When it comes to choosing the best cricketer from India, it is indeed not an easy task. However, Sunil Gavaskar has decided on one, who he believes is head and shoulders above everyone else. Perhaps, Sunil Gavaskar expressed no reluctance when he was asked to name the best Indian player of all time despite a host of contenders.
India has boasted of some of the best cricketers across every era. From the likes of Sunil Gavaskar himself, Mohinder Amarnath, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, the names are endless. As for the most recent era, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma remain some of the most prominent names. Thus, it is always an uphill challenge to name an all-time Indian eleven.
When asked Sunil Gavaskar, he did not hesitate to name all-rounder Kapil Dev as the number one and the best. Gavaskar mentioned that Kapil Dev could win matches with the bat and ball.
The opening batsman elaborated that Kapil could pick crucial wickets or score a blazing hundred to turn the game on its head. He highlighted the 1983 World Cup-winning skipper’s efforts in the field as well, labelling him as a complete cricketer.
“Top of everything would be Kapil Dev, he would be No.1. For me, he is the best. All-time No.1 will always be Kapil Dev. He could win the match with the bat and with the ball. He would take the wickets and win the match for you.
“He would score a scorching hundred or quickfire 80-90 and turn the game around. He made an impact with the bat. He made an impact with the ball. Don’t forget all those catches that he took. So he was a complete cricketer,” Sunil Gavaskar told India Today.
Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni were very, very similar: Sunil Gavaskar
The 70-year-old Gavaskar further said that MS Dhoni and Kapil Dev had similar approaches to the game. Not only the pair loved playing the game, but also wanted to remain in the centre of the action and give performances good enough for the team to emerge victorious.
“Both (Dhoni and Kapil) were very, very similar. Both had similar approaches to the game. They loved playing the game. Both of them loved being in the center of action and they wanted to achieve great things for their teams. In that way, both are very similar,” the Mumbai batsman asserted.
Gavaskar concluded by saying that Dhoni and Kapil were also perfect at keeping their emotions in check even when the players fumble on the field. That causes the athletes to improve their gameplay and play freely.
“If a captain is a little more irritable at a catch being dropped or a misfield, then the players get even more nervous. And that’s where Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni scored. They just controlled their emotions so well, that the players did not feel affected at all and played their own game freely,” he added.