Dropped from India's Test team owing to inconsistent performances, Gautam Gambhir answered his critics in the best way he could. Leading the India 'A' side against the touring Australians in a warm-up game in Chennai, Gambhir scored a quick century by first-class standards to give his team a solid start.
He scored a flowing 112 before edging one off Moises Henriques to Shane Watson at first slip. (Read full report from Day 1 here)
Having won the toss at the Guru Nanak College Ground, Gambhir chose to bat first. Opening the innings with Punjab's talented opener Jiwanjot Singh, the pair started off on a cautious note against Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc. The initial ten overs went for just 12 runs.
Australians are without their regular skipper Michael Clarke and dashing batsman David Warner. Shane Watson is leading the side.
Gambhir cashed in after the initial quiet period when spinners were introduced. Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty and rookie spinner Ashton Agar, all went for plenty as the left-hander proved why he is one of the best players of spin around.
When Jiwanjot got out for 24 off 72 balls, India 'A' was 67/1. Rohit Sharma, another one out to prove his mettle, came in to join his captain. Rubbing off from Gambhir's newfound success, Sharma too found confidence in his strokeplay and completed a fifty himself.
Quite amazingly, Gambhir's last first-class ton came way back in January 2010 and against a lowly Bangladesh. His form has dipped ever since and it culminated with Sandeep Patil and co. taking a tough but correct decision to drop him for Australia Tests.
The 'snub' may be has given his career a new lease of life and fans would be hoping that he makes a comeback to the Indian squad soon.