Sunil Gavaskar shares experience of playing in India’s first ever ODI
The first ever one day international was played between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 5, 1971. It took around three and a half years for India to join the bandwagon as they played their maiden ODI against England in July 1974.
Sunil Gavaskar, the legendary India opener and former captain, who played in that match, narrated the story while commentating on India’s first ODI against New Zealand in Hamilton on host broadcasters Star Sports. The discussion started with Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal, two openers who debuted for India in the match. This was the fourth instance when both India openers were making their ODI debut.
Gavaskar, who was making his ODI debut in 1974 along with his teammates, opened the innings with Mumbai batsman Sudhir Naik. The duo put on 44 runs for the opening wicket before Naik was dismissed for 18. Gavaskar himself scored 28 runs off 35 balls. India scored 265 and were beaten by 4 wickets. It was a 55-over contest.
Talking about playing ODIs in the 70s, Gavaskar said the experience was completely different as there were no coloured kits and the matches were played with the red ball. He said the red ball swung a lot more.
When asked by fellow commentator about the planning ahead of India’s first ever ODI, Gavaskar responded by saying”What is planning?’ leaving Deep Dasgupta and VVS Laxman in splits.
Gavaskar went on to say that there was no planning for ODIs in those days. There used to be proper plans for Test cricket but the atmosphere was quite relaxed when it came to ODIs. He further said that proper planning for ODIs began only in the 1980s.
Gavaskar was part of India’s 1983 World Cup winning team, a historic moment that changed how India played ODIs. He captained India to victory in the World Championship of Cricket in 1985.