KARACHI: Their on-field banter, sometimes playful and sometimes bitter, is part of Indo-Pakistani cricket folklore, but when it comes to respect Javed Miandad has always had the highest regard for Sunil Gavaskar’s unflappable temper and his almost perfect against the fastest bowlers of his time.
Miandad believes current players should watch video clips of Gavaskar’s stick to learn how he tackled some of the world’s toughest fast bowlers like Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee, Dennis Lillee, among others.
“It was amazing that considering his short stature he performed well all over the world. His consistency and performance is remarkable,” Miandad said in a video released by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Miandad thinks Gavaskar’s immaculate defense and balance while barely standing 5-foot-5 against big, fast bowlers are lessons that can be learned.
“Players these days can learn a lot by watching his videos. See how he faced fast bowlers despite his short stature. He played in a time when he faced the toughest bowlers in the West Indies, England , Australia, New Zealand and even against Pakistan and yet he succeeded.
Miandad, who rode 124 Tests and remained Pakistan’s top runner before Younis Khan overtook him, also spoke of the camaraderie he shared with the former India skipper.
“I enjoyed watching him beat. I remember I used to stand close to him and chat to distract him because his concentration level was so high,” he said.
“There were times when I managed to disrupt his concentration and when he went out he always left cursing at me and I liked that.”
Miandad said India were lucky to have Gavaskar and his brother-in-law Gundappa Vishwanath playing around the same time.
“Vishwanath was another top player but Gavaskar was exceptional.”
Miandad, who has coached the national team three times, said he always enjoyed watching Gavaskar beat and had famous duels with him on the pitch.
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