Batting veteran and 1983 World Cup winning former opener Sunil Gavaskar celebrated his 70th birthday on Wednesday. Gavaskar, who is fondly known as The Little Master, is often regarded as one of the best batsmen ever to play the sport.

Gavaskar first entered the international arena against the West Indies in 1971. The Mumbaikar looked like he belonged to the highest level as he scored 771 runs in his maiden Test series. He was known for his textbook style of defence.

His concentration and patience to bat over long periods facing the mighty West Indian bowling attack without the helmet is still the talking point.

He was among the most successful players against pacers during his prime.

Although the right-handed batsman preferred his textbook style of cricket, he was among the most successful players against top-quality pace bowling during his prime.

However, more than anything else, Sunil is known for his unshakable dedication to his game. It was he who made scoring 10,000 Test runs a reality by becoming the first batsman to reach the landmark.

He went on to feature in 125 Tests and 108 ODIs for India before retiring from International Cricket. He has 35 Test hundreds, 10, 122 runs in Tests and 3092 runs in ODIs to his credit.

Gavaskar’s biggest contribution to the game of cricket, however, is his legacy. He inspired an entire generation of cricketers to take up the sport and the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have often spoken about how they idolised Gavaskar while growing up.

Happy Birthday and best wishes to Sunil Gavaskar as he turns 70.