India's win in the third and final Test against New Zealand at Indore ensured that Virat Kohli's boys claimed the top spot in the latest ICC Test team rankings. The match will be remembered for several fine performances from the Indian players. Be it Ravichandran Ashwin picking up 13 wickets in the match, Kohli scoring a double-hundred in the first innings or Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane once again proving to be the guardians of the Indian middle-order.
There was one name though, that every Indian cricket fan was eagerly waiting to cheer for - Gautam Gambhir. The left-handed batsman was included in the team as a replacement for the injured Lokesh Rahul ahead of the second Test. However, the presence of Shikhar Dhawan made his wait longer.
It was a blessing in disguise for the Indian fans when the news of Dhawan's injury popped out immediately after their win in the second Test at Kolkata. The news meant that Gambhir would be the obvious choice to partner Murali Vijay to open the innings in the third Test.
Gambhir finally made his comeback into the national side after two years in the third Test against the Kiwis in Indore.
India winning the toss and choosing to bat meant Gambhir didn't have to wait any longer. He had a nervous start in the first innings before getting into his natural groove. The man from Delhi looked at his fluent best with two back to back sixes off Matt Henry. The open-chest stance seemed to work for him as he looked comfortable against the moving balls. The 34-year-old scored 29 runs off 53 balls before falling to Trent Boult.
Also read: 5 best Test knocks by Gautam Gambhir
It was the second innings in which Gambhir made a strong statement, though. He had injured his shoulder while fielding in the first innings and left the field towards the end of New Zealand's innings. However, his grit and determination brought him back to start the Indian second innings with Vijay. His stay didn't last long, however, as he again injured the same shoulder.
This meant Pujara had to come into bat even before a wicket fell. When it looked as though Gambhir's comeback had been cursed, the man again defied the odds.
Immediately after Vijay was run-out, the stroke maker returned. He continued his innings from where he had left off. Gambhir went on to score a 56 ball 50 which included six boundaries. His knock served as a fitting reply to all the critics. The unsung hero of the 2011 World Cup winning Indian squad yet again proved that he still has what it takes to be in the international arena.
Following the immense support that he got throughout his tough times, Gambhir took his time off to thank all his fans. The former indian skipper said that he was overwhelmed with the reception that he got at the Indore stadium and took to Twitter to thank his fans for the love and support.
The fans will be hoping that Gambhir’s knock in the Indore Test serves as a step towards his selection in upcoming matches.