MUMBAI: The 1970-71 tour of the West Indies by the Indian team provided glimpses of Sunil Gavaskar's abilities as a batsman and put him on the way to becoming the legend he is today.
The series saw India register their first-ever Test win and also their first-ever Test series win against the West Indies, and Gavaskar played a key role in the Ajit Wadekar-led side's success by top-scoring with 774 runs, the most runs scored by a debutant in a series for India.
The series also shaped Gavaskar's rivalry with the West Indies team, which had the best bowling attack of their time. The Little Master loved to take on the West Indies, scoring 13 of his 34 centuries against them.
On the occasion of his 73rd birthday recently, Sunil Gavaskar went down memory lane, recalling his battles with the West Indies in the latest episode of CRED's 'The Long Game Series'. Gavaskar joined players like Rahul Dravid, Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev, Mithali Raj, Ashish Nehra, and Kiran More, to feature in the series that brings fans closer to the stars.
While he achieved lots of success against the West Indies, Gavaskar also admired the West Indies team of the 70s.
"Well, the West Indies were a wonderful, wonderful team at that particular point of time. And to beat them was something that was an ambition and a dream of many Indian players," he said in the latest episode of 'The Long Game'.
While Gavaskar made his mark on the 1970-71 tour of the West Indies, Trinidadian singer Lord Relator made a song about the Little Master after the Indian batter scored 774 runs in his debut series. The song titled 'Gavaskar Calypso' was in praise of the Indian team, which was putting the West Indies 'in trouble'.
"Lord Relator was a West Indian, and for him to praise the Indian team was something really special. To see an opponent do that, was a lesson in accepting defeat with humility because you can't always be the winner, you can't always be the best. There will always be some time, somebody on a particular day who will be better than you."
In the subsequent tour of the Caribbean, Gavaskar scored 360 runs against a team that included fast bowlers like Michael Holding and Andy Roberts -- continuing his success against the mighty West Indies.