Judged by any yardstick what Gavaskar did was very wrong. Protesting an umpire’s decision, not leaving the field on being given out and then forcing his partner to leave along with him, thereby, to all intents and purposes, conceding the match constituted a serious breach of all that is noble about the game.
Moreover the country’s prestige is at stake in such a situation. However in the heat of the moment Gavaskar forgot all this. Had the Test been played before a match referee, one shudders to think what kind of action would have been taken against the Indian captain.
But these were days before the ICC had thought of appointing such officials. There is little doubt however that it was because of such incidents that the ICC decided to come up with the idea of having match referees to curb growing indiscipline.
All things considered Gavaskar’s action was unfortunate and one he was to regret publicly on more than one occasion. Still the BCCI should have taken some action. But those were the days when Gavaskar was the undisputed monarch of Indian cricket.
His wish was the Board’s command. In fact on the eve of the team’s departure for Australia there was the unedifying spectacle of the Board president SK Wankhede ''thanking'' Gavaskar for agreeing to lead India again!
There was a happy ending though for Gavaskar and Indian cricket at Melbourne. India were all out for 324 setting Australiaa victory target of 143. However against some inspired bowling by Kapil Dev who put aside the pain of a pulled thigh muscle to take five wickets for 28, ably supported by Karsan Ghavri and Dilip Doshi the Aussies collapsed for 83 sliding to a 59-run defeat that saw India square the series 'Down Under' for the first time in four visits.
In Image: In this file photo India's then cricket captain Saurav Ganguly (L) listens to batting tips from Sunil Gavaskar (R) during a training session at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore, 05 September 2003.