Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It will be right to assume that Gautam Gambhir's shot at equalling the great Sir Donald Bradman's record of scoring hundreds in six consecutive Tests has been lost. Dismissed for 68 in the first innings of the Second Test against Bangladesh, he is unlikely to get a chance to bat again in this Test match. India's lead, as I write this, has crossed 300.

However, Gambhir has equalled one other record of scoring a 50+ score in 11 consecutive Test matches, earlier set by Sir Vivian Richards. This fact has been well publicised. There has been one record though, that he is currently a joint holder of, which has gone completely unnoticed. Gautam Gambhir is currently holding a record jointly with Sir Don Bradman (again!) of scoring 4 centuries in consecutive 2nd innings of Test matches.

Gambhir scored 137 and 167 against New Zealand at Napier and Wellington respectively last year, followed by 114 against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad and 116 against Bangladesh at Chittagong - all in the second innings. In between, the team did not bat in the second innings in the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka and Gambhir did not play the 3rd Test as he was attending his sister's marriage. As he is unlikely to bat again in this Test, he has a chance against South Africa in the upcoming series to cross this record. Mark Taylor (Aus) and Jacques Kallis (SA) have scored 3 centuries in consecutive 2nd innings of Test matches.

Irrespective of the fact whether he gets to these records or misses them, one has to look upon with awe at Gambhir's phenomenal success in all forms of the game over the last couple of years. Gambhir, before the start of this Test match, is 28 Test matches old and has scored 2692 runs. This is an Indian record, surpassing Sunil Gavaskar, for the most Test runs scored after 28 Test matches by a player. Considering the fact that Gavaskar had a tremendous start to his Test career against West Indies and Gambhir's start to his Test career can be described as lukewarm at best, this achievement seems even bigger.

I must confess that I did not predict great achievements from him at the start of his career. In fact, when he scored his maiden Test century against Bangladesh at Chittagong in 2004, I was of the opinion that we have a new minnow basher - a man who can be tried out every time when the team is scheduled to play Bangladesh and Zimbabwe (they weren't suspended back then). How wrong I have been proven!

I know it is too early in his career to assess his greatness or lack thereof. He is yet to play Test cricket in Australia, South Africa and England. He is yet to play a World Cup (ODI format... I know he has won one in the T20 format). So, there is still a long way to go for Gambhir, but early signals are extremely positive. Even if most of his runs are scored in the sub - continent, any player who is matching the world records of the likes of Sir Don Bradman and Sir Viv Richards must certainly be a quality material. He is now considered the Mr. Reliable in a batting line up comprising of Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman (who have a whopping 38023 Test runs amongst them including the current Test). Who would have though that a year and a half back!

P.S. (Updated after the end of 2nd Test between Bangladesh & India): Last ball of the 90th over of Bangladesh's second innings, Mushfiqur Rahim got down on one knee and dispatched Harbhajan Singh to boundary and India has to bat again. In the process, he ensured that Gambhir does not get a shot at either of Bradman's record mentioned above - centuries in last 6 tests OR centuries in last 4 second innings. The silver lining is that he atleast has Viv's records to look forward to.


Unknown said...

really nice article yar...it seems that u did PHD on Gambhir...but really i liked the containt and way of your presentation...keep it up..i assure u that i will be the regular reader of your articles...keep going (Taklu) man

Unknown said...

Very nice follow up of records which remained unnoticed by almost all of the cricketguru(so clled). Thnx for bringing to the notice such an interesting fact.