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Aggressive as well as solid, indestructible as well as insecure, Gautam Gambhir was one of the most prolific and complete batsman India ever witnessed between 2008 to 2011. Many hailed him as one of the best left handed openers of India so far. The best part was, he opened supremely well and consistently in all the three formats of the game. He had many sides and shades too, when required he could be more aggressive than Sehwag, when required he could also solidify like a wall much like dravid and laxman & when required he could also accumulate runs here and there without taking much of the risks like how Tendulkar batted making him a very vital asset of the National team at the top of the order. Those 3years were like magical but what followed then was a sudden ouster from the National team after some technical flaws and loss of form. But taking all those factors aside- With close to 60 Tests, over 150ODI’s and 37ODI’s with over 20tons and close to 10,000 International runs- He has been a great contributor to Indian Cricket. Also who can forget his fighting and iconic knock of 97runs in the 2011 World Cup Final which led India to its first ever World Cup Title win!
In 2008, after a dull start in his career where he had only 2tons in 13tests, he played another 13tests in 2008 where he smashed 8centuries in 13tests. He came back with massive runs in domestic cricket, a few important technical adjustments, and with the reputation of being the best player of spin in India, outside the international side. A century in his second ODI back and a final-winning fifty in the inaugural World Twenty20 paved the way for his Test return. Test fifties against Murali and Mendis in the summer dominated by Murali and Mendis in 2008 stamped that he belonged. In his next 13 Tests, he scored eight centuries: centuries to set up wins, centuries to bat opposition out, and centuries to hold on for draws, including the near 11-hour marathon in Napier. The Arjuna Award came his way, the ICC named him the Test player of 2009, but much more tellingly Sehwag called him the best Indian Test opener since Sunil Gavaskar. He scored a match-winning 97 in the 2011 World Cup final while a brilliant 75 in the T20 Finals.
Gautam Gambhir went on to become one of the most dependable openers for India for almost half a decade but suddenly went out of form and got dropped from the national squad! And that loss of form was not that poor that he was made to become permanently discarded from the team.
The aggressive yet composed left-hander surely deserves one more chance for making a comeback to the National side. He has been excellent in Ranji Cricket and he is always out there to prove, that fire still ignites in him to play for India. In fact Gambhir has himself confessed that he is playing IPL to make a comeback for India & here are 7 reasons why Gautam Gambhir should be called back immediately!
Anyday better than Shikhar Dhawan!
Unlike Dhawan who is still cashing on the debut he made against Australia and featuring for India on regular basis. Gambhir is far more a better option than Dhawan. Shikhar at times looks completely boring, takes his time to settle at the crease and many a times when you see him get out he looks so disinterested. While Gambhir was just out of form, apart from that he is a very consistent & an aggressive opener who has given India some great starts and wins!
What’s more Gambhir knows how to develop the innings, hot to tackle fire with fire and he is never afraid to take on the bowlers.
Far more experienced than the current lot of Indian Openers!
Gambhir has played and opened a lot with the likes of Sehwag and Sachin. He has also played almost his entire career as an opener with the previous era or generation of Indian Cricketers. So he knows the opening business spot on & he is an out and out proper opening batsman! Plus Gambhir is more stable, confident, aggressive and consistent than many players out there.
India needs an experienced Batsman at the top of the order.
Gambhir has played close to 60 Tests and over 150 ODI’s for India despite not playing for India since the last 3 years. He has also played & excelled a lot on tough overseas wickets like South-Africa, Australia and England. He has a lot of experience at the top of the order and has learned a lot under the likes of Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag and Sachin. Bringing him in would be a really wise and practical decision because apart from Dhoni, no one is looking as experienced as Gambhir at present in the side.
Can make a perfect opening pair with Ajinkya Rahane in ODI’s.
Gambhir and Rahane can be great pair of openers. Our sixth sense also says that. Not only a right hand-left hand combination but also a more practical and consistent pair unlike Rohit-Dhawan or Rahane-Dhawan. Plus Gambhir would blend well with Rahane’s approach towards batting in ODI’s! While Rahane has suffered heavily because he is being shuffled a lot, one more chance and a long run of atleast 20 ODI’s and 10Tests should be given to these two to prove themselves as great and dependable pair of openers. Plus unlike Rohit in the early overs, Gambhir is not at all susceptible or volatile to fast bowling.
Records Speak too!
Apart from his memorable 97 in the 2011 World Cup Final which helped Indian win its 1st ever World Cup title. Gambhir has close to 9000 International runs and over 20 International centuries. He averages above 40 in tests and close to 40 in ODI’s which makes him highly consistent as well as dependable. Plus he settles down quickly and is far more aggressive than the current lot of openers.
Always Fights for Justice and Fair Play
Be it sponsoring the education of martyred militarymen’s kids to shunning down international cricketers on twitter who defame Indian Cricket or make fun of it to criticizing the selectors for not selecting many players who deserve to play to returning his entire yearly salary to Kings XI Punjab because he did not play well for the amount he was paid for. He has also had run-ins with Delhi Board and many legendary players because of his straightforwardness and honest attitude. Such honest players are very rare nowadays and people like him deserve to play for the National team.
Lends Much Needed Aggression
He has always pitted fire with fire, he never takes back anything lying down when he is representing India. Be it any bowler or the opposition, if someone sledges him or his team, he will be right up there with a venemous reply. if someone throws in a bouncer, the next ball he will be ready to smash him for a boundary or a six and that’s what makes him a true blue Indian deserving to play for India again. He has that competetive spirit, the fire which is required a lot when you play at the National level.
Hope BCCI is listening!
Editor Haineel Shah