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Watch: Sunil Gavaskar gets mobbed by fans, garlanded mid-pitch after becoming first to reach 10,000 Test runs

Sunil Gavaskar reaches 10,000 Test runs
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: At Ahmedabad in 1986/87, Sunil Gavaskar played a “delectable late cut” off Ijaz Faqih and ran for the single that made him the first to 10,000 runs in Test cricket.

It was in Ahmedabad that Gavaskar had gone past Geoff Boycott’s world record tally of 8,114 runs to become the first Indian to venture into uncharted territory in Test cricket.

That was against the West Indies, in the same series where he first equalled, then went past Don Bradman’s world record of 29 Test hundreds.


At the time of Gavaskar’s debut, the Indian record for most Test runs (3,631) and hundreds (12) had both belonged Polly Umrigar: he had already more than doubled both counts.

The only thing to look forward to, as an individual, was the five-figure mark. The Australian tour of 1985/86 had taken him past 9,000. Two hundreds on that tour, followed by two more in the home season, pushed him to 9,827 before the Pakistan series began.

There were only 173 more to be made, and he wiped off more than half of that in Madras with an innings of 91. He opted out of the Calcutta Test and fell first ball in Jaipur, but 24 in the second innings brought him to within 58 of the mark.

The anticipation was immense, though they had to wait, for Pakistan batted into the third day to put up 395 after Faqih made 105 to lift them from 176-6. Shivlal Yadav finished with 4-109, the fourth wicket taking him to the 100-wicket mark. It is perhaps unfair that Faqih’s innings is not his most-remembered performance of the Test match.

Neither Kris Srikkanth nor Mohinder Amarnath lasted, but Gavaskar found an able partner in Dilip Vengsarkar, and went past fifty. By his own admission, Gavaskar preferred not to look at the scoreboard while batting, but the anticipatory applause ensured he knew when he was on 9,999.

When he played the late cut off Faqih, thus, he knew that this was it, and held his bat aloft as he sprinted towards the non-striker’s end. Play had to be stopped, of course, for there was a crowd invasion, followed by handshaking and garlanding.

He fell for 63, and signed off with 21 and 96 in his final Test match, in a defeat in Bangalore.

Watch Sunil Gavaskar’s 10,000th Test run here:

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