Gautam Gambhir: A career in the twilight
All his hopes of a comeback to the Indian team will depend on the upcoming IPL as it will determine the fate of the star batsman.
A swashbuckling left-handed batsman, who can tear apart any bowling line-up on his day, Gambhir has always been a consistent performer at the domestic level. After amassing runs at an average of above 50 since his Ranji trophy debut back in the 1999-00 season, Gautam Gambhir made his international debut in an ODI against Bangladesh on 11th April 2003.
It was not the sweetest of the debuts for Gambhir as he could only score one half-century in the five-match series against Bangladesh and was subsequently shown the doors from the Indian team.
However, his perseverance and determination did pay off when he was recalled to the national squad in 2005. He notched up his first international century in his comeback match and there was no looking back for Gambhir after that. He cemented his place in the national team as an extremely reliable opener alongside the batting legend Virender Sehwag.
There have been many highlights in his career, but the first ever T20 world cup will always stand out. The team was already under a lot of criticism after an abysmal performance in ICC World Cup 2017, where India were eliminated in the group stages.
All the senior members of the team were dropped and a neophyte side was sent to the T20 World Cup with an inexperienced captain in MS Dhoni. What transpired there is a history everyone rejoices.
Gautam Gambhir, who stood up as a pillar of strength for the team, ended up being the highest run scorer in the tournament. With the consistency and the determination he showed, Gambhir transformed into one of the most admired players in the country.
However, since the match-winning performance in the ICC World Cup 2011 finals, the star batsman struggled to score runs in all the formats and eventually found himself out of the side. With the rise of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma as the prominent opening pair for the side, Gautam has found it difficult to break into the team. Even after playing impressive knocks in the domestic circuit, Gambhir has failed to grab the selectors' eye.
At 36, Gambhir does not have too many years of cricket left in him. His wish of playing for his hometown in the IPL has been fulfilled by the Delhi Daredevils as he was bought by them in this year's IPL auction for ₹2.8 crore.
Gambhir in most likelihood will lead the Delhi Daredevils for the upcoming season for the IPL. It will be very engrossing to see how Gambhir approaches this IPL, as his career is indeed in the twilight. This tournament will define his destiny. It will be ascertained if he gets a chance to don the Indian jersey one more time or if this is the end of the road for Gautam Gambhir.