Vijay Merchant’s career in numbers

On occasion of his 106th birth anniversary, we take a look at his cricketing achievements.

Vijay Merchant
11th May 1936: On the left, Vijay Merchant (1911 – 1987) played for India (1933 – 1952), Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1937, and Laxmidas Jai (1902 – 1968) of the All-India cricket team touring England. (Photo by A. Hudson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Vijay Merchant is a prominent name in the Indian cricket history even though his International career was cut short to ten Test matches due to illness during India’s tours and World Wars. However, the Mumbaikar had a great record in domestic circuit in India as well as England. He can be termed as India’s Don Bradman as he averages 71.64 in FC cricket.

On occasion of his 106th birth anniversary, we take a look at his cricketing achievements:

3 – Vijay was only the 3rd centurion in the Test history for India. Lala Amarnath scored 118 in 1933 at Mumbai while Syed Mushtaq Ali scored 112 at Manchester against England in 1936. In the same innings at Manchester, Merchant struck 114 while opening with Mushtaq Ali.

11 – Number of double centuries he scored in first-class cricket. These are the most number of FC double hundreds for any Indian. Cheteshwar Pujara equalled Merchant with his 11th FC double during the Australia series in March this year.

40y 21d – Age at which Vijay scored a century in his final Test match. He is the oldest Indian to score a hundred in Test cricket and only Indian with a Test hundred after turning 40.

71.64 – His batting average in first-class cricket is the 2nd highest for any player who has batted more than 50 innings in the format. He amassed 13470 runs in 234 innings in his FC career with 45 centuries and 52 fifties. Only Sir Don Bradman (95.14) has accumulated runs in FC cricket at a better average.

98.35 – Merchant’s batting average of 98.35 is the highest for any player in Ranji Trophy history. He scored 3639 runs in 47 innings with 16 centuries and seven fifties.

154 – He scored 154 runs in his final Test match against England in Delhi, November 1951. He is one of the three Indians along with Vijay Manjrekar (102*) and Mohammad Azharuddin (102) to score a century in the last Test match of his career. Overall, Merchant’s 154-run innings is the 9th highest for any player in their last Test match.

171 – Number of innings he took to complete 10000 runs in first-class cricket. He is the 2nd fastest among the 48 Indian players who have scored 10000 FC runs till date. Ajay Sharma got there in just 160 innings.

359* – His unbeaten knock of 359 for Bombay against Maharashtra in 1943/44 was the then highest individual score in Ranji Trophy and also in the Indian first-class cricket. His innings is currently the joint 4th highest in Ranji Trophy as well as in Indian FC cricket.