On this Day: Sunil Gavaskar’s bizarre 174-ball 36* against England in the 1975 World Cup draws criticism

Sunil Gavaskar played at a strike-rate of around 20 against England as India lost the match by a mammoth margin of 202 runs at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Sunil Gavaskar of India. Courtesy: Reuters

Sunil Gavaskar of India. Courtesy: Reuters

HIGHLIGHTS

  • India lost the match at the Lord’s by 202 runs
  • Gavaskar was India’s leading run-scorer in the 1975 World Cup
  • Gavaskar scored 3092 runs in ODI cricket from 108 matches

Sunil Gavaskar was the first batter in Test cricket to score 10,000 runs and is regarded as one of the legends of the game. The now 72-year-old was no mug when it came to the limited-overs format as he scored 3092 runs from 108 ODI matches at an average of 35.13 with one century and 27 half-centuries to show for his efforts.

But one of his knocks 47 years ago is mostly remembered for all the wrong reasons. The Mumbai-born cricketer scored 36 runs off 174 in the 1975 World Cup match against England at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.

After opting to bat first, England, led by Mike Denness, racked up a huge score of 334/4 in 60 overs. Opening batter Dennis Amiss scored a 147-ball 137 with 18 fours and led the charge for the Three Lions. Keith Fletcher and Chris Old also made useful half-centuries.

GAVASKAR’S INDIFFERENT KNOCK

The Indian batters were expected to fire on all cylinders in their run-chase. However, they went into their shell right from the outset and could never come out of it. Gavaskar stayed unbeaten until the very end as India ended their innings at 132/3, thereby losing the match by a mammoth margin of 202 runs at the Home of Cricket.

That he played at a strike-rate of 20.68 attracted a lot of criticism for the veteran. Gavaskar was India’s leading run-scorer in the inaugural edition of the World Cup, having scored 113 runs at an average of 113 with a top score of an unbeaten 65.

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