India – Australia 3rd Test at Perth – First Day

India – Australia 3rd Test at Perth – First Day

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India – Australia 3rd Test at Perth – First Day

India – Australia 3rd Test at Perth – First Day
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India – Australia 3rd Test at Perth – First Day

India seems to have lost its spirit in the current test series

Innings defeat at Sydney shattered India’s confidence

There is nothing to write for India. Everything has gone against it on the first day of the Perth Test in the Gavaskar-Border Trophy cricket test series. Having already lost the first two tests at Melbourne and Sydney, it was natural that India entered this third test with lot of apprehension. There were two reasons for this apprehension. The first was the psychological boost Australia gained after the two wins. Particularly the innings defeat at Sydney was so devastating for India that it has almost resigned to its fate in the remaining two tests.

Perth pitch is a concrete mine

The second reason was about the pitch at Perth. Perth is supposed to be the fastest pitch in the world. The curator is so proud of his creation that he boasts about it in every press conference. And rightly so. The Western Australian Cricket Association has staged every test in the recent past on a concrete track that fast bowlers always got the best on this track.

No battery of fast bowlers

It is not that this current Australian side possesses great fast bowlers. Pattinson is just coming up, but unfortunately he is injured and has not made it to the team. Hilfenhaus might have struck vital blows for India in crucial occasions, but by no stretch of imagination can one call him a Denis Lillee. Siddle could be equated with at the most Max Walker of seventies, who delivered the most innocuous and docile medium pace delivery and chipped in with wickets when lady luck smiled on him.

Fredericks was dropped off the first ball he faced

I can remember the 1975-76 test between Australia and West Indies on this concrete track. Australia batted first and Ian Chappell scored 156 not out at the end of the first day. On the second day, Australian remaining three wickets folded up and Ian Chappell himself was out without adding any run to his overnight score. The West Indies openers Roy Fredericks and Gordon Greenidge came out to face the thunderbolts of Jeff Thomson and Denis Lillee on this concrete pitch. Australian crowd was hooting for the West Indies’ blood. Roy Fredericks edged the first ball of the innings to the slip where the catch was dropped to the disappointment of Denis Lillee, the bowler and the crowd.

Australia tasted an innings defeat

From then on, Fredericks pelted the fast bowlers at will. Even though three wickets fell quickly – that of Greenidge, Kallicharran and Richards, Captain Clive Lloyd carried on aggressively, taking the responsibility on his broad shoulders. When Fredericks (169) and Lloyd (a double century) were out, the damage for Australia was already done. The tail ender Keith Boyce added insult to injury by pelting the Australian bowlers. West Indies declared at around 600 runs and bowled out Australia for a low score with their star fast bowler Andy Roberts capturing seven wickets.

Jeff Thomson in 1978 was not the same bowler as he was in 1975

One might argue that India is not the same as Clive Lloyd’s West Indies side. Even India had done relatively well in Perth in the 1978 test series even though it lost the test to Australia. Indian batsmen Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, Chetan Chauhan and others played well and handled the fast bowler Jeff Thomson with confidence. But one should remember that Jeff Thomson in 1978 was not the Jeff Thomson in 1975. After a shoulder injury sustained through collision with Alan Turner while attempting a difficult catch, Thomson lost much of his speed and rhythm. India faced a depleted Jeff Thomson and were lucky that they never had to face the real torrid Jeff Thomson at his best.

Lighting a thousand-wala

Coming back to the present test, Warner’s innings brightened the cricket ground. His innings substituted the lighting of a thousand wala cracker during the Diwali festival in India. His nonchalant strokes mesmerised the audience. Warner truly deserves a place in cricket history and with age on his side, hopefully will carry on and create more records and enliven the audience in the stadia.

Geoff Boycott was a ‘responsible’ opener!

An opener usually plays ‘responsibly’ by hitting at only the ‘right’ balls and playing other balls with defence. There are openers who treat every ball respectfully. Some cricket theorists may consider only such a batting a responsible one as the opener is supposed to build up a good start and not smash each and every delivery to the boundary. According to these theorists, Geoff Boycott could fit to be an excellent opening batsman though he was dropped from the England team in the Headingly Test against India in 1967 test series for his ‘slow scoring’. Boycott had scored a dour double century in that innings. Compare that with Warner’s crackling century hit in just few balls and you know the difference.

Sunil Gavaskar was worse than Boycott

I would rate Roy Fredericks of West Indies in the same category though he never demonstrated his skills against spin bowling. Virender Sehwag might come under this category, but he needs a Indore pitch and a docile West Indies bowling to have a go at every ball. Sunil Gavaskar was worse than Geoff Boycott with his 36 not out in 174 balls, occupying the full 60 overs in the first ever World Cup against England. I always considered how nice it could have been had Ian Chappell promoted himself as an opener instead of playing in one down or for that matter even Don Bradman.

Australia will declare after crossing 650

Well, Warner might hit even another hundred tomorrow. India has lot of work in the field tomorrow with batsmen like Clarke, Ponting and Mike Hussey still to come. I guess Australia will play the whole of the second day and declare on the third day with their score of around 650. Indian second innings will pose only one question – whether it will cross 150 or will get bowled out for less than that. And Australia will go the final test at the Adelaide Oval, where many a great Ashes battles had been fought in the past, with a lead of three nil. India will enter Adelaide with a question of whether they will taste innings defeat or an ordinary defeat.

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Comments 14 comments

FaisalKhan 4 years ago

Game over for India. I am again surprised.

Tboy04 4 years ago from Australia

Hi Ramkimeena, the Siddle/Walker comparison is probably not quite right. Siddle has been clocked in the 150's and was, until recently, a back of a length fast medium bowler. Walker was a very modest medium pace swing bowler. It has been good to see Siddle bowl a better fuller length lately though. I agree with you about Boycott, he was famously a very selfish player. A friend played club cricket with him, said he was selfish and refused to face grade bowlers on a slightly damp wicket! I do rate Gavaskar as one of the greatest batsmen of all time though.

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ramkimeena 4 years ago from India Author

Dear Tboy04,

Thank you for your valuable comments. Your knowledge of cricket seems to be excellent and I bow before your knowledge and salute your genius. I agree with everything you have written except about Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar had played and scored lot of runs only against mediocre bowlers and on batting track. I would rate G R Viswanath a better player than Gavaskar. One cannot forget Gavaskar's 36 not out in 174 balls in a World Cup match against England in 1975. Best wishes to you.

Tboy04 4 years ago from Australia

Hello Ramkimeena,

Thankyou, but there is no genius to bow before, my girlfriend will attest to that! I am just an ardent cricket fan. I have double checked Sunil's record and he scored runs in Aus, Windies and Pakistan, arguably the teams with the strongest bowling line ups at the time, so you may be a little harsh on him. As to the motives for his run scoring and his infamous 36 not out, your point is well made and appreciated. I have heard that he was a selfish player (the Chauhan incident at the MCG springs to mind) but I credit him with at least turning up to face the music, unlike Boycott who didnt play test cricket for a number of years to avoid facing those tough attacks! I have also read a number of less than flattering accounts of Sunil's captaincy and communication skills. Even now he appears to be a divisive figure in Indian cricket which is sad given the influence he has.

Tboy04 4 years ago from Australia

Whoops i forgot to say I agree that Viswanath was an excellent batsmen and Dilip Vengasarkar too

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ramkimeena 4 years ago from India Author

Dear Tboy04, Thanks for the comments. What your girlfriend will say,I do not know. But I credit you with outstanding knowledge in cricket.

Sunny, as Gavaskar is called, has never faced Jeff Thomson at his best. Don't tell that Gavaskar played against Jeff Thomson and scored runs in 1978 series. At that time Jeff Thomson was very much bogged down in his speed after he met with an accident that injured his shoulders, colliding with Alan Turner while attempting a difficult catch before the series. Gavaskar never scored runs against Denis Lillee at his best. Gavaskar was a failure against the West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts. Gavaskar had never scored runs against the other West Indies speedsters Michael Holding (except once on a docile track at Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1976 where Holding could not raise the ball above knee height), Joel Garner and Colin Croft. Gavaskar had never scored runs on England pitches against Mike Hendrick, Chris Old, Arnold and others.

Most of Gavaskar's runs were scored on batting tracks and he hit bowlers like Shivnarine, Parry, Clarke, Imtiaz Ali, Vanburn Holder, Keith Boyce etc. He hit against Kim Hughes' Australia in India in 1979, but that Australian side contained only second rate bowlers as the main players had been lost to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.

Gavaskar never won any match for India. India lost many matches in which Gavaskar scored. India had never lost even a single Test in which Gundappa Viswanath scored. Viswanath of course did not play for record books and that is why many people do not even know that such a player played for India. I am glad that you know him. Thank you for your comments and best wishes to you.

Tboy04 4 years ago from Australia

Hello Ramkimeena,

Thankyou for the response, you obviously have a passion for cricket as well. I have very different recollections of Gavaksar and his ability to play top line pace bowlers and will do some research before I draft a more detailed reply.

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ramkimeena 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you, welcome. Best wishes to you.

Tboy04 4 years ago from Australia

Hello Ramkimeena,

As promised I have researched a few things and would like to reply. First of all thanks for sharing your views. I have learned a lot about Viswanath and I would have loved to see him play. After researching him further it appears some of what you said was correct: he scored runs in wins but of his 14 test centuries 4 were in wins, 10 in draws and none in losses. 47% of tests he played in resulted in a draw and his batting average of 41 increases to 51 and most of his centuries (71%) came in these games. In losses his batting average reduces to 26 with no centuries at all. In wins his average is 49 and he won nearly 22% of his tests matches. His average in home/away wins is impressive but his average in home/away drawn games is disparate with 61 at home and 40 away. He lost 30% of his test matches.

Gavaskar scored 6 centuries in wins, 22 in draws and 6 in losses. 53% of Gavaskars tests resulted in a draw. In losses his average drops from 51 to 35. In draws it improves to 65 and in wins its 43. He won about 18% of his test matches. In drawn games both home and away his average is very similar, a stellar 64 to 66. He lost 27% of his test matches,

Some very interesting numbers indeed, and when applying further statistical filters it becomes very intriguing. Certainly your assertion that Viswanath was a match winner and scored in wins is correct, but further analysis reveals that Gavaskar scored heavily in nearly all conditions against a variety of bowlers and while he may have struggled against Andy Roberts he was not exactly alone on that front. Gavaskars record in draws is superb, and given that over half of his games resulted in draws it's a tribute that he scored 64% of his centuries in these games. The old adage that bowlers win matches and batsmen save them appears correct in his case. While his winning record is not as good as Viswanaths it could be argued that India would have lost many more games that resulted in a draw instead due to Sunny's efforts. Some great pace bowlers troubled him (Lillee and Roberts) but if you are going to go down that line of logic it can lead to some interesting discoveries as well. As an Australian who grew up in the 70’s I idolised Lillee and Thomson but statistical analysis reveals that the great Dennis only took 6 wickets outside of Australia, England and New Zealand and that he struggled on the sub continent (as did Thomson.) Indeed Lillee refused to tour the sub continent after one tour of Pakistan and Sri Lanka and never toured India because “fast bowlers don't take wickets on the sub continent.” I do take your point about Gavaskar and certain fast bowlers and conditions but as in the case with Lillee and Thomson, that knife cuts both ways. At least Sunny had the decency to tour Australia and face Lillee (especially at Lillee’s favourite track at the MCG) a courtesy that was not repaid by Dennis. After reading and researching the issue I can see why you regard Viswanath so highly, he was an exciting run scorer who did indeed win matches in an era when Indian wins were few, but Gavaskars ability to bat and bat out draws (a vital component of test batting especially when over half your games resulted in a draw)is amazing. Sunny was the first player to achieve 10000 test runs, go past 30 centuries and is still widely regarded in cricket circles as one of the best of all time, (including cricket doyen Ritchie Benaud.) I respect his achievements immensely and still rate him as one of the best of all time too. I have learned a lot about an exciting player in Viswanath and will keep an eye out for replays of games that he played in. Thank you

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ramkimeena 4 years ago from India Author

Dear tboy04,

Thank you for your comments. It was a superb piece of research and I really admire your methodical approach to writing. I am not that competent in statistical analysis, maybe because I believe that statistics is like a bikini clad. While it reveals plenty, it conceals the vital. It is true that a majority of Gavaskar's centuries resulted in draws. But the question is had Gavaskar not scored these centuries, would India have lost? If my memory is correct, Gavaskar scored many centuries on perfect batting tracks which did not offer any assistance to the bowlers. In these tests, along with Gavaskar, some other player(s) also would have scored which helped in a draw. Two outstanding innings of Viswanath comes to mind. He hit the four fearsome West Indies fast bowlers Roberts, Holding, Garner and Croft all over the field in the World Cup match in 1979. No other batsman had done the same, to the best of my knowledge. Viswanath hit 97 not out in Madras Test when Andy Roberts struck havoc in 1975 4th Test India versus West Indies. India was all out for 190 but Viswanath remained unbeaten with 97. Majority of these runs were scored when Viswanath was batting with Number ten and eleven tail enders Bedi and Chandrasekhar.

You stated that many batsmen failed against Andy Roberts and Gavaskar was not alone. But many batsmen also succeeded in hitting Andy Roberts and Viswanath was not alone. Ian Chappell pelted Roberts in the second test Australia versus West Indies at the fastest pitch Perth and scored 156 not out on the first day (he was out out for the same score the next day). If my memory is right, Greg Chappell, Doug Walters and Ross Edwards also tackled Roberts in the same series.

My contention is that Gavaskar played most of his innings he scored against second best bowlers and on batting tracks. He was interested in creating personal records and not to achieve an Indian win. But Viswanath was a team man who cared for the achievements of India. He was not interested in personal records.

Had Jeff Thomson and Denis Lillee visited India in their peak form, they could have been successful still but in seventies and before that, England and Australian cricketers were not interested in coming to India. They regarded India as a poor, unhygienic nation. Some cricketers openly commented that India was a land of beggars. But today the trend is totally different. It is the Indian Cricket Board that has the huge money. Many Australian and England players stand in the queue to get themselves enrolled to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL). India is the fifth economic power in the world. That is a welcome change. While beggars still exist, rich people quickly build up their wealth. If age and stamina permits, Thomson and Lillee will be interested in playing in IPL. Adam Gilchrist loves to continue to play in IPL for as long as possible. Why, Lillee regularly visits Chennai city in India to coach for the MRF Foundation. Zaheer Khan, the Indian fast bowler is a product of Lillee's coaching.

I once again thank you for your comments. Best wishes to you

Tboy04 4 years ago from Australia

Hello again Ramkimeena,

Thanks for such a detailed reply. Sorry but I still have to disagree with you. When I analysed the stats I also perused game reports and score cards: Sunny did score against good bowlers on tracks that weren’t the best which is why Benaud (and many others) rate him so highly. His motivation for scoring runs may not have always been in the best interest of the team but his record is stellar and his method efficacious. He may have been exposed by certain pace bowlers but comparisons to Ian Chappel are a bit misleading as Chappel played many fast bowlers well and was perhaps one of the greatest players of fast short pitched bowling in cricket history. That statement can be polarised by stating that Sunil played world class spin far better than Ian.

I am not sure who you are referring to with the statement about a “nation of beggars”? According to accounts that I read Australia had issues with travelling in India, but those issues related to the standard of accommodation that the ACB booked and not with Indian people. I know that Bill Lawry requested that the ACB book the Australian team into better accommodation and that this was one of the reasons that he lost the captaincy, as he had the temerity to question Bradman who was head of the ACB at that point in time and pinching pennies by insisting that the team stay in cheaper accommodation.

Yes I was aware that Lillee trains young bowlers at the MRF Pace Foundation and that Zaheer Khan was one of his students. He also trained Mitchell Johnson whose success has been varied and even stated that Johnson was a “once in a generation bowler.”I don't think that observation has been justified. By his own admission Lillee wouldn't have played well in India as he didn't play well in Pakistan and Sri Lanka and stated that he wouldn’t tour the sub continent as “fast bowlers don't take wickets there.” Indeed his record on flat tracks was not good and as stated in my previous message he only took 6 wickets outside of England, Australia and New Zealand. Unlike Steyn, McGrath, Pollock, Khan, Akram, Younis, Donald etc, he had trouble bowling and adjusting his length and line on wickets that didn't have the pace and bounce he required. Lillee and Greg Chappel both refused to tour on a number of occasions, an attitude that would not be condoned now and is on a par with Gavaskars perceived selfishness. A mitigating factor in Sunnys favour (in my opinion) was that at least he had the courage to tour Australia and the West Indies and be exposed to hostile pace bowling, something that couldn't be said about Greg Chappel or Dennis Lillee and their lack of success (and tours) on the sub continent. Interestingly enough, all 3 of these players were listed for selection in Benaud’s greatest XI with Lillee and Sunny making the selection!! Their amazing skill and success obviated analysis of some of their more egregious character flaws, including selfishness.

By the way I don't think Thommo or Lillee will be signed by an IPL franchise in the near future! Not all players are keen to run to the IPL and with the emergence of competing leagues there will be even less people . While I agree that the financial emergence of the burgeoning Indian middle class has been great I would like to note that it’s only natural that the second largest population in the world should also have a strong economy. I think that the BCCI has an unhealthy influence on the game with a focus on money and business and not the good of the game. The statements by the Indian cricket team and the BCCI after the 4 nil tour loss in Australia are an insult to cricket fans everywhere and are indicative of a boorish attitude and abject negligence, culminating in a failure to prepare for the transition period when their star batsmen retired. The writing was on the wall as the same thing happened in Australia in the 80’s when Chappel, Marsh and Lillee all retired and Australia went through a tough period of rebuilding. Please read my blog:

Thanks for a great discussion but I think ultimately we will have to agree to disagree!!

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ramkimeena 4 years ago from India Author

Dear tboy04,

Thank you for your comments. You are much more knowledgeable than me and you are armed with powerful statistics. I do not have any record books to quote or to refer and my opinions are based on what I have seen matches on TV or listened to radio commentary or what I have read in newspapers. Anybody looking at Gavaskar's record even at a cursory glance will readily admit that he is a great player. But my mind refuses to admit that as time and again he has scored plenty of runs only on batting tracks where even great bowlers like Michael Holding did not receive any assistance. Again, many of Gavaskar's runs were scored against the second best bowlers in the aftermath of exodus to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket. You open your record books and count how many centuries Gavaskar scored in the period 1978 to 1980 inclusive of both the years when the Kerry Packer event was taking place. You can find so many centuries galore the record books. Because of these factors, I am unable to change my opinion about Gavaskar even in the light of impressive statistical display made by you. I can only complement your deep involvement in the game of cricket and imagine how your mother had groomed you to be passionate in cricket from your childhood. My kudos to you for this deep knowledge and passion. I will certainly go through your blog and comment about it.

Richie Benaud, if my memory is right, visited India in 1959. In the Kanpur test, India bowled out Australia for a low score and won that test though India lost the series. It was a matting track and Jasu Patel took 9 wickets in the second innings. Well, I like Richie Benaud as a captain, player and commentator (I rate Tony Cozier equally) but again unable to agree with Benaud's choice of including Gavaskar in his World best team. It is not because of Gavaskar's character which is altogether a different issue but because of the reasons I have stated above regarding Gavaskar's batting. Maybe Benaud and Gavaskar are personal friends as both are commentators. I am not attributing a motive but this could well be a possibility. In fact I have my own doubts about how seriously one can take the comments of former cricketers who are still involved in the game of cricket some way or other and mint huge money. Take for example Gavaskar. BCCI has appointed Gavaskar and Ravi Shasthri as commentators in TV channel and are paying them Rs.1.36 crore per annum. Why should the BCCI pay any money to the commentator? Is it not the job of the TV channels like Star and ESPN to do that? Now, can one expect Gavaskar or Ravi Shasthri to criticise the BCCI actions impartially in a TV commentary or in a newspaper column? But you and me make better commentators in blogs and websites because we air our opinions impartially (our opinions can be right or wrong, liked or disliked, but there is no partiality or unfairness in these opinions).

Well, If I have to name a World XI, I would replace Sunil Gavaskar with Hobbs of England or Roy Fredericks of West Indies or Adam Gilchrist of Australia or Len Hutton of England. That is purely my opinion.

I exactly do not remember which cricketer described India as a land of beggars but generally the cricketers of England and Australia have always regarded the sub continent (India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)with aversion. While I remember that Ian Botham described Pakistan as a place where one sends one's mother-in-law, I do not exactly recount who made the statement about India. But at the same time, even in the sixties and seventies, there were some England and Australian cricketers who visited India and quite enjoyed the experience. I remember Bobby Simpson visiting India in 1964, Ian Chappell and Doug Walters visiting India in 1969 along with Bill Lawry. I remember even today the century scored by Dough Walters in Chennai (then Madras) in January 1970. If I remember, Ian Redpath also visited India in 1969. The innings Bill Lawry played (I think in Delhi) was a classic one. He came as an opener and carried his bat through to finish at 49 not out when Australia was bowled out by the great Indian spinners for 101 (even crossing 100 was due to the two huge sixes hit by the number eleven batsman McKenzie). Australia lost that match but Lawry demonstrated to the youngsters how to play spin on a turning track. No doubt Gavaskar has played many spinners, but he has never played one good innings on a turning track against a great spinner. But at the same time it should be admitted that the greatest spinners in that era were Prasanna, Bedi, Chandrasekhar and Venkatraghavan who were all in Indian team and Gavaskar could not have scored against them in test matches. Derek Underwood was no doubt a good spinner, but some knowledgeable people say that he was more a seamer than a spinner. I don't know about that.England wicketkeeper Alan Knott is the best authority on this matter. Australia produced Ashley Mallett when Gavaskar was playing and then Kerry O'Keeffe but it is arguable whether these players constituted as great spinners. By the time Shane Warne appeared in the test scene, probably Gavaskar would have retired (I am not sure whether Gavaskar played Warne). Lancelet Gibbs of West Indies broke the world record held by Freddie Trueman but his off spin bowling was rather predictable. In any case Clive Lloyd did not depend on Gibbs for producing victories.

Hotel accommodation in India is still wanting. New York City has more hotel rooms than entire India. One has to book rooms months before to occupy a Five Star Hotel. But hotel giants like Starwood are entering India. The Sheraton brand is being built to a great extent. Starwood has planned to run hundred hotels in India by 2014. Hopefully, things are improving, albeit slowly. But definitely when Bill Lawry was playing, the facilities in India were very poor and Lawry commented only correctly. There was no selfishness involved in that criticism. If he had been dropped because of this, I only sympathise with him. But the exit of Lawry brought an excellent captain for Australia Ian Chappell. Ian is very popular in India as he visited India in 1969 without complaining.

Well, there may be competitive leagues to challenge IPL. That is bound to happen. One cannot monopolise a trade for long and new players are bound to enter. But how many of these competitions produce the sort of crowd and money as IPL matches produce is the big question. Only future can answer this but I am of the opinion that IPL will be the number one popular event in this brand of cricket as Indians are mad about cricket. In India, we produce each year the entire population of Australia and so there will not be a shortage of crowd for any IPL matches. In fact there are violent incidents outside the stadia for securing tickets.

I am of the opinion that Lillee and Thomson could have been a success in India had they made the trip. Andy Roberts was a success in Indian pitches in 1974. A truly great bowler will not find pitches restricting his ability. But that demands true greatness and Thommo and Lillee both had it in plenty. I give more points for Lillee than Thomson. Thomson could bowl a ball at an incredible speed of hundred miles per hour with Rodney Marsh standing forty yards behind the wicket. But Lillee was more dangerous with speed and swing at the same time.

BCCI is a corrupt organisation and no Indian worth the salt respects its opinions.

Greg Chappell was a methodical batsman who came into test cricket with a bang of a century on debut at Perth in the seventies. But I like Ian more than Greg because Ian was not afraid of hooking the bouncer whereas Greg used to dug underneath for safety reasons (nothing wrong in it). Greg Chappell failed as a coach of India when he was involved in team politics and could not handle the hot potato (if you can win over Indians, you can win over anybody else). Greg Chappell has no big following in India and in fact most of the Indians do not like him, according to what I gather. But Ian Chappell, Doug Walters, Bill Lawrie and Bobby Simpson are very popular and so also Richie Benaud. Simpson was recalled

Arun 4 years ago

I have been reading the interesting view points on Gavaskar and I take the middle ground. Gavaskar is a great player , no doubt about that and I also feel Ramki's assessment is correct to an extent. Gavaskar openly professed to chasing records which is why he has a better record than Visvanath. I remember a test match in Bangalore in the 80s when it was heading to a tame draw and Zaheer Abbas, the pakistan captain pulled off his players just before the commencement of the mandatory overs and Gavaskar stood his ground simply because he was within sight of a century and was helped greatly by his partner to reach the ton. Visvanath would not have done that and would have agreed to end the match with no result possible.

This is not to criticize Gavaskar because that was his personality and he loved to bat regardless of the match situation. He has also played some great knocks, Ramki, if you remember the 221 he made at Oval in 1979 was as good as any played by an Indian batsman and India would have won but for Kapil dev's indiscretion.

He is a product of Bombay Cricket just as Sachin is and they are both similar. Just as Visvanath and Laxman are similar, they are both from the South. Nothing wrong in chasing records because that's the next best option when you are not able to win matches on your own. At least people will remember you for the statistics, especially Indians.

So who is superior, Gavaskar or visvanath, In terms of ability, Visvanath, but in terms of productivity it is Gavaskar. If I want someone to win a match for me on the last day with any of the 3 results possible, I'll have Visvanath. Where as if I need some one to save the match for me, it will be Gavaskar.


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ramkimeena 4 years ago from India Author

Dear Arun,

Thank you for your comments. Your comments are excellent and show the in-depth knowledge you have in the game of cricket. I agree with you fully except perhaps you mentioned Zaheer Abbas as the captain of the Pakistan team in Bangalore test but to my memory it appears as Asif Iqbal. Pakistan deliberately denied Gavaskar a century because the Pakistan players cannot digest a Hindu scoring a century and coveting records. Remember, when Kapil Dev broke the world record for highest number of wickets, Imran Khan jealously asked Richard Hadlee to come out of retirement and break Kapil's record. What was the gain for Imran or Pakistan if Richard Hadlee broke that record for argument's same? Pakistanis can grudgingly accept a record in the hands of a Christian player but they view Hindus with hostility. In Pakistan Madrasas (schools), every young Pakistani is taught to kill atleast hundred Hindus to receive Allah's blessings.

Your observation about Gavaskar's 221 in the Oval test is quite correct. If I remember, India fell short of only 9 runs to win that match. It would have been a grand chase had India won that match. Gavaskar also scored a century in the Port of Spain Test against West Indies in Trinidad in 1976 when India chased an improbable 404 runs and won the match. Viswanath also scored a century in that test. That was the only test in the Indian history of test cricket when both Gavaskar and Viswanath scored centuries in the same innings. But they were not involved in any partnership in that match.

Best wishes,

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