Several records that Sachin Tendulkar later broke were first made or breached by another Indian batting legend, the original Little Master, Sunil Gavaskar.
Born on July 10, 1949, Sunil Gavaskar broke several records in his decorated international career. He became the first batsman to score 10,000 Test runs and still holds the record of being the first and the only batsman to have scored double hundreds in each of the first, second, third and fourth digs of a Test match.
Interestingly, Gavaskar wanted to be a wrestler as a child, but it was another sport which chose him. The Little Master made his debut for India in 1971 at a young age of 21. Even the beginning of his career was marked with a record – a sign of things to come. The Indian batsman became the first of the only two batsmen to hit a ton and a double hundred in a single Test of his debut series. Lawrence Rowe is the only other batsman to have registered the rare feat.
When Gavaskar struck 220 against West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval in 1971, he became the youngest batsman to smash a double century in an overseas Test at just 21 years and 277 days. The record was previously held by Don Bradman who scored his first Test double ton – 254 against England in 1930 at the age of 21 years and 304 days.
Gavaskar plundered 774 runs in the four Tests of his debut series against West Indies in 1971, claiming the record for most runs in a debut Test series.
Although the Mumbai batsman had every shot in the book, he hardly had the licence to show his range due to the fickleness of the Indian middle order. This is why he banked on his watertight technique and trusted his defence more often than not, scoring tons by tiring bowling attacks out rather than chancing his arm.
He did that quite successfully with 34 Test tons, something that stood for a very long time. Gavaskar finally hung up his boots with 10,122 runs at a sensational average of 51.12, becoming the first batsman to reach the 10,000-run milestone.
Despite having crossed the age of 70, Gavaskar continues to be hale and hearty. After dabbling into administration and holding several positions with the BCCI and the ICC post retirement, Gavaskar continues to be one of the most popular commentators around.