Sunil Gavaskar Biography
Sunil Manohar Gavaskar is a former Indian cricketer, born on 10th July 1949, in erstwhile Bombay, now Mumbai. The technically sound right-handed batsman held the Indian fort at the top-order against trepid fast-bowlings in the 1970s and 1980s.
At the age of 17, Gavaskar was selected as ‘India’s Best Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year’ in 1966. The youngster made the first-class debut for Vazir Sultan Colt’s XI against Dungarpur XI in the annual Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup tournament, 1966-67.
Soon he made his way through Bombay Ranji squad, but a poor outing in the 1967 Irani Cup against Rest of India meant he had to make his Ranji Trophy debut in 1969-1970 against Mysore.
He rectified his duck on his debut with consecutive tons in next three matches.
Gavaskar’s 65 and unbeaten 67 on his international test debut in the second test at Port of Spain in March 1971 scripted India’s first ever test victory against West Indies. His dominating 774 runs in 4 matches still remains the most runs in a debut test series.
Gavaskar scored 28 in his ODI debut against England in July 1974 at Headingley.
Rise to Glory
Gavaskar flaunted his calibre fullest during 1976-80, averaging 62.28 which included series in West Indies, England, Australia and Pakistan.
Touring England in 1979, he played an outstanding knock of 221 at Oval. The little master’s highest test-knock came against West Indies in Chennai, when he scored an unbeaten 236.
Gavaskar crossed 1000-test run four times (1976, 1978, 1979, 1983) in a single year.
After a glorious arrival, Gavaskar’s average dipped below 28 over the next four years. He had a disastrous England tour in 1984, scoring only 140 runs in eight innings.
Gavaskar could not flourish in ODI and averaged 35.13 in 108 ODI’s with a solitary ton against New Zealand. His unbeaten 36 runs off 174 deliveries playing entire 60 overs in 1975 World Cup game against England generated a massive controversy.
Handing out a defeat to Australia in Melbourne in 1981 was the most cherished moment of Gavaskar’s test captaincy since taking charge in January 1976. He captained India for 47 tests, winning nine and losing in eight.
He was handed over ODI captaincy in December 1980. Winning the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985 remained a glorious success in his 38-match (14 won, 19 lost) tremulous captaincy tenure.
Gavaskar's Record in Numbers
Gavaskar was the first batsman in the test to scale the 10000-run mountain and had the most test tons (34), until Sachin Tendulkar crossed the tally. He was part of the 1983 World Cup winning team.
Gavaskar’s heroic 96 could not save India in his last test innings against Pakistan in March 1987. In November, India lost to England in the 1987 World Cup semi-final in his hometown.
He announced his retirement soon after that.
Post-retirement he refereed one test and five ODI’s, before donning hat of a television commentator and a columnist. Gavaskar handled various responsibilities with the BCCI and was nominated as the chairman of ICC cricket committee.