Kiran More, former Indian wicket-keeper, took us back to a little tour down the memory lane about the great player Sunil Gavaskar, expressing his surprise about the extreme contrast performance of the player on the field and in the nets.
Sunil Gavaskar was the first player in the history of cricket to score 10000 Test runs and finished with 10,122 runs from 125 matches and 34 centuries, making him one of the legends of cricket.
However, Kiran More, who played with Gavaskar for nearly four years, said that the ace batsman would struggle against the bowlers in the nets while on the field, would roar like a Lion.
“He was one of the worst players I’ve ever seen in the nets,” More said on The Greatest Rivalry podcast. “He used to never like practising in the nets. When you see him practice in the nets and he’s going to play in a Test match tomorrow, and when he goes and bats in a Test match it’s 99.9 per cent different. When you see him bat in the nets it’s like ‘How is he going to score runs?’ And then when you see him next day morning it’s like ‘Wow’.”
Gavaskar fearlessly attacked against some of the deadly and dangers bowlers in the world, including the famous West Indies fast-bowling quartet and Australia’s pace duo of Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee and did so without wearing a helmet for most part of his career. When in the zone, as More puts it, Gavaskar was untouchable.
“The best God-given gift given to Sunil Gavaskar is his concentration. The level of concentration he had was unbelievable. Once he would get into his zone, nobody could get close to him or he would not listen to you. If you’re talking next to him or dancing next to him, he’ll be in his zone and he’ll be focussing on his cricket,” the former India wicketkeeper added.
More recalled a domestic match he’d played with Gavaskar where the batsman scored less than 50 runs and upon returning to the dressing room, how he was highly upset with himself for not scoring decent runs.
“Sunil was very disciplined. I remember when I came into the Indian team, we played a lot of domestic cricket together for the West Zone. I remember a Test match at Wankhede and Sunil got out for about 40 or 30. And when he came back, there was nobody in the dressing room. Everybody was running around, in every corner they were trying to hide,” More revealed.
“He came inside the dressing room and he threw his gloves, he was so upset because he got out for 30 or 40. He used to never like it. If he got out for a duck or five runs or 10 runs, he’s fine, but if he’s batting there for one hour and gets out, he used to hate that. ‘How can I get out?’ But he was very highly regarded, respected in the dressing room.”
Sunil Gavaskar hung his shoes in 1987 while Kiran More was last seen playing a Test series against Sri Lanka in 1993.
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