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When Sunil Gavaskar's Bizarre 174-Ball 36* 'Shocked' Cricket Fraternity In World Cup

Sunil Gavaskar's notorious 36* off 174 balls against England [X.com]Sunil Gavaskar's notorious 36* off 174 balls against England [X.com]

In cricket history, certain innings stand out for their brilliance or controversy. One such instance is Sunil Gavaskar's notorious 36* off 174 balls against England in the 1975 World Cup, a subject of debate for its defensive approach in a format demanding aggression.

Gavaskar, a legendary Indian opener, played this infamous innings at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London. England, led by Mike Denness, set a formidable total of 334/4 in 60 overs, with Dennis Amiss scoring a commanding 137 off 147 balls, supported by half-centuries from Keith Fletcher and Chris Old.

India's response was expected to be aggressive, but they adopted a cautious strategy from the start, unable to shift gears. Gavaskar remained unbeaten till the end, with India finishing at 132/3, losing by 202 runs. His strike rate of 20.68 drew widespread criticism.

Despite this, Gavaskar was India's top scorer in the tournament, amassing 113 runs at an average of 113, with a top score of 65*. 

At 75, Gavaskar remains a revered figure in cricket, known for his prowess in all formats. He scored 3092 runs in 108 ODIs, averaging 35.13 with one century and 27 half-centuries.

Gavaskar's innings against England was marked by extreme caution, prioritizing blocking and leaving deliveries over scoring runs. His knock included just one boundary, a stark contrast to the aggressive style needed in ODIs. This performance remains a notable, controversial, part of his career.