Since it was to be some thirty years before India would play their first Test match, this Indian prince qualified to play for England following impressive showings which earned him a Blue at Cambridge and in county cricket at Sussex.
Described by Neville Cardus as “the Midsummer night’s dream of cricket”, Ranji is widely regarded as the batsman who introduced a revolutionary style of batting to the game.
Playing back to deliveries, he combined good hand-eye co-ordination with an unorthodox technique, leading to him being credited with the invention of the late cut and glancing the ball off of one’s pads.
He’s regarded as one of the best batsmen of all time, which is quite remarkable given that he had never played in an organised match before he’d travelled to England, and he’s honoured in India by their domestic first-class competition being named the Ranji Trophy after him. Also, he’s probably the only one who could actually be described as ‘princely’ (take that Ganguly).
T’Ashes Hero Moment
Scoring a 154 not out on debut against the Aussies at Old Trafford in 1896, followed by 175 against them in his first overseas Test a year later.