Ajit Agarkar is a former Indian cricketer, known for his all-around abilities as a fast bowler and aggressive batsman. He made his way into the Indian cricket team in 1998 and went on to represent India in more than 200 international matches across formats, including the World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy. Agarkar was also part of the inaugural Indian squad that won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007. With his impressive bowling skills and aggressive stroke play, he left a lasting impression on cricket fans around the world.
Born on December 4, 1977, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Ajit Bhalchandra Agarkar grew up in a family that held cricket dear to their hearts. His father Balachandra was a club cricketer while his mother Meena was an ardent fan of the sport. Inspired by his father's love for cricket, young Ajit started playing at the age of seven.
Agarkar attended Ruparel College in Matunga, Mumbai where he honed both his academic and cricketing skills. Although he was primarily focused on batting during his early years, it was his bowling prowess that caught everyone's attention.
Despite being initially overlooked by selectors due to his diminutive stature compared to other fast bowlers, Agarkar never gave up on his dream of representing India at the highest level. He continued to hone his craft and prove himself as one of the most promising young talents in domestic cricket.
Agarkar broke through into the national team after an excellent domestic season in 1997-98 where he picked up over 50 wickets at an average of just under 20 runs per wicket. This impressive form earned him a spot in India's ODI team for the upcoming series against Australia.
Agarkar made an immediate impact, picking up two wickets on his debut and finishing the series as India's leading wicket-taker. His impressive performances earned him a spot in India's squad for the 1999 World Cup, where he played a crucial role in India's run to the Super Sixes.
Over the years, Agarkar established himself as a key member of India's ODI and Test teams with consistent performances. He was particularly effective in ODIs, where he became known for his ability to swing the ball both ways at high speeds.
Agarkar had an illustrious cricketing career that spanned over a decade. In Tests, he took 58 wickets in 26 matches with one century to his name. In ODIs, he picked up 288 wickets in 191 matches at an average of 27.85 runs per wicket while also scoring over1269 runs with the bat. He also played four T20I matches and took three wickets.
Agarkar is best remembered for his contributions to major tournaments like the World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy. However, it was his performances outside of tournaments that truly showcased his talents as a cricketer. For example, in a Test match against England at Lord's in 2002, Agarkar scored a brilliant century and took five wickets in the first innings to put India on course for victory.
In IPL cricket too, Agarkar was highly successful playing for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and Kolkata Knight Riders. He scored 179 runs and took 29 wickets during his eight-year stint with various IPL teams.
Known for his aggressive batting style and clever variations with the ball, Agarkar was not without weaknesses. Despite being one of India's most successful fast bowlers in ODIs, he struggled to replicate the same success in Test cricket. He was also prone to inconsistency with both bat and ball, which sometimes cost his team valuable runs or wickets.
In retirement, Agarkar pursued a career as a cricket commentator and analyst. He remains a popular figure among Indian cricket fans and an inspiration to aspiring cricketers across the country.
Ajit Agarkar has had a long and successful cricketing career, representing India in more than 200 international matches. He played an important role in various ICC tournaments such as the Cricket World Cup, Champions Trophy, and World T20.
Agarkar was part of the Indian squad that participated in the 1999, 2003, and 2007 editions of the Cricket World Cup. In the 1999 tournament, he contributed with both bat and ball to help India reach the Super Six stage. In the 2003 edition, he was instrumental in India's run to the final where they lost to Australia. He ended up as India's highest wicket-taker with 16 scalps.
In the inaugural edition of the ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa in 2007, Agarkar was part of the winning Indian team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Although he didn't have a great tournament with only one wicket to his name, his experience proved invaluable to the young Indian side.
Agarkar was also a joint winner of the ICC Champions Trophy held in Sri Lanka in 2002. Playing against West Indies in a virtual quarter-final match, Agarkar picked up three crucial wickets for just six runs from seven overs which helped India win by eight wickets.
In domestic cricket, Agarkar played for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL. He captained Mumbai Indians when they won their maiden IPL title in 2013.
Ajit Agarkar primarily made his mark as a fast-bowling all-rounder who could swing it both ways at will. He had an uncanny ability to seam the ball off both edges on any surface which made him an asset to any team.
Agarkar's batting prowess was also commendable as he could score quick runs down the order. He held the record for the fastest fifty by an Indian in ODIs which he achieved off 21 balls against Zimbabwe in 2000. Agarkar had a Test century to his name as well, which he scored at Lord's against England in 2002.
Although Agarkar had a relatively short frame compared to other fast bowlers, he could generate speeds over 90 mph (~142–150 km/hr). His ability to swing the ball both ways at such speeds made him one of the most dangerous bowlers during his prime.
However, Agarkar lacked consistency throughout his career, and that hampered his growth as a player. He was more successful in ODIs than Tests and tended to leak runs in crucial stages.
Ajit Agarkar is known for his aggressive batting style on the field and his calm demeanour off it. A cricketing purist who idolized pacers like Kapil Dev, Michael Holding, Ian Botham, and Allan Donald, Agarkar was well-respected among his teammates for his dedication towards the game.
Agarkar has been actively involved in media work after retirement from cricket. He has worked as a commentator and analyst for various broadcasters including Star Sports India.
Off the field, Agarkar is known to have interests in sports other than cricket like running marathons and playing football. Agarkar's main brand endorsements included Adidas and PepsiCo during his playing days.
Ajit Agarkar's cricketing career spanned over a decade, playing for India in more than 200 international matches. He was an all-rounder who bowled at a high speed and swung the ball both ways. In addition to his bowling skills, he was known for his aggressive batting style, which helped him achieve some remarkable records in limited-overs cricket.
Agarkar holds the record for the fastest fifty by an Indian in ODIs, achieved in just 21 balls. He also broke Dennis Lillee's world record for the fastest 50 wickets in ODIs. Moreover, Agarkar was the quickest to complete a double of 200 wickets and 1000 runs in terms of matches.
While Agarkar had some exceptional performances throughout his career, he couldn't consistently make notable contributions. However, he will be remembered as one of India's most successful ODI bowlers of all time. Over the years, many young pacers have tried to imitate his bowling style, which shows his lasting impact on Indian cricket.
Ajit Agarkar has earned several awards throughout his cricketing career. He was named the Man of the Match five times during his ODI career and once during his Test career.
Agarkar played a vital role in India's victories in major tournaments such as the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy and the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa in 2007. Moreover, he played an instrumental role as captain when Mumbai Indians won their first IPL title against Chennai Super Kings in 2013.
Ajit Agarkar will always be remembered as one of India's most successful ODI bowlers, with over 288 wickets to his name at an average of 27.85 runs per wicket - the third-highest for India. Additionally, he demonstrated his ability with the bat by scoring over 1269 runs in ODIs.
Agarkar's legacy extends beyond his performance on the field, where he has been a role model for aspiring cricketers in India. He has been an inspiration to many young pacers who have tried to emulate his style of swing bowling.
His cricketing career spanned over a decade, and while he had some exceptional performances throughout his career, he couldn't consistently make notable contributions. However, Agarkar's name will always be remembered in Indian cricket history as one of the most successful all-rounders to represent the country.
How many wickets has Ajit Agarkar taken in the Test cricket format?
Ajit Agarkar has taken 58 wickets in the Test cricket format.
When did Ajit Agarkar debut in ODI cricket?
Ajit Agarkar debuted in ODI cricket on April 01, 1998, at Kochi against Australia.
How many runs has Ajit Agarkar scored in the FC cricket format?
Ajit Agarkar has scored 3336 runs with the highest score of 145.
What is Ajit Agarkar's bowling average in the T20Is?
Ajit Agarkar's bowling average in the T20Is is 28.33.
How many wickets has Ajit Agarkar taken in ODI cricket?
Ajit Agarkar has taken 288 wickets in ODI cricket.