If ever there was a term to describe David Gower, it would be 'lazy elegance'. A typical English left hander, Gower went on to become one of the most successful batsman in Tests. He started his first class career with Leicestershire in 1975 and after a few consistent performances, finally got his national call in 1978 for a home series against Pakistan, where he impressed with a couple of fine fifties.
Gower's first Test century came in only his fourth innings, which turned out to be quite an important one considering the dismal scorecard England had in that innings. This was just the start of things to come and runs began to flow from the southpaw's willow as he went on to amass 8321 runs at an average of 44.25 in 204 innings. He was pretty much still at the crease, relied more on picking the line and length rather than footwork and his beautiful hands did the rest. His stroke play was easy on the eye and extremely graceful, but some critics termed it arrogance as it led to his downfall many a time. Watching him wait on the back foot and caress the ball through the covers or late cut it past gully, or backward point was just pure bliss. Towards the mid-season of 1979, Gower ran into a rough patch and there was not much to show. But, timely centuries and a few other fiftes continued to keep him in contention at international level. After a few up and down seasons, his purple patch began in 1985, the season that brought him his highest Test score of 215 against Australia.
Gower's thought process as captain was just an extension of his attitude with the willow. He was positive and believed in throwing the gauntlet to the opposition, which worked pretty well until a disaster against the Windies, post which he was replaced by Graham Gooch. His attitude and commitment towards the team was always under scrutiny and there were several instances that highlighted the same. His chalk and cheese relationship with Gooch and an eventual lack of interest forced him to call it a day even though he had a few more years left in the tank.
Post his retirement he took to commentary and has enjoyed a very successful stint at that too. Gower's understanding of the game coupled with his tongue and cheek humour has been as entertaining as his scintillating cover drives.