Today’s generation of cricket fans, especially young fans, admire the game of cricket for its numbers. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav are amazed and praised for scoring so many thousand runs, so many hundreds, so many runs in such a quick pace. While this is acceptable, it seems that they need a cricket history lesson when they rate the past greats as nothing with a similar goal.
On that day, we asked whether Virat Kohli is a world-class player or a great player. We gave examples of players like Sunil Gavaskar, Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, described a brilliant innings by Graeme Hick, but some readers reacted rudely, let’s leave it at that, but talking about Gavaskar, we mention his 60 overs and 36 not out in World Cup cricket for a moment. The cricketing era of the great player has been interrupted and understood. This is nothing more than an empty comment without cricket history theory.
Because this same Gavaskar, when the May Islands team came to India after winning the 1983 World Cup, in the Kanpur Test match, Malcolm Marshall’s high-velocity ball, the bat flew away when he raised the bat, was caught at square leg and the bat flew away and picked it up from where it fell. OK! That’s the story of Gavaskar. The talk of Sunil Gavaskar at that time was that Gavaskar’s dream of breaking Don Bradman’s record of 29 centuries would not be fulfilled.
But during the next Delhi Test when he was questioned about the bat flying in the Marshall ball in the Kanpur Test, he said, ‘The Marshall ball was faster than usual and I always swung the bouncer with the bat up and thinking it would fall under my feet, but the extra speed made the bat fly. It was snatched from the hand. I am going to play hook shots in this Delhi Test’ he said.
Many people joked and teased that Gavaskar would play a hook shot, but Gavaskar had to be bowled by Clive Lloyd at deep square leg, deep pine leg, and deep mid-wicket. Hitting 3 hook sixes, he thrashed the May Islands bowlers and scored the fastest century in 95 balls. Our question is whether it’s the 90s kids who laugh at 36 in 60 overs, the 90s kids who underestimate Gavaskar, or the 2000 kids. This innings was preceded by Sunil Gavaskar’s 117-ball 90 in a one-day international at Perbais during Sunil Gavaskar’s tour of May 1982, Kapil Dev’s 38-ball 72, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Winston Davies and other fast bowlers were there. India were bowled out for 282 runs before the May Islands were bowled out for 255 runs in the 1983 World Cup, which set the stage for Kapil Dev’s epic victory over the May Islands in the 1983 World Cup. So to know about Gavaskar one has to flip the pages of history.
Ian Chappell on Doug Walters:
What is a world-class game and who is a world-class player can be taken as a self-theorem to prove who is a world-class innings and a world-class player.
Doug Walters was the only player to score a century in one session three times in internationals, and it was a big deal no helmets, no bouncer controls, no pitch covers, so the pitch was never the same the next day.
At that time there was no place for the talk of calling the small teams and calling the bats and pitches like now. In this case, what Ian Chappell and Doug Walters say about IPL and T20 fans of this period will be very suitable.
Doug Walters recounts a magnificent innings played by the May Islands in Trinidad in 1973 against the May Islands. That means the Trinidad pitch can help the May Islands’ best off-spinner Lance Gibbs. And that pitch had a small dent just outside the off-stump on a good length spot for the off-spinner, so Gibbs’ balls either turned terribly or bounced, or turned in low. Dancing is very difficult, says Ian Chappell.
Then Greg Chappell, brother of Ian Chappell, got out just before the lunch break. Next comes Doug Walters. A cover drive is usually a difficult shot to play against off spin bowling. And it is difficult to stand when the balls bounce back on the pitch where to play the cover drive? But Doug Walters came down and hit a cover drive off Gibbs who was pitched in the same hole on the first ball. Walters could not be stopped after that Doug Walters scored 102 runs between the lunch and tea breaks.
One instance Ian Chappell mentions is when Doug Walters bullshots a ball to empty midwicket in an over bowled by Lance Gibbs. Immediately, Gibbs orders the player standing at point to come to mid-wicket. Walters drives the next ball, a return off-spin ball slightly on the leg stump to the unmanned point boundary. Gibbs immediately sends the mid-wicket player back to point, but Walters sends it back to the empty mid-wicket boundary when the next ball is not short-pitched. All these 3 balls are pitched at almost the same length, says Ian Chappell. This is the pinnacle of cricket finesse. Many may or may not have played as well as Doug Walters since then but this is quality cricket, quality cricket! No one but Ian Chappell could have observed it so closely. Today, the quality of cricket commentary has also fallen into the abyss. Views on the game of cricket have also plummeted in statistics.