'Can't produce Gavaskar, Sachin, Kohli, Rohit. New players can't replace them': Legendary coach Gurcharan Singh
Former first-class cricketer and legendary coach, Gurcharan Singh, who was conferred the Padma Shri this year for his contribution to Indian cricket said players like Gavaskar, Tendulkar and Kohli will always remain the greatest cricketers India has produced, and newcomers can never overshadow their legacy.
Over the years, Indian cricket has been blessed with batters, who have been world-beaters during their playing days. Singling out a few from the stalwarts of Indian cricket would be an injustice to others but even they would agree that Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are perhaps the best among the bests. Former first-class cricketer and legendary coach, Gurcharan Singh, who was conferred the Padma Shri this year for his contribution to Indian cricket said players like Gavaskar, Tendulkar and Kohli will always remain the greatest cricketers India has produced, and newcomers can never overshadow their legacy.
"You can't produce Kohli, you can't produce Sunil Gavaskar or Sachin Tendulkar, you can't produce Rohit. These cricketers are legends and have left their legacy. New players are coming over time but they can't replace them. Players like them are always great and will remain great." Gurcharan, who became only the second cricket coach after Desh Prem Azad to receive the prestigious award, told PTI.
Sunil Gavaskar, the first cricketer to notch up 10 thousand Test runs, is still regarded as among the best openers to have ever played the game. The way braved up against the West Indies quicks in the 70s and 80s is a part of folklore. When Gavaskar retired, there was a collective feeling that it would be mighty difficult to match his feat. But then came Sachin Tendulkar, who rewrote record books and took run-scoring to such levels that were never imagined.
Tendulkar retired as the highest run-scorer in Tests, ODIs and the only cricketer to have scored 100 international centuries. While his run-tally in both formats is still intact and would require some beating, Virat Kohli is just four centuries away from bettering his century count in ODIs (49).
With 74 hundreds across formats, Kohli is 26 centuries from matching Tendulkar's tally.
"At this age, I wasn't expecting this award, thus I am very thankful and honoured that at this age I was considered for the award, said Gurcharan Singh who has given Indian cricket the likes of Kirti Azad, Ajay Jadeja, Maninder Singh, and Murali Kartik.
Gurcharan's cricketing journey had started under the guidance of Maharaja of Patiala, Yadavindra Singh. He represented Patiala and Eastern Punjab State Unions, Patiala, Railways and Southern Punjab during his playing days.
Before turning to coaching, he played about 37 first-class games. With enough expertise and experience under his belt, he eventually became one of the most successful coaches India has produced.