Who was the first player to reach 10,000 runs in Test cricket?

The first player to reach 10,000 runs in Test cricket was former Indian cricketer Sunil ‘Sunny’ Gavaskar, who is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time. Gavaskar reached the milestone of 10,000 runs in what turned out to be the penultimate Test match of his career, the fourth Test of the Pakistan tour of India, in Ahmedabad, in March, 1987.

In the first innings, having made 57, he needed just one more run to make history and did so, playing a delicate late-cut off Pakistani off-spinner Ijaz Faqih down towards third man for two. Gavaskar raised his bat in celebration as was mobbed by jubilant spectators, who invaded the pitch to congratulate him on his record-breaking achievement. When player resumed, rather anticlimactically, Gavaskar was dismissed for 63 and the match ended in a draw.

A right-handed batsman, standing just 5’5″ tall – hence his other nickname, ‘Little Master’ –Gavaskar played a total of 125 Test matches for India, including 47 as captain. He made his debut in the second Test of the India tour of West Indies, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in March, 1971 and completed his swansong in the fifth Test of the Pakistan tour of India, in Bengaluru, in March, 1987. He played 214 innings and scored 10,122 runs, including 34 centuries – thereby setting a world record that stood for 19 years – at an average of 51.1.

Several years before reaching 10,000 runs, Gavaskar had enjoyed another red-letter day during the sixth Test of the West Indies tour of India, in Chennai, in December, 1983. In the first innings, Indian opener Anshuman Gaekwad and number three Dilip Vengsarkar were both dismissed without scoring, leaving the home side 0-2 at one stage. However, batting at number four, Gavaskar scored 236 not out – which was, at the time, an Indian Test record – and, moreover, took his number of career Test centuries to 30, one more than the previous record set by Donald Bradman.

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