Gautam Gambhir: The Rising Wall of India
With Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid slowly diminishing from the selectors' scheme of things, cricket fans would have been left wondering over his apt successor had it not been for Gautam Gambhir.
With Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid slowly diminishing from the selectors' scheme of things, cricket fans would have been left wondering over his apt successor had it not been for Gautam Gambhir.<br><br>He has not only solved India's opening woes in all three formats along with statemate Virender Sehwag, but also provided solidity to the Indian batting line. <br><br>His consistent performance has won him many accolades, making him our cricketing Newsmaker of the year.
Making his international debut in 2003, Gambhir could not hold on to his place for long. Being in and out of the side seems to have instigated the left-hander. He's made a very strong comeback into the side and has cemented his place solely with his performance. So good has he been in the past few months that Sehwag proclaimed as the best Indian opener after Sunil Gavaskar. And Gambhir's batting exploits only testify Sehwag's statement.
The Delhi left-hander has been in top form in Tests since last year. In 2009, he played five Test matches and scored 727 runs at an astounding average of 90.87. Barring the first Test against New Zealand in Hamilton, Gambhir has scored a century in every match. <br><br>He has scored four centuries and a half-century with his highest being 167.
The southpaw has played 26 ODIs scoring 848 runs at an average of 40.38 with the help of two centuries and five half-centuries. Both his tons came against Sri Lanka and on both the occasions he made 150 runs.
In the shortest format, Gambhir scored 253 runs in ten Twenty20 Internationals at an average of 25.30 with the help of two fifties. <br><br>In the IPL 2, which was held in South Africa this year, Gambhir had scored 286 in 15 matches at an average of 22.00.
His consistency over the past 18 months got him many awards, most important being the ICC Test player of the Year.<br><br>He also became the number one Test batsman and will end the year sitting on the pinnacle. <br><br>He also won Ceat International Cricketer of the Year and Castrol best cricketer award for 2008.
Gambhir also received the Polly Umrigar Award for being India's best cricketer between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. The Delhi batsman, who received a trophy and a cheque for Rs 5 lakh, scored 1269 runs from eight Tests at 84.6 (inclusive of five hundreds), during this phase with memorable efforts of 206 against Australia at Delhi, and a match-saving ten-hour marathon worth 137 against New Zealand at Napier. He also scored 670 runs from twenty-one ODIs, and 177 runs from eight T20 Internationals, during this period.
Gambhir, who led Delhi to a superb Ranji Trophy title win in the absence of Sehwag, has been given the reins of Delhi Daredevils after Sehwag stepped down as the captain of IPL Delhi franchise.<br><br>He had led the team during the Champions League T20.