Maninder Singh

Sunny says

When Gavaskar said, "Watch me score a hundred" and proceeded to do just that

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Gavaskar: man of his word © AFP

Sunil Gavaskar was a great cricketer. I remember one instance when he didn't want to play a practice game in 1986. He told the manager and captain, "Just leave me alone. I'll come and play the Tests." He was somebody who would not bat for more than 10 minutes in the nets, but on the field he was the god of concentration.

The thing was, he was not having a great time in the county matches, and the press had written him off because of the way he was getting out. I remember I wasn't playing that particular game, against Somerset.

Kapil [Dev] and I had just finished a fielding session, and we were coming back, and Sunny was coming down the stairs to open the innings. He tapped my shoulder, and said, "Don't go in to change, just sit there and watch me score a hundred." And he did score a hundred!

What concentration and mental strength. He could get out by making the same mistakes again and again, and he could say, "Watch me score a hundred", and do just that.

As told to Sidharth Monga

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