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Friday, July 7, 2023

the bunny to Sunil Gavaskar ~ little Master took wickets too !!!

Though Indians have not displayed any great form, a place in QF is easy and from then on – it being a knock-out format, the day’s performance will count. There was a time when Indian bowlers, especially spinners had a web cast on opponent batsmen.  They could easily bowl out best of opposition twice in a test – what lacked was quality batting.  Till he came along, with a boyish mop of hair and a defiant attitude beneath, Indians had been told that they could not play fast bowling. India's batsmen, in spite of a legacy of Vijay Merchant, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad and Polly Umrigar, were the subject of much leg-pulling, especially in England, and young minds in the late sixties and early seventies were convinced by the gullible local media into thinking that anything British was better than everything Indian. 

In 1971, his debut changed the scenario – he aggregated record 774 runs laced with 4 centuries including a 220.  His batting style, his strong defence took him to towering heights and ensured safe draws in many matches.  He gave the first hour to the bowlers and fought to get the next four-and-a-half. He hit the ball along the ground and he built his innings on ones and twos,  and with some neatly driven fours especially the straight drives.   He ended his career after becoming the first batsman to cross 10000.  He ended up with 10122 in 125 Tests with 34 centuries / 45 fifties.  In ODIs he made 3092 runs in 108. 

That is little Master Sunil Manohar Gavaskar ~ for those of who watched him, batting was an art as long as he was at the crease and a fight for survival when others battled.  Do you know that he bowled too and that a star batsman was his victim twice in a fortnight … can you imagine who, Sunil’s bunny was ? ?

The clue is – this international batsman has ‘Kirmani’ in his name – scored more than 5000 runs in Tests.  The answer is the bespectacled stylist Zaheer Abbas !!

Zaheer born in 1947 at Sialkot – his full name is Syed Zaheer Abbas Kirmani. He scored heavily against India in Pak but struggled during that Indian tour of 1978-79.  He played 78 Tests making 5062 runs with 12 hundreds and had 2572 ODI runs in 62 matches. 

In Test No. 831 at Faisalabad in Oct 1978, Pak batting first made 503/8 with tons by Zaheer (173) and Javed Miandad (154 no).  India replied strongly – Gavaskar 89; Chauhan 46; Surinder 35; Gundappa Viswanath 145; Vengsarkar 83 helped to a total of 462 for 9 declared.  On day 5 Pak’s 2nd innings resumed at 34 without loss – Zaheer and Asif Iqbal had 166 run partnership which ended surprisingly when on Zaheer on 96 tapped an innocuous delivery of Sunil Gavaskar to Chetan Chauhan.  Surinder Amarnath took the wicket of Asif Iqba- ~ that was the match when Kapil Dev debuted
A few days earlier at Sialkot in ODI no. 55 – Pak beat India in a 40 over match.  Indians were bundled out for a paltry 79 with only Mohinder Amarnath 34 and Yashpal Sharma 11 making double figures.  Hasan Jamil took 3 wickets; Yashpal Sharma and Azmat Rana made their debut.  Pak chased the target in just 16.5 overs – Zaheer Abbas was out – caught Kapil Dev – bowled Sunil Gavaskar for 48. 

interesting !!
with regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Feb 2015.

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