Who is known as the little master in cricket

Who is really “The Little Master” of Indian cricket? SportsBoom takes a closer look at the two legendary players.

Sachin Tendulkar carries the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Trophy ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 Final
Kaylan Geekie

Written by: Kaylan Geekie

(Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-04-26

5 minutes read

The “Little Master” title in cricket in India has gone to two former batsmen and world greats of the game.

The two players hold a string of world cricket records; the masters of Indian cricket

Sunil Gavaskar was first known as “The Little Master” because of his short stature.

Gavaskar, born in Mumbai, announced himself to the world in his debut series against the West Indies in the 1970/71 series when he became the first Indian to aggregate more than 700 runs in a series.

He is the only Indian player to achieve this rare feat. His 774 runs at an average of 154.80 is still the most runs scored in a debut series by any batsman in cricket history.

Trinidad Calypso singer Willard Harris, aka Lord Relator, wrote a song in Gavaskar’s honour, the “Gavaskar Calypso.”

Sachin Tendulkar is also fondly known as “The Little Master” in cricket around the globe. 

Tendulkar also earned the same nickname because he was short and an artist with the bat.

Also born in Mumbai, and he is without a doubt, one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

In Tendulkar's early years on the international cricket scene, he was often compared to Gavaskar, which is why Sachin ended up with the same sobriquet. 

SportsBoom decided to take a trip down memory lane to discuss these two legends of world cricket and find out who the “Little Master” of India truly is.

Image Credits: Dinker B Rai & Friends photo album

Image Credits: Dinker B Rai & Friends photo album

Little Master: Sunil “Sunny” Gavaskar

Gavaskar, known more as “Sunny”, is a commentator and former Indian captain who represented India for almost two decades (1971-1987).

He was the first international cricket player to score 10,000 runs, the ultimate accolade in the sport for batting greatness. 

Despite only being 5 ft 4 in (163 cm) tall, Gavaskar became a true great of the game. 

He still holds multiple cricket records for India and led them to some of their most famous Test victories of that era.

“The Little Master” was the first cricketer to play 100 consecutive test matches.

Gavaskar became the first Indian fielder (excluding wicket-keepers) to take a hundred catches in Test cricket and the first Indian opening batsman to carry his bat in a Test match.

“Sunny” was part of the victorious 1983 Indian World Cup-winning side.

He was also inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009. 

In 2012, the former Indian skipper was awarded the C. K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award. It is the highest honour the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) can bestow on a former player.

In honour of Allan Border and Gavaskar, the trophy for the Test match series between Australia and India is called the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Image Credits: Privatemusings

Image Credits: Privatemusings

Little Master: Sachin “Master Blaster” Tendulkar

Tendulkar, like Gavaskar, was also short at 5 ft 5 in (165cm), hence the “Little Master” epithet. 

At the age of 16 years and 205 days, Tendulkar made his international debut for India against Pakistan in 1989, becoming the youngest Indian to play Test cricket.

His career spanned four decades, retiring in 2013 as the most prolific batsman in cricket history. 

Sachin is the leading run-scorer in Test matches, with 15,921 runs, and in One Day International (ODI) cricket, with 18,426 runs. 

The “Master Blaster” is the only batsman to score more than 30,000 combined runs in all forms of international cricket (Test, ODI, and Twenty20).

Tendulkar is the only player in cricket history to play 200 Test matches. 

Both “Little Masters” achieved immortality for India after successful ICC Cricket World Cup campaigns.

Gavaskar was in the Indian side that won the tournament in England in 1983, beating the West Indies in the final at Lord’s. 

Tendulkar was the highest run scorer at the 1996 and 2003 ICC Cricket World Cups and was named Player of the Tournament in the 2003 World Cup.

Image Credits:Vikas

Image Credits:Vikas

India, however, did not win the ‘96 tournament, and they lost the 2003 final to Australia in Johannesburg. 

Tendulkar finally lifted the World Cup trophy at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai - his home ground - in 2011. 

In 2012, Tendulkar scored his 100th international century in a Test against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in Mirpur, an astonishing achievement which owes testimony to his class and longevity.

He became the first cricket player to reach this remarkable milestone, one of his last accolades in a long list of achievements.  

Both Gavaskar and Tendulkar are cricket legends of their times. However, once all is said and done, the “Little Master” of India is Tendulkar.

Image Credits: G Patkar

Image Credits: G Patkar


Who was the first player known as the “Little Master” in Indian cricket?

Sunil Gavaskar was the first player dubbed the “Little Master” in the 1970s.

Who is the leading run-scorer in Indian and world cricket?

Sachin Tendulkar is the leading runs scorer in international cricket.

How many times has India won the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup?

India has won two ICC Men's Cricket World Cup tournaments (1983 & 2011).

How many ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cups have India won?

India has played in three ICC T20 World Cup finals, winning the one T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007.

For the latest news, guides, and interviews in the world of cricket, make sure to stay connected with Sportsboom.com. 

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Kaylan Geekie

Kaylan Geekie

Kaylan Geekie is a sports fanatic. He attended Durban High School before moving to Scotland, where he lived for 15 years. During his time in the United Kingdom, Kaylan graduated with a first-class BA Honours Degree in Sports Journalism at the University of the West of Scotland. Kaylan worked for nine years as the Match-Day Editor of SuperXV.com, reporting on Super Rugby, The Rugby Championship, the 2015 Men's Rugby World Cup and the 2017 British & Irish Lions series for the website.

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