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Thread: Sashti Poorthi (Sixty Complete) : Sunil Gavaskar

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    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    Sashti Poorthi (Sixty Complete) : Sunil Gavaskar

    With the guy turning 60, I think it is a good time to remember the first truly global, superstar Indian test cricketer.

    Sunny was the greatest opening batsman in the world when I started watching cricket, way better than other stalwarts like Boycott, Greenidge, Haynes and Gooch. He was also easily among the top 5 batsmen in world cricket - Richards, G.Chappell, Miandad and Border being the other four (with Lloyd, Greenidge, Boycott, Gooch and Gower completing the top 10). I still consider him the best opener i have ever seen despite watching later stage Gooch, Taylor, Slater, Anwar, Hayden, Sehwag, Kirsten, Smith and Langer.

    What made him special from an Indian perspective was the fact that, for the first time in world cricket, the opposition had to specifically worry about getting rid of this diminutive opener and sweat real hard to see his back if they were to achieve the easiest task otherwise of beating a sub-standard Indian team.

    While India, over the years, always had world class spinners in Gupte, Mankad, Bedi, Chandra and Prasanna, their star batsmen were individual talents who somehow evoked awe and respect to a certain extent but were never huge stumbling blocks in defeating India. This is true for all-time greats like Merchant-Hazare and special talents like Umrigar. Viswanath was the first mercurial match winning Indian batsman on more than one occasion in the early 70s but his style was as erratic and unreliable as it was pulsating.

    Gavaskar combined the organized batting technique of Hazare-Merchant and mixed Viswanath's big match play and added his own brand of steel and personal resilience to it to produce test match opening batting of the caliber of Hobbs and Hutton. The fact that he did it for close to two decades against, arguably, the greatest fast bowlers ever to have played in the same era is proof enough of his technical mastery and insatiable hunger for success.

    Happy Birthday Mr.Gavaskar! You started it all.

    Note: I was once invited to his son's birthday bash by a common friend. in the crowded party hall i positioned myself next to rohan and his wife along with my friend. while mrs. gavaskar actually came to that corner and spent a few minutes with us, i wasn't luck enough to get more than a glimpse of sunny. he was busy playing host to some of the big celebrities in the other corners of the hall. it didn't seem like a good time for me to go and pester so i played a dignified guest and hid my disappointment for three long hours.
    Last edited by bagapath; 11-07-2009 at 12:07 AM.

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    SJS
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    I have written a feature on Gavaskar's sixtieth Birthday. The time wa short since I did not realise it till I read it in the papers this morning. It should be up shortly.

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    Cricket Web Owner James's Avatar
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    Sashti Poorthy (Sixty Complete): Gavaskar is Sixty

    Sashti Poorthi (Sixty Complete) : Sunil Gavaskar
    Sunil Gavaskar tuned sixty today. I too will turn sixty in seven months time and that, perhaps, makes it easier to accept Sunil Gavaskar as an old man (if sixty is old) and not the same youngster who so very suddenly burst upon the collective psyche of Indian cricket fans thirty-nine winterrs ago.


    Last edited by James; 10-07-2009 at 03:49 AM. Reason: Updated title

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    Cricket Web Owner James's Avatar
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    Threads merged


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    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    good to see SJS's article on CW getting a link from cricinfo surfer page on gavaskar. dont know why i feel like it is a personal victory for me that this forum is getting due recognition.

    gavaskar's interview in telegraph, linked from the same page, is quite interesting.

    i like the fact that gavaskar has expressed regret for the melbourne walk out and the infamous 36 not out. i consider them mere blips in an otherwise simply awesome career.

    working in an ego centric and insecure industry myself, i can completely understand gavaskar and kapil's on the edge relationship during playing days providing fodder for the predominantly scavenging indian media and how it would have mellowed down with time and why the inevitable mutual respect is dominating their post retirement days. i am thankful as a fan they didn't go all out to wreck each other then and played together non-stop for close to ten years.
    Last edited by bagapath; 11-07-2009 at 12:04 AM.

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    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagapath View Post
    good to see SJS's article on CW getting a link from cricinfo surfer page on gavaskar. dont know why i feel like it is a personal victory for me that this forum is getting due recognition.

    .
    Really. I did not realise that.

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    Cricket Web Content Updater alternative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    Really. I did not realise that.
    Yep Indeed.
    Member of the AAAS
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    SJS your writing is nothing short of amazing. You say you did that quickly?

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    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakester1288 View Post
    SJS your writing is nothing short of amazing. You say you did that quickly?
    Yes. I saw the morning papers at around 7.30. Had my morning tea. Took my dogs for a walk. Came back and thought this deserves a feature. Went to the loo. Carried my lap top with me. Came out with my stomach flushed and bulk of the article finished (about 90 minutes I think). Sent it to James at a quarter past ten in the morning

    Yes it was pretty quick but as I told James when the thoughts come straight from the heart the words ring true and flow naturally.

    I just wrote non-stop and except for the corrections in spelling and a few grammatical mistakes (plus a couple of paragraphs at the end that I added later) I wrote the entire thing in one flow without cutting or chopping.

    I was quite impressed myself.

    It was exactly the same with the Wake Up India article I wrote a couple of years ago after the terrible negative reaction to India's defeat at the 2007 world cup.

    I suppose when the subject is close to your heart and the facts are clear and you do not need to refer or research for statistics, quotes or score cards, it gets easier.

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    Cricket Web Owner James's Avatar
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    Well done mate

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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    Went to the loo. Carried my lap top with me.
    I do this as well. Only posted it once because I didn't want to seem weird.

    Well done.

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    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Well done mate
    Thanks James. It is very gratifying. A lot of people seem to have noticed it because of the cricinfo surfer link and have contacted me today. Thats very gratifying but also makes me feel we need ALL our features to have greater visibility on their own. Of course, I have no idea how to do that

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    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    am happy for you SJS. like i said i have taken a liking to CW forum and will be glad to see more quality posters joining the board. and i hope all this translates into dollars for james somehow. he has been terrific in running the show unobtrusively.

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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Should see a doctor about spending 90 minutes in the loo with a hotplate on your bare thighs, IMO

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    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    MCC XI Vs. Rest of World, Gavaskar's batting (with Imran on the other side). Those who saw it will tell how great and skillful that inning was against the likes of Marshall, Hadlee, Rice etc and at the end of his career. I always felt that Gavaskar could have easily played for another 4-5 years.

    YouTube - MCC v.s Rest of the World Part 2

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