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Unknown Facts About Sunil Gavaskar: 'Master Blaster

Unknown Facts About Sunil Gavaskar: 'Master Blaster
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Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar popularly known as 'Little Master' was born on 10 July 1949, is an Indian cricket commentator and former cricketer who represented India and Bombay from 1971 to 1987. Gavaskar is acknowledged as one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time.

Gavaskar was widely admired for his technique against fast bowling, with a particularly high average of 65.45 against the West Indies, who possessed a four-pronged fast bowling attack, widely regarded as the most vicious in Test history. 

However, most of Gavaskar's centuries against West Indies were against the team when their four-pronged attack were not playing together.

His captaincy of the Indian team was considered as one of the first attacking ones, with the Indian team winning the 1984 Asia Cup, and the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket in 1985. 

At the same time, there were multiple exchanges of captaincy between Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, with one coming just six months before Kapil led India to victory at the 1983 Cricket World Cup. He is also a former Sheriff of Mumbai.

What more about Sunil Gavaskar?

Sunil Gavaskar happened to be the cricketer to score ten thousand runs in Test cricket as well as the first cricketer to score more than thirty centuries.

Gavaskar was no doubt the best batsmen among many during his era (1971-87) and in fact, still holds the record for the most runs scored in a debut Test series.

Recollecting on unbeaten records, Sunil Gavaskar has indeed scored the most number of Test centuries against the West Indies and he has been the only cricketer to have scored a century as well as a double century in the same Test Match twice.

There are several facts about Sunil Gavaskar that perhaps have never been unheard of and does surprise a person who is interested in knowing more about him.

1. 13 Test centuries against West Indies

Sunil Gavaskar, during his career, scored 13 Test centuries against the mighty West Indies. Their bowling unit comprised the likes of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, and Andy Roberts.

Gavaskar's 13 centuries against the Windies is the maximum by any Indian against one single opposition. Overall, it is in second place with Don Bradman at the top with 19 centuries against England.

2. 188 at Lord's in MCC Bicentennial game

In his international career, Gavaskar never made a hundred at Lord's. But in the MCC Bicentennial game between the MCC and the Rest of the World XI, Gavaskar smashed 188 for the ROW XI, when he came out to open the innings. He missed out on a double ton as he was caught and bowled by Ravi Shastri.

3. First player to score 10,000 Test runs

On March 7, 1987, Gavaskar became the first batsman to score 10,000 Test runs. He reached the landmark in his 124th Test against Pakistan.

4. Almost switched at birth

Soon after he was born, he was exchanged with a fisherman's child at the maternity hospital. An alert uncle, Narayan Masurekar, who had spotted a birthmark near the baby's left ear, raised a ruckus before Sunny (he hadn't been named yet) was restored to his mother.

5. Cricketing family

Gavaskar's maternal uncle, Madhav Mantri, played four Tests for India. His younger sister Nutan was the honorary general secretary of the Women's Cricket Association of India. Gundappa Viswanath married Gavaskar's sister Kavita. 

6. Names his son after his batting idol

Gavaskar named his son "Rohan Jaivishwa" as a tribute to his three favorite cricketers - Rohan Kanhai, ML Jaisimha, and Gundappa Vishwanath. 

7. Had a haircut on the field

Gavaskar had a haircut on the field while playing against England in Manchester. The conditions were windy, making his hair come in front of his eyes. 

Gavaskar asked the on-field umpire to cut his hair. He then went on to score 101 runs in that inning. 

8. Never looked at scoreboards

Gavaskar was known to not look at the scoreboard while batting but knew instinctively when he was close to a landmark.

9. Batted left-handed in a Ranji game

Gavaskar batted left-handed in the Ranji Trophy semi-final against Karnataka in the 1981-1982 season.

This he did to counter left-arm spinner Raghuram Bhatt. While he batted left-handed against Bhatt, he switched to batting right-handed when batting against B Vijayakrishna.

10. He was a wrestling lover

Gavaskar was a huge wrestling fan and wanted to be a wrestler. He idolized legendary Maruthi Vadar before opting for cricket.

11. Leg byes to start his career

Gavaskar's first runs in Test cricket were actually leg-byes that were not given. He revealed this fact in his autobiography Sunny Days.

The ball struck on his leg guards and went down to fine leg for two leg byes. But he was surprised to see that the umpire did not make any signal so he was off the mark with two runs.

12. The Sherriff

Gavaskar was appointed the Sheriff of Bombay in 1994 for a year.

Conclusion

Therefore, the right-handed batsman played 125 Test matches for India, scoring about 10122 runs, and has made 108 ODI appearances in which he scored 3092 runs. 

His best inning was in the 1971 series against West Indies when he made 774 runs at an average of 154.80 which still happens to be the highest number of runs scored by a batsman in the debut series.

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