Balwinder Sandhu has represented India in eight Tests and 22 One-Day Internationals. The hallmark of this talented player was that he could aptly turn the ball in both directions with ease. It was this swinging technique that used to puzzle the opponent batsman. Further, he has on many occasions turned out to be immensely useful as a productive lower-order batsman.
Sandhu got introduced to cricket by the ex-first class cricketer Yeshwant 'Baba' Sidhaye. Balwinder caught Yeshwant's attention during the summer-training camp, conducted by Yeshwant himself.
Sandhu was destined to benefit Indian Cricket. The following year he came across the awe-inspiring Ramakant Achrekar. Ultimately, he met the Ranji player Hemu Dalvi. All these figures had acted as Sandhu's guide to his final destination of cricket.
Balwinder Sandhu's shot to the limelight of first class cricket for the first time in 1980-81. He filled in the vacancy, created by the important opening bowler of Bombay, Karsan Ghavri. Ghavri was then busy with his task in the national team.
Balwinder Sandhu, did not participate in the first two matches of the season. Yet he made his first stunning appearances against Gujarat, and outstandingly procured a record nine wickets.
In the final against Delhi, he was last minute choice. He justified his inclusion, with the ravages that he caused on Delhi. He crushed the Delhi batting strength with his bowling attacks and once again pocketed 9wickets in the match.
His brilliant achievement of twenty-five wickets in that single season was obtained at an average of 18.72.
During 1982-83's Duleep Trophy match, he endeavoured for West Zone against South Zone. He came up with eight wickets and did a fabulous 56, even after batting as the eleventh batsman. His impressive performance invited him for the Indian Team's tour to Pakistan.
In his debut against Pakistan, he tried to give his best. He captured the two wickets. However, the insurmountable Pakistani players, Mudassar Nazar and Javed Miandad shattered all bowling efforts of Indian bowlers to crush their backbone. The partners made a 451.
Balwinder Sandhu, still ended up with a fair result amidst such topsy-turvy conditions. Standing at the ninth wicket, he secured the highest score of 71, that time. He continued in the same vein, by hitting a 68 in the first Test against West Indies the next month.
1983 World Cup Tournament gave him an ample scope to demonstrate his mettle. He batted at No.11 and yet added 22 runs along with Syed Kirmani. He bowled Gordon Greenhidge, by a fascinating in swinger, which receives praises even today. This new innovation in bowling action, gave India an extra support in the final.
Sandhu's contested against West Indies in his last Test., sometimes later in 1983, at Ahmedabad . He picked up one wicket, the single most that Kapil Dev couldn't annex. Kapil Dev landed up marvellous 9 wickets for 83 runs in that particular innings.
Afterwards, Balwinder Sandhu, did not make any major feat. Only, in 1984-85 Ranji semi-finals, he flaunted a shinning 98 in Bombay, against Tamil Nadu.
Sandhu has coached Mumbai and Punjab, and has served at the National Cricket Academy too. During the 1990s he joined club cricket in Kenya and also gave some cricket-training there.
To conclude, Sandhu's short stint in international cricket spanned for almost two years. Still, he filled this period with thrill and excitement, and played with much excitement and vigour as much as possible.
Batting and Fielding Averages
(Last Updated on : 24-07-2014)
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