'He was bowling like the wind' - Sunil Gavaskar shares a funny anecdote while naming the fastest bowler he faced
Gavaskar never sported a helmet during his career.
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One of the greatest batters to have ever stepped onto the cricket field, Sunil Gavaskar piled up a plethora of runs during his glorious international cricket. The right-handed batter also faced plenty of quality fast bowlers during his playing career. Notably, Gavaskar’s career coincided with pace merchants like Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Dennis Lillee, and Jeff Thomson, who instilled fears in minds of many batters.
It also must be noted that the five ft five in Gavaskar never sported a helmet during his career. The same speaks volumes of his self-confidence and ability. Meanwhile, the 72-year-old named Australia’s Jeff Thomson as the fastest bowler he ever faced. While doing so, he also recalled an interesting anecdote from a Test match between India and Australia in Sydney.
The quickest bowler I ever faced was Jeff Thompson: Sunil Gavaskar
The former Indian captain revealed that a verbal spat with India opener Chetan Chauhan fired up Thomson and the pacer ended up bowling “the fastest spell” Gavaskar had ever faced.
“The quickest (bowler I ever faced) was Jeff Thompson. We dismissed Australia for batting first at Sydney. Australia had won the toss and we dismissed them for something like a 140 or thereabouts and you know what happens when toss is won by the captain, the fast bowlers are only in their track suit for the whole day”, said Gavaskar on SuperSport.
“They are not supposed to be in their whites but here Thommo was in his whites even before Tea and it had just started to drizzle where the umpires don’t take you off the field but it just freshens up the pitch,” he added.
Speaking of the tiff between Thomson and Chauhan, Gavaskar said the former Aussie pacer misunderstood an altercation between the Indian players and went onto bowl an “unbelievable spell.”
“Man he was something. He was not happy about bowling at that stage. Then what had happened was my opening partner Chetan Chauhan used to play this slash, that used to send the ball racing. And the team was teasing him about it. So he played that shot off Tommo and it went off the top edge, one bounce into the boundary for four,” recalled the 72-year-old.
“In Sydney, the visitors’ change room is closer to the action than the home team’s change room so when that boundary was hit, everyone got up and shouted master. We all could hear it. Chetan, recognizing that these guys are making fun, started to shake his head and laugh. But as he laughed, he made eye contact with Thommo in his follow through,” he added.
Thomson wasn’t happy with Chetan’s gesture as the same prompted him to spit venom with the red cherry.
“Thommo thought that he was laughing at him. So he went across and marked a cross on Chetan’s helmet. He said, I am going to hit you there and then see if you laugh. Chetan said you do what you want. And I from the non-striker’s end was trying to tell him, ‘Chetan, leave it.’ I am speaking to him in Marathi and he tells me, ‘I am a Rajput. I don’t take a backward step’. And after that, he was bowling like the wind. Everything was flying around there. Unbelievable. That was the fastest spell I have faced,” concluded Gavaskar.