Chandrasekhar was a swashbuckling batsman capable of matching even his state teammate Kris Srikkanth for strokeplay. © Getty
Former India and Tamil Nadu cricketer VB Chandrasekhar passed away aged 57 in Chennai on Thursday (August 15). Chandrasekhar, fondly referred to as VB, played seven ODIs for India between 1988 and 1990 and was a stalwart of the Tamil Nadu team through the late 80s and early 90s, playing a leading role in the state’s triumph in the 1987-88 season with 551 runs – the third-highest behind Brijesh Patel and Robin Singh.
Chandrasekhar was a swashbuckling batsman capable of matching even his state teammate Kris Srikkanth for strokeplay. In the Irani Cup clash against Rest of India post-Tamil Nadu’s triumph in March 1988, Chandrasekhar blasted a 56-ball century – the then fastest hundred in India’s premier first-class competition. That innings caught the eye of the national selectors, earning him a call up to the Indian ODI with a debut eventually coming against New Zealand at Visakhapatnam.
He didn’t make much of an impression in the four games of that series, managing a solitary half-century at Indore. Three single-digit scores on the 1990 tour of New Zealand ended his sojourn at the international level. But Chandrasekhar remained a towering presence on the domestic circuit. He made 572 runs in the 1991-92 season and went on to lead the Tamil Nadu side. He moved on to Goa for the final leg of his first-class career, for whom he scored a personal best 237* against Kerala.
Post his playing career, Chandrasekhar served as the national selector and also coached the Tamil Nadu team during the 2012-13 season. He was appointed team director of the Chennai Super Kings franchise during the inception of the Indian Premier League in 2008 and played a key role in convincing N. Srinivasan to pick MS Dhoni over Virender Sehwag as the team’s marquee signing.