The legendary Sunil Gavaskar needs no introduction. The leading runs in Test Cricket until Dravid and Tendulkar overtook, Gavaskar was the part of the 83 World Cup-winning team. Gavaskar is renowned across the world as a commentator and cricket analyst. During the 2nd test match, Gavaskar was talking to Mark Nicholas and Hashim Amla and recalled an incident where he faced probably the fastest spell in his career.
Gavaskar named Jeff Thompson as the fastest bowler he ever faced. Recalling the 4th test match in Sydney of 1978 where India bowled out Australia for 131 in the first innings, Gavaskar elaborated the incident ” My opening partner Chetan Chauhan, who sadly is no more. He used to play this big slash outside the off-stump. So if it went of the middle, it went like a rocket past point, or at Thomo’s pace if he got the edge, it went over the slip and goes for a boundary. And the team was teasing him about it.”
“So he played that shot of Thomo. And Thomo was really firing. So it went of the top edge and went into the boundary one bounce. And the players near the boundary line shouted Master (in appreciation). So Chetan recognised it that these guys are making fun, started to shake his head and laugh. But as he laughed, he made eye contact with Thommo in his follow-through. And Thommo thought that he was laughing at him. So he went across and he marked the cross on Chetan’s helmet. He said ‘I am going to hit you there’, I am censoring the language, ‘So I want to hit you there, and then I want to see you laugh’.”
“And Chetan said to Thommo, ‘Yeah you do what you want, and I am from the non-striker’s end walking in trying to say to Chetan ‘Chetan, Leave it. Chetan, don’t annoy him more. And Chetain said ‘I am speaking to Thommo in Marathi’ and Chetain saying me ‘I am a Rajput. I don’t take a backward step. I will fight’ and after that man, he was bowling like the wind. The ball, everything was flying around. Unbelievable, that’s the fastest- fastest spell I faced.“
While Jeff Thompson was intimidating and bowled brilliantly during that match, India won the Sydney Test by an innings and two runs.