It’s the 78th birth anniversary of late Indian cricketer Dilip Sardesai today (8th August), and Google is remembering the legend with a special doodle. Sardesai is still considered among one of the top Indian batsmen against spin bowling.
Dilip Sardesai became the talking point of Indian cricket after he scored 435 runs at an average of 87 in the inter-university Rohinton Baria Trophy in 1959-60. After making his mark in the Rohinton Baria Trophy, he made First Class debut in 1960-61 for Indian Universities against the touring Pakistan team at Pune. Dilip scored 87 runs in 194 minutes. Dilip’s successes at First Class cricket led to his selection for the Board President’s XI against the same team at Bangalore. While playing for Board president’s XI, Dilip scored 106, and then as a standby in the last match of the Test tournament.
Dilip was invited to represent Bombay in the Ranji Trophy after he scored 202 against Madras University. Dilip Sardesai had made his debut in the longest format of the game against England at Green Park, Kanpur in December 1961.
Dilip Sardesai’s career was almost over in 1970-71 when he was picked for India’s West Indies tour. However, he turned the table by scoring 212, after India lost the first five wickets for 75, and guided the visitors to a respectable total of 387. In the next Test match, he smashed 112 at Port of Spain and guided India to its first victory over West Indies.
In the fourth Test match, Sardesai once again stood out by hitting 150 runs, when India was struggling at 70 for 6. After Dilip Sardesai’s performance, India’s then chairman of selectors Vijay Merchant had called him the “renaissance man of Indian cricket”.
Dilip Sardesai was admitted to a Bombay hospital on 23 June, 2007 following a chest infection and he died on 2 July 2007.
Dilip Sardesai’s wife Nandini is a sociologist and member of the Indian Censor Board for motion pictures. Their son Rajdeep Sardesai is a prominent journalist and daughter Shonali is a senior social scientist at the World Bank in Washington.