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Former India captain and one of most legendary batters of all time, Sunil Gavaskar turns 74 today. Affectionately known as ‘Sunny’, Gavaskar has been one of the finest in Test cricket for India and has showcased his mastery in the format multiple times during the course of his illustrious cricketing journey. The former India opener made his mark in his first Test series against the formidable West Indies in the Caribbean. 

Looking through his cricketing career, he has stellar records and achieved plenty of milestones.

First Player to score 10,000 Test runs: Gavaskar created history on 7 March, 1987 as he became the first cricketer to breach the 10,000 runs mark in Tests and he achieved the feat in a Test match against Pakistan. It was also the last test series he played and accumulated a total of 10,122 runs. Currently he is the third highest Test run-scorer for India, only behind Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

34 Test Centuries: Gavaskar also held the record for the most tons in the game’s larger format. In his 125 Test appearances, the ‘Little Master’ smashed 34 tons.For a long time, the record seemed unbreakable until another batting hero, Sachin Tendulkar, broke it in 2005.

Extraordinary Debut Series with 774 runs: In a series vs West Indies in 1971, everyone witnessed Sunil Gavaskar’s unforgettable performance as he scored 774 runs in eight innings, including four centuries and one double century. It is considered to be the highest number of runs scored by an Indian batter in Test series and 12th overall the world. He played a crucial role in India’s first series victory in the Caribbean.In fact, Gavaskar has the most Test hundreds against the West Indies, that’s 13 from 27 matches.

Fielding Accolades: While most of us are familiar with Gavaskar’s exploits with the bat, few are aware of his skill as a fielder. If wicketkeepers are excluded, Gavaskar is also the first Indian outfielder to record a century of catches in Tests.For the record, he had 108 catches in his Test career. His extreme vigilance in the field made him one of the most significant players in the Indian Team.

The 1983 World Cup: Gavaskar was a member of the World Cup-winning team in 1983, which earned India its first silverware in the showcase tournament. Gavaskar’s career reached a new high a year later when, as captain, he guided India to victory in the World Championship of Cricket 1984-85. Surprisingly, Gavaskar’s bat remained silent in both these series.

Gavaskar’s exceptional career is defined by breaking and setting numerous batting records, including his extraordinary performance against West Indies fast bowling attack, which is still regarded as the sternest ever.Between 1971 and 1987, Gavaskar played several remarkable and heroic innings in the game’s longest and most difficult format. His tremendous hits on difficult pitches and brilliant fielding catapulted him to the rank of a legend.

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