After a two-year wait Gautam Gambhir has finally returned to the Indian Test squad in place of the injured KL Rahul for the remainder of the three-match Test series against New Zealand. The 34-year-old opener from Delhi last played for India in the tour of England in 2014 where he disappointed and hasn’t played for the Test team since.
However, hamstring injury to KL Rahul in the first Test meant that India needed someone to fill in as a back-up opener and thanks to his consistent performance in the recently-concluded Duleep Trophy, Gambhir’s name was at the top of the list.
Having played in excess of 50 Tests and scored more than 4,000 runs in the format including nine hundreds, the 34-year-old opener will certainly provide plenty of experience at the top of the order for India. And not only will he have experience on his side but he will have good form too.
In the 2016 Duleep Trophy which concluded ahead of the New Zealand Test series, Gambhir scored four fifties in five innings and finished the tournament with an average in excess of 70 and helped his side claim the title.
While he would have been disappointed to miss out on the squad for the NZ Test series, an unfortunate injury to Rahul means that he will get another chance to represent India again. Here is what Gautam Gambhir said on Twitter being selected for the Indian Test side for the first time since 2014.
Excitement of a debutant, certainty of experienced, nervousness of a novice...am feeling it all. Eden here I come loaded with ambitions.— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) September 27, 2016
Nothing beats playing again for d country. Test cricket, whites, red ball and India cap again. Thanks @BCCI, thanks 2 all for d prayers.— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) September 27, 2016
It was not just Gambhir who was excited by his comeback, as Twitter went crazy once it was confirmed that he would be back into the Indian Test team.
Here are the reactions from the cricket fraternity:
Gambhir is back in the Indian Test Team...don't they say...Never Say Never. Congrats.— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 27, 2016
Thoughts with Rahul though...will be missed.
The return of @GautamGambhir is a tribute to his tenacity and grit, which he possesses in substantial quantities.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 27, 2016
Very interesting to see who makes the playing eleven. Normally, the incumbent reserve gets preference but Gambhir has runs behind him— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 27, 2016