For someone as eloquent and experienced as Sunil Gavaskar, you'd think mistakes wouldn't be so frequent, but alas! He ends up saying and doing questionable stuff every few months, leading to a mass call-out from the internet. Here are a few such instances from the recent past and the days when he was a part of the team.
1. He recently said Shane Warne is not the greatest spinner in his opinion. Now, the opinion itself isn't wrong, in that he is entitled to it. However, to express it right after the Australian cricketer's demise was as bad as someone's timing can get.
Look at Warne's record against India. It was pretty ordinary against India. Because he didn't have much success against Indian players, who are very good players of spin bowling, I don't think I would call him the greatest.
To make matters worse, he also commented on Warne's lifestyle, which was totally uncalled for.
He was always looking to live life fully, king-size as they call it and he did that and maybe because he lived life in such a manner is perhaps the reason why his heart couldn't take it and he passed away so soon.
Not surprised but disappointed! Grace is a rare specie! Sunil Gavaskar shocked by Shane Warne's death but says he was not the greatest spinner https://t.co/Cv6aIgqELS— Faisal Shariff (@faisalshariff) March 7, 2022
Gavaskar apologised for his statement later, also adding that he shouldn't have been asked that question in the first place.
2. When Virat Kohli dropped 2 catches in matches against KXIP during IPL 2021, Gavaskar, who was in the commentary box, said that he has only practiced Anushka's bowling during the lockdown (insinuating for that to be the reason behind Virat's mistakes).
It's shameful what Sunil Gavaskar commnted on Virat and Anushka's personal life. A player always has good days and bad days and yesterday was just a bad one which obviously doesn't give anyone the right to comment on any player's personal life @imVkohli @AnushkaSharma— Samriddhi (@Samridd46288784) September 25, 2020
Obviously, that was not in good taste, and Anushka responded to his remarks through an Instagram story.
3. Gavaskar has said controversial things for a long time now. For instance, in his book Sunny Days which was published in 1976, he wrote some really racist stuff and was called out for it by people recently.
I was reminded of these lines by Indian cricketing icon Sunil Gavaskar in his book, Sunny Days.— Abhishek (@pusillanimix) July 8, 2020
This is how 99% of India sees black people, to this day. https://t.co/a9WrbTjvEh pic.twitter.com/mqzbVJLadC
4. In his book he also admitted that at times he felt like he should step aside from the stumps, and get dismissed. He said he was in "agony". While one wants to understand the pressure he must have been under as a player with tremendous responsibilities, sometimes it feels like things were bordering on extreme disinterest.
In relation to this, his captain at one point, Srinivas Venkataraghavan shared that Gavaskar once sort of just resigned from the game and it did not sit right with anyone.
It left a very, very bad taste. He let the team down, the spectators down, the spirit of the game down. I don’t know what happened to him.
5. While putting up a tough fight in one of India's most historic Test matches against Australia (that we won), Gavaskar was declared dismissed on a delivery by Dennis Lillee. He did not agree with the way things were panning out and hence, decided to walk out with his partner Chetan Chauhan.
To this day, it remains one of India's most embarrassing moments on the cricket pitch. Gavaskar admitted that he was wrong years later. Batters often don't agree with the umpires, and they are often correct, too, but to ask your partner to walkout is not the way to go about things.
6. Last year he said that Virat Kohli should call up Sachin Tendulkar and ask him how he got out of bad form. While Kohli's form, especially in Tests, has been a matter of concern, Gavaskar's tone was not appreciated by many.
Going back to Kohli, it would be fantastic if he calls Sachin Tendulkar up to wish him a happy new year. And during that talk, if he can, maybe just check with him how he curbed his offside shots in the year 2003-04 against Australia.
7. People also accused him of being biased towards Ajinkya Rahane, who has not been able to perform in Tests. They pointed out how he, among other commentators, never criticises Rahane as much as he should.
Absolute clownery happening in the comm box right now. LSK, Murali Karthik & Sunny G taking names of everyone who can be left out but Rahane. LSK is even advocating that Kohli or Shreyas should bat at 3. MK saying Rahane should get another chance as he's VC. Absolutely poor this.— Gurkirat Singh Gill (@gurkiratsgill) November 28, 2021
8. Sunil Gavaskar raised questions on Rahul Dravid's strategy to make changes in the squad after sealing the series against Sri Lanka in July 2021. He said that players are getting their India caps too easily these days. To this, Dravid responded (without taking names) by stating that all players chosen for the tour are good enough to get the cap.
And that seems fair!
After we wrapped up the ODI series, we tried to give a few people a chance...I truly believe that if you're selected to play for India, whether it's 15 players or 20 players, you're good enough to play in the XI. I don't really think that the selectors select you in the 15 just to warm the bench or select you for a holiday.
We've got 11 to choose from and all 11 are playing: Rahul Dravid 😄— Sony Sports Network (@SonySportsNetwk) July 28, 2021
From the playing/remaining 11, who are you looking forward to 😉
📺 Sony TEN 1, Sony TEN 3, Sony TEN 4, Sony SIX#JeetneKiZid #HungerToWin #SLvIND #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/NNuNEv9VTT
So much of this could have been avoided.