Sunil Gavaskar is widely regarded as one of the greatest openers of all time in Test cricket. The mainstay of Indian batting in the 1970s and 1980s, Gavaskar was the first player in history to aggregate 10,000 runs in the longest format.
He finished with 10,122 Test runs from 125 matches at an average of 51.12 including 34 centuries. Moreover, his best performance came against the No. 1 team of that era – the West Indies.
Gavaskar played 27 Tests against the West Indies, scoring 2749 runs at an incredible average of 65.45 with 13 hundreds.
Recently, former India wicketkeeper Kiran More weighed in on the greatness of Gavaskar and surprised everyone by saying that the latter was “one of the worst players” he has seen in the nets.
“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’.”
More hailed Gavaskar’s concentration for his prolific run-scoring against all kinds of attack.
“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,” he added.
Kiran More also recalled a domestic match in which Gavaskar got out for less than 50 and how upon returning to the dressing room, he vented out his anger for not getting a big score.
“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.
“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,” More revealed.
Sunil Gavaskar, the 1983 World Cup-winner, also went on to prove his mettle in ODIs. He made 3,092 at a highly respectable average of 35.1 in his times, including an 88-ball ton versus New Zealand to put all the scrutiny surrounding his limited-overs batting to rest.