Former Indian Captain and the Test cricket legend, Sunil Gavaskar, turns 71 today. The former right-handed batsman has made a historic contribution to Indian cricket in which he went to score 10,000+ Test runs for the country. Gavaskar was the first cricketer ever to surpass the 10,000 runs mark in the longest format of the sport.
Sunil Gavaskar was also an integral member of India’s 1983 World Cup winning team.
In his extravagant career, the former Indian skipper has played 125 Tests in which he scored 10,122 runs with 34 centuries to his name. He also played 108 ODIs in which he gathered 3,093 runs to his account. Sunil Gavaskar 25,834 runs in his first-class cricket career.
On his birthday, let’s have a look at five interesting facts about the legendary cricketer:
1. 13 TEST CENTURIES AGAINST WEST INDIES:
During his career, Gavaskar scored 13 massive centuries against the mighty West Indies. The Caribbean side was one of the most aggressive and toughest oppositions at the time and had won 1975 and 1979 World Cups as well.
Their bowling unit comprised of the likes of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, and Sir Andy Robers. Gavaskar’s 13 centuries against WI is the maximum by any Indian against one single opposition. Overall, it is at the 2nd place with Sir Don Bradman at the top with 19 centuries against England.
2. MAXIMUM RUNS IN TEST DEBUT:
1971 was the year when Gavaskar made his Test debut and scored a smashing 774 runs against the Windies in four matches, the maximum by any player in debut Test series. It is also the joint second-highest by any cricketer in a Test series with four matches, with Sir Vivian Richards leading the charts by 829 runs in 4 games in 1976 series.
3. 188 AT LORD’S IN MCC BICENTENNIAL MATCH:
It might come as a surprise for many fans to know that Sunil Gavaskar never made a century at the Lord’s. But in MCC Bicentennial match between MCC and Rest of the World XI, Gavaskar smashed a 188 for ROW XI, when he opened the innings. He missed out on a double century after he was caught and bowled by Ravi Shastri.
4. FIRST PLAYER TO SCORE 10,000 TEST RUNS:
Well, we just mentioned this in start of this article. Gavaskar, who is known for his techniques and mind-blowing batting skills, went on to become the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in the Test match format. He reached the landmark in his 124th Test, against arch-rivals Pakistan. The match, though, ended in a draw.
5. HAIRCUT DURING A MATCH:
In the first Test against England at Manchester, Sunil Gavaskar got a haircut in the middle of the match from umpire Dickie Bird at Old Trafford. That’s right, this is exactly what happened. Batting amid windy conditions. Gavaskar was annoyed with hair blocking his sight.
He request the umpire to trim his hair, and the umpire took the pair of scissors he uses to cut the threads from the seam of the cricket ball to do so. Gavaskar went on to score a brave 101 in the match, but England won the Test by 202 runs.
Along with being an outstanding player, Sunil Gavaskar is also known for his witty and funny commentary and hosting. We wish the legendary former Indian captain a very happy birthday. Leave your best wishes in the comments below.
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