By Kaushik Narayanan
Very few can deny the fact that Gautam Gambhi is one of the most talented batsmen of his generation, and irrespective of his longish bad-patch, his statistics are good enough to make any batsman proud. After a match-winning performance in the final of the ICC World Cup 2011, he lost his touch and failed miserably in the foreign tours of England and South Africa. He scored 704 runs in 14 tests at an average of 29.33. During this tours, Gambhir struggled to put bat to ball, and his technique was all over the place.
Gambhir kept struggling “outside the off” and his inability to make that quick adjustment, resulted in his downfall. From the seaming and swinging conditions of England to the batting friendly conditions of India; Gautam Gambhir struggled everywhere, and, subsequently, he was dropped. Shikhar Dhawan, who came in as Gambhir’s replacement, made a blazing start to his Test career. Shikhar’s flamboyance and constitency at the top, has made Gambhir’s return a difficult, and now that Murali Vijay has also come to the party by scoring some runs in South Africa, Gambhir faces an even tougher challenge.
But, it appears as if Gambhir is ready to face the challenge. For the current Ranji Season, where he is captaining the Delhi side, he preferred to play at the Roshanar, where the pitch supports fast bowling, instead of FerozshahKotla, insisting his desire to put the team’s motive ahead of his objectives. In this season, Gambhir is the highest run-getter for Delhi scoring 578 with the best of 153.
While the road to comeback requires more runs, the upcoming season of IPL will be a good opportunity for Gambhir to catch the eyeballs.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan struggled against the pace and movement in South Africa, and the conditions in New Zealand will be no different. If Shikhar, Rohit and Vijay fail to score runs, Gambhir’s past-record and a decent Ranji season will push them for a place in the national team.