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SK Cricket Trivia: Unknown facts about Gautam Gambhir

Sahil Jain
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Gautam Gambhir is certainly one of the names that will find a special place in India’s cricket history. Not only was he a part of India’s World T20 and ICC World Cup (50-over) winning teams, he played a significant role in those tournaments and knockout games as well.

The left-handed opener who was born in Delhi made his international debut in an ODI against Bangladesh in April 2003. About a year and a half later (in November 2004), he made his Test debut against Australia.

However, he only became a regular member in 2008 and under MS Dhoni’s captaincy, he was a crucial member of the side in the phase 2008-2011. However, post-2012, his form dipped. Despite making a couple of comebacks, he is still out of national reckoning.

It is over two years since he last donned India colours. However, his contributions have been excellent. He has represented India in 242 international games and has scored over 10,000 runs.

As he turns 37 today, we wish Gautam Gambhir a very happy birthday and take a look back at some unknown facts about the Delhi left-hander.

#1 Big match player (Top scorer in both ICC tournament finals)

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There have been three significant moments in white-ball cricket for India in the 21st century, all three ICC World Championship triumphs (World T20 in 2007, World Cup in 2011, Champions Trophy in 2013). In two of those, Gautam Gambhir has played a significant part in the final. However, with others performing and getting the man of the match trophies, it has often been overlooked.

In the final of the 2007 World T20 in Johannesburg against Pakistan, Gambhir top-scored with 75 as India posted 157 batting first. With India losing wickets at regular intervals, he kept the scoreboard moving from his end and helped the ‘Men in Blue’ get to a competitive total. Irfan Pathan took 3/16 and ripped through Pakistan’s middle-order and was given the player of the match. He scored 227 runs in 7 games at an average of 37.83 at a strike rate of 129.71 in that tournament.

His 97 in the World Cup Final in 2011 against Sri Lanka will definitely go down as one of the most underrated knocks in the history of Indian cricket. India were reduced to 33/2 chasing 275 in the final and the pressure was huge. Gambhir walked in at No. 3 and eased the nerves as he first shared an 83-run stand with Virat Kohli and then an 89-run stand with MS Dhoni. He struck 97 in 122 balls but Dhoni’s terrific unbeaten 91 overshadowed Gambhir’s knock. Gambhir was excellent throughout the World Cup as he scored 393 runs in matches at an average of 43.66.

Two big finals and he top-scored in both those games. A very underrated yet a big match player.

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