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Gavaskar : Record holder for the maximum runs in a Test debut series

Gavaskar : Record holder for the maximum runs in a Test debut series : Sunil Gavaskar has been one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time, and certainly the most successful.

He was the first one to accumulate 10,000 runs in Tests and notch up 30 centuries. His excellent defence strategy made his wicket difficult to earn for any bowler.

Sunil virtually had every stroke in the book and had left no bowler troubled and frustrated at not being able to breach his defence. He was also equally flamboyant in hooks and pulls, making him a complete batsman.

Gavaskar made his Test debut, under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar, on 6th March, 1971, in the second Test of the 1970-71 series against West Indies played at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Replying to the West Indies first innings total of 214 runs, India opened the innings with Ashok Mankad and the debutant Sunil Gavaskar.

The duo put on board 68 runs for the first wicket when Mankad departed after scoring 44 runs. Gavaskar then added another 22 run with Salim Durrani (9) for the second wicket and a whooping 96 runs for the third wicket with Dilip Sardesai (112 with 11 fours).

Gavaskar was dismissed for a well made 65 runs, caught by Clive Lloyd off the bowling of the off-spinner, Jack Noregia, who went on to claim 9 wickets, giving away 95 runs in his spell of 49.4 overs.

India ended their first innings scoring 352 runs, taking a crucial lead of 138 runs and also succeeded in restricting the Windies to 261 runs in the second knock.

Needing 124 runs to win the Test, Gavaskar carried forward his good performance of the first innings and scored an unbeaten 67* runs (7 fours) in the second knock.

In the process he added 74 runs for the first wicket with Ashok Mankad (29) and an unbroken partnership of 41 runs with Syed Abid Ali (21*) for the fourth wicket. India convincingly went on to win the match by 7 wickets and took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, after the First Test ended in a draw.

Gavaskar went on to score 116 runs (maiden Test century) and unbeaten 64* runs in the Third Test at Bourda, Georgetown, Guyana, followed by 1 run and an unbeaten 117* runs at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados, in the Fourth Test and finally 124 runs and 220 (maiden Test double ton) runs in the Fifth and Final test at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

With the third, fourth and the fifth Test matches ending in a draw, India won the series 1-0 with their win in Gavaskar’s debut Test at Trinidad.

Featuring in 4 Test matches (8 innings) and remaining unbeaten on 3 occasions, Gavaskar had amassed a whooping 774 runs at an average of 154.80 with 220 runs a his persona best. He had 4 centuries and 3 half-centuries.

This tally of 774 runs by a Test debutant in a ‘five-Test’ series remains an unbeaten record till date.

Sir Conrad Hunte of West Indies comes a close second with 622 runs from 9 innings of a ‘five-Test’ series at an average of 77.5 with 260 runs as his individual best. He also had 3 centuries to his credit. This happened in 1957-58 series when West Indies played Pakistan at home.

Cricfit wishes the Little Master, Sunil Gavaskar, a very happy birthday (10th July).

 

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