Bhagwat Subramanya Chandrasekhar was born on 17th May 1945 at Mysore. He studied there and had a passion for cricket from a very early age.
Bhagwat Chandrasekhar had a polio attack in his childhood that affected his arms but he turned his handicap into an advantage. Taking a long run up and bouncing before he delivered, he bowled fast and sharp googlies and venomous top spinners at almost a medium pace of about a hundred kilometres an hour from the back of his hand with a whiplash action. He was a right hand bat and a leg break bowler. He used his wrist, flexing it any way he wanted. He could not throw the ball with his right hand. He could only bowl with it. He threw with his left hand.
He played 58 tests scoring 167 runs with a highest score of 22 that was considered alright for a tail ender but he was always considered a rabbit with the bat. He took 242 test wickets. His best bowling was 8/79. He played only one fifty over match against New Zealand. He played 246 first class matches and took 1,063 wickets. He made his test debut on 21st January 1964 against England at Bombay. He played his last test also against England at Birmingham on 16th July 1979. He played first class cricket from 1963 to 1980. He played for Karnataka.
Indian team was starved for a win abroad as it took forty two years to register their first win overseas. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar was the man who was very helpful in getting them those victories. He picked up forty two wickets in just five tests in that fateful year of 1971. He was a totally unpredictable bowler. Batsmen were all at sea against him. Once he was asked in an interview as to how he planned his attack and he replied saying that he himself did not know about what he would bowl next.
Bhagwat Chandrasekhar was erratic at times with his bowling but among the famous spin quartet, it was he that bowled the maximum number of unplayable deliveries. His remarkable bowling performance at the Oval test in 1971 when he took 6/38 got India its first series win in England. Later on, in 1978, he was also instrumental in getting India its first win in Australia by taking 12/104 in the Melbourne Test.
With slow medium pace bowlers in the side, he was often the fastest bowler in the Indian team. He turned the ball both ways with a decent pace. In the 1975 Test against West Indies at Calcutta, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi persisted with him and though he was smashed for many fours by Clive Lloyd, he still managed to bowl him and ultimately won the test for India.
Though he managed to get 22 as his highest score, he always struggled as a batsman. During the 1978 tour, the Australian team gave him a bat with a hole in the middle as a memento and he enjoyed the joke being mild in nature. A decade after he retired, he was involved in a bad car accident that left both his legs injured critically. He moves around in a wheelchair now. He is a fan of Hindi film music and likes the singing of Mukesh particularly.
Bhagwat Chandrasekhar became one of the most successful leg spin bowlers in the history of cricket. He considered Ken Barrington as the best batsman he had bowled to. Sir Vivian Richards considered Dennis Lillee and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar as the most difficult bowlers he had ever faced.