Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Opinions on... Gautam Gambhir

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I am excited at the prospect of how Gautam Gambhir will evolve as a batsman in the next few years.

He has provided consistency and stability to India's all-star batting line up since 2008. The way he started his career in 2004 there weren't too many reasons to believe in Gautam Gambhir. Since 2008 Gautam Gambhir has been amongst the best batsmen in the world and has secured a place in India's rich history of batsmen as one of the most successful openers. His success while very welcome, was unexpected in many ways.

Here is another Aakash Chopra, is what I said to myself when Gautam Gambhir routinely made his better innings count for 30s and 40s. That must be the best he can offer is what I concluded.

That was premature.

A hint of what was in store was perhaps on display when he made 76 in the World Twenty20 finals against Pakistan but like with his hugely underrated World Cup finals innings in 2011 of 97, that innings in 2007 did not stick with me and indeed with the public for long.

Perhaps he is just not the type of batsman Indians like to rejoice.

Book ended between these 2 most courageous innings, is the story of quite possibly the most well rounded if not the most complete batsman in the world at the moment. The numbers will tell you that Gautam Gambhir is amongst the best batsmen in the world in all forms of the game but what they don't is that he seems to have an ability to recognize a match situation, tailor his game to it and over time, in some cases; influence it.

Very few have the ability to adapt their batting to the variations thrown by formats, pitches, and the opposition like Gautam Gambhir can. He can be physical and in your face with Australia, polite against Bangladesh, stroke-less for hours on end against South Africa and New Zealand; when the need is to save a Test; and nimble with his feet for attack against fast and spin bowlers alike in the shorter formats. He was clinical as captain in the 5-0 blanking of the hapless kiwis in an ODI series last year.

Gautam Gambhir is Mr. Adaptable and I am not the first one to recognize that.

In a team full of all star batsmen, Gautam Gambhir has quietly cranked up an impressive set of numbers. It is generally believed that India's ascent to being the champion Test side began post Sydney 2008. And while Sehwag, Sachin, VVS Laxman (with tail-enders), Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan have all been instrumental for this, Gautam Gambhir's amazing consistency and adaptability has coincided with India being champions in Tests and ODIs.

Gautam Gambhir's rise has also coincided with a somewhat worrisome dip in form from Rahul Dravid. Without Gautam Gambhir, the pressure on Rahul Dravid to retire would have been more intense. Gautam Gambhir has made it affordable for India to invest in an ageing Rahul Dravid as he searches for his second wind for a late career flourish.

Gautam Gambhir is almost 30, generally an age where batsmen peak. With upcoming tours to West Indies, England and Australia and possibly a home series against the West Indies, the next 1000 to 1500 runs Gautam Gambhir must be eying will help India consolidate their Test standing and prepare Gautam Gambhir to be the leader of India's next generation of batting greats.

See Also...

  1. A Second wind
  2. Opinions On... Jacques Kallis
  3. Opinions On... Shahid Khan Afridi


straight point said...

i loved the way you dint touch his panic running between wickets... was that deliberate...?

Golandaaz said...

Actually, it was always at the back of my mind :-) but had i done a humorous post it would have been the center of my argument but with Gambhir I could not find anything funny to say

Tees Maar Khan said...

It would have been ironical if you had found anything "funny" about "Gambhir" !!! Bad joke, I know... but couldn't resist....

Gambhir's batting has really flourished in the last few years. It's hard for any batsman to cement a place in the current Indian batting line-up... and Gautam Gambhir has done just that !!! Go Gambhir !!!

Golandaaz said...


Good one :-)

Vidooshak said...

Gol - The only issue that I have with Gambhir is that it appears to me that he still doesn't have the attitude of a Laxman or Tendulkar. The way he threw away his wicket in the final and two previous throwaways lead me to think that he hasn't come to terms with his standing in the team. His attitude is still that of a support act, rather than the lead act. He needs to turn that corner. This is the same problem that ABDV has.

Golandaaz said...

Vidoo, true but I think (hope?) he will get over it. In Test matches he rarely gifts his wicket away. In ODIs he can probably improve

Anonymous said...

grod, nowadays he is now referred to by all and sundry as 'gauti'.

going by your previous writings, it is unlikely that someone called gauti can be a star.

running beteewn the wickets and other saat khoon maaf. but the gauti slur has scarred his cricketing career permanently.

a switch to kho-kho as 'gauti' or journalism as 'gambhir' or bollywood villian side-kick role as 'GG' may be a way to resurrect his brand.

sorry, gauti is going nowhere in a hurry....

Golandaaz said...

I think both Gautam and Gambhir sound heavy enough to carry him through. You are right; Gauti; sort of dilutes it. Perhaps its the reason for his 'panic running'. Renaming his nick name to Gambo would do the trick. Not quite Mogambo but close

Zaheer said...

Yes he is the future prospect of Indian cricket. He is improving day by day. Infact because of IPL India will be never short of polish talent in the near future.

cricketzfan said...

Ya it really surprises me when i feel that he is not given hype as tendulkar,sewag and dhoni.His innigs in big matches and world cup finale proves his ability and questions indian cricket is it good to underestimate such a great player.I havent seen any big runs from tendulkar bat but gambhir has scored a guys check out his action and u will get its answer.