Mohammad Azharuddin, one of India's longest-serving Indian captains, has turned 55 today.
Fondly referred to as 'Azhar' by the fans, the memories of the elegant cricketer are often associated with his classy strokes and famous flick of the wrists, apart from the infamous 'match-fixing' controversy, of course.
On his birthday, let's take a look at his whirlwind cricket career.
Mohammad Azharuddin's tumultuous cricketing journey
Azhar scored tons in his first three Tests
Mohammad Azharuddin made his debut in December 1984, in a Test against England at Kolkata.
He has the unique distinction of scoring three centuries in his first three Test matches.
Azhar not only did score a century in his maiden Test, but also went on to inflict misery on the visiting England side by scoring two more tons, in his next two Tests.
Career in numbers
Azharuddin played 99 Tests, 334 ODIs, and scored 6,215 at an average of 45.03 and 9,378 runs with 36.92 average in these formats respectively. He has 29 international tons across both the formats.
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Azhar's stint as captain
Azhar took over as captaincy from Kris Srikkanth in 1989. He was one of India's most successful skippers until the records were broken by Ganguly in Tests and Dhoni in ODIs.
He captained 47 Tests winning 14 of them, and 174 ODIs where he won 90.
He is the only captain to represent India in three World Cups consecutively, 1992, 1996 and 1999.
Fielder par excellence
Azhar is also known for his fielding ability, and has taken 156 catches in ODIs, the third highest of all time, and the most by an Indian.
Match-fixing controversy that ended his career
In 2000, after being found guilty of match-fixing, Azharuddin was banned for life by the BCCI and the ICC.
The then South African African captain, Hansie Cronje implicated him of fixing, when he said that Azhar introduced him to bookies.
The ban was lifted later in 2012 after Andhra Pradesh High Court cleared him of the charges calling it "unsustainable."
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