Kolkata Knight Riders stormed into the final of the Indian Premier League 2014 by defeating Kings XI Punjab by 28 runs. For skipper Gautam Gambhir, Wednesday could not have any better as earlier in the day, he was named in the Indian squad for the five-Test series against England. (Read full report on squad selection here)
Gambhir, who led Kolkata to IPL glory in 2012, last played a Test for India in the same year. His fortunes since were in a downward spiral - until Wednesday that is! (Related: Robin Uthappa makes cut for Bangladesh ODI series)
Rewarded for his decent performances in the Ranji season and some solid knocks in the ongoing IPL, Gambhir was named as the third Indian opener - after Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan for the long-drawn tour of England which will start from July 9. Ironically, his last Test was also against the same opposition.
While Tests may be a complete different challenge, Gambhir has shown that confidence can be a mighty boost for a cricketer. The veteran player has marshalled his IPL team well and the results showed when the side took on table-toppers IPL and emerged winners at Eden Gardens to reach their second final in three years. (Full match report)
He may have scored just one run in the first qualifier but Gambhir rallied his players who defended 163 with commendable ease.Â Despite the long list of power-hitters in the Punjab lineup, Gambhir's bowlers deliveredÂ - helping their skipper brandish his rare smile with extreme pride.