Gautam Gambhir couldn’t hold his excitement when he was picked for the Indian team after opener KL Rahul was injured during the New Zealand series. He took to Twitter to share, “Excitement of a debutant, certainty of experienced, nervousness of a novice…am feeling it all. Eden here I come loaded with ambitions.” While he wasn’t picked for the Test at Eden, Shikhar Dhawan’s injury meant that Gambhir’s selection was a certainty for the next Test against at Indore.
Gambhir’s 29 in the first innings and 50 in the second, proved that the left-handed batsman from Delhi still had cricket left in him. With KL Rahul recovering from his injury and performing well in the domestic circuit, it was crucial for Gambhir to deliver once again when he was up against England in the first Test. But as it turned out, Gambhir scored 29 in the first innings and failed to contribute in the second. On the other hand, Murali Vijay has been a consistent performer for the Indian team and has cemented his place.
Owing to his good form in domestic cricket, Gautam Gambhir made a comeback to the Indian team after a gap of two years. In 2014, his performance in England was dismal. He scored 4 and 18 runs in the Manchester Test while he just added 3 runs in two innings at the Oval Test. With an average of 6.25, it was definitely the worst phase of his career. Against the same opposition in 2012, he had scored 45 runs in the first Test at Ahmedabad, 69 runs (4 and 65) in the second Test at Mumbai, 100 runs (60 and 40) in the third Test at Kolkata and 37 in the fourth Test at Nagpur. With 251 runs in six innings, Gambhir had a decent average of 41.8.
Gambhir had struck a purple patch in 2009-2010 as he went on to score five centuries in five consecutive Tests and became the only Indian batsman to do so. In the same year, he became the number 1 Test batsman in ICC rankings for a brief time.
In his Test career, Gambhir has played 58 Tests so far and has scored 4154 runs. He has 9 centuries 22 half-centuries to his name and averages 41.95. While it is certain that in-form KL Rahul will be back in the squad for the third Test, the opening slot for the second Test remains a mystery. The team management may try Karun Nair and replace Gambhir as Nair has been performing well in the domestic arena. Nair has played 37 First class matches and has a solid average of 52.68 with 8 hundreds and 13 half-centuries.
Will Gambhir play in the second Test? Is this the end of his career? Will he be dropped from the team post the England series? These questions are bothering all his fans. But given Gambhir’s track record and his temperament to score big runs, he must get another chance to redeem himself.