Vinod Kambli: Two things he can gloat about his fleeting Test career

When Vinod Kambli scored 227 against Zimbabwe at Delhi in 1992-93, it was his second double hundred in consecutive Tests; he had got 224 against England at Mumbai in his previous Test. The feat is so rare that before Kambli, only two batsmen had achieved it: the incomparable Don Bradman and another legend of the Bradman era, Wally Hammond.

Kambli’s exploits caught the eye of the connoisseurs right from the time he was in school and bulldozing his way with his then best friend, Sachin Tendulkar. The double hundreds that Kambli scored raised visions that the Tendulkar-Kambli run-machine will produce their awesomeness at the highest level of the game as well. But that was not to be. Kambli made his Test debut in 1993 and within a matter of two years his Test career was over. That is a well-known fact. Also well documented is the fact that Tendulkar kept scaling new heights and was widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman after Bradman. What, however is not known so well is that Tendulkar’s Test batting average is a shade behind Kambli’s. Tendulkar finished his surreal Test career with an average of 53.78, while Kambli’s short career of 17 Tests yielded him an average of 54.20