes ball, in India SG, so that’s how it is.”
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