Chandu Borde speaks out his mind
During his playing days, Chandu Borde never had a problem countering questions thrown at him by fast bowlers. Having been associated with the game for more than half a century now, his passion for cricket remains intact and he has no qualms speaking his mind. Borde for one is not totally against the idea of experimenting with youngsters in the Indian team but has an apprehension that too much of experimentation would lead the team nowhere. "It is nice to see a lot of talented youngsters in the squad. But one also needs experienced players in the team to guide them. You can experiment but definitely not at the cost of losing a series," he says referring to the Indian team's defeat in one-day series in the ongoing West Indies tour. Borde's career got off to a flying start in 1958 when he scored 109 and 96 against the deadly West Indian attack in his debut series. A more than useful leg spinner, he also got a chance to lead the country against Australia in the absence of Nawab of Pataudi (junior), which was certainly a prestigious moment in his career.
Agile on the field
He was also electric on the field. Good fielders like Yuvraj and Kaif always contribute to the team irrespective of their batting form, says Borde. But still, he cannot accept the omission of V.V.S Laxman from the ODI's, for the sole reason that he is not quick enough. "V.V.S is a specialist slip fielder and everyone knows the importance of that position. Instead of dropping a class player like him, it would be better to make him field in positions which do not demand faster legs," he feels. Borde, who has also served as manager of the Indian team, has had interesting experiences while on tour. It was close to midnight at Sialkot, when Indians toured Pakistan in 1989, and Borde, who was the team manager then, heard a tapping sound from the ceiling of the room where he stayed. Since the noise was disturbing, he walked up and opened the door of the room upstairs, only to see a determined youngster trying to correct his strokes standing in front of a mirror. His enthusiasm was so high that he tapped the floor every time he got ready to face the imaginary ball. "I was stunned to see the young boy's passion for the game and at that very moment I thought the lad was someone totally different from the others. I was right," says Borde. The 16-year-old, who was then on his debut tour with the senior Indian cricket team, went on to become India's greatest batsman ever.
Yes, it was Sachin Tendulkar. "He is a master, no doubt. The team is sorely missing his services at the ongoing tour. Just like any other player it is going to be difficult for Sachin to make a comeback into the Indian team after an injury lay-off. But he is a genius and knows of ways to handle such situations," the former Chairman of Selection Committee adds. Borde, who represented the country in 55 Test matches, also expressed happiness over the Board of Cricket Control in India's gesture towards retired players, by providing them financial support in the form of pension and also commended its plan to provide monetary help to develop other sports as well. G. PRASAD