(Last Updated on : 17-02-2010)
Sunil Gavaskar in the India-Pakistan match undertook leadership of the series. There was an air of expectancy and optimism when the Indian team took off from Mumbai
for Karachi for the 70-day tour in November 1982. The series was expected to be well fought and well matched between the two sides, considered evenly balanced. It is here when for the first time Gavaskar was faced with Imran Khan as the rival captain. However the match turned out to be a no-show. It is believed that India's performance in the match was the result of the approach, thinking and strategy of the two captains. Gavaskar was said to be more conservative in his cricketing tactics whereas Imran Khan worked his team as a one man army. India lost the series to the Pakistanis.
The first test at Lahore turned out fine enough. The test ended in an honourable draw. A total of 485 runs were scored by Pakistan, and Zaheer Abbas went on to get his 100th first class hundred with a score of 215. India replied with 379, with Sunil Gavaskar hitting 83. He became the fourth batsman to score 7,000 runs in Test cricket and the first to complete 1,000 runs against Pakistan. Mohinder Amarnath
scored an unbeaten 109. Pakistan scored 135 for one in the second innings. It was in the second test at Karachi that the slide started. India lost this by an innings and 86 runs. Gavaskar made 8 as India, put in, was dismissed for 169. Kapil Dev
got 73 of these. Zaheer Abbas became the first Pakistani batsman to complete 1000 runs against India when he scored his 186. Mudassar Nazar's 119 saw Pakistan reach 452. Imran Khan went on to put up a superb performance when he produced a devastating spell that claimed 8 wickets for 60 runs as India were bowled out for 197 in the second knock. Imran Khan had taken three wickets in the first innings. Gavaskar got 42 in India's second knock.
A repeat performance was seen at Faisalabad. India, put in again, got 372, Sandip Patil (84) leading a late-order recovery after the side was 122 for five. Thereafter India's bowling fell low again. Four Pakistanis hit hundreds - Zaheer Abbas 268, Miandad 126, Salim Malik 107 and Imran Khan 117 - achieving a total of 652. This was the highest against India. Kapil Dev captured seven wickets but conceded 220 runs in 38.4 overs. Gavaskar carried his bat for 127 in India's second innings but could not save the Test. Imran Khan, who had six for 98 in India's first innings, followed with five for 82, and India were all out for 286. Imran Khan, who took 11 wickets and scored 117, emulated Ian Botham's record of scoring a century and taking 10 or more wickets in a Test. Pakistan got the seven runs they needed to win without losing a wicket.
The fourth test, which was held at Hyderabad
this time, saw yet another defeat for India. India lost the match by an innings and 119 runs. Pakistan went on to put up a massive total of 581 for 4. Both Mudassar and Miandad got a double century each. They set a new world record scoring 451 for the third wicket stand. Imran Khan struck yet again - six for 35 - as India were shot out for 189 in reply. Following-on, India managed 273. Gavaskar's scores in this Test were 17 and 60.
Pakistan's winning streak was finally brought to an end by the rain which washed out two days of game play at the fifth test at Lahore. Kapil Dev put in a superb performance taking eight wickets for 85 but Mudassar carried his bat through for 152 and Pakistan totalled 323. India had made 235 for three in reply (Gavaskar 13, Mohinder 120) when the match came to an early end. The partnership of 190 between Amarnath and Yashpal Sharma
was highest for the third wicket against Pakistan.
The final test at Karachi ended in a draw. Ravi Shastri, promoted as opener, got his maiden Test hundred as India managed 393 for eight declared. Gavaskar's tally was five. Mudassar slammed yet another hundred as Pakistan declared at 420 for six in reply. India scored 224 for two in their second innings. Gavaskar got 67 while Mohinder was unbeaten with 103 at the end. Amarnath, Syed Kirmani
and Mudassar each completed 2000 runs in Test Cricket. Wasim Baeri became the fourth wicketkeeper to claim 200 dismissals in Test cricket.
As regards Gavaskar's performance in the series, he was to hit top form. He managed a single century from 10 innings. He finished fifth in the batting average (48.22). As regards the performance of the other bowlers, they too fell from their usual rankings. Kapil Dev was to be India's main weapon on the tour and the attack revolved around him. But his outswinger failed him till the fourth Test. He was unwittingly dropping his left shoulder. His left arm was also not rearing up high enough to provide him leverage for the ball to swerve anti-clockwise, as Imran was doing. Unfortunately, this issue was not discussed and dealt with, and consequently, the Pakistani batsmen had little problem in negotiating his inswingers. Madan Lal
was unable to keep up to international standards where bowling and speed were concerned, but he made up for this lack of penetration with grit and tenacity. Balwinder Sandhu
concentrated more on speed than on movements which proved rather ineffective. Mohinder was not brought out often enough. Young Maninder Singh
bowled as well as one could expect, but he did not have the edge and variation to worry the Pakistan batsmen. Being young and therefore on the inexperienced side, the four Pakistan specialist batsmen - Mudassar Nazar, Mohsin Khan, Miandad and Zaheer Abbas - were able to make quite a few runs off him. He bagged three wickets for 444 runs. Experienced Dilip Doshi
was invariably brought on to bowl when the Pakistan batsmen were in full cry. He was also denied the field he wanted and was often made to bowl from an unsuitable end. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan
was a superior bowler to his counterpart from Pakistan, Abdul Qadir, nick-named 'jumping Jack'. He was made to sit out the entire series. Even the fielding was found lacking. Apart from Kirmani, who lived up to his reputation and kept wicket admirably, the close-in fielding was not up to the mark. At least two dozen catches were dropped on the tour.
The batting too was not its usual self, unable to live up to its reputation as a deep and dependable line-up. Gavaskar shuffled his feet while tackling Imran. He nibbled at outgoing deliveries and occasionally took his eyes off the ball. This was most unlike him. On more than one occasion he went in for strokes much too early giving the impression that he was unsure of himself. In the first innings of the second Test, Gavaskar ran himself out. It has been often said that Imran Khan's remarkably hostile bowling has been the reason for this. Arun Lal
looked fallible outside the off stump all the lime. Even after a morale-boosting half-century in the first Test at Lahore, he continued to chance his arm. Srikkkanth was too impulsively hasty. Dilip Vengsarkar
hid his bat behind his pads while Vishwanath suffered at the hands of the umpires. Fatehsinh Rao Gaekwad, a gentleman, always thought straight and played with a straight bat. The only silver lining in all this was Mohinder Amarnath's performance. He faced Imran's bowling like a champion. He amply demonstrated that his two-eyed stance in no way reduced his range of strokes. He also emphasised that runs could come only if the batsman had the tenacity and the will to stay in the middle. Despite some atrocious decisions against him, he was the most successful batsman, compiling 584 runs (average 73.00)
The India-Pakistan match on 1982 did not see a very commendable performance by the Indian cricket team and nor did it bring any particular record-breaking achievement for Sunil Gavaskar.