The article speaks about the high class of test match batting by giants like Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath and Mohinder Amarnath in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The present Indian test cricket team lacks batsmen of the callibre of Sunil Gavakar, Mohinder Amarnath and Gundappa Viswanath. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Indian cricket team had to face deadly fast bowling of the class of Marshall, Holding, Roberts and Garner of West Indies, Lillie, Thomson, Gilmour of Australia, Imran Khan, Sarfaraz Nawaz of Pakistan, Ian Botham and Bob Willis of England and Sir Richard Hadlee of New Zealand.
In that backdrop Gavaskar scored 10,122 runs in 125 tests, scoring 34 centuries at an average of 51.12. He used to be considered one of the greatest openers after Sir Don Bradman and at par with brilliant openers like Geofrey Boycott and Graham Gooch. Gundappa Viswanath scored 6080 runs in 91 tests, scoring 14 centuries at an average of 41.93 runs. He was very wristy player and his shots used to impress the audience. Mohinder Amarnath scored 4378 runs in 69 tests scoring 11 centuries at an average of 42.50 runs.
He was an elegant player and famous for hook and pull shots. Just like Sunil Gavaskar his best performances were against West Indies who were superior team in the early 1980s.
India lost many matches in India and oversees but the best fast bowlers across the world saluted Gavaskar, Viswanath and Amarnath for their elegant batting.
If that level of excellence is compared with the present day Indian test cricket team, the present Indian batsmen are no match to the class of Gavaskar, Mohinder and Viswanath.
Firstly due to too much of T20s and Onedayers, the Indian players are day by day losing the technique that is required to play test cricket. So Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan who were great one day players had failed to face the fast bowling of Dale Steyn, Anderson, Mitchele Johnson and others.
The One-dayers are one form of eye-washers for the cricketers. Fast bowlers are not allowed to bowl more than 2 bouncers in an over. The fielding restrictions also favour the bowlers. In that backdrop Virat Kohli’s record shows 5,634 runs in 134 one-dayers with 19 centuries. His average in one-dayers is 52.16. Now the same player’s test record is not impressive at all. He had scored 1,829 runs in 28 test with an average of 40.64 with 6 centuries.
Whenever tests are played in the Indian subcontinent, liking India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka the present day batsmen are comfortable against spin. When matches are played in South Africa, England and Australia they miserably fail. These days so much of cricket is played it is very easy to topple the records of the veterans.
But if the class of batting is evaluated, Gavaskar, Amarnath and Viswanath were gifted batsmen whose class could not be equated with the class of other stroke players. If Gavaskar was known for his straight drive and glance, Mohinder Amarnath was known for his hook and pull, Viswanath was known for his square cut and flick. The new generation should learn the technique of test batting from these giants.
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Gavaskar, Viswanath and Mohinder had even extra credit because practiced against medium pacers excepting Kapil Dev who bowled expressly. Yet they had the technique of facing deadly fast bowlers. Today India's batsmen practice against Isharma Sharma, Mohammad Shami who are fast. Yet they miserably fail.