X close
X close

Fading Art Of Playing Spin: Missing The Sunil Gavaskar Template Of 1987

By IANS News
March 02, 2021 • 23:21 PM View: 1288

Lalit Modi wouldn't agree if someone pointed out that lately, and specifically since 2008, the year he launched the path-breaking T20 Indian Premier League (IPL), batsmen have forgotten the art of playing spin adroitly.

Raised on a heavy dose of 20-over cricket, youngsters - and many batsmen representing their countries - these days don't know how to graft for runs, particularly on pitches that assist the turn.


A sample of this disappearing trait was there for all to watch with dismay during the third India-England Ahmedabad Test on an untested pitch. Although India won the match handsomely in the end with three days to spare, even several home team batsmen disappointed. A majority of them were out to balls that went straight.

On the other side of the spectrum, Sunil Gavaskar grafted for 320 minutes - or almost five-and-a-half hours - for his classic 96 (8x4s) on a viciously turning pitch at Bangalore's M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack described that knock thus: "But on the fourth day, on a pitch which allowed even an off-spinner to bowl bouncers, Gavaskar gave a masterly exhibition of technique and judgment."

India lost that match by just 16 runs, despite left-arm spinner Maninder Singh capturing his career-best seven-wicket haul, but Gavaskar left a classic template on how to bat on a treacherous pitch for all to follow.

The Indian team - or even the touring Englishmen - would have done well to watch the video of that Gavaskar innings. Who knows, the team might have even watched it as their coach, Ravi Shastri, the top wicket-taker in the second innings with four scalps, could have at least recalled that Gavaskar knocks in one of them the team meetings.

Read More

Win Big, Make Your Cricket Prediction Now