Former Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More has revealed that Sunil Gavaskar, contrary to his exploits with the bat on the field, was "one of the worst players" in the nets. Gavaskar was the first player in cricket history to breach the five-figure mark in the longest format of the game, scoring 10,122 runs in 125 matches. He is widely regarded as one of the greats of the game.
Talking about Gavaskar in the net sessions, More recalled that it was almost impossible to believe that Gavaskar in the nets and Gavaskar on the field were the same batsmen.
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“He was one of the worst players I’ve ever seen in the nets,” More said on The Greatest Rivalry podcast.
“He used to never like practising in the nets. When you see him practice in the nets and he’s going to play in a Test match tomorrow, and when he goes and bats in a Test match it’s 99.9 per cent different. When you see him bat in the nets it’s like ‘How is he going to score runs?’ And then when you see him next day morning it’s like ‘Wow’.”
More insisted that Gavaskar's concentration levels were second-to-none. (ALSO READ: Watch: Tendulkar attempts forehand shot, asks for tips from Federer)
“The best God-given gift given to Sunil Gavaskar is his concentration. The level of concentration he had was unbelievable. Once he would get into his zone, nobody could get close to him or he would not listen to you. If you’re talking next to him or dancing next to him, he’ll be in his zone and he’ll be focussing on his cricket," said the former Indian cricketer.
Recollecting a domestic cricket match, More narrated the story of how Gavaskar failed to cross the 50-run mark and returned to dressing room hugely upset for not getting a big score.
“Sunil was very disciplined. I remember when I came into the Indian team, we played a lot of domestic cricket together for the West Zone. I remember a Test match at Wankhede and Sunil got out for about 40 or 30. And when he came back, there was nobody in the dressing room. Everybody was running around, in every corner they were trying to hide,” More said.
“He came inside the dressing room and he threw his gloves, he was so upset because he got out for 30 or 40. He used to never like it. If he got out for a duck or five runs or 10 runs, he’s fine, but if he’s batting there for one hour and gets out, he used to hate that. ‘How can I get out?’ But he was very highly regarded, respected in the dressing room.”