Master of Indian cricket: Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina lead birthday wishes as Sunil Gavaskar

Master of Indian cricket: Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina lead birthday wishes as Sunil Gavaskar

Wishes have been pouring in for batting great and World Cup-winning former opener Sunil Gavaskar as he celebrates his 71st birthday on Friday. Sunil Gavaskar made his debut for India against the West Indies in 1971. The Mumbai cricketer showed he belongs to the highest level of the sport as early as his maiden series as he smashed 771 runs in the Test series in West Indies. The Mumbai stalwart went onto represent India in 125 Tests, scoring 10122 runs at an average of 51.12. He has scored 34 Test centuries and 45 fifties. Gavaskar amassed 3092 runs from 108 One-Day Internationals, averaging 35.13.

Gavaskar was India's batting mainstay during the 1970s and the 1980s. As they famously put, "as long as Gavaskar was there, there was hope". Gavaskar was known for his immaculate defense. His ability to concentrate over long periods was peerless. Gavaskar's swag was unmatched as well. Imagine facing the big West Indies fast bowlers of the 1970s without helmets? Well, Gavaskar battled the fire with fire as he was among the most successful players against top-quality pace bowling during his heyday. The batting great from Mumbai was the first batsman in world cricket to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket. Gavaskar is the only batsman to have scored double hundreds in all four innings of Test matches.

"First Batsman to score 10,000 Test runs, First batsman to score centuries in both innings of a Test thrice, Held the record for most number of Test tons until 2005, First India fielder to claim 100 catches. Happy birthday to legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar", ICC tweeted on Friday morning.