Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has heaped praise on former teammate Kapil Dev and spoke about their time together with the Indian cricket team. The legendary opener jogged down the memory lane and revealed an incident which, according to him, won him Kapil's respect.
"In my opinion, Kapil Dev is the biggest match-winner India has ever produced. This is so because he could win games both with his batting and bowling abilities," Gavaskar was quoted as saying by Jagran.com.
"I remember the first time I played against him was at Chennai's M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in the Wills Trophy in 1978. We had just returned from the tour of Australia and Kapil and another talented all-rounder Rajendra Jadeja started to bowl against Mumbai. (Also Read | 37 years ago, Kapil's Devils defied all odds to win India's maiden World Cup)
"Kapil was bowling well but was bowling from a bit wide of the crease, so I was able to leave the deliveries easily. When I went towards his end I asked him to bowl from a bit closer to the wicket. His teammates thought I was sledging him but he told them otherwise and then started to trouble the Mumbai batsmen following my suggestion," he added.
"This was the first instance when I met him and the fact that I helped him despite being on the opposite team, I think that stayed with him and he always respected me thereafter."
Kapil's finest moment in the Indian jersey came when he led the team to a historic World Cup title at the iconic Lord's in 1983. Gavaskar was also part of that legendary side that stunned then two-time defending champions West Indies. (Also Read | 'Thank you Kapil Dev, deeply indebted': Indian cricket fraternity pays tribute to 'Class of 83')
Gavaskar revealed how few senior board members and a few cricketers tried to cause problems between the two.
"Few members of the board and some players who had retired at the time joined hands with the media and tried to create differences between us," Gavaskar said.
"But we were always thinking about the betterment of the sport in the country and that is why we never let it bother us."