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Dilip Narayan Sardesai

Born on 8 August, 1940 at Margao in Goa. Right handed middle order batsman, Sardesai began his career for India as an opener because of his excellent technique against pace bowling. He was also perhaps the best Indian player of spin bowling during the ‘sixties’. Making his test debut against England at Kanpur in 1961-62, he truly made his place secure on the Caribbean tour that year, when in the third test he scored 60 runs in India’s 187. Sardesai played 30 tests scoring 2,001 runs at an average of 39.23, with five hundreds and a highest score of 212.
On the 1967 tour of England, he fell down the stairs at Lord’s and then broke a finger in the second test that forced him to return home. After a poor tour of Australia in 1969, he lost his place in the Indian side till he returned to lead what is now looked upon as the renaissance of Indian cricket on the Caribbean tour of 1971. On that tour, he scored 642 runs at an average of 80.25 with three hundreds and a brilliant 212 at Kingston. It is said that if he had not rescued India time and again with the valuable support of Eknath Solkar, India might have lost the series 1-3. He had a poor run of scores on the victorious tour of ‘Ol blighty that summer and then dropped out of the Indian team after playing the first test against the touring Englishmen in 1972-73 to concentrate on his business interests. He has served Mumbai cricket as a selector and elder statesman for many years, and his son Rajdeep, who has played Varsity level cricket, is now a star newscaster on NDTV.


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