Chandrakant Gulabrao Borde, popularly known as Chandu Borde, was one of India’s ideal all-rounders from 1960’s to 1970’s. The Pune born cricketer was the Indian fortification when the chips were down. Born July 21, 1934, Borde was India’s stalwarts who was hard-working, dedicated, and passionate about the sport.
In his cricketing career, Borde has come to India’s rescue numerous times. A class middle-order-batsman with a safe pair of hands on the field and could collect wickets with his spin, the former India captain never backed down from a fight, even if it meant for him to walk in at number 10 and have a go.
Making his debut in first-class cricket in 1952, Borde represented Maharashtra and it was in a match against Bombay, where he came out to bat when the score read 74/6 and smashed a half-century. In the coming matches as well, Borde shined with the ball by picking up a fifer. He switched teams and represented Baroda, where he spent the rest of his first-class career.
It was during a tour game between Baroda and West Indies in 1958, where Borde shined, earning him a chance to play for the Indian national cricket team.
Making his debut for India in 1958, Borde did not create an instant impact like the way he did for Baroda as India hosted the mighty West Indies in Mumbai. In the two Test matches Borde played, he scored only 20 runs and was dismissed twice for ducks.
The batting all-rounder was dropped for the third Test, but on being included in the fourth Test in Chennai, Borde bounced back and scored a half-century in his second innings. In the fifth Test against Windies, Borde imposed his dominance by scoring a century (109) in the first innings, followed by 96 in the second innings.
After showcasing his skills in the series against West Indies, Borde was called for the series against England (1961-9162). The all-rounder scored 314 runs and claimed 16 wickets. When England returned to India, Borde claimed his first and only five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
Today, on his birthday, here are a few lesser-known facts about Chandu Borde:
Saving Nari Contractor’s Life: In a match against West Indies, Nari Contractor was struck on the head through a Charlie Griffith bouncer. Borde immediately rushed to help Contractor and donated blood to save his life.
One Test Captain: Borde was made captain only for one Test against Australia in 1967-68. In Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi’s absence, Borde led the Indian side where he scored a gritty 69. Pataudi returned for the next match and continued his duty as captain.
Selection Role: Borde continued his work in cricket as he was included in the National Selection Team and played a major role in forming the 1983 World Cup winning side as well. Borde’s greatest selection was Mohammad Azharuddin.
Manager Role: Borde served the role of manager in 1989 and in his squad, was a young 16-year-old batsman named Sachin Tendulkar. Many years later after being recalled, Borde managed the Indian squad which won the Test series in England 1-0 in 2007.