Sunil Gavaskar’s unflappable temperament and near-perfect technique against the fastest bowlers of his time was a part of Indo-Pak cricketing folklore, but when it came to respect, Javed Miandad always had the highest regard for Sunil Gavaskar’s near-perfect technique against the fastest bowlers of his time.
Current players, according to Miandad, should watch video clips of Gavaskar’s batting to see how he dealt with the likes of Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee, and Dennis Lillee, among others.
“Given his diminutive stature, it’s amazing how brilliantly he played all around the world.” In a video published by the Pakistan Cricket Board, Miandad observed, “His consistency and performances are astounding.”
Gavaskar’s flawless defense and balance against big fast bowlers, according to Miandad, are lessons that can be learned.
“Today’s players can learn a great deal from watching his recordings. Watch how he dealt with fast bowlers despite his diminutive stature. He played in an age when he had to face some of the most terrifying speed bowlers in the world, including those from the West Indies, England, Australia, New Zealand, and even Pakistan, and he was still successful.”
Miandad, who played 124 Tests and was Pakistan’s most run scorer until Younis Khan overtook him, also spoke about his friendship with the former India captain.
“I had a lot of fun watching him hit.” Because his level of concentration and focus was so great, I used to field close to him and keep talking away to distract him,” he added.
“There were times when I managed to disrupt his concentration, and when he came out, he always cursed me, which I relished.”
India was lucky, according to Miandad, to have Gavaskar and his brother-in-law, Gundappa Vishwanath, play at the same time.
“Vishwanath was a great player, but Gavaskar was outstanding.”
Miandad, who coached the national team three times, said he loved seeing Gavaskar bat and had some notable on-field duels with him.