A day before the national selectors were to announce the squad for the upcoming home Test series against the Kiwis on September 12, there was an heart warming appeal by die hard Gautam Gambhir fans to give the Delhi left-handed top order batsman a place in the Indian test team.
‘Bring Back Gautam’ read a banner at the Greater Noida Sports Complex on the second day of the ongoing Duleep Trophy final. Gautam Gambhir would consider himself unlucky for not being selected into the national team after his stupendous performance in the ongoing Duleep trophy at Greater Noida.
'Gauti' has been at his consistent best by notching up four consecutive half centuries, 77, 59, 90 and 94 to be specific, as the skipper of the India Blue team. This purple patch with the bat could be best described as a career-resurrecting move but it hasn't been enough to ring a bell in the selectors ears.
In his heydays, the Delhi southpaw was a prolific run scorer in both the test and limited overs format. The Delhi southpaw shall be long remembered for forging a formidible opening pair with Delhi teammate Virender Sehwag in the mid 2000's which held the Indian team in good stead in the first half of that decade.
Gambhir proved his credentials with the bat in the inaugural edition of ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 which was won by India. He ending up as the leading run scorer for India by compiling three half-centuries which including a masterclass knock of 75 runs off 54 balls against Pakistan in the final.
Gambhir also stroked his way to a match-winning 97 in the finals of the 2011 ICC World Cup against Sri Lanka that proved to be pivotal in India winning the coveted title. The Indian skipper proved his leadership qualities by leading KKR to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014.
During his long absence from the international scene, his domestic batting record for Delhi has been pretty impressive too. Gambhir who shall be turning 35 next month is battling age and competition from promising young openers who have knocked on the selectors door with their prolific run scoring in domestic cricket.
Ever since he was run-out for a paltry score of 3 in the second innings of Oval Test two years back, he has consistently been given the royal ignore by the Indian team management.
His latest snub forces one to thing that the opener might soon call it quits to his international career. It looks highly improbable that the technically-sound southpaw will turn up for India again.