50 years ago: Abid Ali on Sunil Gavaskar’s epic Test debut


Fifty years in the past, on this present day (March 6), India`s batting nice Sunil Gavaskar made his Test debut in opposition to West Indies group at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad throughout the 1970-71 sequence.
Gavaskar, 71, together with the Indian group, went on to create cricketing historical past 5 many years in the past by serving to their nation beat the West Indies for the primary time and Gavaskar one of many heroes of that win, ended up enjoying 125 Tests through which he scored 10,122 runs with 34 centuries and 45 half-centuries.
Gavaskar made his Test debut on the age of 21, within the second of the five-match sequence, which the Ajit Wadekar-led aspect received 1-0. 
India got here into the second Test on the again of a confidence-boosting draw at Kingston, Jamaica. Gavaskar was set to play at Sabina Park, however a finger damage dominated the diminutive opener out.
Having totally recovered, he opened with fellow Mumbaikar Ashok Mankad, changing  Kenia Jayantilal.
Gavaskar contributed considerably to the historic victory. His teammate – all-rounder Syed Abid Ali – recalled how the debutant rose to the higher echelons of Test cricket in his first match itself. “He [Gavaskar] did extraordinarily properly as a teenager. He had a beautiful debut in addition to a sequence. He batted like a champion on his debut,” Abid Ali, 79, informed mid-day.com from Tracy, California, USA.       
Gavaskar scored 65 within the first innings and top-scored with an unbeaten 67 within the second innings to see India dwelling. He went on to attain 774 runs in 4 Tests.
Abid Ali, who made his Test debut in opposition to Australia at Adelaide throughout the 1967-68 away sequence, felt the celebs aligned completely for Gavaskar main up the Test sequence.
“When Sunil got selected, he was scoring runs for Bombay University. He was in very good form and that helped,” mentioned Abid Ali, who performed 29 Tests with 1018 runs and has 47 wickets to his title.
West Indies captain Garfield Sobers received the toss and opted to bat. The hosts have been bundled out for 214 within the first innings with Charlie (*50*) top-scoring with an unbeaten 71. 
For India, spinners Erapalli Prasanna (4-54) and Bishan Singh Bedi (3-46) put on a superlative bowling efficiency. Abid Ali too chipped in with essential wickets of Roy Fredericks (0) and Clive Lloyd (7), each bowled. In truth, Fredericks was dismissed by Abid Ali off the primary ball of the match. 
Openers Mankad (44) and Gavaskar acquired India off to a formidable begin within the first Innings because the guests scored 352 with Dilip Sardesai (112) notching up a century to assist Wadekar`s males take a 138-run lead. Sardesai had scored a double century within the first Test.
India then dismissed the hosts for 261 with off-spinner S Venkataraghavan bagging a fifer. Bedi and fellow left-arm spinner Salim Durani claimed two wickets apiece. “Salim’s two wickets have been very important – Lloyd and Sobers – each harmful batsmen,” burdened Abid Ali.
With 124 to win, India misplaced three wickets earlier than Gavaskar and Abid Ali put on a partnership of 41 to assist India obtain the required goal.  
Recalling the second Innings when he joined Gavaskar within the center, Abid Ali mentioned: “We didn’t required too many  to win the match. I went in somewhere in the middle of the innings. I had the chance to hit the winning run. I got a full toss but I played it to the cover fielder. Sunil came up to me and said, ‘Why did you do that?’ I said, Sunil, you are the youngster. I think it`s better if you hit the winning run. It will do you good. And finally, he did that.”
Abid Ali admired Gavaskar`s method and mentioned he’s the very best batsman he has seen. “Sunil’s method was a masterpiece. I’ll give full marks to him amongst the current and previous cricketers. This boy had a beautiful method,” mentioned Abid Ali, who retired in 1975.
For Abid Ali, Gavaskar was born for cricketing greatness even earlier than he made his debut. “He was a star already coming into the series. And as the series progressed, we all could see how good he was. He too knew he had the talent, but he was a modest cricketer with the right upbringing,” Abid Ali concluded.   
India’s seven-wicket win in Trinidad ushered in a brand new period, the Gavaskar period. And he impressed a era of batsmen. Each and each considered one of them would even be grateful to March 6, 1971, the day it began.




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