Thursday, December 2, 2010


It was good to see Gautam Gambhir back in the runs with a big century... the icing on the cake was that he did this as a captain!

After a record-breaking season and a half for Gambhir, he has struggled this year for his runs. He has also not been helped by regular occurrence of injuries and some shoddy umpiring (remember Billy Bowden's howler!?). But in the Tests against New Zealand, he showed that he is slowly getting his form back... and now in the 2nd ODI, he hit a wonderful 138* to send out a string message to those who were thinking of handing his spot over to Murali Vijay.

I am delighted for Gambhir. I have mentioned earlier that it took me time to warm up to Gautam Gambhir, but over his purple patch (particularly that marathon match-saving century at Napier) I saw that he's a changed man from the one I had seen make his debut in 2004. He had improved beyond recognition.

When he was going through that purple patch, I knew that a bad patch would come. Runs will dry up. It happens to everyone, just as it may soon happen to Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag (though I always hope not!). But having had a changed opinion of Gambhir now, I was confidently hoping that he'll find his way out of th mire.

His 138* today was not the perfect innings. There were a couple of streaky inside edges that went either side of the stumps... and there was a bit of impatience at the start. But once all those start-of-an-innings-jitters were out of the way, his innings was as good as they get in One Day International cricket. No doubt his counterpart Daniel Vettori describe it as "one of the best one-day innings I have ever seen"!

There was the 5th ball of the 33rd over bowled by Kyle Mills, when Gambhir shimmied down the track looking to create room but got cramped up as Mills followed him. Yet he had so much time even after coming a couple of paces down to a pacer that he comfortably guided the ball to the right of point, wide of the third man, to pick up an easy 2 and move from 91 to 93. It almost looked as if Gambhir paused and decided that this was the place he wanted to play the ball to, and then played it. It looked so comfortable that I immediately felt that yes, this man has returned to form.

It was a great knock by the Indian captain and as I end this blog, I must also mention a special word for the young Virat Kohli. He's been quite a bit like Gambhir for me... took a bit of time to warm up to him... but he's impressed with his maturity at the crease. Though there is still a lot that he needs to prove, there is no doubt that he's taking all the right steps.


Fat slob said...

Every player goes through tough moments. But when you have done as well as Gambhir has in all forms of cricket, but esp in tests, then you are someone very, very special.

What may be forgotten is that Gambhir used to play this free-flowing style, with Sehwag's SR, before he come back into test cricket in 2008. That Gambhir had succeeded in anchoring India in finals of T20WC, scored hundreds in ODIs and made a brilliant re-entry against the dreaded M&M. It was perhaps his passion and dedication, to redress his past, that had driven him to being such an over-achiever!!

The soaring success in tests lead him to moderate his style, esp following the dismissal in Chennai 2008 against England. The next match in Mohali saw him play a long patient innings in company with Dravid, on a wicket that had some bite. He came back to save India in the second inngs. Basically, he cut out the offside extravaganza and became more compact and patient. Napier was another example of a changed Gambhir.

I like this Gambhir and I also see similarities in Virat Kohli. I'm also hoping Suresh Raina, the much abused player, is watching and learning. Grt read and many thx.

Freehit said...

I never had a doubt about Gambhir,even though people were thinking of the Gambhir-Vijay dilemma.Good to see him back and also good to see you blogging again.

Unknown said...

Hi Freehit... I used to doubt Gambhir when he played as our makeshift opener. I have mentioned earlier on the blog that I thought he was just a minnow-basher.

How wrong I was! He won me over through the previous season... and so, this time I was waiting for him to score a big one. That's why I was quite happy for him yesterday. It was a very good knock.