Balwinder Sandhu

Balwinder Sandhu

Balwinder Sandhu is a former international cricketer who played for India as a medium-fast bowler and a handy tailender.

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Balwinder Sandhu is a former international cricketer who played for India as a medium-fast bowler and a handy tailender. He played a crucial role for India in lifting the 1983 World Cup trophy. He was originally an inswinger bowler but later added out-swing to his armory while playing in Kanga Cricket League. Balwinder Sandhu playing days photo.His father was working in the Public Health department of the Punjab Government till 1948 and then shifted to Bombay (now Mumbai). He joined the Railways as a Ticket collector.He started watching cricket at the age of three. He used to play near his house during childhood with a tennis ball. After shifting to Nehru Nagar in Kurla, he saw the bigger ground and decided to play there. However, it was dirty so Balwinder (at that time he was 14 years old) thought of cleaning it with his friends. They all cleaned it and made a pitch right in the center of the ground and this started the rise of Balwinders interest in cricket.When he was 16 years old, he went to a summer vacation camp organized by the Bombay Cricket Association. He revealed, The only reason I went there was because all my friends were going, and I didnt know what to do. I was good at tennis ball cricket and used to bowl off-spinners as well as bat very well. But I wasnt interested in leather ball cricket and was a bit scared while batting. Baba Sidhaye was the coach at that time, and he was quite impressed by my bowling. Although I got selected, I wasnt very serious for two-three years. He started becoming serious in cricket after joining Jhunjhunwala College where his performance got drastically improved and that instilled more passion in him. In that phase, he took 25 wickets in three matches.Remembering his experience with Ramakant Achrekar, he told, When I was playing in Achrekar Sirs team, he used to say, Tumhare paas inswing achha hai, usko develop karo, [you have good inswing, you should develop it]. In matches organized by Sir, I used to bowl 20-25 overs in a game. That helped in my accuracy. Later on, I came to know that Achrekar Sir had given instruction to all the captains, Ye Sardar ki bowling band nahin karne ki. Jab tak isko maar nahin padti ya ye thak nahin jaata, [Dont stop this Sardars bowling till he is hit for runs or he tires out].He played his maiden first-class game in 1980-81 for Bombay when their regular fast bowler Karsan Ghavri was out of the game as he was playing international cricket. Sandhu did not get a chance to play in the first two games but eventually, he debut against Gujarat where he took nine wickets. Still, he was kept out of the side to play the final against Delhi. Its only when Ravi Kulkarni was dropped out, he came into the side where he took nine wickets in that match. He bowled the opening spell and helped Bombay to Delhi at 18 for 5 at one stage. He ended with nine wickets in that match and 25 wickets at an average of 18.72 in the whole tournament.Before that tournament, he played Sind Sports Club at Kanga Cricket League in 1979 for Rajasthan. In the first match, he took four wickets for 36 runs and helped his side bowled out United Cricketers for 90 runs. In the next match, he took 7 for 35 against Shivaji Park Gymkhana. [3]Mid-Day.His entry to the Indian team came when he took five wickets in the Irani Trophy and eight wickets in a Duleep Trophy for West Zone in the 1982-83 season. He also scored 56 runs while batting at number 11 for West Zone.As Madan Lal was out of the match due to a Heel Bone injury, Sandhu got the chance to play the fourth test at Hyderabad where he dismissed Mohsin Khan and Haroon Rashid off the successive deliveries. However, Javed Miandad and Mudassar Nazar went on to set the World record partnership of 451 runs. Sandhu then scored quickfire 71 runs while batting at number nine and had a crucial partnership with Mohinder Amarnath. These 71 runs came at a time when India was 72 for 7.In the following season against West Indies at Bridgetown, he scored 68 runs in the first inning. In the next test, he dismissed three Caribbean batters for just one run.


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