05 February 2008

Gambhir here to stay?

Sachin and Sehwag were barely able to give the credible platform that Gambhir and Dhoni used.

Both Gambhir and Dhoni have played a lot in the India A circuit together and were noticed around the national fringes at about the same time. Dhoni went on to cement his spot as wicketkeeper-batsman of choice and eventually became the T20 and ODI captain.

Gautam Gambhir was a vital element of Dhoni's victorious T20 campaign. But Gambhir in the one dayers has mostly been a minnow bully. Outside of Bangladesh, Ireland and Scotland, his only century had been a stunner against full-stength Sri Lankan attack at Ahmedabad. Since that day in November 2005, his major innings' have been a 101 against Bangladesh, and 80* against Ireland, an 85* against Scotland, a 51 against England and a 57 against Pakistan. In all, he has played 39 one-dayers and his inconsistency is reflected in an average of 33.82 - very poor considering that he has to displace Ganguly for a spot in the top order.

In Test matches too, he was early to promise, sharing a 218-run stand with Sehwag in his second match (again, Nov 2004) making 96 against Ntini and Pollock at Kanpur. Since then, a century against Bangladesh, a second innings 50 in the match India lost against Pakistan at Bangalore and a 97 against Zimbabwe have been his standount innings. He averages 33 after 14 matches.

But this innings today in Australia, will buy him a lot of time in the team. If he can weather Malinga and Vaas, and attack Murali well, there is no reason to suspect talent at all. This innings has answered a few questions, some of which will be his own doubts, about temprament. Having come on the back of a victorious Ranji campaign for Delhi were he played a pivotal role over the season, he is no doubt confident as well.

At least two of the Fab Four will retire before 2010. Since the early nineties, the middle order has been so strong (or so full of superstars) that we have always tended to sacrifice an opener in the name of balance. In the process the most dispensable middle order bat who could be a wicketkeeper, would be sent out as reluctant opener. If Gambhir is able to make the transition to Test batsman, Indian cricket may enter a phase which has not been experienced for a long time - where the top order will be treated as sacred and the middle order batsmen have to compete among themselves to not get sacrificed in the name of balance.

8 comments:

Straight Point said...

GG played brilliantly today but he gave simplistic chance in very early part of his innings like he did against aussies...he cant expect this to happen again and again...

so i would wait till this CB series is over to pass any judgment on GG or for that matter any youngster in the team...

John said...

That's right. There is an over-reliance on the dab to third man. Not good when you're plying power play. If he can keep the cover drive out till he gets set, then we have a good number three batsman/opener.

Straight Point said...

good observation John...

he has this tendency specially early in his innings...thats where i think the role of a coach come in...he can take him to corner and show his recent dismissals or layoffs and tell him exactly that...and more importantly work on it...

scorpicity said...

gambir is definitely here to stay... he is the top cat among the leading run scorers of the new crop... though the inconsistency tag is still there but then he was hardly given a full run at all.

He was one of those when doing well just required 1 or 2 bad matches for him to be dropped... then resurfaces after a year. Hopefully, they will give him a long rope this time.

thevillagecricketer said...

Greetings. The Village Cricketer is looking for nominations for the first ever ‘The International Village Cricketer Awards’. Categories include the Village Cricketer of the Year, Most Village Emerging Player of the Year and the Spirit of Village Award. It'd be great to get your thoughts posted at http://thevillagecricketer.wordpress.com/

Straight Point said...

scorpy

this century has ensured just that...dont worry...

TM said...

Dear ALL,

“Ladies and Gentlemen – we have liftoff” - the Luthra Cricket League took off in serious style last Sunday. You know an idea has taken off when the entire gamut of employees/retainers/partners of a law firm land up to pit their skills against each other and mother nature, on the holy day at a time when most people are still fitfully curled up inside their quilts and thinking about the imminent end of the weekend and the arrival of yet another Monday morning!!

With 20 people braving the plummeting mercury on an icy, windy, cloud laden, drippy day, almost the entire skill set of the Luthra Cricket League was on view – an achievement made more commendable as the first one dayer was on! As Sudhir Sir, Dada and yours truly (the advantages of writing these mails is that the truth can be reported J) rediscovered the middle of the bat and elegantly dispatched the ball to all corners of the net, the bowlers were left fretting and fuming and clutching their old aching backs. Despite the fast bowling efforts of Brett Lee (masquerading as Suyash), the wicked swinging deliveries of Vaibhav (Kakkar- we are not talking about you!) and the brave long spells of Kshitij’s leg spin, in the absence of the sun, it was the batsmen who lit up the day. Without taking names, the helplessness of the bowlers was best gathered from the disappointment written large on the face of a left arm ‘spinner’, working in Sameen Sir’s team, and boasting the initials SK….

Hopefully only one week short of the acid test, the first match of the Luthra Cricket League tentatively being organized on February 16 or 17, everyone’s looking to stake a claim for the slots in the team(s). The practice this weekend shall probably decide who gets to play the match the following week, and who doesn’t!

See you there!!!!!!
Place : Modern School, Barakhamba Road
Time : 9:30 a.m.
Date : Saturday, February 9

Best Regards,
Tarun

TM said...

What shocks me is that people havent figured out that the simplest way to keep him quiet, or even et him out is to bowl short and his body - to me, it seems almost like he is a compulsive hooker and to date, I have not seen a ball hit with him clear the ropes - even on an Indian ground, let alone the fields that are passed off as groundsin Australia. Instead of keeping the man on the boundary, if they kept him 3/5th of the way back, they would have GG caught there easy!! For the sake of our performance in this series, lets hope that Ponting doesnt catch on to it too quickly!