Sunil Gavaskar names the hardest pitch he has played on, picks the best all-rounder of his time

Sunil Gavaskar names the hardest pitch he has played on, picks the best all-rounder of his time

Former India opening batter Sunil Gavaskar picked an Indian pitch as the toughest.

Sunil Gavaskar during his double century. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Patrick Eagar Collection via Getty Images)

We have heard many stories or watched how some of the pitches in Australia, South Africa, and West Indies are conducive for the fast bowlers. Generally, in the sub-continent, the pitches tend to favor spin bowlers where the visiting batters struggle. During the eras of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and early part of 90s the batters would have to deal with pitches that either used to spit venom, or which that would prodigiously offer spin.

Former legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar had to deal with many of those pitches but he used to come on top of some, while on some he would get battered and bruised. The former opening batter scored over 10000 runs and has batted on some of the quickest and bounciest surfaces like Perth, Jamaica, Brisbane, and more. But he feels the one pitch in Chennai was the hardest one deal with.

Speaking about the match where India had hosted West Indies where the batter was taken aback by the pitch which was on offer, he said, “The hardest pitch that I have played on was in Chennai in 1978 against the West Indies. It was the fastest pitch that I played on.”

“I’ve played at Sabina Park on a couple of occasions where the ball was flying. I’ve played at Perth. I’ve played at the Gabba where the ball was travelling,” Gavaskar said on The Cricket Analyst podcast.

“I’ve played on a rain-fresh pitch at Sydney when Jeff Thomson was really letting it rip. But that pitch in Chennai with Sylvester Clarke. The ball was just flying around. I think that’s the most difficult pitch I’ve batted on.”

Sunil Gavaskar picks Sir Garfield Sobers as the greatest all-rounder

During his time, Gavaskar played with and against the likes of Sir Ian Botham, Kapil Dev, Sir Garfield Sobers, Imran Khan, and Richard Hadlee, who were all considered as one of the best allrounders to have ever graced the game. When asked to pick one, the former opener went with Sobers due to his sheer brilliance in all aspects of the game.

“The greatest allrounder that I saw was Sir Garfield Sobers because he was quite simply somebody who could change the game with the bat, he could change the game with the ball. He could change the game by taking an incredible catch close in or even in the outfield. But that impact that he had and the number of matches he turned with both bat and ball is the reason why he was the greatest allrounder that I have ever seen,” he said.