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Ajit Wadekar gives major credit to Dilip Sardesai for 1971 feats

Former India skipper Ajit Wadekar today paid glowing tributes to his ex-Test and first-class teammate Dilip Sardesai, who died here last night, giving him a major credit for the historic wins over the West Indies and England in 1971.
Dilip Sardesai "It has been one long partnership lasting more than 15 years on the cricket field with Sardya. He used to call me Jitya. If we won the Test series in 1971 in the West Indies, 90 per cent of the credit belongs to Dilip," said the former left-handed batsman, who was the captained in the two series.

Sardesai's 642 runs in that series in the Caribbean went a long way in fetching India's first-ever win there and second overall overseas and was second only to then debutant Sunil Gavaskar's monumental tally of 774 (rpt 774) runs.

"He also played a crucial role in the Test victory at the Oval of the same year against England (and consequently the series win) and his two knocks in the Test, both fifties, helped bind the innings and ensured victory," Wadekar recalled.

About his contribution on the 1971 Caribbean visit, which should go down in the annals of Indian cricket as something very special, Wadekar said Sardesai's double hundred in the series opener gave the team the requisite confidence to do well against the legendary Gary Sobers-led West Indies outfit.

"It was his double hundred in the first Test that gave us tremendous confidence and then he continued in that vein right through. That phase saw him at his best as a batsman. He almost reproduced that in England too," the ex-India captain said.

Tags:- Dilip Sardesai   England   West Indies  

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