Sunil Gavaskar’s embarrassing record

For a greater part of his Test career, Sunil Gavaskar carried an enormous burden of giving India a decent total. Even when the team had stalwarts like Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Vengsarkar and Mohinder Amarnath, the expectation of the entire country was hugely on Gavaskar.

A common question of Indian fans of those times when people followed matches on the radio was: “Is Gavaskar is still batting?” An affirmative answer brought a smile on the face of the Indian fans as Gavaskar’s presence meant there was hope for the Indian team.

The man who scored the highest number of runs and hundreds before quitting Test cricket, however, had the mortification of getting out to the first ball the Test not once, not twice but a record three times.

He was out to the first ball at Edgbaston in 1974 when he was caught behind by Allan Knott off Geoff Arnold. Gavaskar again fell to the first ball when Malcolm Marshall had him caught behind by Jeff Dujon in the 1983 Kolkata Test. Gavaskar suffered the ignominy for the third time when Imran Khan had him caught by Javed Miandad in the 1987 Jaipur Test.

It remained an unparalled till Hannan Sarkar equaled that unwanted record between 2002-2004. Interestingly, Sarkar was dismissed on all three occasions by Pedro Collins.