Born in 1940, Dilip Narayan Sardesai, the only Goa-born cricketer to play for India, was regarded as one of the best batsmen of his time against spin bowling. In a career that spanned over a decade, Sardesai scored more than 10,000 first-class runs representing Mumbai Ranji team and India. It was in recognition of his achievements that search giant Google decided to pay homage to the right-hand batsman on his 78th birthday with a doodle.
Known as Indian cricket’s ‘renaissance man’, Sardesai had made his mark in the inter-university Rohinton Baria Trophy in 1959–60 where he made 435 runs at an average of 87. A year later, he made his Test debut in 1961 against England – an opponent he developed a liking for in the coming years, scoring tons of runs against them. Interestingly, Sardesai’s international debut came even before he had played a single domestic match for Mumbai.
He established himself as one of the finest Indian batsmen when India was touring the Carribean, seeking a first-ever win against the West Indies, then led by Sir Gary Sobers. Sardesai scored 212 runs in the first innings of the first Test, a knock that proved crucial in enforcing the follow-on and also made him the first Indian to score a double-century overseas.
Wow! @Google pays tribute to Dilip Sardesai on his 78th birth anniv with a Google Doodle.. not sure of the stance and video though! ???? https://t.co/8ACA54tqGr
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 8, 2018
The match ended as a draw but India won the second match that was played in Port of Spain. Sardesai continued his good form, scoring 112 runs in this game and helped his team to a strong lead. That series also proved to be the launch pad for another Indian legend – Sunil Gavaskar. Making his debut, the little master went on to score 774 runs in the five Tests, finishing as the highest scorer of the series followed by Sardesai who aggregated 642 runs.
“He showed us how to play fast bowling and in doing so gave us the confidence we needed to beat the West Indies,” Gavaskar had said in 2007. “One of his great strengths was that he was always very positive and he spread that through the team. He was a great influence on me as a player and someone I always looked up to.”
The Google Doodle was acknowledged by Dilip Sardesai’s son and a prominent journalist Rajdeep Sardesai who tweeted, “Wow! @Google pays tribute to Dilip Sardesai on his 78th birth anniv with a Google Doodle.. not sure of the stance and video though! ????”