Can Gautam Gambhir make a comeback in longer format? Let’s look at Gauti’s top Test innings

Gautam Gambhir Rahul DravidGautam Gambhir had made his Test debut versus Australia in Mumbai on November 3, 2004. He has played 58 Tests and has scored 4,154 runs with nine hundreds and 22 fifties. His best score of 206 came against Australia at his home ground in Delhi.

The Delhi Lad was also awarded the best test player by ICC in 2009.

Gautam Gambhir has played some very good innings in tests. He has saved India many a times. Let’s look at some of his best Test innings.

Also Read: Gautam Gambhir is a champion and it’s a well deserved second innings for him in Test cricket!

• 206 Vs Australia in Delhi on November 2008 – This was the third test match between India and Australia in the Border- Gavaskar Trophy. India were already leading the series 1-0. Anil Kumble won the toss and opted to bat first. Gautam Gambhir lost his two partners, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid early. At 27 for 2, Gautam Gambhir shared a much needed partnership with Sachin Tendulkar to rescue his team from trouble. The partnership of 130 runs for the 3rd wicket laid the foundation. Tendulkar departed for 68. But Gambhir built another partnership with VVS Laxman. This 278-run stand between these two changed the complexion of the game. India were fully in the driver’s seat in the fourth test. During partnership Gambhir completed his first and only double hundred in test match cricket.

After Gambhir’s wicket for 206, VVS Laxman continued to harass the Australian bowlers. His 98-run stand with Anil Kumble and 37 run stand MS Dhoni took India to 613 for 7. India finally declared their innings after the fall of Captain Anil Kumble’s wicket. Australia could score only 577 runs in their first innings because of their opening stand of 123 runs and Michel Clarke’s 112 runs. With an advantage of 36 runs, India posted 206 on the fifth and final day. Due to less time span this test match ended in a draw. India won the series in the next game and gave fitting farewell to Anil Kumble as great test player and marvellous captain.

• 137 Vs New Zealand in 2009 at Napier – This innings from Gautam Gambhir is his best innings of all. India won the test series in New Zealand because of this knock. The visitors already had won the first test at Hamilton. They wanted to secure the series here. But the Kiwis had something else in mind. After the loss in the 1st test by 10 wickets, the Kiwis came back strongly in the 2nd test. The hosts got to poor start but a double hundred from Jesse Ryder, a 151 from Ross Taylor and two half centuries from James Franklin and Daniel Vettori powered the Blackcaps to a massive score of 619 for 9 declared. India missed the presence of MS Dhoni. They were bundle out for just 305 93.5 overs. With Chris Martin picking three wickets, Daniel Vettori, Irain O Brien and Jetan Patel picking up two wickets each. Jesse Ryder showed his all rounder performance by picking up the wicket of Rahul Dravid.

India were enforced the follow on in their second innings. Sehwag had departed early. Gautam Gambhir and Dravid rescued the team with 133-run stand for the 2nd wicket. This stand was the important one in India’s perspective. It needed to go on but Daniel Vettori brought his team back into the game by taking the wicket of Dravid for 62 runs. Gambhir got the much-needed support from Sachin Tendulkar and shared another stand of 97 runs for the 3rd wicket.

Unfortunately Tendulkar was out for 64. Gambhir carried out his 3rd partnership with VVS Laxman. Laxman and Gambhir added another 96 runs for the fourth wicket. Gambhir completed his century in this process. Finally the Kiwis got him for well made 137 runs. But they couldn’t stop VVS Laxman as he scored an unbeaten 124 runs. An unbeaten stand of 120 runs with Yuvraj Singh secured a draw in this match. This allowed India to win the series on New Zealand soil.

• 167 Vs New Zealand in Wellington test 2009 – Gambhir had a fantastic series in New Zealand. The 2009 tour gave India a new match winner in Gambhir. He came up with a sublime knock of 167 in the third and final test. He couldn’t do much in the first innings but he repaid that by scoring 167 in the second. That allowed the visitors to dominate in this test match. India could score 434 for 7 in their second innings. That also allowed India to set a target of 617 runs. India was on the course of another test win in New Zealand. But the resistance of low order saved the Kiwis from defeat. India won the test series 1-0. Gambhir was named the man-of-the-match for brilliant knock 167 runs.

• 93 & 64 Vs South Africa in Cape Town – After losing the first test and winning the second one against Proteas, India wanted to win this test and the series. In the third and final test South Africa batted first and posted 362 runs on the board. Gautam Gambhir’s 93 and Sachin Tendulkar’s 146 allowed India to get ahead of South Africa’s total by just 2 runs. In reply South Africa scored 341 runs in their second innings. Chasing the target of 340 runs, India were 166 for 3 in 82 overs on the final day. Gambhir was the top scorer for India in the second innings. He scored 64 runs. The 3-match test series was drawn 1-1.

• 56 & 74 Vs Sri Lanka at Galle in 2008 – This second test in Sri Lanka is largely known because of Virender Sehwag’s 201. But many people have forgotten the contribution made by Gautam Gambhir. Sehwag’s 201 not out and Gautam Gambhir 56 were the only noted contributions made by India in their 1st innings. India scored 329 runs only because of that. Ajanta Mendis’s spin troubled the other Indian batsmen accept. Indian spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh also did a decent job. Their good bowling spells helped India to restrict the Lankans for 292. In second innings, Gambhir was the top scorer for India. Sehwag made 50 while Rahul Dravid scored 44. These individual contributions helped India to score 269. Ajanta Mendis picked up 10 wickets in that match. He continued to trouble the Indian batsmen. Sri Lanka couldn’t handle Harbhajan Singh in their 2nd innings. The terminator picked up 4 wickets for 51 runs. Ishant Sharma and Anil Kumble supported Harbhajan Singh well. The bowlers did a fantastic job to bowl Sri Lanka for just 136 runs in 47.3 overs. India win the by 170 runs.