Chetan Chauhan , had participated in 40 Test matches for India. Chauhan, though, born in Uttar Pradesh, shifted to Poona in the state of Maharashtra, in 1960, due to the transfer of his father, an army officer. He graduated from Wadia College in Poona. Admission in college was instrumental for directing Chetan towards cricket. At college, he came across the ex-Maharashtra player, Kamal Bhandarkar. This man trained him in the game, and inculcated within him a passion for cricket.
Chauhan appeared for the Poona University in the Rohinton Baria trophy in 1966-67. His prowess got him chosen for the West Zone squad, taking part in the inter-zonal Vizzy Trophy in the same season in 1967. He was elected as a member of the Maharashtra Ranji team, owing to his accomplishment in the Vizzy Trophy.
Chauhan rested on the laurels of a hundred for the first time, in the following year. He was then the first wicket and remained on the field, playing till at the end he was out. This was simply outstanding on his part, since, it was a rain-worsened wicket on which he had to play, while the first six wickets had crumbled down only for a meagre 52.
He hit a valiant 103, opposing five Test bowlers against South Zone in the crucial final of the Duleep Trophy.
His own rare gifts, paved his way of inclusion into the Team. He was selected for Team India, in 1969-70.
The partnership of Gavaskar and Chauhan, turned out to be one of the most celebrated joint-ventures with ten centuries.
Chauhan was accurate in getting exactly behind the line of the ball .It was , hence extremely challenging for the baffled bowlers, to send this steady and persevering batsman, out of the crease.
At the age of 22, he performed his debut against New Zealand at Mumbai in September 1969. He also featured in the team against Australia, the same season. Post the Australian tour he was dropped, as he failed to leave an indelible impression.
Meanwhile, Chauhan, demonstrated his qualities in the dazzling Ranji matches of 1972-73. Alone in 1972-73, Chauhan procured 873 runs for Maharashtra which was the second highest total score for the contemporary season. He escalated the towering heights of 200s in successive matches, against Gujarat and Vidarbha. Chauhan and Madhu Gupte created an opening stand of 405 in the following match. Amidst the radiance of these double centuries, he strove but failed in two Tests, rivalling England. For the next five years, he did not appear in any Test. Chauhan even played for Delhi and the North Zone in 1975.
In 1976-77, he fetched a profound 158 against Haryana, overcoming the obstructions of a fractured jaw. He landed up with a 200 runs against Punjab, a147, defeating Karnataka and, 150 against the Central Zone. Finally his handsome hundred in the Duleep trophy, in the next season compelled the enchanted selectors to recall this man to the team touring Australia. Chauhan was awesome in this Australian tour of 1977-78.
Chauhan marched forward with a brilliant 157 within 516 minutes against the Australian state of Victoria in his first match of the tour. His hundred composed of only two boundaries. Chauhan had succeeded Paul Hibbert of Victoria, who had previously secured a hundred without a single four.
Again in the second Test at Perth, he reached a worth mentioning 88 in his very first innings. Chauhan henceforth, had always taken part in almost all the Tests, till the end of his career, except one. Most of the times, he had inaugurated every match with Sunil Gavaskar.
Standing in Lahore against Pakistan, this astounding pair, furnished the team with 192, and 117 & 153 against West Indies in Bombay.
In 1979, in England the zealous partners added a fabulous 213 in the second innings at the Oval, although India lagged behind the target of 438, only by nine runs. In 1980-81, he squashed Australia to fetch 249 runs in three Tests, siding with Gavaskar's 118. He fell short of hundred only by three runs in Adelaide. In the latter Test at Melbourne, he attained 85 and put on 165 with Gavaskar.
In the subsequent trip to New Zealand, Chauhan gathered 78 in the second Test and 36 & 7 in the third one.
This last Test turned out to be the final Test for Chauhan, as he did not get any further invitation in future. He pocketed 3022 runs with Gavaskar in the course of their 59 opening assignments. His Test total had culminated to 2084 runs, involving 16 fifties but no centuries. Chauhan had also represented India in 7 One -Day Internationals, scoring 153 runs.
This indomitable man was insurmountable even in his penultimate first class match, which was the Ranji final against Bombay in 1985. He retained vigour to subdue the opponent with a blazing 98 and 54 with a broken finger.
After retirement, Chauhan rose as a selector from the North Zone. He entered politics, and got elected as a member of the Lok Sabha of the Indian Parliament from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh in 1991 and 1998.
At present he is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Chauhan was bestowed upon the Arjuna award in 1981.
It is always said that a concerted effort bears quickly the fruit. Gavaskar has been a born genius no doubt, but he owes a lot to the appropriate and deserving partner, Chetan Chauhan, who had the calibre to give their partnership, the desired consolidation.
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