Dilip Vengsarkar: One of India’s finest batters in the 20th century

Dilip Vengsarkar

Dilip Balwant Vengsarkar is one of the finest batters to have played the game for India at the highest level in the 70s and 80s. He was one of the most consistent batters and amassed 6868 runs including 17 centuries in the 116 Tests that he played.

Vengsarkar was one of the successful batters against the ‘Four Horsemen’ of the West Indies bowling line-up including Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts and Joel Garner and has scored six centuries against the West Indies. As the batting legend turns 67 on April 6, here’s a look at his decorated cricketing career.

Dilip Vengsarkar: One of the pillars of Indian cricket

Vengsarkar started his international career as an opening batter when he made his debut against New Zealand on January 24, 1976. He would later go on to make a memorable career as a middle-order batter. The Bombay cricketer had stitched a 300+ stand with the legendary Sunil Gavaskar in Calcutta during a 1978/79 Test match.

Vengsarkar was a member of the historic 1983 World Cup squad. Unfortunately, he could not prove his mettle and was ruled out of the tournament after being hit on the chin by a vicious delivery from Malcolm Marshall.

1985-1987 marked the best phase of his career as he scored runs consistently against West Indies, Australia, England, Pakistan, etc. In 1986, after scoring a century against England at Lord’s, he also achieved the milestone of scoring consecutive Test tons at the ‘Mecca of Cricket’ in three matches.

Vengsarkar also captained India at the twilight of his career i.e., after the 1987 World Cup till 1989 and despite having issues with the BCCI during that phase, he played for three more years before finally calling it a day on February 5, 1992.

Post his retirement, Vengsarkar found success as an administrator as he started the Elf-Vengsarkar Academy in 1995. In 2003, he went on to become the vice president of the Mumbai Cricket Association. He was also named the chairman of selectors by the BCCI in March 2006.

He currently serves as the Chief Adviser of the Cricket Association of Telangana (CAT). Vensarkar is also one of the masterminds of scouting the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni who led India to three ICC titles as captain.