It is very rare that he smiles. When on the field, he is as agile and alert as a Tiger on the hunt. Gautam Gambhir might not find his name in India’s playing XI, when they take on West Indies in the first Test on July 21 but he certainly has booked his name in history of cricket as one of the best batsman to have played the game already. Gambhir is not done yet, though. He is 34 and has at least 3 to 4 years of cricket still left in him, going by the amount of time he is spending in gym.
Here are a few facts about him which tells his amazing cricketing story:
Marathon Test knock: In March 2009, Gambhir played a career-changing knock against New Zealand in Napier to save the Test for India. His 436-ball-137 was a match-saving 643-minute marathon, which saved the match for India. No one has batted as long as him in the second innings in the first decade of the 21st century. It was also overall the fifth-longest effort in second innings in Test cricket at that time.
Adopted by grandparents: When Gambhir’s mother took him to his grandparents’ home after he was born, they liked the cute Gautam so much that they insisted he stayed with them. He lived all his life with them only from there on.
Top scorer in India’s two World Cup triumphs: Gambhir’s contribution in both the 2007 WT20 and 2011 ODI World Cup final has been a massive one. His 54-ball-75 had given India a competitive total, which they successfully defended to win the maiden trophy. In the 2011 ODI World Cup final, Gautam once again showed that he is a big match player. When India was tottering at 31 for 2, chasing a stiff target of 275 runs in the final, it was Gambhir who showed resilience with the bat and made effective partnerships with Virat Kohli and then Mahendra Singh Dhoni to give India their second ODI World Cup. He was unlucky to get out on 97 and missed a historical century at the Wankhede in a World Cup final.
100% ODI captaincy record: Gautam Gambhir has captained India in 6 ODIs and has won all the six matches. This makes him the only ODI captain in the country to have a 100% track record. He led India to the 5-0 win over the kiwis in 2010. His last win as a captain came against the West Indies in December 2011.