21st March 1971: Gavaskar Writes First Chapter of Illustrious Career
Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar rewrote the history books with nothing but a bat in his hand and it all started with 'that' tour of the West Indies in 1971.
Playing in his first Test series, Gavaskar took the tour by the scruff of the neck and hit some majestic knocks that are still celebrated in cricket folklore.
Sunny made his debut in the second Test of the five-match series at Port-of-Spain in 1971, which India won by 7 wickets. Gavaskar scored a half-century in each innings to announce himself on the biggest stage in international cricket.
It was a landmark victory for India as the visitors had finally managed to defeat West Indies after 24 previous failed attempts. However, it was his innings in the third Test in Guyana that forced everyone to stand up and take notice of the Little Master.
On March 21, 1971, Gavaskar slammed his maiden Test century in only his third innings as an Indian cricketer in Guyana. Gavaskar hit the likes of Garry Sobers and Lance Gibbs to all corners of the park during his knock of 116 runs. He followed it up with another half-century in the second innings that helped India draw the game.
In his next four innings, Gavaskar's scores read: Barbados (1, 117) & Port-of-Spain (124, 220). Both the Tests were drawn as India went on to clinch its first-ever Test series in the Caribbean.
Gavaskar ended his first tour with astonishing figures of 774 runs at an average of 154 in 4 Tests and no Indian player has even come close to breaking this record since then. The Little Master went onto to score 34 centuries in 125 Tests, but it was his first ton on March 21, 1971 that really set the tone for his astonishing career.