Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 3rd day January 5, 2012

Gambhir gets slim chance at redemption

While India cannot possibly visualise an escape in Sydney as yet, Gautam Gambhir has the opportunity to fight his way out of a tight corner
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Gautam Gambhir wasn't merely in jail - nor, for that matter, were India. They were in solitary confinement in the deepest, darkest corner of the jail. Now, for Gambhir more than India, there is a sliver of light, a hole in one of the four walls. Over the next two days, he will hope for - not think of or visualise - an escape.

It began with his first forceful, horizontal-bat shot of the series. Until then there had been no respite. The Australian bowlers were bowling short of a length, around off, and he was poking at them. Not used to leaving off a length, not sure of the line because of the doubt caused by Ben Hilfenhaus' swing back into him. Duncan Fletcher said two days ago that leaving those deliveries alone was not going to be the solution, that Gambhir needed to bat in his natural, positive way. He said when Gambhir is feeling good about his game, he scores off the same deliveries.

Gambhir hasn't felt good about his game on this tour. He has been nervous, pushing at balls in the hope they hit the middle of the bat. It is easier to say that being positive is the solution, though, than actually pulling off the transformation. How do you go about being positive when you don't know where the next run is coming from?

At such times, perhaps the best thing to happen is for you to feel that you have nothing to lose. Or very little. In the three previous innings, Gambhir had much more to lose. Today, not much. Yes, technically the Test can still be saved, but these journeys can't be made with the destination in sight. Gambhir became a bit adventurous today. The second ball he faced was not too different from the ones he has been edging so far. He upper-cut it. Over gully it went, for four. He went at the next ball too. Again, it went for four.

There was clarity of thought after that. He began to leave better. When he played at those testing deliveries, he drove. The number of those previously troublesome deliveries reduced. You could see he was feeling better. For a change, the sound of an Indian bat resonated at the SCG for a little while. It was the reflex of a man trying to save his name. Thinking of saving his career might be too drastic a thought, trying to save the match, too far away.

As Rahul Dravid said, India were not thinking of drawing the match as of now. "We need to go out there and show some fight," he said. "And bat as long as we can. Who knows what can happen? We have got quality batsmen who can bat long periods. It's hard to think about two days from now right away. I am sure the guys will go out and fight and do the best they can. And we will take it from there."

Gambhir, Dravid said, just batted. If the ball was up there to be driven, he played the natural drive. When he saw the spinner, he stepped out and went inside-out with the turn, and picked up two boundaries off the last two balls before tea. He raced away to 59 off 65. We were getting into Gambhir territory now. He has shown he is more adept than a regular modern batsman when it comes to just batting, batting even when the runs aren't coming and when there is no win in sight. Just the road.

The road was revealed to him towards the end of day's play. Australia set in-out fields to cut out the boundaries, and bowled outside off to see if he would continue pushing. Gambhir wouldn't. He went 34 deliveries without scoring a run. Hilfenhaus, India's nemesis, remained. One of Gambhir's two false shots came off his bowling. Today, though, the edge wouldn't carry. When it would carry, off James Pattinson, Brad Haddin would drop him. You need luck at times. Dravid said India would need every ounce they could conjure.

"Part of the challenge is mental," Dravid said. "Part of it is physical and technical. Physically you have to bat long period of times. Technically they have a good attack that is bowling well, so you have to counter them technically too. It's a combination. If we are going to save the game from here, we need everything to work for us."

He sees hope in Gambhir, but nothing more than hope. "Happy for Gautam," he said. "He has worked very hard. He's been under pressure obviously. He wants to score runs. He is very keen to do well. It was nice to see him come out and play some shots, play positively and get going. Later on, towards the end of the day, when things were tough, he gritted it out and hung in there. Hopefully he can convert [the start] into a big one. We know he enjoys batting long periods of time."

One hundred and twenty-four balls is not a long period of time. Gambhir hasn't scored a century in nearly two years. India have crossed 300 only once in their last 17 away attempts. Gambhir, though, might have taken the first few baby steps out of the rut he finds himself in.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 6, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    I AM ONE OF THE BIGGGEST FANS OF INDIA,AS WALL AS FOR GAMBHIR .I HOPE THAT GAUTI IS AGAIN ON HIIS TRACK.HE IS ONE THE GREATEST BATS MAN IN THE WORLD.AND INDIA WILL WIN IN THE NEXT MATCH

  • DebashisCalcutta on January 6, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    @ccrriicc - "You could see today there is no lack of technique or desire - the gift and versatility of his batsmanship sparked through his resolve." -- are you crazy ??? you dont find fault with his technique just bcoz he scored some runs? Even if he had scored 200 today , for me he will always be a "true subcontument pitch" player .

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on January 6, 2012, 1:51 GMT

    gambhir and his limited stock of talent have been used up...run its course. he is still a good ODI player, but his limitations in tests have been found out. bring back mukund!

  • kirkeet-fan on January 6, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    Oh come on, when we need these paper lions to fire, they spend the entire series getting out to crap balls and in general looking like the sacrificial goats before the last redemptive career saving 50, with which most of the foolish desi fans are contect.

    House cleaning starts with getting rid of Dhoni, Sehwag, Z Khan, I Sharma from the test squad.

  • vk6848 on January 6, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    I am neither an Indian supporter nor a Gambhir fan but Gambhir was my man of the match in the World Cup Final. He is at least as capable as any other Indian opener, and it looks as if lady luck is with him now (thank God they are still playing Haddin!)

  • Desihungama on January 5, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    I doubt if Ghambir survives the first five overs. It's now or never for India. All the best.

  • just_chill_chill on January 5, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    This Monga guy is back with one of his nonsensical pieces again. Why exactly is it Gambhir's chance at redemption? Why not Tendulkar's or Dravid's? They have been failing way too often and in crucial games to be excused. Tendulkar bats comfortably low down in the order in test matches and shields himself from swigning ball and fresh bowlers, and despite all this he keeps flopping. And Dravid - when is he actually going to start TAKING catches instead of dropping 2-3 in every match?

  • talk2kish on January 5, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    Hope Gambhir converts this start and help save the test!

    We should remind all that we can bat for longer durations.

  • MaxFromSydney1 on January 5, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    India haven't had the best conditions in this test. They batted first with the ball doing a bit, then Australia batted on a flat pitch with the Indian bowlers and fielders baking in warm weather. This theme might continue today as, looking outside my window, it's quite overcast. So the ball might swing this morning and should be physically comfortable for the Aussie players in the field. The pitch is still a road, so the battle should be interesting.

  • on January 5, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    if the team lose but fight i dont care

  • on January 6, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    I AM ONE OF THE BIGGGEST FANS OF INDIA,AS WALL AS FOR GAMBHIR .I HOPE THAT GAUTI IS AGAIN ON HIIS TRACK.HE IS ONE THE GREATEST BATS MAN IN THE WORLD.AND INDIA WILL WIN IN THE NEXT MATCH

  • DebashisCalcutta on January 6, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    @ccrriicc - "You could see today there is no lack of technique or desire - the gift and versatility of his batsmanship sparked through his resolve." -- are you crazy ??? you dont find fault with his technique just bcoz he scored some runs? Even if he had scored 200 today , for me he will always be a "true subcontument pitch" player .

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on January 6, 2012, 1:51 GMT

    gambhir and his limited stock of talent have been used up...run its course. he is still a good ODI player, but his limitations in tests have been found out. bring back mukund!

  • kirkeet-fan on January 6, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    Oh come on, when we need these paper lions to fire, they spend the entire series getting out to crap balls and in general looking like the sacrificial goats before the last redemptive career saving 50, with which most of the foolish desi fans are contect.

    House cleaning starts with getting rid of Dhoni, Sehwag, Z Khan, I Sharma from the test squad.

  • vk6848 on January 6, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    I am neither an Indian supporter nor a Gambhir fan but Gambhir was my man of the match in the World Cup Final. He is at least as capable as any other Indian opener, and it looks as if lady luck is with him now (thank God they are still playing Haddin!)

  • Desihungama on January 5, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    I doubt if Ghambir survives the first five overs. It's now or never for India. All the best.

  • just_chill_chill on January 5, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    This Monga guy is back with one of his nonsensical pieces again. Why exactly is it Gambhir's chance at redemption? Why not Tendulkar's or Dravid's? They have been failing way too often and in crucial games to be excused. Tendulkar bats comfortably low down in the order in test matches and shields himself from swigning ball and fresh bowlers, and despite all this he keeps flopping. And Dravid - when is he actually going to start TAKING catches instead of dropping 2-3 in every match?

  • talk2kish on January 5, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    Hope Gambhir converts this start and help save the test!

    We should remind all that we can bat for longer durations.

  • MaxFromSydney1 on January 5, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    India haven't had the best conditions in this test. They batted first with the ball doing a bit, then Australia batted on a flat pitch with the Indian bowlers and fielders baking in warm weather. This theme might continue today as, looking outside my window, it's quite overcast. So the ball might swing this morning and should be physically comfortable for the Aussie players in the field. The pitch is still a road, so the battle should be interesting.

  • on January 5, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    if the team lose but fight i dont care

  • Shankar on January 5, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Gambhir's slump is only recent, and he has done well in the 2nd innings. Drop the guy who is surviving only on hype, and plays only once a blue moon, that is, Virender Sehwag.

  • on January 5, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    It's so funny to see Indian Fans getting all excited. Had Brad Haddin taken that simple catch, these bloggers would have (just as one day ago ) cursed at him. No worries, India will lose by an innings and 200 Odd runs. Then it will be a funny reading.

  • DebashisCalcutta on January 5, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    I hope nobody echoes "Gambhir is back in form" . Oh please , he was never out of form . Just that he can't play in sporting /lively wickets . Even after the MCG debacle if you could put him to bat in subcontiment pitches , I am sure he would have scored tons of runs.

  • Kaze on January 5, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    Gambhir is a lousy batsman, he resembles Phillip Hughes when he defends side on, pity that lousy Haddin is still in Aus side to drop Gambhir. Looking for a nice quick bowled tomorrow.

  • Number_5 on January 5, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    First hour will be key for India today, if they can get through that without losing a wicket they are a good chance to build a strong partnership, BUT its a big ask. One can only think how India had gone had they come here a few weeks early and got used to the conditions...

  • posybeon123 on January 5, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    save the match with a double century!!!

  • on January 5, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    Indian batsman need to show the character, they should have clear thought in mind. Please don't play lazy shot like sewag or dravid did.Play positively but try to see what they are trying.They are trying to bowl three or four bowls wide outside of stump or bouncer to make sure indian batsman are stays at the crease without much feet movement.Then pitch one up either insinger or outsinger or bowling bit wide of the crease straight to stumps (So it will look like oustinger but goes striaght to stumps). They are doing basic simple stuff and it should countered easily by any of the indian batsman. Unfortunately except tendulkar most of the indian batsman not clear in their thoughts and getting out.Looks like this pitch is for making centuries go for it.

  • Nampally on January 5, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    Sidarth, you say Gambhir hasn't scored a century in 2 years. So was ponting until on Day 2. Ponting was ecstatic with joy. I hope Gambhir keeps off his weakness at slashing balls outside the off. His straight bat strokes were so good & crisp. He should stick to them & eliminate slant bat shots. Gambhir & Sachin need to lead the way to India's fight back. It is 2 days away which is a long time. But then out of form Clarke, Ponting & Hussey nearly played 5 sessions & carried their team into this position. India should do the same - run by run minute by minute- play out 5 sessions. It will be tough but doable.They have the talent but is there a WILLto do it. They say where there is Will, there is a way!Even Mount Everest was conquered thru' will power.Aussie bowling is on or outside the off & waiting for the batsmen to make mistakes.If the Indian are patient & avoid reckless shots - not flashing at the balls outside off - the Aussies will be forced to change tactics - not their strength!

  • JustIPL on January 5, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    This is a batting pitch now and India should save it. All the venom and demon is gone. It was tough to bat until ZAK's 3 scalps after which there was nothing for bowlers. Best chance for Tendulkar to be a match saver. Although Sachin is gr8 but he has passed his prime long ago.

  • ccrriicc on January 5, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    We had already written off this "unsure, technique-less" opener who found himself in the most uncertain conditions. The only conclusion, based on his showing in three earlier innings, was that he did not belong there. You could see today there is no lack of technique or desire - the gift and versatility of his batsmanship sparked through his resolve. Unfortunately, he went back into his shell and if he continues the way he played towards the end of the day he will not last long, Gambhir has to get his self-belief back. This is where a coach comes in, the captain comes in, the senior players come in - sadly that component of this team seems missing. Let us hope that Gambhir's contribution is the beginning of a new thought process and attitude, belief and change. A lot rests on how he comes out tomorrow morning - if he starts the way he started today - he will last very long and a glimmer of hope can change to a bright halo of success.

  • sameer997 on January 5, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    Happy fr gambhir but he soooo needs to convert these to a 200 at best.200 ideallll

  • on January 5, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Why trio(Dravid,Lax, SRT) should retire in phased manner and youngster should be groomed: :Gauti is a great example he started his first class career in 1999/2000. Showed promise, scored consistently averaged above 50 in first class. Got break in test match in 2004 and Though in his first 25 innings he scored only one century and three fifty (two of them 90's). he was persisted ,scored consistently in ODI got his confidence back. In three years established himself as a test player. We should persist with Virat. And For Rohit to find a place one of the trio must be retired.

  • on January 5, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    I don't see him lasting the first one hour! It will be a typically Indian second innings when everything is lost. They might fight but ultimately fold up around 280 - 290! I don't see them going beyond that! People expecting a Calcutta turn around please come out of your dreams. An glorious era of Indian cricket is coming to an end... witness it & accept it! No need to blame our captain or our bowlers or even our star batsmen who have awfully let us down or for that matter our board! All things have an expiry date & has an end.....Sadly I might stop watching/following Indian test cricket which I've been following relentlessly since Tendulkar's debut! I hope Sachin get his 100th 100 tomorrow in a losing cause..at least he can get that monkey off his back & play with more freedom in the next 2 matches which are obviously his last test matches in Oz!

  • on January 5, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Gambhir has always been a fighter !! When ever a tough situation arises he rises up to the occasion when the likes of sehwag fail !! I cant compare both becoz both are. Different types of batsmen but when ever opposition puts a bigscore infront of india sehwag gets out cheaply he is only gud in 1st innings when there is no pressure.where as when gambhir always tries to last as long as possible when india is chasing a huge target or a game with arch rivals pak or when other batsmen are getting out .an gud example is world cup final sehwag and sachin gavwe their wickets cheaply and vambhir fought till the end. .Remember the nzl series ?? He batted 2 days to save a test and same with centurion test he batted long tym for saving the match with sachin !! Gambhir is a fighter !! An aggressive captain and a.a great chaser in odis along with kohli we need gambhir for long tym !!

  • on January 5, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Yep, Gambhir has been batting well and we need a few centuries from both the man that are batting. Its time India showed their mettle and atleast save India from an innings defeat.

  • Rumy1 on January 5, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    Look Raina also scored a 100 in Sri Lanka. Gambhir has an inherent flaw in his technique which still persists. He would have gone by now had Haddin and Clarke had not dropped him. And please note that SCG track at the moment is a belter of a track for batting with Ponting, Clarke and Hussey scoring big centuries. So let's face it. Gambhir's 50 doesn't mean that he has corrected his technique or is back in form.He kept on poking outside the off stump even in this innings of his at SCG. By the way Raina, Mukund, Vijay, Yuvraj would also have loved to bat against the an average spinner like N.Lyon on a superb batting track which offered no purchase to a spinner. So no big deal if Gambhir has scored some runs off Lyon. His flaw against short pitched stuff on pacy tracks has been there for quite some time and that is the reason he averages poor 20s over his last several appearances overseas. Perth track - one of the fastest in the world will be another ultimate Test for him again.Poor guy!

  • on January 5, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    Well done Gautam, You have what Sehwag does not have -- the ability to eschew risks and carry on batting. It was expected that Dravid and you would continue but that did not happen. Anyway, stop treating it as a career or match saving innings. Take it hour by hour. Remember our top order is better than thier top three. Thier senior batsmen have contributed thus far while our entire line up barring Virat has experience. Its time our senior like you stood up

  • usernames on January 5, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    I mentioned this in my previous comment on an article about Gambhir, too! He is a very good player -- maybe not great -- but a very good one. At the current moment, he is just too precious a talent to be lost. Whoever is at helm needs to give him confidence. Now that he has got a start, he needs to go out and convert it into a big score. It may not save the match but, at the worst, it will give him the confidence he needs for the future. I hope he goes on to score a very big score! *pray* :)

  • linukuruvilla123 on January 5, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    common gambhir!!!! just do it for u and team india!!!

  • Invincibless on January 5, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Ghambhir and Kohli are going to save the test for India...

  • ishrat1971 on January 5, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Although I had given up on him being able to resurrect his career outside the subcontinent but the man has shown glimpses of fight. For his sake and for the sake of his team I hope this fight translates into something meaningful. On the whole I still think India is staring at defeat. If SRT gets his century and is not able to save the match I wonder how he would feel.

  • TendulkarDgr8 on January 5, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    Gambir is a the best example for slam bam cricket having its bad effects on a batting tallent... The four innings he has played in australia shows us how playing straight is advantageous and not doing so can be disastrous... He pokes so often to run the ball down to third man... He might get away with it in Indian pitches with the white ball which does not swing after a while but in good swinging conditions its a very bad habit and such habits do not go away easy.... But Gautam is a gritty, determined fellow and he showed us some of it in sydney yesterday... Hopefully he will make a big one and help himself and India.....

  • Silverbails on January 5, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Come on, Gautam, we KNOW you can DO IT!! Just think of Napier, and that's ALL the inspiration that you'll need. And, Napier ain't too far away from here...Come On India, let's SAVE the Test...and the Series...for a change, rather than limply capitulating as has seemed to be the way these recent years....

  • on January 5, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    We wish you romp home Gauti!! India had been No1 test team simply because you gave a wonderful start many times. Time to salvage Pride mate !!

  • on January 5, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    this will be the memorable inning in gautams life im sure

  • BRKONWAR on January 5, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Very well said, this is where you can see true class. He failed 3 times and was under pressure but he didn't let that bug him down instead he took it as a motivational factor and showed why he is still the right person to open for India. Hopefully he capitalizes his luck today & I wish him all the best, I am sure he will make all Indians proud. Good work bud, shut them haters down!

  • indianpunter on January 5, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    India need to show intent. We have to score some runs and thats the only way to put some pressure back on the Aussies. It was baffling to see Tendulkar and Gambhir shut shop when there was 90 mins of play left. Gambhir was playing freely till Tendulkar came on the scene. I fear it was Tendulkar "micro managing" Gambhir that led to the latter shifting gears. This approach almost cost them their wickets towards the end of the day. When your mindset is defensive, you tend to make mistakes.

  • Percy_Fender on January 5, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    I was very happy for Gautam because I know that he is better than he has been made to look. On this wicket, I feel he has a fair chance to redeem himself.The thing is that his technique in regard to playing or leaving the back of length deliveries pitched on leg and middle and leaving off deserves careful attention from Duncan Fletcher. I am sure he can sort it out. More so if he has some great success in this match when the pitch is an ally. Good luck to him. He needs it.

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    It will be a miracle if India can save this match.

  • amjadmayo on January 5, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    Good Luck Gambhir....., We hope not lost another

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    What a little gem of an article Mr Monga! I know that you may sound to be an optimist, but the craft with which you articulate that optimism is worth noting, and relishing!

  • boris6491 on January 5, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    I don't think Gambhir has been out of form off late per se. His main problem his been the development of these ridiculous nothing pokes outside the off stump where he has been tamely succumbing to various bowlers to be caught behind or in the slips. That was the case during the WI series whilst the two lame shots attempted to get himself out in Melbourne was evidence of how much the problem has exacerbated. As Ponting has shown, just because you aren't scoring the big hundred doesn't mean you are woefully out of form. Sure, the public expects a lot out of Gambhir, he's been around long enough and has experienced enough success to know what scoring test hundreds entails. I hope that he makes the Australians pay for the costly miss in the final over and gets a big score, he's a talented cricketer who can be sublime to watch when he's in full flow playing his strokes and not trying to attempt 'cute' shots from outside off.

  • m_kamb on January 5, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    Dropped by Haddin and monga saying he is getting himself.what if catch was taken?

  • spinkingKK on January 5, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    Not just Gambhir. All the Indian batsmen only score when there is nothing else to lose. When they are pushed to the corner (just like what happened in Kolkatta 2001), they will just unload all the baggage they had in their mind and then play freely as if they are playing their last innings. Invariably, it will click. This is what the Indian coaches should teach these players to do when the match is still alive. Test matches are there to show your mettle and test your abiilties. Go out there and show what you are capable of and don't worry about the result. Kapil Dev, when he was the coach, used to tell them the same thing. But, eventhough he meant it this way, he was saying the guys to go out there and have fun. So, they just went and had FUN by keep chasing the wide deliveries and were getting bundled out for 140 odd runs (lol).

  • PiyushD on January 5, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    You just not need optimism but a miracle to save Test from here, 1.5 days of rain is the only way out. India has been often on the wrong side of the rain and its time to be on the right side. Can't expect GG,SRT,VVS,VK and MSD to save match on current form.Even to cross Australian lead will be a huge acheivement.

  • muski on January 5, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    Though India will be beaten black and blue tomorrow, Gambhir has played a crucial knock to live another day. The problem with India opening is the lack of quality contenders for the post. The Murli Vijays and Wassim Jaffer's have enough of their chances and have proven they are not really test class. Gambhi has the fire power and the never say die attitude in him. Unfortunately that will not help win matches- you need runs to match your attitude. Let these youngsters take a leaf out of Punters or Hussey's book. Hope Gambhir scores a huge ton tomorrow to bring back his lost confidence which could at least ensure that we last 4 days in the next 2 tests.

  • Shanmughan on January 5, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    He was positive at the start all right,but he went into ultra defensive mode towards the end of play and almost paid the price for it.He needs to be positive and selective in his shot making.Hopefully tomorrow's play would be rained off and India may only need to bat out a day for the draw that this team desperately needs..!!

  • rahulcricket007 on January 5, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    at start gambhir was playing in a one day mode scoring run a ball 50 but after the removal of dravid he & sachin just goes too defensive giving 7 maidens continuously to aus . i want gambhir & sachin to come +ve tommorow & score runs in atleast 3rpo . the match is gone but we want to see some fight from india .

  • annys on January 5, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    well done gautam:). opening in australia is a tough job especially if you have very less match practice. I feel the criticism thrown towards him is a bit too much. The whole of the Indian team is failing. Inidian test team lacks in fitness,startegy,application and the will to fight as a unit.

  • Sun25 on January 5, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Gambhir's contribution to India's performance in recent years has not been given its full due. In New Zealand (Napier) and South Africa (Cape Town) he played a big hand in India drawing the last test match of each series. In limited overs, he was the highest scorer in the finals in both of India's recent World Cup wins - T-20 in 2007 and 50-overs in 2011. His absence in West Indies and poor form/ injuries in England contributed to India's below par/ disastrous performance in last year's tours. Hope he comes back to form and helps India compete in the last 2 tests of this series.

  • big_al_81 on January 5, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    I think Gambhir is a decent player so well done to him. Don't quite understand what the author means though by India 'not thinking about drawing this Test' though. The only other thing they can think about is losing it - I should imagine their supporters would hope for better. If they were to focus on a fighting draw they'd potentially have a series turning moment. Unfortunately that doesn't look likely on account of the staggering stat towards the end of the article - only one 300 score in the last 18 overseas innings (which if I remember correctly was exactly 300!). Zaltzman is right, India are heading towards the lower ranks very quickly indeed.

  • on January 5, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    gambhir is awsome......people tend to forget the fact that he was the 1 who performed in the final of 20/20 world cup in 2007 and in the 2011 world cup....without his 64 and 91 respectively, india would never of won those matches......also he was icc test cricketer of 2009 which is no small thing!...............but ya he looked so fluent today, especially early on in his innings.......india have to save this test match at all costs for the series and for alot of angry fans out there.....by the way this is coming from a pakistani haha!

  • satish619chandar on January 5, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Gambhir was the biggest disappointment along with VVS.. They were not even prepared to stay in the wicket in last 3 innings.. Lucky for Gambhir as he got in with the pitch being the flattest it can be and he did make it count to a extent.. He would like to continue to the same way as long as possible.. With rain forecast, the clouds will be back and the conditions might change.. Lets see how they continue 4th day..

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  • satish619chandar on January 5, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Gambhir was the biggest disappointment along with VVS.. They were not even prepared to stay in the wicket in last 3 innings.. Lucky for Gambhir as he got in with the pitch being the flattest it can be and he did make it count to a extent.. He would like to continue to the same way as long as possible.. With rain forecast, the clouds will be back and the conditions might change.. Lets see how they continue 4th day..

  • on January 5, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    gambhir is awsome......people tend to forget the fact that he was the 1 who performed in the final of 20/20 world cup in 2007 and in the 2011 world cup....without his 64 and 91 respectively, india would never of won those matches......also he was icc test cricketer of 2009 which is no small thing!...............but ya he looked so fluent today, especially early on in his innings.......india have to save this test match at all costs for the series and for alot of angry fans out there.....by the way this is coming from a pakistani haha!

  • big_al_81 on January 5, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    I think Gambhir is a decent player so well done to him. Don't quite understand what the author means though by India 'not thinking about drawing this Test' though. The only other thing they can think about is losing it - I should imagine their supporters would hope for better. If they were to focus on a fighting draw they'd potentially have a series turning moment. Unfortunately that doesn't look likely on account of the staggering stat towards the end of the article - only one 300 score in the last 18 overseas innings (which if I remember correctly was exactly 300!). Zaltzman is right, India are heading towards the lower ranks very quickly indeed.

  • Sun25 on January 5, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Gambhir's contribution to India's performance in recent years has not been given its full due. In New Zealand (Napier) and South Africa (Cape Town) he played a big hand in India drawing the last test match of each series. In limited overs, he was the highest scorer in the finals in both of India's recent World Cup wins - T-20 in 2007 and 50-overs in 2011. His absence in West Indies and poor form/ injuries in England contributed to India's below par/ disastrous performance in last year's tours. Hope he comes back to form and helps India compete in the last 2 tests of this series.

  • annys on January 5, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    well done gautam:). opening in australia is a tough job especially if you have very less match practice. I feel the criticism thrown towards him is a bit too much. The whole of the Indian team is failing. Inidian test team lacks in fitness,startegy,application and the will to fight as a unit.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 5, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    at start gambhir was playing in a one day mode scoring run a ball 50 but after the removal of dravid he & sachin just goes too defensive giving 7 maidens continuously to aus . i want gambhir & sachin to come +ve tommorow & score runs in atleast 3rpo . the match is gone but we want to see some fight from india .

  • Shanmughan on January 5, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    He was positive at the start all right,but he went into ultra defensive mode towards the end of play and almost paid the price for it.He needs to be positive and selective in his shot making.Hopefully tomorrow's play would be rained off and India may only need to bat out a day for the draw that this team desperately needs..!!

  • muski on January 5, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    Though India will be beaten black and blue tomorrow, Gambhir has played a crucial knock to live another day. The problem with India opening is the lack of quality contenders for the post. The Murli Vijays and Wassim Jaffer's have enough of their chances and have proven they are not really test class. Gambhi has the fire power and the never say die attitude in him. Unfortunately that will not help win matches- you need runs to match your attitude. Let these youngsters take a leaf out of Punters or Hussey's book. Hope Gambhir scores a huge ton tomorrow to bring back his lost confidence which could at least ensure that we last 4 days in the next 2 tests.

  • PiyushD on January 5, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    You just not need optimism but a miracle to save Test from here, 1.5 days of rain is the only way out. India has been often on the wrong side of the rain and its time to be on the right side. Can't expect GG,SRT,VVS,VK and MSD to save match on current form.Even to cross Australian lead will be a huge acheivement.

  • spinkingKK on January 5, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    Not just Gambhir. All the Indian batsmen only score when there is nothing else to lose. When they are pushed to the corner (just like what happened in Kolkatta 2001), they will just unload all the baggage they had in their mind and then play freely as if they are playing their last innings. Invariably, it will click. This is what the Indian coaches should teach these players to do when the match is still alive. Test matches are there to show your mettle and test your abiilties. Go out there and show what you are capable of and don't worry about the result. Kapil Dev, when he was the coach, used to tell them the same thing. But, eventhough he meant it this way, he was saying the guys to go out there and have fun. So, they just went and had FUN by keep chasing the wide deliveries and were getting bundled out for 140 odd runs (lol).