Gautam Gambhir retired from all forms of cricket on Tuesday, leaving the cricketing world sorry and his fans a bit bitter as the former Indian cricketer never received his due despite giving his all for his team and India. Gambhir has been a match-winner for India and his IPL teams, but he has been constantly overshadowed by his popular
teammates. And in some cases, some other ‘less-worthy’ performance overshadowed his and robbed him of awards and recognition.
The southpaw, however, has no regrets and says he would love to be a cricketer in the next life as well. Cricwizz goes down memory lane and lists out incidents when Gautam Gambhir has been hard done by circumstances and failed to get his due.
2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka
It was Gambhir who anchored India’s chase in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka after the team lost the openers – Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar – cheaply. If he had desired to play for personal milestones, he would have taken his time and scored a ton in the final, but looking for quick runs, he stepped out of the crease only
to be bowled out for 97 runs but not before taking India closer to a WC title.
Eventually, his heroics with the bat was overshadowed by MS Dhoni’s 91 not out. Dhoni had given the finishing touch to the innings, but it was Gambhir who laid the foundation. But the Man of the Match award went to Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir’s match-winning knock was easily forgotten and sidelined.
2007 World T20 final
Gambhir is known for raising his game in important matches and the 2007 World T20 final provided the perfect opportunity for the southpaw to assert his authoritativeness. He played a lone hand scoring 75 runs, as India marched towards a competitive total of 157/5. Gautam Gambhir once again laid the foundation for the likes of Rohit Sharma to play a cameo of 16-ball 30* to steer the team through. But Irfan Pathan walked away with Man of the Match award for his 3/16 as India crossed the finish line by 5 runs, with the big trophy in their hands. And Gambhir’s match-winning effort in the final was conveniently forgotten and put into the backburner.
Gambhir formed a great opening pair with Robin Uthappa for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL. He led KKR to two titles in 2012 and 2014 and let his bat do all the talking. However, KKR gave a poor treatment to their skipper, not retaining him ahead of the IPL auctions in 2018. It forced Gambhir to opt out of KKR and move on to his old team in Delhi Daredevils. But a poor run of scores made him drop himself from the XI in IPL 2018.
Both the clubs had snubbed him and did not raise a single voice. It turned out to be Gambhir’s last outing in IPL with both the clubs conveniently forgetting the contribution of their skipper-cum-opener.
When Gautam Gambhir let Virat Kohli take the centre stage
In the Kolkata ODI in 2009 against Sri Lanka, India chased down a target of 316 with ease against Sri Lanka. Gambhir top-scored in the chase with a knock of 150*. He was given the due by the jury as they handed him a Man of the Match award.
But another centurion from the match – Virat Kohli – stunned with his strokeplay during his knock of 107 in that match. Kohli had completely overshadowed Gambhir with his attacking batting display and both the players agreed to it. Gambhir chose to share the trophy with him as it was Kohli maiden ODI ton. And even when Gambhir got his
due, he chose to share with a teammate.
Gautam Gambhir has never been regarded as a formidable Test opener despite records proving otherwise. He may have had a timid end to his Test career like his then partner Virender Sehwag. But it’s sad that Gambhir is not even counted as one of the best Test opener in the 21st century.
He has had few brilliant Test records to show off for as one of the best Test openers in this century. Did you know Gambhir is the only Indian Test batsman to score a ton in five consecutive Test matches? Did you know Gambhir is the only Indian batsman to have scored more than 300 runs in four consecutive Test series?
Besides, Gambhir was bestowed with ICC Test Player of the Year award in 2009. But despite all his contributions, Gauti’s success failed to get the recognition it deserved.