Gavaskar recollects having to bat wearing Wadekar’s pads
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Former and current cricketers have turned to social media as they have been kept away from live action due to the coronavirus pandemic around the world. One of the many topics that they talk about are memories from their early days of playing the sport and the legendary Sunil Gavaskar said that he had batted with Ajit Wadekar’s pads while playing for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy.

Gavaskar said that he had played inter-university cricket tournaments in Sri Lanka and that a triple hundred he scored in one of those matches helped him get his maiden call up to the Indian team. However, he found that he had lost his place in the Mumbai squad once he got back.

“I had missed one Ranji game because I was in Sri Lanka and somebody else had got runs so there was no place for me,” said Gavaskar in a video chat for Unacademy app.

“So on the morning of this match where I was just a 12th man, our captain Ajit Wadekar got injured during fielding practice. This happened before the toss and so I was picked to play in his place.

“These days everyone carries these big kit bags but back then we had a little bag in which we put our shoes ans socks and maybe a change. And so I hadn’t carried my pads or gloves and now what to do!

“So I called my mother up and asked her to please bring my pads. At that stage we didn’t know if we were batting and it later turned out that we were batting first. So then, I used Ajit Wadekar’s pads.”

Gavaskar said that it was not the most comfortable option because Wadekar was a left-handed batsman. “So the portion of the pad which protects your front calf wasn’t quite there but somehow I managed to get a hundred in that game.”

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma had earlier recalled how he had to borrow Zaheer Khan’s shoes during his debut ODI series in Ireland.

“Everyone was at the practice, I was just standing there. And then Rahul Dravid came up to me and asked ‘Ishant why are you not bowling’. I nervously muttered something and he said ‘what’,” Ishant said in a BCCI video.

“So, I said ‘Rahul bhai, mere bag hi nahi aaya hai (my luggage has not arrived)’. He said ‘what does that mean’? I said ‘I put in the flight, but I have not received them’. Rahul Dravid asked me that how will I play the match tomorrow. I was shocked again,” he further said. “I borrowed shoes from Zaheer Khan and played my first ODI match,” the bowler further said.

(With agency inputs)