26 July, 2021

Great Expectations

Rohan Gavaskar is on a nasty wicket, trying to live up to his surname and live it down at the same time. Will he face it square on?

Great Expectations

Five years ago, when Rohan Gavaskar played his big match for the Cricket Club of India (CCI), the usual bouncer was hurled at him, off the pitch. "Was it tough having a man who scored 10,122 Test runs as a father?" The southpaw, then 14, had seen it coming. He pointed at a tiny teammate sitting behind him, and ducked deftly. "The pressure was not in being Sunil Gavaskar’s son," he said. "It was in starting as early, if not earlier, than he did."

The ‘he’ was Sachin Tendulkar. Rohan knew he had to not just live up to his legendary surname, but do it in good time as well. Tendulkar made his Ranji debut at 16 and played his first Test at 17.

Admittedly, the teenager has been allowed to do his own things. Says papa Sunil: "All I want him to be is a contented human being." Adds mama Marshneil: "We just want him to do his best and leave the rest to the destiny."

But public expectations are rarely so kind. When Rohan, 19, failed to make it to the Indian school’s team and was not chosen as a probable for the Bombay Ranji squad this year,...

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