He played two test matches for India in 1958. Manohar Shankar Hardikar was an All-rounder, a solid right-hand middle order batsman, and a medium pace bowler.
Manohar Shankar Hardikar holds a unique record of getting out of the very first ball faced in International Cricket. He was dismissed by Roy Gilchrist. In the very same match Manohar Shankar he took a wicket in his very first over in Test cricket by sending back Rohan Kanhai. In the second innings of that test match, he scored a match saving 32 not out and put on 85 runs partnership with G.S. Ramchand, who is famously known as Gulabrai Sipahimalani Ramchand
In the next and his last test match, he was nearly killed when a high full-toss delivery grazed his head and went for four. Manohar Shankar Hardikar never represented India again in international matches but was unconditionally involved in the debate that led to the resignation of Polly Umrigar, later in the same series.
At the domestic level, Manohar Shankar Hardikar represented Bombay Cricket Team from 1955 -1956 seasons to 1967-1968 seasons. He took his career best figures of 8-39 against Bengal in the Ranji final in his first year of first class cricket. He also had the privilege to captain the Bombay Cricket Team in twelve matches; He won five and drew the rest 7 matches under his captaincy. He was the captain of Bombay Cricket Team when they crowned champions in 1965 to 1966 and 1967 to 1968 seasons.