Sunil Gavaskar - India - Test Profile 1971-1987

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 01 May 1982

Click on image to enlarge

      Right Hand Bat, Right Arm Medium
      Sunday, 10 July 1949
      Bombay, India
  • India Prostate cancer charity 150 x 150 Image

Sunil GAVASKAR - India - Test Profile 1971-1987

Sunil Gavaskar once told England skipper Tony Lewis he would go on batting forever, until he was 90. He meant years, but that would probably have been less incredible than his real career, when he went on batting until he was past 10,000. That incredible number of Test runs points out the Gavaskar philosopy, the old Indian cricketing philosophy of timelessness. His aim was to smother the opposition in a blanket of runs, made with care and precision over as long a period as necessary. Sometimes it backfired, as when he batted through India's 60 overs in the first-ever World Cup match for 36 not out, or upset the crowd when he wanted India to carry on batting in their first innings into the fifth and last day of a Test match.


Most times, though, he was right, as in his 220 and 124 in the fifth Test of his first series in Trinidad in 1970-71, or his three centuries against Australia in 1977-78, or nearly right, as in his 221 at the Oval in 1979 which would have lead India to victory over England but for a disputed catch. In the end they finished just 9 short of an unlikely target of 438. He made 34 Test centuries, many against the West Indies and once scored 340 for Bombay against Bengal and he made all these runs despite being only 5ft 4in.


No wonder they called him 'The Little Master.' Gavaskar's uncle, M. K. Mantri, opened the batting and kept wicket for India in the early 1950s. Gundappa Viswanath, the Indian middle-order batsman, was his brother-in-law. His son Rohan - named after the West Indian captain Rohan Kanhai - also played international cricket for India. For much of the 1970s Gavaskar's little medium pacers were used to open the bowler for India, although he freely admitted his only job was to take the shine off the ball for the Indian spin quartet. (Bob Harragan) 


Sunil Gavaskar pictured playing for India on 15th. May 1986 by George Herringshaw. ©