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"Sunil Gavaskar didn't want to get killed in West Indies"- Anshuman Gaekwad opens up on Virat Kohli's paternity leave

Sunil Gavaskar (left) and Virat Kohli (Photo: ICC)
Sunil Gavaskar (left) and Virat Kohli (Photo: ICC)
Modified 05 Jan 2021, 06:59 IST

Former Indian cricketer and coach Anshuman Gaekwad has opined on Team India skipper Virat Kohli's paternity leave topic by sharing an anecdote from India's 1975-76 tour of the West Indies.

Kohli, who didn't feature in the second Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, will also miss the final two Tests as he has returned home to be alongside his wife, Anushka Sharma, for the birth of their first child.

Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar found himself in a similar situation as his son, Rohan, was born while he was away on the West Indies tour. But Gavaskar stayed put. 

India chased down 403 in the fourth innings of the third Test at the Port of Spain to level the series at 1-1. Gavaskar was one of the architects of the win with a century.

Sunil Gavaskar was in West Indies when his son Rohan was born in 1976.
Sunil Gavaskar was in West Indies when his son Rohan was born in 1976.

West Indies captain Clive Lloyd resorted to intimidatory bowling in the final Test that saw Gaekwad and Brijesh Patel retiring hurt in the first innings and as many as five Indian batsmen being absent hurt in the second innings.

Gaekwad had himself scored a gritty 81 in the first innings, sharing a 136-run opening stand with Gavaskar. Gaekwad was then retired hurt and couldn't bat in the second innings as India lost the controversial Test by 10 wickets.

He said,

"1976 in West Indies. That Jamaica Test match which we talk about – the bloodbath. Sunil [Gavaskar] complained to the umpires about the bouncers and beamers that were being bowled at us. The umpire just laughed it off. Sunil lost his cool. For the first time, I had ever seen him lose his cool at the ground and that too while batting. He threw his gloves and bat and started walking around." 
"I told him, 'Sunny, relax. What happened?' he said, 'I don't want to get killed here. I want to go home and see my son, who's just born. That's the difference between then and now."

Anshuman Gaekwad supports Virat Kohli

Despite Virat Kohli deciding to return home in the midst of the ongoing Test series, Gaekwad supports the Indian skipper's decision. He said,

"It all depends on the individual. You cannot hurt anyone's sentiments and emotions. If one feels I have to be there then no question. Be it a Test, or ODI or the World Cup."

Gaekwad also warned Team India against complacency as they won the second Test at Melbourne without Kohli. Gaekwad added,

"(We are winning) but we shouldn't take it easy. Cricket is a very funny game. One day it will take you to the top, and the very next moment it will throw you down so badly, you will not know where to go," the 68-year-old further added.

Having tied the series 1-1 at Melbourne, India will take on Australia for the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from Thursday.


However, Team India will be without the likes of Kohli, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav for the remainder of the series.

Published 05 Jan 2021, 06:59 IST
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