Gavaskar was also a fine slip fielder and his safe catching in the slips helped him become the first Indian (excluding wicket keepers) to take over a hundred catches in Test matches. In one ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah in 1985, he took four catches and helped India defend a small total of 125. Early in his Test career, when India rarely used pace bowlers, Gavaskar also opened the bowling for a short spell on occasions if only one pace bowler was playing, before a three pronged spin attack took over. The only wicket claimed by him is that of Pakistani Zaheer Abbas in 1978 79.
While Gavaskar could not be described as an attacking batsman, he had the ability of keeping the scoreboard ticking with unique shots such as the late flick . His focus of technical correctness over flair meant that his style of play was usually less suited to the shorter form of the game, at which he had less success. His infamous 36 not out in the 1975 World Cup, carrying his bat through the full 60 overs against England, led Indian supporters to storm the field and confront him for scoring so slowly when India needed nearly a run a ball to win; at the end of the game India had lost only three wickets but scored 200 runs less than England. Gavaskar almost went through his career without scoring a one day century. He managed his first (and only ODI century) in the 1987 World Cup, when he hit 103 not out against New Zealand in his penultimate ODI innings at Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nagpur.