Besides being the first batsman to score 10000 Test runs and arguably the greatest batsman produced by India, Sunil Gavaskar would probably go down as the best India which Indian cricket never had. Gavaskar retired from cricket in 1987, but was never inclined towards coaching . He put his amazing cricket acumen to great use as a columnist for various publications and entered the world of cricket commentary.
While Indian cricket went from one coach to another in the 1990s, including Bishan Bedi, Ajit Wadekar, Sandeep Patil, Madan Lal, Anshuman Gaikwad, Kapil Dev and others, Gavaskar never volunteered to take up the role. The Little Master explained why he would never have been a good fit as coach.
“I’ve been a terrible watcher of cricket, even when I was playing the game. If I got out, I would be watching the match very intermittently. I would watch for a while, then go inside the change room or read something or reply to letters etc. and then come out and watch again. So, I wasn’t the ball-by-ball watcher, like say GR Vishwanath is. GRV or my uncle Madhav Mantri was a complete ball by ball watcher. And if you want to be a coach or a selector, you’ve got to be a ball-by-ball watcher. And therefore, I never even thought about it… being a coach,” Gavaskar said on The Analyst YouTube Channel.
However, because Gavaskar stayed away from coaching did not mean he was not available to give his inputs in whatever capacity. While he may not be in the news for working with the current lot of Indian cricketers, the generation before this, which was ruled by The Fab Four of Indian cricket, often looked up to Gavaskar.
“Having said that, I’ve had people coming up to me. Not the current lot, but say Sachin, Rahul Dravid, Ganguly, Sehwag and Laxman. So I’ve been very happy to exchange notes with them… whatever my observations are. So yes, I’ve been able to maybe help them somewhere down the line, but on a full-time basis, that’s not something I can do,” said the former India captain.