Straight Drive by Sunil Gavaskar in some ways will be a memorable book for me. It is the first book which I read to my little son. Though it is odd to read out an adult book to a baby but I was like very interested in reading it and somehow my son was keeping me so busy that I hardly found any time to read it. Well reading it out to my son was a perfect solution.
When I started watching cricket Kavil Dev was on the verge of his retirement so practically have never seen Sunil Gavaskar playing but only in the role of commentator and cricket analyst critic. Have heard him speaking but never got a chance to read his columns for which he is always so severely criticized. Straight Drive was perfect for me. It is an anthology which is a collection of his best 60 columns and was published on the occasion of his 60th birthday. All the columns were handpicked by his father himself. Sunil Gavaskar must have a very special feeling about this book.
After reading the book I’ve realized why Sunil Gavaskar is criticized for his columns. It is simple. He speaks from his mind and writes from the heart. So when someone speaks so frankly and to the point then people tend to react. But that never seems to deter this classic batsman to write what he feels right, to give advice and suggestions since he is the experienced man of his field.
There are articles in the book since 1988. Literally I got to read his columns when I was just born or was in my milking teeth years. It is definitely a treasure. One gets to know about the cricketing giants of 1980 and 1990, comparison of today game with yesteryear, BCCI then and now. What is the best thing about his columns are they are not just about cricket. He keeps his eyes on every kind of sport and various hot and happening in the sports world along with sports legendary. So be it tennis, golf, badminton, hockey. He keeps himsef updated about multiple sports.
The Verdict: Masterstroke columns by a masterstroke player.