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Dilip Sardesai passes away
July 02, 2007 21:56 IST
Last Updated: July 02, 2007 23:26 IST
Former Test cricketer Dilip Sardesai, who was considered India's best batsman against spin bowling, died in Mumbai on Monday of multiple-organ failure.
Sardesai, 66, who was admitted to Bombay Hospital late last month with chest infection, was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit last night after he developed complications. His end came late this evening.
Sardesai is survived by wife, son and noted television journalist Rajdeep, and a daughter, who is in the US.
Suffering from kidney problems for a long time, he had been on dialysis and had been off-and-on in and out of hospital.
Born on August 8, 1940 at Margao, Goa [Images], Sardesai made his Test debut against England [Images] at Kanpur in December 1961 and played his last Test against the same team at Delhi in December 1972.
During a career spanning 11 years, Sardesai played 30 Tests and scored 2001 runs in 55 innings with an average of 39.23 helped by a double century and four centuries.
However, he is most remembered for his stellar performance during the tour of the West Indies [Images] in 1970-71, when Sunil Gavaskar [Images] made his Test debut, by hitting up a double century and two centuries that powered India to a historic first-ever series victory in the Caribbean.
His selection for the tour of the West Indies came when his international career had appeared to be virtually over.
Sardesai also played a key role in India's Oval Test victory in the summer of 1971.
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Sardesai was known for his immaculate footwork, especially against the spinners and a sound defence that was a model for many aspiring cricketers.
Though predominantly a defensive batsman, Sardesai could also go into the attacking mode when needed and fine example of this came when he scored one of India's fastest centuries against New Zealand [Images] in 1964-65.
BCCI President Sharad Pawar [Images] and Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee condoled Sardesai's death.
So far the lone Goa-born cricketer to play Test cricket, Sardesai aggregated 642 runs, the second highest after Gavaskar's 774, in the 1970-71 series in the West Indies.
During the 15 years he played for Mumbai in Ranji Trophy, the team never lost a single match in the premier domestic competition.