Hailing Dev as the greatest Indian player ever, the legendary opener said that the tourists' maiden Test series win in South Africa would be a perfect tribute to the all-rounder.
India need eight wickets to seal the series, while the hosts are 122 runs away from levelling the series. Speaking to host broadcaster Supersport following the end of the third day's play, Gavaskar said:
"And the way I look at it is, I mean, weather permitting, tomorrow happens to be the birthday, in my view, of India's greatest cricketer - Kapil Dev. So I think it will be a wonderful gift for Kapil from this Indian team. There are many admirers of Kapil Dev in this team. So, from this team to Kapil Dev, that will be a fantastic present,"
"India have never won a series here. In fact, India have won very few Test matches here. The last time India came here in 2018, they won the one-day series, but they lost the Test series 2-1. So this is going to be huge for India."
Kapil Dev remains the greatest-ever all-rounder India have ever produced. His record of most Test wickets by an Indian seamer (434) is still intact, almost three decades after he called it quits.
Persistent rain delays the start of proceedings in the 2nd South Africa-India Test
Meanwhile, inclement weather has delayed the start of proceedings on the fourth day of the Johannesburg Test.
Persistent rain washed out the morning session. With rain not having relented at the time of writing, it looks unlikely there would be any play on Thursday.
The match is tantalisingly poised at the moment, with both teams likely to win it. South African captain Dean Elgar led the charge for his team on the third day, batting out one and a half sessions for an unbeaten 121-ball 46.
Aiden Markram (31 off 38 balls) and Keegan Petersen (28 off 44 balls) were the two wickets India claimed on the third day.
There are almost five sessions left. However, with the weather forecast looking gloomy for the remainder of the match, the second Test could end in a draw.