Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar has no doubt that Kapil Dev is India’s best cricketer of all time. Terming him a “complete cricketer”, Gavaskar said that the 1983 World Cup-winning captain will always be the number one cricketer the country has ever produced.
“Top of everything would be Kapil Dev, he would be No. 1. For me, he is the best. All-time No. 1 will always be Kapil Dev.”
Gavaskar, who guided India to victory at the World Series Cricket in 1985, stated that Kapil Dev could win matches for the country with both the bat and the ball. The legend is regarded as the greatest cricketer to have ever played the game and is considered among the likes of Wasim Akram, Sir Ian Botham and Sir Richard Hadlee.
“He could win the match with the bat and with the ball. He would take the wickets and win the match for you. He would score a scorching hundred or quickfire 80-90 and turn the game around. He made an impact with the bat. He made an impact with the ball. Don’t forget all those catches he took. So he was a complete cricketer.”
Kapil Dev’s widespread exploits on the field
There are a handful of occasions when Kapil Dev took India home by excelling in any of the three departments.
The most notable ones are his unbeaten 175 against Zimbabwe at the 1983 World Cup at Tunbridge Wells, after India were reduced to 17 for 5; his 16-over long spell with a sprained thigh to pick 5 for 28 against Australia in Melbourne in 1981, and the catch he took running backwards to dismiss Sir Vivian Richards in the final of the 1983 World Cup.
Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar played in 87 Tests and 97 ODIs together between 1978 and 1987.
Kapil Dev retired in 1994 with 9031 runs and 697 wickets from 131 Tests and 225 ODIs.Published 27 Aug 2020, 13:45 IST