Sunil Gavaskar reveals two of his 5 favourite Test knocks are not centuries: 'I struggled for an hour to score 16 runs' | Crickit

Sunil Gavaskar reveals two of his 5 favourite Test knocks are not centuries: 'I struggled for an hour to score 16 runs'

Jul 10, 2024 11:20 AM IST

On his 75th birthday, Sunil Gavaskar said that two of his five favourite Test knocks were not centuries.

On the occasion of his 75th birthday, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar looked back at his storied career, revealing that two of his five favourite Test knocks were, in fact, not centuries. Gavaskar, the original 'Little Master' of Indian cricket, was the first to scale the 10000-run mark in Test cricket and notch up 34 Test centuries, a record that stood tall for 18 years before Sachin Tendulkar bettered it in 2004. But as unbelievable as it may sound, for a man who made it a habit to score hundreds, Gavaskar pointed out that his knock of 57 against England in cold and grassy conditions and a defiant 86 against the mighty West Indies are as important as any other crucial century.

Some of Sunil Gavaskar's fifties were as important as his centuries.(Getty)
Some of Sunil Gavaskar's fifties were as important as his centuries.(Getty)

"117 not out at Barbados when we had to save the Test (fourth Test of the 1971 series against West Indies). The 220 in the last Test in Trinidad, where again we needed a draw to win that series. I got a 57 at Old Trafford, on a fast, grassy bouncy pitch in wet, freezing cold conditions (against England in 1971. India drew that match and famously won that series 1-0) and I didn't wear a sweater because of superstition, so felt the cold a fair bit. This is my best innings in Test cricket. In 1974, at Old Trafford again, in similarly cold conditions, I scored 101. It restored my self-belief as that was the first ton after 1971," Gavaskar told Times of India.

Also Read: Sunil Gavaskar turns 75 - All other teams just wanted his wicket; they felt if he got out, they'd get us all

"The 86 not out at Port of Spain, when we chased down 404 to win the Test against West Indies in 1976. By the end of Day Four, I was 86 not out. It is my most fluent innings. The next morning, I struggled for an hour to score the next 16 runs."

Also Read: Sunil Gavaskar at 75 - The OG Little Master who knew no fear

Gavaskar on other impressive knocks by Indian greats

Gavaskar's stellar career cannot be defined without mentioning his excellence against the West Indies. Against the fiercest team of his time, Gavaskar scored 2749 runs from 27 Tests at an impressive average of 65.45, including 13 centuries – his most against any team – and a career-best of 236 not out. But it isn't only his knocks that Gavaskar remembers fondly. The former India captain recalled some of the memorable innings played by ex-India teammates and those who came after he had retired.

"97 not out by Gundappa Viswanath at Chennai versus West Indies in 1975. His hundred against West Indies in 1978 at Chennai. 175 not out by Kapil Dev against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells in the 1983 World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar's 114 in the Perth Test versus Australia in 1992 and Virender Sehwag's 293 against Sri Lanka at the Brabourne Stadium in 2009. These are knocks I personally saw. There are others too, like VVS Laxman's 281 vs Australia in Kolkata in 2001, but I wasn't in the stadium to witness it," added Gavaskar.

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