Mohinder Amarnath | A Serial Comebacker

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His Life: A Legend of the ’83 World Cup

  • Year 1950 – Born in Patiala, Punjab.
  • Year 1969 – Made his Test debut against Australia.
  • Year 1975 – Made ODI debut against England at Lord’s.
  • Year 1983 – Gave a stellar performance at the World Cup.
  • Year 2005 – Set up the Mohinder Lala Amarnath Cricket Academy.

I tell my students that you can shine in all formats of the game if you develop a good technique. I learned it from my dad. 

Mohinder Amarnath is a former all-rounder who played for the Indian National Cricket team. He was a right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-pace bowler. He is revered for his role in the 1983 World Cup win of India, where he was awarded the Man of the Match in two decisive games of the tournament.

Personal Life

He used to carry a red color handkerchief in his pocket while batting for luck. Amarnath was noted for his personality, courage, and determination. He is married to Inderjit Amarnath.

Cricketing Journey

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He was born on 24th September 1950 in Patiala, Punjab. Amarnath hailed from a family of cricketers. His father, Lala Amarnath was the first Indian captain after independence. His brothers, Surinder Amarnath and Rajinder Amarnat hare also former cricketers.

He made his Test debut in December 1969 as quick bowling all-rounder against Australia in Chennai. Amarnath was dropped from the team due to poor performance but with his hard work, he made an effective comeback six years later. It was his ODI debut against England at Lord’s and also happened to be the opening match of the 1975 World Cup. Amarnath took a couple of wickets in his spell and did not get a chance to bat. He was largely in and out of the side during the 1970s. His defining moment came in the 1982-83 season when he played 11 Test matches in Pakistan and West Indies and scored 1182 runs.

Amarnath played an important role in India’s 1983 World Cup win. He was quite handy with the ball, swinging and cutting it with great skill and control. He had a unique run-up where he slowed down as he reached the bowling crease. In the semi-finals against England, he took the wickets of David Gower and Mike Gatting which helped India in restricting the opposition to 213. He broke the important 43-run partnership between Jeffrey Dujon and Malcolm Marshall and eventually dismissed both of them. He also took the final wicket of Michael Holding. With the bat in hand, Amarnath scored 46 as India became World champions for the first time. His all-round performance earned him the Man of the Match award in both the semi-finals and finals.

In his long and illustrious career, Amarnath played 69 Tests, scoring 4,378 runs with a batting average of 42.50. He has 11 centuries, 24 fifties and 32 wickets against his name in test cricket. Amarnath played 85 One Day Internationals, scoring 1,924 runs with an average of 30.53 and the highest score of 102 not out. Amarnath played his last Test match for India in 1988 against West Indies in Chennai. He played his last ODI for India against the same opposition in Mumbai next year. After retirement, he has coached the Bangladesh Cricket team during the 1990s for some time.

Awards and Recognitions

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Mohinder Amarnath received the Arjuna Award in 1982 for his contribution in the field of Cricket. He earned many awards and recognitions for his splendid gameplay. He was seen in the latter part of his career, as the finest Indian batsman against express pace. Except for the period 1982–83, Mohinder was frequently dropped from the team. But every time, he would perform well in the domestic matches and would get selected in the team, earning him the title – the comeback man of Indian cricket. He also set up a cricket academy named after him in 2005.

Also read: Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar – The GOD of Cricket

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