It is a kind of enigma for Ajit Agarkar. On seeing him first in the nets, John Wright mistreated him for a batsman in the frontline. This was because many top batsmen would admire him because he had the gift of timing. And it brought out fruit in some impressive innings. He scored this great test in Lord’s 100 and a 21-Ball 50; still the fastest fifties in ODI’s by an Indian, against Zimbabwe in Rajkot. However, there were batting disasters against him when he could not get a run in Australia; and he called him the duck of Bombay.
But, above all, Agarkar was a medium passenger and ran to 50 wickets in 23 ODIs until 2009; when Ajantha Mendis improved it.
The cricket career graph of Ajit Agarkar
He won a test with 6 second-inner wickets in Adelaide, but it was a mistake. His test wickets were very expensive and ended with an average bowling of 47. In the same test, as an all-rounder, he never really had a good experience with both bat and ball; only once with 67 ODIs, and 3 for 26 with Rajkot against Zimbabwe.
He never played very frequently in the test side, 191 ODIs; where he was more than a helpful contributor with his 80 batting strike, 27 bowling and fast on-the-ground movements. But even the foothills of the peaks that Kapil Dev crossed were never very well reached.
He remained a tremendous all-rounder in the domestic Cricket and his 5-for-81 success in the Ranji Final of 2009-10; against Karnataka remains one of the most unforgettable. In his last season, 2012-13, he won the Ranji Trophy in Mumbai; scoring a career-best 145 against Services in the semi-final.
Ajit Agarkar’s match at Lords in 2002
It’s like the water from the back of the duck – these “Bombay Duck” taunts, after seven straight zeroes; which Ajit Agarkar went on to the Australians on two continents and three seasons. The duck of Bombay has something fundamental – it’s not a duck, in fact. It’s a pretty sprinkling fish.
Similarly, the way in which Mumbaikar saw the bat was something fundamental; the catastrophic current that stretches Adelaide, MKG, SCG and Wankhede, was not really very troubling. He’s been a bowler in his mind. Average pace, striving to tear away. No batsman, under study. He was a non-sequitur batting him.
A dozen innings with 127 runs, and an average toyboeing of 7.47, including the highest score of 41; contributed enormously to Agarkar, when Agarkar reached Lords on 29 July 2002. The duck from Bombay may have its own traditional smell but is quite irresistible when batters are fried in rawa. Lord’s, eventually, find the golden, crooked chunk of succulent, fleshly shape with the bats; as the commenters called him, under 8. Ajit Agarkar netted the biggie of batesmanship in what’s the peak fishing season.
He still has the bat he made in a corner of his home. But it was kept safe with him until date, he didn’t frame it. During the Pakistan tour of 2004, the bottom of the bat got destroyed.