Former India wicketkeeper Kiran More weighed in on the greatness of Sunil Gavaskar, expressing surprise at the former India batsman’s highly contrasting performances in a match and during a practice session in the nets. Gavaskar was the first player in history to score 10000 Test runs and finished with 10,122 runs from 125 matches with 34 centuries, making him one of the greats of the game.
However, More, who played with Gavaskar for nearly four years for India, wondered how the batsman would pile runs against opposition after seeing him struggle in the nets.
“He was one of the worst players I’ve ever seen in the nets,” More said on The Greatest Rivalry podcast. “He used to never like practicing in the nets. When you see him practice in the nets and he’s going to play in a Test match tomorrow, and when he goes and bats in a Test match it’s 99.9 per cent different. When you see him bat in the nets it’s like ‘How is he going to score runs?’ And then when you see him next day morning it’s like ‘Wow’.”
More attributed Gavaskar’s penchant of scoring runs and big hundreds to his tremendous concentration. One of the greatest opening and the most successful batsmen of all time, Gavaskar batted against the most fearsome bowling attacks in the world, including the famous West Indies fast-bowling quartet and Australia’s pace duo of Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee and did so without wearing a helmet for most part of his career. When in the zone, as More puts it, Gavaskar was untouchable.
Recalling one of the domestic matches More played with Gavaskar, the former India wicketkeeper from Mumbai narrated how the batsman once fell for a score of less than 50 and upon returning to the dressing room, he’d be fuming and upset with himself for not getting a big score.
“Sunil was very disciplined. I remember when I came into the Indian team, we played a lot of domestic cricket together for the West Zone. I remember a Test match at Wankhede and Sunil got out for about 40 or 30. And when he came back, there was nobody in the dressing room. Everybody was running around, in every corner they were trying to hide,” More revealed.
“He came inside the dressing room and he threw his gloves, he was so upset because he got out for 30 or 40. He used to never like it. If he got out for a duck or five runs or 10 runs, he’s fine, but if he’s batting there for one hour and gets out, he used to hate that. ‘How can I get out?’ But he was very highly regarded, respected in the dressing room.”