Google has paid tribute to the late Indian Test cricketer Dilip Sardesai on the occasion of his 78th birth anniversary, honouring him with a Google Doodle that went live today on the homepage of the search engine.
Known as the “Renaissance man of Indian cricket”, Dilip was the only Goa-born cricketer to play for India, and was regarded as India’s best batsman against spin bowling. Sardesai, in his 12-year-long illustrious career scored 10,230 runs in 179 first class games and an additional 2001 in his 30 Tests for India.
Sardesai marked his cricket debut in the inter-university Rohinton Baria Trophy in 1959–60 where he made 435 runs at an average of 87. He made his first-class cricket debut for Indian Universities against the touring Pakistan team at Pune.
Dilip’s son Rajdeep – a senior journalist, presenter, author and a former cricketer – took to Twitter to express his joy after Google honoured his father with a doodle.
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 8, 2018
Dilip made his Test debut in the second match of the 1961 India-England Series at the Green Park, Kanpur. He 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. Contractor’s injury created a place for Sardesai in the Indian team.
Sardesai’s career had seemed over when he was picked for the Indian tour of West Indies in 1970–71. In the First Test at Kingston, India lost the first five wickets for 75, before 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 Fourth Test after India were 70 for 6. His 642 runs in the series stood as an Indian record for five days before Sunil Gavaskar went past it.
Sardesai played for Bombay in the Ranji Trophy in 13 seasons, between 1961 and 1973, including 10 finals, and never finished on the losing side. He scored 199 against Rajasthan in the 1967 final. In the semi-final against the same team two years later, he was Mankaded by Kailash Ghattani. Sardesai’s final first-class match was the famous Ranji Trophy final against Madras in 1972–73, which ended on the first ball of the third day. Sardesai scored over 1,000 first-class runs in three domestic seasons, with the best season aggregate of 1,429 runs in 1964–65, which included his highest first-class score of 222, for Associated Cement Company against Indian Starlets in the final of the Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup Tournament..