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Ranking Sunil Gavaskar’s top 3 performances in ODI Cricket

Ranking Sunil Gavaskar’s top 3 performances in ODI Cricket

Sunil Gavaskar is one of the best batters to have ever graced the game. His legacy as a Test opener is second to none. Many look up to him as their mentor. His gritty nature was hard to get past. The right-handed batter used to take on the best bowlers in the world and often had success against them. His record against teams like West Indies, Australia, and Pakistan was brilliant. 

However, his Test batting often overshadowed his record as an ODI batter. Although he wasn’t that good in ODIs, especially in the 1970s, the star batter was able to evolve with time. Towards the fag end of his career, Sunil played some great knocks as an ODI batter. Unlike the preconceived opinion about him to be a slow batter, some of Gavaskar’s greatest knocks came at a good pace.

It is time to look at the best ODI knocks of Sunil Gavaskar:

3. 71(87) vs England

The match took place between India and England on the 27th of January 1982 at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. India opted to field first and restricted the visiting side to a total of 230/6. It was a good total and India had a big task in their hands. The challenge was bigger considering the bowling attack of England that had the likes of Bob Willis, Ian Botham, Derek Underwood, and John Lever. 

The Indian opener anchored the chase well. Despite losing a couple of wickets at the other end, Gavaskar chased the score well. The star batter scored 71 runs in 87 balls, which included 10 fours. His strike rotation put England on the back foot. The bowlers had no answers as Sunil and Sandeep Patil helped India to chase down the total by 5 wickets. Sunny won the Player of the Match award for his knock.

2. 90*(117) vs West Indies 

It was the best knock of Gavaskar in ODIs for a long time. The star batter scored an unbeaten 90 runs in 117 balls that came at an SR of 76.92, which was very good for its time. The match took place in Guyana on the 29th of March 1983. Batting first, India posted 282 runs on the board for the loss of 5 wickets. Gavaskar played a key role as he smashed some of the best bowlers in the world. 

Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, and Winston Davis were great back then and could win the match for their sides on their own. On a decent batting surface, Sunil played the role of an anchor to perfection. It helped India to get an above-par total. Gavaskar hit 8 boundaries and rotated the strike well. His knock helped India to win the match by 27 runs ahead of the 1983 World Cup.

1. 103*(88) vs New Zealand 

It’s easily the best ODI knock of Gavaskar. The right-handed batter smashed his first and only hundred and helped India to get into the semifinal of the Reliance World Cup in 1987. The match took place between India and New Zealand in Nagpur on the 31st of October 1987. India had to win by a huge margin to qualify for the semifinal. The target for the home side was 225. 

India got off to a flier and never looked back. The duo of Kris Srikkanth and Gavaskar smashed the bowlers for fun. For a brief period, Sunil played second fiddle to Srikkanth, who looked in an incredible touch. Once Sunil got going, there was no stopping him. In his stay in the middle, Gavaskar scored 103 runs in 88 balls, which included 10 fours and 3 sixes. India won the match by 9 wickets.

 

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