Chandu Borde Biography
Chandu Borde was the first Indian to the 3,000 run-500 wicket double — a feat that has been matched only by Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri. A dependable batsman who thrived under pressure, Borde was also a useful leg-spinner and an excellent fielder, starting in the deep and finishing near the bat.
Borde scored 3,061 runs at 35.59. He was easily the best Indian batsman of his era, for during his tenure he had scored 634 runs more than any other Indian. He also had 52 wickets, albeit at 46.48, and 37 catches — from 55 Tests. At First-Class level he had 12,805 runs at 40.91 and 331 wickets at 27.32.
He was an all-round strokeplayer, but in an era of mavericks like Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, ML Jaisimha, Farokh Engineer, and Salim Durani, Borde was often the fulcrum around which Indian batting revolved. His first major performance came in 1958-59 at Kotla, where India avoided a near-impossible defeat: Borde top-scored with 109 in the first innings, and as India fought to save innings defeat sans the services of the injured Polly Umrigar and Vijay Manjrekar, he fought back with 96. He hooked a bouncer from Roy Gilchrist that was racing to the fence, but he trod on to the stumps to miss out on twin tons.
Borde played a stellar role in India’s 1961-62 series win over England, scoring 314 runs at 44.85, and capturing 16 wickets at 28.75. Three years later, when India needed 32 to win with 2 wickets in hand, a calm Borde saw them home. When India were thrashed by West Indies in 1966-67, Borde scored 121 and 125.
With Pataudi pulling out the Adelaide Test of 1967-68, Borde led India for the only time in his career; India lost by 174 runs. He topped the batting charts with 242 runs at 48.40 during India’s famous win in New Zealand, 1967-68, but played only one more Test.
The selection committee, headed by Vijay Merchant, lay emphasis on youth: they appointed a young captain in Ajit Wadekar and roped in the likes of Gundappa Viswanath and Sunil Gavaskar. Unfortunately, this also meant end of the road for Borde.
Borde became Chairman of Selection Committee twice, from 1984 to 1986 and from 1999 to 2002. He managed India on their 1989 tour of Pakistan, and more importantly, on their 2007 tour to England following Greg Chappell’s resignation. India created history by winning a series in England after 21 years.
Borde was honoured with the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, and five years before that, with Padma Bhushan.