Sunil Gavaskar Profile

Full Name: Sunil Manohar Gavaskar
Born: July 10, 1949, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Major teams: India, Mumbai, Somerset
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Achievements:First player to score more than 10,000 runs in Tests; one of the only two players to score centuries in each innings, three times; highest number of runs in a debut series by an Indian (774 against West Indies); Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1980; awarded Padma Bhushan

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, one of the greatest opening batsmen the game has ever seen, made a spectacular Test debut in 1971 scoring 774 runs in his first Test series against the West Indies. Throughout his illustrious career, Gavaskar was renowned for his near flawless technique that helped him shine in an era ruled by some most hostile pacemen ever to play the game.

Thanks to his technique and enormous powers pf concentration, Gavaskar was able to provide much needed solidity to Indian batting that often crumbled under pressure. He was a 4th innings wonder who played numerous great innings on treacherous fifth-day tracks that were virtual deathbeds for less capable batsmen. Gavaskar's solid 102 at Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1975-76 laid the foundation for India to win the match chasing a mammoth total of 403.

Sunny, as Gavaskar was affectionately known, was a statistician's delight who has some of the most amazing cricketing records to his name. Gavaskar's aforementioned total against West Indies was the highest number of runs in a debut series. Gavaskar was the holder of the record for the most number of Test centuries (34) until 2005 when his countryman Sachin Tendulkar broke that record.

Gavaskar was the only player to score centuries in each innings, three times (Ricky Ponting equalled this record against South Africa in 2006). He was also the first batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs and held the record for the most number of runs until it was broken by Allan Border.

More than these glittering achievements, Indian cricket would be grateful to Gavaskar-and to Gundappa Viswanath--for showing the world that India indeed can produce batsmen who don't cringe before genuine pace. The fact that Gavaskar scored 13 centuries against West Indies facing great pacemen such as Roberts, Holding, Garner, Croft and Marshall speaks volumes about his batting prowess.