Gavaskar is rated as one of his country’s greatest ever players, and one of the best Test openers of all time, having scored 10,122 runs in 125 Tests at an average of 51.12. However, according to More, who played 49 Tests for India, to watch Gavaskar in practice, you would wonder how he would manage to score any runs at all in a match.
“He was one of the worst players I’ve ever seen in the nets,” More said. “He used to never like practising in the nets. When you see him practice in the nets and he’s going to play in a Test match tomorrow, and when he goes and bats in a Test match it’s 99.9 per cent different. When you see him bat in the nets it’s like ‘How is he going to score runs?’ And then when you see him next day morning it’s like ‘Wow’.”
More says it’s Gavaskar’s concentration and his determination not to waste starts that set him apart on the field.
“The best God-given gift given to Sunil Gavaskar is his concentration,” More added. “The level of concentration he had was unbelievable. Once he would get into his zone, nobody could get close to him or he would not listen to you. If you’re talking next to him or dancing next to him he’ll be in his zone and he’ll be focussing on his cricket.
“Sunil was very disciplined. I remember when I came into the Indian team, we played a lot of domestic cricket together for the West Zone. I remember a Test match at Wankhede and Sunil got out for about 40 or 30. And when he came back, there was nobody in the dressing room. Everybody was running around, in every corner they were trying to hide.
“He came inside the dressing room and he threw his gloves, he was so upset because he got out for 30 or 40. He used to never like it. If he got out for a duck or five runs or 10 runs he’s fine, but if he’s batting there for one hour and gets out, he used to hate that. ‘How can I get out?’ But he was very highly regarded, respected in the dressing room.”