‘He’ll always be India's all-time No.1 cricketer’: Sunil Gavaskar’s bold claim about India legend
Sunil Gavaskar said India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev will always be the No.1 Indian cricketer according to him.Updated: Aug 27, 2020, 10:55 IST
India have been blessed with some great cricketers, who have left their mark on the world stage. Therefore, picking an all-time India XI can become a herculean task let alone picking the greatest ever Indian cricketer. But legendary Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar had no hesitation in his mind when he was asked to name the best Indian cricketer of all time.
Gavaskar said India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev will always be the No.1 Indian cricketer according to him.
“Top of everything would be Kapil Dev, he would be No.1. For me, he is the best. All-time No.1 will always be Kapil Dev,” Gavaskar told India Today.
Hailing Kapil Dev’s all-round abilities, Gavaskar termed the former India captain a ‘complete cricketer’ and added that he could win matches both the bat and ball.
“He could win the match with the bat and with the ball. He would take the wickets and win the match for you. He would score a scorching hundred or quickfire 80-90 and turn the game around. He made an impact with the bat. He made an impact with the ball. Don’t forget all those catches that he took. So he was a complete cricketer,” Gavaskar added.
In the 10 years between 1978 and 1987 that Gavaskar and Kapil Dev played together, the due represented India in 87 Tests and 97 ODIs. Both of them were instrumental in India’s success in the 1980s and won India many matches with their performance. The biggest highlight of their careers, however, was when India lifted their maiden World Cup beating the mighty West Indies in the 1983 final at Lord’s.
Kapil Dev is widely hailed as the one changed Indian cricketer forever by leading an underdog to the world title at the mecca of cricket.
The Haryana all-rounder had hung his boots in 1994 after playing 131 Tests and 225 ODIs for India. Kapil scored 5248 and 3783 runs in Tests and ODI respectively and picked up 434 and 253 wickets.
Gavaskar said the recently retired MS Dhoni is very similar to Kapil Dev.
“Both (Dhoni and Kapil) were very, very similar. Both had similar approaches to the game. They loved playing the game. Both of them loved being in the center of action and they wanted to achieve great things for their teams. In that way, both are very similar,” Gavaskar said.
“If a captain is a little more irritable at a catch being dropped or a misfield, then the players get even more nervous. And that’s where Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni scored. They just controlled their emotions so well, that the players did not feel affected at all and played their own game freely,” he added.