Sunil Gavaskar, the legendary Indian cricketer, is 72 today (July 10). Gavaskar is one of the best batsmen in the game’s history, appearing in 125 Tests and 108 One-Day Internationals during his remarkable career. He also led Team India across formats and captained the Indian Team to victory in the 1985 World Cricket Championship.
He was a member of Kapil Dev’s World Cup-winning team in 1983, which beat the strong West Indies in the final. Gavaskar retired from cricket and went on to become a cricket commentator. He has served as the interim president of the BCCI for IPL-related matters.
As Gavaskar celebrates his 72nd birthday, we take a look at some of his most remarkable records.
•First batsman to score 10000 runs in Test cricket
Gavaskar is the first batsman in Test cricket history to reach 1000 runs. In his penultimate Test match against Pakistan, the right-handed batsman reached the milestone. In March 1987, history was made in Ahmedabad.
Before retiring from the red-ball game, Gavaskar played one more Test match. He scored 10122 runs in Tests during his career. Gavaskar set a world record of 34 tonnes, which he held for over 19 years. In 2005, Sachin Tendulkar broke his record.
•Only Indian batsman to play 100 consecutive Test matches
Gavaskar also has the record of having played the most consecutive Test matches for Team India. In fact, he is the only Indian to have played 100 Tests in a row. Gavaskar began his streak in 1975, after making his Test debut in 1971. His unbeaten streak came to an end a month before his final Test match.
During those 12 years, he played 106 consecutive Tests and was a key member of Team India. During this time, Gavaskar also served as the team’s captain. India won 9 of the 47 Tests while India has lost eight matches and has drawn 30 Tests.
Rahul Dravid sits next to Gavaskar among Indians. He played 93 consecutive Tests. Former England captain Alastair Cook, tops the overall tally, having played 159 back-to-back test matches.
•Fastest Indian to score 5000 Test runs
Gavaskar’s greatness can be adjudged by the fact that his record of being the fastest Indian to reach 5000 runs in Test cricket, which he set 42 years ago, still stands today. Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid, and Cheteshwar Pujara all came close to breaking the record but failed.
At his 95th innings, Gavaskar scored his 5000th run against Australia in Bengaluru in 1979. Following him is Sehwag, who took 99 innings to reach 5000 runs, while Tendulkar took 103 innings. To reach 5000 runs, both Dravid and Pujara needed 108 innings.
Overall, Don Bradman is at the top of the list, having scored 5000 Test runs in only 56 innings. On the list, John Hobbs (91) is seated next to him. Gavaskar, Garry Sobers, Viv Richards, and Matthew Hayden are tied for third place.