Born on May 17, 1945, in Mysore, Chandra had a polio attack at a very young age completely withering his right arm. But that did not defy the young cricket aspirant from achieving his dreams of playing for India. In fact, he went on to played 58 Test matches for India capturing 242 wickets at an average of 29.74 in an illustrious career spanning 16 years. He is considered among the best leg-spin bowlers ever to have played the game.
Chandrasekhar along with Prasanna, Bedi, and Venkataraghavan made one of the greatest spin quartets dominating spin bowling during the 1960s and 1970s.
Chandra, who honed his cricketing skills by playing with a rubber ball on the streets of Bangalore, joined the city cricketers club just to get a chance to play with the leather ball. While he tried different bowling styles his decision to play as a leg-spinner turned out to be vital as his performance went from strength to strength earning him the national call-in 1964.
He made his debut against England at Bombay taking 4 wickets in the match. The same year he was named the Indian Cricketer of the Year. His unbelievable accuracy and his extra pace took many a batsman by surprise. Chandra had a reputation for being unpredictable with most batsmen getting out by his mysterious googlies and flippers.
Chandrasekhar was one of Indian cricket’s greatest match-winners away from home. He won many accolades in his highly successful career namely the Wisden cricketer of the Year in 1972 and in 2002 he won the Wisden award for best bowling performance of the century for India for his 6 wickets for 38 runs performance against England 1971 at the Oval.
His other notable performances included the test series against New Zealand in 1976 where he along with Prasanna took 19 wickets playing a crucial part in setting up India’s historic win. Chandra went on to play a major role in India’s famous victory against Australia in 1977–78 becoming the first bowler in test history to register identical figures of 6 for 52 wickets in both innings.
He was awarded the Padmashri by the Indian government in 1972. He also has the incredibly rare record of taking more wickets than runs scored in test cricket.