Dilip Sardesai was born on 8th August 1940 in Margao. Margao is located in Goa. He was the only Goa-born cricketer to play for India. He was often regarded as best batsman against spin bowling in Indian Test cricket.
Early Life of Dilip Sardesai
Dilip Sardesai was born in a Gaud Saraswat Brahmin family. Dilip Sardesai made his first mark in Indian cricket in the inter-university Rohinton Baria trophy in 1959-1960. There he made 435 runs at an average of 87. He made his first-class cricket debut for Indian Universities against the touring Pakistan Cricket team at Pune, Maharashtra in 1960-1961, scoring 87 in 194 minutes. His immediate success led to selection for the Board President's XI against the same team at Bangalore, where he scored 106 not out, and then as a standby in the final match of the Test series. He scored 202 against Madras University at about the same time, and was then selected to represent Bombay in the Ranji Trophy. He was one of the five Indian Cricket Cricketers of the Year in 1960 to 1961.
Career of Dilip Sardesai
Dilip Sardesai had little to show in first class cricket in 1961 to 1962, except for a 281 against Gujarat Cricket Team in a university match, but made his Test debut in the second Test against England at Kanpur in December 1961. Dilip Sardesai toured West Indies later in the season, playing in three of the five Tests. He was the batsman at the other end when Nari Contractor was seriously injured by Charlie Griffith in a match against Barbados. The injury of Nari Contractor created a place for Dilip Sardesai in the team. Dilip Sardesai scored 31 and 60 in the Test at Bridgetown, opening the batting, but was dropped after a pair in the following match. Dilip Sardesai scored 449 runs in the five Test series against England Cricket Team in 1963 to 1964 with 79 and 87 in the 5th and final Test as the most notable performances, helping Indian Cricket team to secure a draw after being made to follow on. Dilip Sardesai also played against New Zealand Cricket Team in 1964-1965.
Dilip Sardesai scored a double century at Bombay (Mumbai) and a very fast hundred that set up a win at Delhi. New Zealand had forced India to follow on at Bombay (Mumbai), but he scored 200 not out that nearly won the match for India. He played against West Indies in 1966-1967, and then toured England in 1967, where he injured himself on a staircase in the pavilion at Lord's and missed the 1st Test at Headingley. He recovered to appear in the 2nd Test back at Lords Cricket Stadium, but a broken finger sustained during that match ended his tour. He was dropped after two Tests in Australia in 1967-68 due to injury and a series of failures.
His last international tour was for West Indies. He was picked for the Indian tour of West Indies in 1970-1971. In the 1st Test at Kingston, Indian Cricket team lost the first five wickets for 75, before Dili Sardesai hit 212 runs and took the total to 387. His 112 in the next Test at Port of Spain led to India's first victory over West Indies. He hit another 150 in the 4th Test after Indian Cricket team were 70 for 6. His 642 runs in the series stood as an Indian record for five days before Sunil Gavaskar went past it. It was India's first victory over West Indies in a series.
Domestic Cricket Career of Dilip Sardesai
Dilip Sardesai played for Bombay Crickete Team in the Ranji Trophy in 13 seasons, including 10 finals, and never finished in a losing side. He scored 199 against Rajasthan Cricket team in the 1967 final. In the semi-final against the same team two years later, he was Mankaded by Kailash Ghattani. The final first-class match for Dilip Sardesai was the famous Ranji final against Madras Cricket team in 1972-1973, which ended on the first ball of the third day. Dilip Sardesai scored over 1,000 first-class runs in three domestic seasons, with a career best of 1,429 runs in 1964-1965, which included his highest first-class score, 222, for Associated Cement Company against Indian Starlets in the final of the Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup Tournament.
Personal Life of Dilip Sardesai
Dilip Sardesai is survived by his wife, Nandini, who is a sociologist and a member of the Indian Censor Board for motion pictures. His son Rajdeep earned a blue for Oxford University in cricket.
Dilip Sardesai died on 2 July 2007 after he had been admitted to Bombay Hospital in Mumbai on 23 June 2007 following a chest infection.
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