England in India 2012-13

Gambhir shrugs off his struggles

After almost three years without a Test century, India's once-feted opener has slumped into mediocrity and isn't facing up to his problem

Sidharth Monga

December 10, 2012

Comments: 228 | Text size: A | A

Gautam Gambhir cuts during his cameo, India v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 4th day, September 3, 2012
Gautam Gambhir's attitude to his batting struggles have become increasingly laissez faire © AFP
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Features : India's year of denial
Features : Dhoni's real issues are in his team
Players/Officials: Gautam Gambhir | Wasim Jaffer
Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
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It's hard to believe now, but Gautam Gambhir once batted 643 minutes in an innings. It is the longest any Indian has ever batted in the second innings of a Test, and the sixth-longest overall. Of the 436 balls he faced in that innings, he didn't offer a shot to 108. You can argue it was a pitch as good as the Marine Drive in Napier, but you can't take away from that feat of discipline, concentration and endurance. The only time he grew impatient in that innings was when approaching 50 and 100.

Let's move to Cape Town, January 2011. The ball swung and seamed around corners in the first innings, and a huge crack stared at him on a good length just outside off in the second. In the first innings, he offered no shot to 60 out of 222 balls, and scored 93 of his most challenging runs. In the second, with a hurt elbow he batted for four-and-a-half hours for just 64 runs to help India draw the Test and the series.

Those were easily the best days of Gambhir the Test batsman. The thing about him then was you could see even from outside that he was enjoying leaving balls alone and playing defensive shots. He used only judiciously the dab to third man, his best friend and his worst enemy. Back then, he was putting together innings of substance in difficult conditions too.

Gambhir was an intense character, a bit like Rahul Dravid. He never had a solid technique, but he worked obsessively towards fine-tuning it to suit Test cricket. He once spent days at an exercise where he batted without a bat in his hand, and moved his foot towards the ball bowled at him from a short distance. He did so to stop falling over, which he did a lot during his early days.

With his effort in Cape Town, Gambhir was now firmly part of one of India's best batting line-up: two set openers and three great middle-order batsmen. It was followed by the World Cup win, and a superb 97 in the final, which actually deserved the Man-of-the-Match award that went to MS Dhoni. Regardless, things were going swimmingly, and people were thinking of Gambhir as the next captain.

Something has gone horribly wrong since then. He has won millions of dollars and an IPL but Gambhir is a changed man. Like Dravid, he is not as naturally gifted as the other Indian batsmen. He would forever need to keep fighting and stay disciplined. That discipline at the wicket disappeared in England, where he sustained two serious injuries too, and in Australia. He was not leaving the ball on length and was following wide deliveries too. He began giving slip-catching practice out in the middle. All the Australian bowlers had to do was turn up, bowl short of a length, outside off, and let the slip fielders fight among themselves to claim yet another catch.

 
 
Gambhir was a player who made you root for him. You cared for his struggle and his honesty. But he has now had close to a year of refusing the need for struggle.
 

Players have had bad patches before Gambhir too, but they work hard to get out of them. Gambhir used to do that before World Cup 2011. Now he stopped even acknowledging it. Every time you asked him about his batting, he would imagine the scenario that people were criticising him for the lack of centuries - which is not that unfair a demand of an opener, by the way - and give a sermon on how cricket was a team game and centuries didn't matter.

This was as far as you can remove a man from what he used to be. Gambhir of old used to get nightmares about not converting starts into big ones, now he has become blasé and defensive about it. You can't waste your good form with just fifties, he used to say. Now he began to find refuge in averages and statistics. Possibly the conditions in Australia and England were too much for him. Perhaps Cape Town was just a one-off, and he didn't have it in him to fight such conditions consistently. But the refusal to acknowledge a problem was baffling.

When he finished the Australia tour, with 181 runs at 22.62, Gambhir had gone two years without a Test century. It didn't help that the selectors were not asking him questions. Openers have been dropped for much less. Around that time, Gambhir also became the first Indian to start the "we-will-see-you-at-home" campaign. He used to be a much better sport than that.

Duly runs dried up at home too. He was taking Test cricket for granted, and Test cricket began to take him for granted. That's true more for a man who plays his best when properly obsessed and hard on himself. The failures against New Zealand at home finally came as a wake-up call. You can see against England, especially after his horrible across-the-line shot in the first over of the Mumbai Test, that he is working hard to stay patient and disciplined.

Gambhir has had three starts in a row now, but has never looked like he is in full control. He is not enjoying it. He is still itching for boundaries. And when he did succeed - in the second innings in Mumbai, his highest score of the series - he was criticised for his failure to farm the strike or bat aggressively when India were looking for crucial lower-order runs.

And his other two starts have been ended by his lack of patience. The bowlers know it's taking a lot out of him to defend for a while, and he is struggling to keep that up for, say, a session. And this is when the ball is not bouncing towards the chest, which is what it will do in South Africa next year.

If Gambhir doesn't score a century in Nagpur, it will be three years without a Test hundred. It is hard to imagine any other specialist batsman keeping his place in a proper Test side with those numbers. Since that Cape Town Test, Gambhir has played 15 Tests, seven away and eight in India, and has averaged 27.77 with five half-centuries. As a comparison, in the last 15 Tests before he was dropped never to be picked again, Wasim Jaffer averaged 36.81, scored three centuries - one of them in Cape Town, another a double in Kolkata - and had five half-centuries besides. Jaffer was 30 then, a year younger than Gambhir is now.

Gambhir was a player who made you root for him. He would be insecure about his place in the squad, he would bat with hurt elbows and broken hands - the latter in a Ranji Trophy final not many were watching, and he scored an unbeaten century in a tricky chase - and he would make no bones about admitting he gets nervous in the 90s and wants to reach the hundreds as soon as possible. You cared for his struggle and his honesty. After close to a year of refusing the need for struggle, he is now finding all the luck you need at such times has deserted him.

Then again, many feel Gambhir is lucky even to be getting another chance. If there is any truth to the whispers about the sudden shortage of water for a patch of about 66 square yards in the outskirts of Nagpur, this chance is going to come on a difficult pitch.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 13, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

@ tusharkardile Statistics are only meaningful when in context such as England 2 - India 1

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

Mr.Monga Should delete this post deliberately as possible.who is there to replace Gauti ?Unmukt Chand? At this stage i repeat at this stage of his career two tests against OZ enough for him to question his place..

Posted by Pathiyal on (December 13, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

GG definitely is not that bad as is portrayed here.

Posted by indiafan0 on (December 13, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

Gambhir is playing only for himself and not for team. We all have seen this in this series in Mumbai and Kolkata. He is fighting for capatinship with Dhoni and not worried about team benefit. Please immediately show him outside door as he deserved it even though he score century in Nagpur. We don't want players like Gambhir, Dhoni who are playing only for themselves. Please bring in Rahane with Sehwag for opening and Badrinath, Manoj in place of Jadeja and Dhoni. You can handover capatincy to Pujara as he deserved who came at No. 3 and can fight from front.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

IPL is the main culprit, I must say. It is destroying the natural ability of the cricketers to become a tempered test batsman. I think BCCI should identify the root cause of the crickets recent performance. Indian test crickets seems very poor for last couple of years, where as one day performance is remarkable. Its not Gambhir only, all of the players are playing extremely poor. So this is the wake up call for BCCI to fix the problem not to drop any fantastic performer like Gambir.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (December 13, 2012, 0:42 GMT)

The way Tendulkar is performing, I don't understand why the so called expert columnists not coming out swinging. Yes, Tendulkar has given 23 years to the Indian cricket. However, he has benefited more from the cricket than what he has given. It is profession he chose and succeeded. However, the profession also demands continued performance and results. When you don't perform over an extended period of time, you step out or be ready to be stepped out.

Posted by timms on (December 12, 2012, 21:31 GMT)

what do you mean by this ? "Like Dravid, he is not as naturally gifted as the other Indian batsmen".

If anybody knows anything about cricket, they would not comment that Dravid is not a gifted batsmen. Seriously, I appreciated your article till about this point. Dravid is the most gifted and ... technically the most correct batsman I have ever seen. I rate him even above Sachin for his precise technique. If at all anyone wants to personify the perfect batting style, they need to watch Dravid. What according to you is gift ... the helicopter shot ???

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

I think Gambhir needs to leave IPL for good and concentrate on Test Cricket. He has the skill and temperment to do shine in Test again. I think BCCI also needs to help Test Cricket by increasing the Test Cricket players package by 10 or so times. I don think we will get a potential replacement for Gambhir soon...

Posted by sjuyal on (December 12, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

@tusharkardile

its not about numbers alone. Its about attitude too.....

and if you really want to check the numbers check since the England tour. I havent checked them but i feel that Gambhir will have much worse record than everyone else.

Posted by CrickFreak2012 on (December 12, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

I read your article regarding Sachin few days back. You never had the guts to say that- 'with the current performance, Sachin is lucky to get one more chance!!' My question is, why everyone backs Sachin ? Just bcoz he will be a big guy once he retires and enters administration !!!???

Posted by cricket-india on (December 12, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

@tushar: monga's agenda is to cove up SRT's failures.rad his previous article about SRT where he supporrts him to the hilt and says we are selfish because we want him to retire, and that we want him to go so we can live with good memories of him. my response to him on that article was never published by cricinfo. but it was published by kamran abbasi's blog.

Posted by penultimate_brat on (December 12, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Indian cricketers need a hard task master to iron out their flaws. Bring in Ganguly as the coach. You need a boss in the house for everyone to fall in line...

Posted by secondopinion on (December 12, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

Too many Indian bastmen are failing, and that is the only reason Gambhir is still retaining his place. He is getting out in the same manner, refusing to understand the fielding placement and bowling line differences in a test match versus a T20. Selectors should drop him, period. He is not a hot fielder, and if he can't average over 45, he deserves to go back to basics to sort himself out.

Posted by tusharkardile on (December 12, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

Gambhir - 45 4 65 60 40 Sehwag 117 25 30 9 23 49 Kohli 19 14* 19 7 6 20 Sachin 13 8 8 76 5 Opening Parnerships (VS+GG) - 134 4 30 47 86

And still everyone is finding faults with Gambhir and Sehwag! Whats your agenda Mr Monga?

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

A best article i have read about this batsmen. Hope he would come out of his struggles play a long life innings for india

Posted by reggaetone101 on (December 12, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

Agreed that Gambhir has lost some of his golden touch that he had demonstrated a year ago. However, it is a fact that Gambhir is performing better than Tendulkar and Dhoni. Why there is no such article dedicated from Monga et al, on Dhoni or Tendulkar? I suspect somebody in BCCI is against Gambhir since he is one of the contenders for Dhoni's spot as a test captain. And, cricinfo is in hand in glove with BCCI to lead a smear campaign against Gambhir. How coincidental it is that Dhoni has lodged a complaint that Gambhir is not looking after the interest of the team. Oh well, if Dhoni has any interest of the country he should step down first. I am sure moderator of this message board would not publish my comments. Everyone should be allowed to post a comment here as long as it does not contain a four letter word or equivalent....

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 12, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

@jb633 (December 10 2012, 18:57 PM GMT) The reason why many fans are upset with Gambhir is since doing all the hard yards to earn a place in the team he performs just enough and infrequently enough to kep his place in the team now that he has a central and a lucrative ILP contracts. Also there are behind the scenes wheeling and dealing driven by commercial interests to keep him in the team. He has clearly forgotten what it means to represent his country.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

Muscle memory...if you are accustomed to chasing the ball, like in 20/20 cricket, it is difficult to (re)teach yourself the discipline of leaving the ball alone as demanded by Test match cricket. Muscle memory, it seems natural.

Posted by arunsethi on (December 12, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

I like the line, Now he stopped even acknowledging it. This is a correct reflection of what Gautam Gambhir is today. He tries to find refuge behind stats. Few days back he gave a comment to media that he and Sehwag are the best openers of the world and in suppprt of this, he gave some stats as well. Big time he should look at his own statistics that in last three years, this guy has not scored even a single century and that too when he is a regular opener of the team. In him you can always see that he is least bothered, always ready to revolt always ready to fight with others, not ready to listen to others and close to feedback. Like others, big bugs at IPL has spoiled this boy into a spoiled brat.

Posted by t20-2007 on (December 12, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

Bring back Greg Chapell to clean up the system and let thr performance do the talking

Posted by QingdaoXI on (December 12, 2012, 7:09 GMT)

Test Probables: Jaffer, Rahane, Pujara, Rohit, Kaif, Kohli, Kartik, Ashwin, Awana, Aaroon, Yadav, Rayudu, Saha, Ojha, Sreesanth, Mandeep, Pandey, Chand, M.tiwary, Nayar, Jadeja, Irfan, Uttappa. This are the best test players available in India to tour South Africa in 2013,the squad should be choosen for this lot. Sachin should retire after this series and Dhoni, Sehwag, Gambhir and Ishant should be dumped like Zaheer, Yuvraj and Harbhajan after ongoing England series.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

It seems more like a loss of will from Gambhir after the Selector decided to dump him from Vice-Captaincy and making a junior guy like Virat Kohli the Vice-Captain. The fact of the matter of Gambhir didnt got what he deserved(he was top scorer in both the World Cup finals India won), he also has a 100% captaincy record in the limited chances he got. With Dhoni doing badly as Captain in last couple of years Gambhir should have been given a chance at Captaincy. Considering the test batting - All Indian batsmen have been equally bad in last couple of years and cant just pick out Gambhir.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

@srimanth:evr watched test cricket mate?..if u wanna win a test series,u cant rely on the wicket kepper to bat for ur team and win it..cook averaged above 100 when england won the ashes in australia...except ab be villiers& prior no other keeper is better than msd in test cricket rite now...but compare mr.gembir's average with other openers...u'll face the harsh reality...opening slot,no3 and no4 has to bat for a team to win a test match not ur no7 and no8...

Posted by karam11 on (December 12, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Gambhir has become thing of the past...no more the destructive player he used to be...I think its more of a mental block than form...if he had continued playing the old ways he would have fetched the captaincy by now...i think he should be dropped from the team for now

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 2:00 GMT)

Awesome article! Well done Monga but these folks who are against saying something about Gambhir- Wake up - the above article has analysed gambhir in every possible way and come on stop saying that its a complete team failure and all - we cannot change the team without changing the attitudes of individual players - Analyse each and every player - everyone has to come under the microscope. None rooted so much for Wasim Jaffer when he was dropped but such hullabaloo when it comes to Gambhir or any other current player.

STOP that nonsense if this player is removed then these, these, these players also should be removed first.

Posted by cricketfanindia on (December 12, 2012, 1:53 GMT)

Monga misses the point completely. Wasim Jaffer did not make 97 to help India win a World Cup. Gambhir has recovered in Kolkota. With Jaffer, Gambhir was the replacement. Jaffer was brilliant in Ranji and in more docile pitches. But in SA and Australia the opposition had his number. In 2008, he really struggled outside off and the selectors were impatient given that his limitations had been exposed.

More is expected from Gambhir and teh Captaincy hope will also set high expectations. He has to fire.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

Gambhir is an ordinary player in my opinion, not consistent enough and fielding has been poor. Jaffer, Pujara, Munkund are better according to me but just like Pakistan and South Africa, India wastes a lot of players which is sad to see unfortunately.

Posted by balajik1968 on (December 11, 2012, 22:52 GMT)

The problem is not just the lack of form, it is also the attitude. You have to be on your toes constantly in international cricket. Gambhir is showing a lot of arrogance in recent times. He needs to shut up and concentrate on the game, because he has been exposed badly in recent times. A couple of 50's don't count, he should look to play big innings, occupy the crease. There is possibly no bigger mouth than Kevin Pietersen, but he doesn't try to live off his last big score, he tries and performs constantly, which is not the case with Gambhir. When he is in the middle, he should make it count. He is doing that all right in the ODI's but not in the Tests. Maybe he needs to be dropped to give him a reality check.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 11, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

YET another article on an INDIAN player. Is Cricinfo an INDIAN site ? How about something about cricket in CANADA ? Or how about cricket in Zambia ? Why always about Indian cricket ? And that too only articles focusing on criticizing Indian players. Are the English players flawless ? I can name several walking wickets in the England team. Shall I begin ?

Posted by Chris_P on (December 11, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

Really, this guy should have been the first of the golden age to have been punted out, the least talented of the top 6 & the shakiest temperament If only he can bat with his mouth, the next Bradman would have arrived!

Posted by TRAM on (December 11, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

Abhinav Mukund stayed several hours in Eng pitches. And he is a strong backfoot player unlike most Indians. He has scored heavily in domestic games as well. With youth on his side, he has the maximum reflex and chance of seeing off the new ball and long innings. I dont like the idea of non-openers (Pujara/Rahane/Ashwin etc) getting spoiled by putting them as openers. Dhoni spoiled DKarthik's career by putting him as opener which he never did even for his state ! May be Dhoni succeeded in his plan of seeing off his own competitor (a wk/batsman/captain in DKarthik). Remember GChappel said of DKarthik as 'leadership brain'.

Posted by din7 on (December 11, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

how things chage! hahahah before u guys star shouting im too indian. just befor start of this serie evry1 here was commentin abt 4-0 and now watch how their opinions have changed and how u guys are commentin so nicely...4-0 any1...huhuhu..come on eng beat india 3-1..

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

Nice article.. The fact is that now a days shorter format cricket is affecting a lot to the indian batsmans..

Posted by vik56in on (December 11, 2012, 19:40 GMT)

Its simple! Gambhir no longer has the hunger that he had before.In his initial years he was all sincerity and working towards consolidating his position in the Indian team.Now he is a multi-millionaire and a limited over specialist.Test cricket is just too much hard work for him.

Posted by christened on (December 11, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

@ theswami ..Mate cant stop laughing at ur cricketing knowledge by saying "Make Ashwin captain in all formats".... y not make ojha captain???? y not murali vijay yaar??? I guess its high time all so called analysts here in this post that NOT we are here to appreciate ur knowledge in domestic cricket.....Dont put some ranji players list here and create a mirage that u guys know cricket and for gods sake act as if ur the next guardin of Indian cricket......

Posted by Charlie101 on (December 11, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

A similar comparison to Stuart Broad is interesting . On paper SB has had a great year but has under performed in the last 2 series and is now sitting on the bench. Though Gambir hit some runs he is not in great touch and was involved in 2 run outs and has some how kept his place in the team . There seems to be a boys network in the indian team so that the senior players keep their places - this is not healthy and some of the squad must wonder how to break into the team .

Posted by VivSingh on (December 11, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

I'm amazed by the number of people clinging to statistics to argue his place in the Test team. Pull your heads out of the books and see what any cricket follower can see. He will be exposed on any pitches that favour seam bowling. There is not one international seam and fast bowler who doesn't lick their lips at the thought of bowling at him outside of India. I'm sure Steyn, Morkel and Philander agree with each and every one of you that feels that Gambhir should go to South Africa because he has done relatively well compared to other Indian batsmen in this England series.

Posted by zig1 on (December 11, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

Excellent article Mr. Monga , hope GG reads this. Its high time to try Rahane or Mukund and GG should prove his worth by playing the Ranji Trophy.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Wonderful article! As many expressed, this article should be e-mailed to GG and Indian Coach Flecture whose job has been done by you . Why don't you do for all who failed time and again and still getting selected.

Posted by Ragav999 on (December 11, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

The problem is Gambhir started off having a Bradmanesque record which led to high expectations among the fans and the supporters. Had he been consistently averaging 44 runs an innings every series from his debut (and that is a decent record too), articles like these would not exist. Every player goes through highs and lows. Even the teams fluctuate this way. Take for example the recent Aus vs SA test series. In the first two tests, Aus were much better than SA and suddenly in 3rd Test, SA batsmen returned the favour by batting the same way Aus did in the earlier tests. The sport has become more unpredictable with wildly fluctuating fortunes. The spectators need to become acquainted with that to restrain themselves from making hasty judgements about a team/player.

Posted by indianpunter on (December 11, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

@Nutcutlet, you are such a voice of reason, even when commenting on opposition players. Your respect for everyone is commendable. I reckon Cricinfo should hire you !

Posted by Nish_US on (December 11, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

Abhinav Mukund should be given a chance.

Posted by ProdigyA on (December 11, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

Nice article, hope GG reads this. Ive always liked this guy for his no-nonsense and aggressive attitude. But something has changed him, may be the big bucks from IPL. But i think Sehwag needs to be shown the door more than GG and give Rahane a chance.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

Another excellent article! I think you should e-mail some of these to the Indian Team, hardly critical - useful for self-motivation.

Posted by Moppa on (December 11, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

@kshitij dave... er, ever heard of Sunil Gavaskar?!?!?!? Gambhir's time is definitely up, based on both performance and attitude (a leader in Team India's culture of excuse-making and buck-passing). I think India's key problem is actually in team culture and getting rid of players like Gambhir is a win-win. Let's rate out of 10 each member of the Kolkata XI on performance over the last 18 months and attitude, with attitude covering everything from fielding, fitness, etc. I would say: Sehwag 5 (performance), 4 (attitude, largely due to fitness); Gambhir 4/3 (excuses); Pujara 8/7; Tendulkar 5/7 (tries hard in the field); Kohli 7/7 (I like his fight but is marked down for whinging about 'greentops'); Yuvraj 4/6; Dhoni 5/3 (trying isn't cool); Zaheer 4/2 (what is 'trying'?); Ishant 4/3 (the ball beat the bat, woe is me); Ojha 6/5; Ashwin 7/6. On this metric, Zaheer was right to be dropped, with Yuvraj a touch unlucky and Gambhir and Ishant lucky. They are the next cabs off the rank IMO.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (December 11, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

It isn't easy for India to drop Gautam Gambhir,even though his form hasn't been the best,his overall statistics does make him a stand out.It's difficult to drop a player that averages just under 45,especially when India struggle to find decent openers.The other thing is that Gambhir constantly gets starts,throughout the Australian tour (except Perth),New Zealand in India & now against England,there has been a start in each test.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 13:16 GMT)

Can't blame Gambir.... But just look at the averages of our batsman over the last two years... Not only gambir but nearly everyone has got it wrong... It was never written that if opening partnership is great the middle order will do well.... The 3rd test, 2nd innings..... Opening partnership 86 & what happens next.... Wkts keep on tumbling at both ends... Admit it guys it was a complete team failure... If Gambir has to be axed then the list doesn't here... 3-4 more players have to be axed which will lead to entirely new team whom we cannot be so sure of winning matches

Posted by king_julien on (December 11, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

Gambhir is an average player, not a stalwart, even though he believes himself to be. He cannot be compared to an all time great like Dravid!!! (even in character) About Gambhirs only purple patch of 2009, to quote Andy Zaltman on the same issue "'form is temporary but class is permanent', which may be true, and applies equally to decent players in brilliant form as to great players in the middle of a slump." Gambhir has never looked like solid test opener, he looks all at sea for most of his innings. Even when he was scoring his runs,it was mostly against the minnows. Look at his records against top nations. An average of below 30 in the last 3 years and 24 tests. I know of no other top test playing nation of persisting with such an opener, and a stubbornness of not admitting of his failures to boot!!!. Along with the one good series in South Africa there are tours like Australia, England and SL where he averages 22 and 17 and 39 respectively

Posted by baranasai on (December 11, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Now that the openers have not given the same start they give the miidle order is widely exposed.The middle order had the likes of Dravid and Lakshman who gave their life and soul ./SRT did some part but there are not many times India has won matches because of him only.Ther were others ably supported him .Now the team is the transition without the Dravid Kumble Lakshman Bhaji(old version) factors and the neew team will take some time to get to the grips.However during the transit the existing senior players like SRT Shewag should take sincere responsibilities.Just one 70 and sleep for the rest of the series is adding lot of stress to the entire team.Shewag and Ghambir had verygood opening in the past but now they are slowing-they need to be rotated with Wasim Vijay Ajinkya or any other openers so that the openers will have the motivation to perform.same with bolwers rotate them acc to needs. Regarding SRT the decent thing to do is let him analyse himself take right DECISION

Posted by balajit on (December 11, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

Gambhir has always been good limited overs player & had couple of terrific years at test level. He needs to change his approach towards the game & fight hard for his runs at test matches. If he just keeps talking & not make enough runs then Nagpur could be his last test match for sometime .( As it is he is very lucky still to be in test team)

Posted by Srimanth on (December 11, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

No one to say anything about GAMBHIR .He is the far better batsmen who is fighting with runs in the present series. he contributed well in this series atleast by scoring with an average greater than 40. First talk about Kohli, Sachin, Yuvi, and mainly The CAPTAIN(MR.M.S.DHONI), who should be removed. If Gambhir is to be replaced, then the middle order also to be replaced,as they were no more when to compared to gambhir runs in present series. Do you recognise that DHONI carrer average is less even compared to ASHWIN carrer average. In tests, not only opening, middle order batsmen should have more strength than the opening batsmen. First look at the MIDDLE ORDER, then comment on the OPENING PAIR,who are doing better to get good old form by scoring some good runs.

Posted by ListenToMe on (December 11, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

Gambhir has the best average in this test series. His scores are: 45,4,65,60,40. Who has done better? An opener's role is not to score centuries. His job is to see through 30-40 overs without losing a wicket. Gambhir is doing his job well. Players to be kicked out are Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj, and Dhoni. Since Kohli is a new entry, he should be given enough chances. Bring Rahane, Rohit and Jadeja in the team. The strange thing happening here is if a player does well in first call cricket, he will be given a chance in ODIs there by spoiling his confidence. Yuvraj, Dhoni and Raina do not deserve test caps. They should be playing ODIs.

Posted by avingodb on (December 11, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

the real question is if the selectors read any of this stuff? also Monga should have mentioned the runouts in Kolkatta that were caused due to Gambhir's uncertain form and concentration

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

Time has come for a revamp in opening pair, if Sehwag wants to be a middle order batsman, then let him to be in that slot, replace with new ones like Rahane, and Gambhir has no chance to be in the team considering his poor performances despite last struggling 50s,what is going to happen in South Africa, fi this is our performance in India against England spinners, what next? Give chance to new ones in our home before taking them to foreign conditions.But selectors are trying to put old wine in new bottle

Posted by raj_ on (December 11, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

now only if Mr. Monga can come up with a similarly hard hitting piece on Mr Sachin Tendulkar!! If Zaheer(when we dont even have a half decent replacement) can be shown the door why not Sachin (quite a few batsmen on the bench who cant do much worse)??

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

Whenever an opener fails to do anything worthwhile in three matches in a row, why not take Murali Vijay or Abhinav Mukund or any such proven openers for at least one match? Of course after persisting with these other openers for a while Gambhir or Sehwag should again be given a chance. That keeps the bench-sitters warm and raring and keeps the veterans on their edge and keeps rust off from everyone, in the 11 or in the 15+

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

Bring Back Jaffer..he has 2 double centuries...and then failed in Australia where everyone failed...no doubt the only classy & thorough bred opener India has ever produced.

Posted by Mill1 on (December 11, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

Decent article. I've long been saying Gambhir should be dropped. He was just giving his wicket away in England and India. He has serious technical deficiencies and on top of all that, his attitude is very poor. Yes, he made a few runs this series, but they were scratchy runs and hide the true nature of his weak batting at the moment. Tough decisions have to be made for the better of Indian cricket. Lets not forget as the article says Wasim Jaffer was dropped from the Indian side in favour of Gambhir, but Jaffer had done nothing wrong, he scored a couple of double hundreds and was a good servant to the game.

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 11, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

Terrific article Siddarth. It seems to me you are really riled at the moment and that's fair enough given the endless excuses of players (and fans) over the last 2 years. IF journalists write enough good, hard but fair articles maybe someone, somewhere will take notice. But frankly, I'm afraid, I doubt it. My fear is that after a brief golden age where India became one of the better sides they will now slump back to where they always were - a challenge at home, but not challengers away from home. Their rise was due to the happy confluence of two terrific batsmen (Tendulkar and Dravid) and one terrific bowler (Kumble), supported by two very good batsmen (Sehwag and Laxman) and two very good bowlers (Zaheer and Harbhajan). It may not happen again as there appears to be no plan for it in the hierarchy. Just lots and lots and lots of excuses and you have already exposed the folly of those excuses in your previous powerful articles over the last few days. Good for you.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 11, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

Agreed with Sid- Gautam Gambhir is an ordinary batsman who is a walking wicket against quality bowlers. Having said that, there is no reason to single out Gambhir. The fact is that Sehwag has been a non performer for years. Kohli was letting his big mouth talk rather than his bat and English bowlers are having the last laughter. Dhoni does not have a batting that is upto test standards. Younraj Singh was hyped to be big thing and after a decade, he is still a walking wicket and so is Suresh Raina. The biggest non performer above all is Tendulya. That man only cares about his records and stats and has single handedly took India to verge of its test status being reviewed. Gautam Gambhir needs to look towards fine Indian servents such as VVS Laxman and Dravid who were humble men of few words and scored when it really mattered. Gamhir's current struggles are because he is looking towards non performers like Sehwag and Tendulya and has developed a laissez faire attitude!

Posted by baghels.a on (December 11, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

Sample this little gem from Sri Lankan fan @Sinhaya "Gautam Gambhir, please keep playing IPL as that is far better for you. Dont care any thing at all about test cricket. Fact is that this Indian batting lineup and whole team is overrated to the maximum and deserves to be playing more with Afghanistan and Ireland etc. I am sure Afghan bowlers can tear through this Indian batting lineup. India does well against SL, NZ and WI only through IPL bullying as if these 3 teams win against India, these players will lose their IPL contracts which pay more than their cricket boards. Also Indian test wins come with a cache as India always need umpires help to win matches." Can you get more ridiculous and absurd than what this bloke just posted !!! IPL bashing/ India hating just taken to new farcial levels, oh my friend when will you realise Cricket is such a minority sport worlwide and we as cricket community can't be divided and bigoted on basis for our dislikes.IPL here to stay and accept it.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

Gambhir was always one of my favourite Indian batsmen: compact, stylish & willing to guts it out in scenarios (such as the Cape Town Test in early 2011) which would've defeated lesser men. I always instinctively rooted for him, & well remember how disappointed I was when he fell for 97 in that epic WC final. But then something changed: almost overnight, it seemed. In England last year his batting became diffident, tentative; & he picked up so many niggling injuries that one could not avoid the suspicion that he'd rather have been anywhere but on the field of play. This impression was reinforced in Australia, when he became little more than a walking wicket. The last vestiges of respect I had for him disappeared when he seemed more intent on protecting his wicket against England at Bombay than scoring the quick runs that might've enabled India to set a challenging 4th innings target. Having said all that, however, I'd love to see him score a hatful of runs against the Aussies.

Posted by NishuB on (December 11, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

Gambhir is one of the big reasons India has lost the 3 series (England, Australia and now England at home - yes India will lose at Nagpur). An opener at the very least required to see the shine off the new ball.. And with sehwag being sehwag at the other end...all the more reason for him to be the anchor !!! All he had was a 2 year purple patch...it was over 3 years back...ask him to go back to domestic cricket and knock the door down with some runs..!! He is past his use by date big time !!!! He will still perform in ODI's.. India will still win in ODI's.. Test cricket..don't think so...some very dark days ahead for us Indian cricket lovers..yes darker than the past 12 months.. All because of no succession plans in place and no future planning..

Posted by Vineeth59 on (December 11, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

I have a question to author of this article:- Why you are pointing to Gambhir alone. I checked the statistic and found that ..other than pujara ..nobody played well in this Eng tour series. Atleast he jus made some fifties or good start. what about others ..Dhoni averaging 18 with under 100 runs in 3 test. kohli 17, sachin 22. Even in the last test match .. I could see Gambir was the top scorer with total of 100 runs in 2 innings. I feel like some person has given some money to write against Gambhir.. Pathetic and one sided article

Posted by theswami on (December 11, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

Make Ashwin the captain for all 3 formats. Bring back Parthiv as keeper and show Dhoni the door. Sehwag & Gambhir must be thrown out for Rahane & Vijay. Sachin must be profusely thanked for his services toward Sport & told to concentrate on Parliamentary debates. Get Badri in his stead. Zaheer & Ishant must be history. The new quicks may be from among Yadav, Aaron, L. Balaji, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Singh, Awana, Basant Mohanty. Spinners should be Ashwin, Ojha, Nadeem, Sunny Gupta, Syed Mohammed.

Posted by uksar on (December 11, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

when any of Indian openers gets out you must see silly things in it, either in shot makings or run makings and they often gift their wickets to the opponents than any openers in test cricket.To some extent Sebagh's case is justified. But Gambhir must change his approach to the responsibility.

Posted by challagalla on (December 11, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

Nothing wrong in dropping Gambhir and bringing Rahane or someone else. Gambhir is a tough guy and he will bounce back from being dropped. It may actually do him good. I am willing to bet on it.

Posted by sony_sr on (December 11, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

Exactly the same most people are thinking about gambhir now. He was a good kid. Nobody knows why is he so arrogant now and refuses to accept failure as failure.

Posted by Ashwinharidas on (December 11, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

gambhir should stay more in the middle,,like he did in napier or cape town... it is time to step up,, india badly needs him now,,, watever we are sayin will it reach him... coz i want him to play a napier innings in india

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

I don't know how Siddardh picked Gambhir out of the all rotten chicken team. IMHO he is making a lot of effort at the crease which is clearly missing from Dhoni and Kohli. The most sensible line in this article is "Gambhir was a player who made you root for him". he still is honest and I root for him. he is being made insecure for political reasons. I would persist with him for few more tests, if his efforts remain sincere, he will succeed. I agree that, like everyone else, his big IPL deal came at wrong time and could have made him over confident

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (December 11, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

jo_n:If India to become No-1?? What type of comment is that?I also watch cricket and knew very early itself that currently India dont have any talent coming up who can take them as No-1.I knew Pujara was smart but consider Bangladesh test team.Sakib cant win them a test match.He can play his role beautifully.Its others responsiblity to complete their roles.But we had a problem with the others.We never had any talent and were forcing Dravid and Laxman to quit.We forgot what was coming up.may be we will have the same issue till we find out 4-5 Pujaras for our batting.Forget our bowling.I dont have any hope in them that they may come good.May be like our big four used to do Score max runs.Then opposition will feel the preassure and get out themselves to false strokes.But for that we need min 4 Pujaras.We have found only one.Bal 3 is pending.Where will we go for that?

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

Most of our players are physically unfit for fielding,which can be easily made out from their body language in the field . They tend to get exhausted very fast when compared to the players from European countries. The exhausted body naturally does not sustain a steady mind which reflects in their overall performances. The selectors must go for players with good stamina rather than going for quick unsteady players. If the team consists of unsteady players as well, naturally good players tend to get complacent(since most of them are unimaginatively rich). There may be exceptions like Sachin , Dravid or Laxman who are dedicated to the game and do not exhibit unhealthy sportsmanship / gestures in the field whether you loose or win the game. So the problem lies in the root level of selection- where politics, favoritism , and of course money- plays important roles other than credibility and genuine intentions. Unfortunately the Indian public are having plenty of leisure time/money to watch

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

Sehwag once said in a press conference that "we win because all 11 players play well, not just because of the captain". The same applies when we lose as well. Why blame Dhoni alone while losing. There is so much politics involved in the Indian team and the main culprits being Gambhir, Sehwag and Sachin (Fit for nothing); these 3 play all the double games inside the team, remove these 3 and give chance to new players, surely we will defeat england in the last match.

Posted by venbas on (December 11, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

Following players were part of the England Team. No wonder we lost… 4 people playing against an 19 member England squad is too much even for the best of the best and these 4 being relatively inexperienced naturally England came up trumps. 1.England 11 + 1 - ALL 11 of played as a team and then the 12th man who pulled off stupendous fielding effort/catches. 2.Virender Sehwag - Irresponsible shots as usual. Gifting away wickets in a platter with the regularity of a seasoned play actor who flatters only to deceive. 3.Gambhir - Running his partners out through incognito communication. Also created a monster out of a benign pitch by plodding along so badly that even a kindergarden kid might want to grab the bat and smack a century 4.Sachin - Why get plumb or bowled If you can give catching practice to the slips instead. Perfecting the art of getting out cheaply/making zero net contribution without getting too much negative attention. 5.Kohli - Playing a different match from rest of t

Posted by Chandrurec5 on (December 11, 2012, 6:54 GMT)

Now the same thing will happen with Ravindra Jadeja. He will score in India, then Harsha Bhogle will write an article about how he rose to heights from a poor background with words like tenacity, tough customer etc strewn in, and the people will immediately say "Wow Harsha, wonderful thinking etc etc". Then RJ will go to SA or Australia, then he will fail, after which there will be an article about how to fight his mental demons. All these technically-challenged bastmen will never go through even district level selection in county cricket! But here they are "tough customers".

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 6:43 GMT)

It's all about Opponent team, if india paly against Pakistan Yuvi raina dhoni and virath can participate test also but against England india should remove all of them and bring wasim jaffer rahane and dinesh karthik for them

Posted by balajeev on (December 11, 2012, 6:39 GMT)

Gambhir should be released to play the Ranji Trophy. He needs a break.

Posted by ImpartialObserver on (December 11, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

I seriously hate this repeated reference to Dravid as "not as talented as other batsmen". I vehemently refute this "charge against him". While I do accept that perseverance was one of Dravid's hallmarks, that was also one of his talents. And he could not have reached where he reached just through hard work. RAHUL DRAVID WAS AN EXTREMELY TALENT CRICKETER. I guess it is high time people understood it. It is just that he made full use of his talent and some more. I don't think, for example, that Sachin or Ganguly have ever been good at leaving balls outside the off-stump. So, that was one of Dravid's talents. And you can't hook or pull the way Rahul used to do, without having some innate talent. Try as much as they might, except Rahul, Sachin and Lakshman nobody has been able to pull/hook the ball with the same felicity! I would like to see Raina/Sehwag (Very talented) or anyone else for that matter, hook for peanuts!

Posted by king_julien on (December 11, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

Monga has done a perfect job of elevating an average player to the company of stalwarts. Comparing him to an all time great like Dravid!!! (even in character) About Gambhirs only purple patch of 2009, to quote Andy Zaltman on the same issue "'form is temporary but class is permanent', which may be true, and applies equally to decent players in brilliant form as to great players in the middle of a slump." Gambhir has never looked like solid test opener, he looks all at sea for most of his innings. Even when he was scoring his runs,it was mostly against the minnows. Look at his records against top nations. An average of below 30 in the last 3 years and 24 tests. I know of no other top test playing nation of persisting with such an opener, and a stubbornness of not admitting of his failures to boot!!!. Along with the one good series in South Africa there are tours like Australia, England and SL where he averages 22 and 17 and 39 respectively.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

As a Pakistani fan I have experience - how much we hate Gambhir for his quick and classy batting against us on so many occasions. He is not the same guy. Seemed preety rusty and un comfortable against english bowlers. May be forthcoming matches with Pakistan awake the old Gambhir....if BCCI tolerated him till then.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

llife's been always very hard for gauti... so what if he's enjoying a bit of support from selectors... he's still one of the best triers we have in our side and m sure he'll definitely find his way out of the slump sooner or later... moreover the last three innings has shown tht how hard he's trying... he's always been this soft target... instead of cursing him why dont any of u writers write about MS DHONI who has been almost useless as a test batsmen for so long now... m sure the day he'll get ripped off the captaincy, he'll be out of the test side...

Posted by Rocky_Raks on (December 11, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

A very well written article ! Certainly, Gambhir is a changed man. And quite ironically, I believe the only way to get the old Gambhis is handing him the Test captaincy. This would be a risk worth taking in the current circumstances. Dhoni must be relieved from Test captaincy and currently Gambhir tops the chart among others.

Posted by jasif on (December 11, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

@maxymax.....u r spot on mate....cannot agree with you more...and by doing this BCCI is actually helping the other teams as they'll have to face a weakened indian team

Posted by gestapo on (December 11, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

@maxymax,, can't agree with u more,,spot on.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

It is difficult to explain the loss of form of any batsman whether Gambhir or Sachin. But he himself can anakyse his dismissals by being caught in the slips. He had got out of that rut but is again falling to the same indiscretion. He has temperament, he has his own style to succeed and must work on his mental strength ot get back his lost form. Sometimes being dropped foes motivate!

Posted by Pathiyal on (December 11, 2012, 5:54 GMT)

team india still lives with a wrong notion that we do not have too many choices in the opening slot as far as tests are concerned. gautam gambhir has to come back to his normal self and get rid of his attitude issue. with his limitations, he had proved to be a big match player. hope he will continue to be..

Posted by Kashi0127 on (December 11, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

Actually when Gambhir came in to test cricket he challenged a cricketer of the same times - Robin Uthappa. However gifted and attractive to watch he was, Uthappa seemed to be very casual about his test career just like his friend Sreesanth. While Gambhir seemed to have less skills (those days), he worked hard at performing consistently. I think what has happened is he is consumed by the typical "I am now an India Senior" bug which with rare exceptions like Rahul Dravid and Laxman gets into their heads. Its a sad state of affair.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (December 11, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

Gambir is the batting version of Harbhajjan - "I am now Senior member of team so I am perfect, hardworking and improving is for youngsters I have done my share of hardwork, I am gonna just concetrate on playing politics and take the rest of the career for granted". I remember watching Gambir preparing for an Under 19 game in Srilanka meditating looking at the Sun before the game. And then remember watching him making to the Indian team and showing some difficulty against short balls but still finghting and then getting dropped. Then remember him fighting his way back to the team and OWNING his position by HARDWORK. And then remember him getting the "senior" tag as other new comers start calling him "gambir bhai". Was still hoping it wouldnt get to his head but aparently it HAS. Now, he says, "Nobody touch me I am the senoir, you new ones work hard, I have taken for granted the opening slot in the team"

Posted by nijilc on (December 11, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Wasim Jaffer should have been selected as a replacement for Laxman. Why do the selectors still use failed techniques? Give Sreeshant another go, he perform well during tests also why not RP Singh & Laxmipathi Balaji.

Posted by The_Manimal on (December 11, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

I don't want to take the focus away from Gambhir. But no one is questioning the players for lack of performance. No one is empowering the selectors to be bold and look non performers in the eye and walk them out. BCCI is only acting in knee jerk fashion. BCCI does not want to hear dissent against it so outspoken and rightminded people like Amarnath find themselves out of the selection panel even before completion of their term!

On another front, the IOC just suspended IOA!! Time for better sports administration all round in India, whether its money making sports like cricket, or other much deserving ones like the Olympic sports!

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

I'm not worried about Gambhir's form but his attitude these days in team India's jersey.He hasn't shown any intent or never care about his responsibilities.In mumbai the way he batted with Ojha in the closing stages that really defied logic.In kolkata also he made two match turning blunders, first deciding not to run in an eminently existing single n secondly run to a non existing single to run two crucial batsmen out and more horribly never looked like to make it up with his own bat though he was well set on both occasions.Even in field he looked lost in somewhere.Things are absolutely different when we see him in KKR uniform whether he scores or does not score run. India doesn't need such a player who blame others in forum for not scoring,where his integrity is in serious question.Though I'm a huge KKR fan but still don't want to see any player not giving his best for the country because of his so called rift with the captain or hunger for captaincy? Selectors ,plz drop him first.

Posted by caught_knott_bowled_old on (December 11, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

I am very impressed with Sidharth Monga's recent string of articles. He's calling it like it is. Keep it up. And let the spate of failures by Kohli in Tests be an example to the media to please stop hyping players after a solitary century. Truth is neither Kohli nor Pujara have done enough to think they're replacements for Dravid or Laxman. The sad part is, we have still not even found Ganguly's replacement!!

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

its just hard to beleive that the article had been written for GAMBHIR. wat a nonsense?????? if a player doesn't make a century that doesnt mean that he is not capable of building good innings. he is giving his effort.we have a good openers and they are playing their roles but wat about the middle orders. Kohli,Sachin,Dhoni is just under performing thats the area we do lack....

he scored 100 odd runs in kolkata test and I believe if we count the score of pujara,kohli and dhoni it will not be 100 runs.

The BCCI should take the steps to exclude MS Dhoni from the team and bring Manoj Tiwary in and givethe captaincy in the hands of GAMBHIR. he is the best to do that and he will be a better captain than Dhon is.

Posted by gurupr on (December 11, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

A very nice piece indeed. You got it dead right. He was such a treat to watch earlier on, the whole slide began first when he became one of the top paid players in IPL, secondly this top paid player went to his head where once in Australia he started questioning Dhoni's tactics of dragging the match till the last ball is over. Though I do not agree with all Dhoni's tactics, he is somebody who has never spoken about a player in the media. It is Gambhir who started doing this, and in my opinion where his slide started.

Posted by Karunk on (December 11, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

Monga has compared Gambhir with Dravid. Yes! Both are not gifted like others. But Gambhir does not have the sound technique that Dravid had. He did show patience, concentration, tenacity in the initial days of test cricket. These have deserted him now and his runs have come down drastically. It is better to drop him in Nagpur and play Rahane in his place.Poor Rahane is losing his form slowly after sitting on the bench for a year. Let Gambhir play domestic cricket and get his old qualities back. Yuvraj scored 200+ and got into the team before the series started and he was exposed again completely in test cricket. It was a miserable sight to see him bowled in the second innings. Now Jadeja is coming in his place with two triple centuries on a flat Rajkot track. Question is whether belting double & treble hundreds on flat tracks in domestic cricket against mediocre 120km+ bowling is a yardstick for getting into test team?

Posted by anver777 on (December 11, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

He's was very patient batsman in his early stage, but T20 cricket had changed his playing style & now he's playing aggressively with all sorts of rubbish T20 strokes, which does not suit in test cricket.......... That's why i think he had failed to score consistently in tests!!!!

Posted by Anurag.Sharma on (December 11, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Surely Gambhir has lost his edge. He should be asked to play this whole Ranji season for Delhi and make it count. Till the time we have Rahane & Vijay who if not better are equally good in these home conditions. But given the fact that the whole team is struggling, pointing fingers only at Gambhir or at Sachin is a bit too harsh.

Posted by kir.vas on (December 11, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

@jinesh .... sir if only one of our lefty is struggling to score runs why should we keep him in the side? We need runs it doesn't matter it comes from left hander or right hander.

Posted by baskar_guha on (December 11, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

I think Gambir modeled himself after Kirsten when he was coach -- Kirsten as an opener had an incredible appetite for runs and minutes and played to his strengths. Now Gambir is adrift without a role model and it shows. It is all mental.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 11, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

I'm sure the Gambhir of yore would slap this Gambhir tight for what this Gambhir is blabbering. What a tragedy that this, once, foot soldier has concluded that there's nothing wrong with his batting.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

Lol I cannot believe articles are being written about Gambhir when he has been one of the few perfomers from the Indian team. The middle order has really let India down. Why is nothing being written about the nothing scores of Kohli? And Dhoni would not get into any of the test playing nations teams right now which is ridiculous. Apart from Sehwag, Gambhir, Pujara, Ashwin and Ojha the rest of this Indian team should take a long hard look at themselves.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (December 11, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

Totally agree with you Sidharth. Only thing you forgot to mention here is his uneasy relationship with MSD. After the world cup high Gambhirs wings were clipped by demoting him from Vice captaincy and elevation of Virat to the post. It didnt make much sense and sounded of foul intentions and politics. Being such a feisty and intense character I dont think Gambhir has taken that decision in his stride. However there is no justification to the fact that as test match opener you need to average in high 40s or 50s and need to score decent amount of centuries. May be dropping him for couple series is what needed for him to get back to his old self.

Posted by maxymax on (December 11, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

Blame it all on IPL, what else? This is just the beginning of the end of Indian Test Cricket. It is the hidden agenda of BCCI to drive away the Indian youth from Test Cricket and get them hooked to T20/IPL. That is where all the money is, both directly and indirectly (betting).

Posted by analyzer001 on (December 11, 2012, 4:33 GMT)

It's basically the fear arising due to the absence of stalwarts like Dravid and VVS, that compels the openers to play with a steady mindset. Their different approach towards the game is also due to the struggling form of SRT and an unstable middle order. Once the middle order start to click, you can see a different Sehwag and Gambhir. They both have a long way to go, undoubtedly. Patil and co realize the fact and doing the right thing by retaining both of them with deep faith. Let's hope sincerely that Pujara, Virat, Rahane and Jadeja follow the footsteps of the great WALLS (DRAVID,VVS, DADA and SRT) of yesteryear. With a bench strength of Rohit, Manoj, Parthiv and Md. Kaif, India is sure to bounce back. Unarguably a testing time for selectors.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

One of the Best reviews from Siddharth... Gambhir should frame and read everyday inorder to come out of that mindset...

Posted by sahbas_s on (December 11, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

Gambhir is naturally a tough character and one would expect him come back hard after struggles or failures. No idea what went wrong with him, suddenly he looks tentative, not confident of his techniques..Who would forget his WC final match and the test match against SA!!! a lean period for 3 years for him is unbelievable and unacceptable too...Perhaps is it something to do with his marriage :-) or personal issues...certainly he needs to make his mark in Nagpur else all his marks scored previously would be erased easily....I would back him to score well in next match....Lets see

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

I always thought Wasim Jaffer got a very raw deal when you compare with guys like Gambhir, Sehwag etc. One of the problems of elite cricketers in our country is arrogance and not being able to take criticism. Gambhir exemplifies it the best..

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 4:06 GMT)

gambhir is one of the mainstays of Indian batting line up upfront.. Hope that he fires soon.. True such a batsman should be given as many chances as he got..but then there are many waiting in the wings...

Posted by aby_prasad on (December 11, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

To drop or not to drop, that is the dilemma/question for selectors! ...esp who should be dropped first after Nagpur test. Expect a lot of changes, but what makes my spirits drop is the fact that this is India and administrators take eternity before any substantial changes are made :( . Ian Botham wrote it perfectly when he said Indian players and fans and admins dwell too much on past performances. Move on, is the manthra for sports people! Thats how a young team won the inaugural t20 and many other tournaments. Tests require experience i admit, but where will the experience come from if you dont groom youngsters and play them in international matches!

Posted by jo_n on (December 11, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

If India are to become a No:1 team. I suggest the best way forward is 2 teams & 2 captains, one for test and one for 50ovrs & 20-20. India got plenty of talents so make specialists for shorter and longer formats. The problem with Indian players not performing is because difficult for players to change shots according to formats, its instinctive chances of making mistake are more. If selectors do that u will c plenty of talents.I like to c this happen after this series.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 3:48 GMT)

It is only a matter of time he gets dropped. If he scores poorly in Nagpur, you would see some other batsman occupying his spot against the Aussies.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

The only thing I feel is going Gambhir's way is that he is the only lefty opener that we have in our current team..apart form that I doubt he has attitude to play test cricket now

Posted by Selfishkar on (December 11, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

Too many word about an (below) average player when cricketing world is full talented batsmen. How about an article on AB deVillers or Hashim Amla?

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

Indian team as well as BCCI has a very Indian mentality...happy and content with mediocrity....except a few exceptions like V.Anand, Dravid, Tendulkar, Saina Nehwal....

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 3:35 GMT)

Attitude of Gambhir is the worst ever .. He must be kicked out of the side ..

Posted by BobCo on (December 11, 2012, 3:26 GMT)

His interviews have sounded really arrogant and self-serving for a while now. Is that just a media beat up, or has he really been so out of touch with reality?

Posted by joseyesu on (December 11, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

Gambir, our world cup hero lost somewhere. give him a good break for 6 months

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 3:01 GMT)

Wait is over, Replace either Gambir or Sehwag as opener.We got lot of quality batsman who can stay in the crease for a long time and can score runs. Bth Sehwag and gambir seems to be out of foot work and can never bring glory together in upcoming series. So bring Sehwag down theorder or replace Gambir with Mukund.

Posted by Vnott on (December 11, 2012, 2:55 GMT)

This case is not so straight forward as Sidharth would like us to believe. Gambhir has had a horrid 2 years in tests. However let us look at the following stats:

His previous 21 tests before these 15 tell you a story - 41 innings, 2232 runs @ avg of 58.73 in tests - simply put spectacular.

During the same period, he played 43 one dayers, 1929 runs, 5 hundreds and 14 fifties @ an average of 48.22 and possibly second only to Virat.

So clearly terrific one day form but tests have been a problem. Too much one day cricket have accentuated his technical issues and patience. So the coach needs to work on the same. It is not form. He is still furiously competitive. In the current series he is one of the 4 performers ironically - Sehwag, Pujara and Ashwin being the others who are batting reasonably well. Selectors should have a hard talk to tell Gambhir that their expectations are higher from him...and possibly he will need to sacrifice playing in one dayers to get the results back

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 11, 2012, 2:37 GMT)

Just pretty simple, he is a mediocre batsman in a mediocre team.

Posted by Rajasekar_P on (December 11, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

Gambhir has made more money in cricket by shorter format and he lost his passion for playing in longer format disappeared. So he himself must step down from longer format

Posted by AbhijitSM on (December 11, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

Dear Monga.. ! FYI..! You were such a good commentator when you were in 1990s but now, the edge you had has gone!

Rather than taking a dig at proper peoples, you are unnecessarily making a noise where it is not required. Gambhir have no techniques! how ridiculous it is! Do you agree with Dhoni? Sehwag? or Kohli?

Regards!

Posted by SouthPaw on (December 11, 2012, 2:06 GMT)

Monga - you & the other journalists should stick to, and limit yourselves to, reporting news and presenting features. You have not played International Cricket, nor have you done any Ranji duty, yet you dish out post after post of technical analysis of every Indian cricketer like an expert! Why don't you leave it to the *real* experts like Gavaskar, Chappell, Nicholas, Chopra, Dravid, Boycott, etc.? Your "know-all" pontifications are not only way off, but they are also irritating, to say the least.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

How unfairly was Wasim Jaffer treated ? And here we have people still wanting RSharma back when people like MTiwary, Rahane, Badrinath etc dont even get to see a couple of matches. I have no idea why MSDhoni is in the test team - and Saha has been dropped without giving a single chance. And people blame Tendulkar - inspite of him being in the top 3 batting averages in every series almost. So he might not be the tendulkar of old, but we dont have any replacement yet also. A whole generation of young players have been treated very unfailrly.

Posted by jimbond on (December 11, 2012, 1:54 GMT)

Siddharh Monga is contradicting himself. At one point he talks about the virtues of defense, and later suggests that Rahul Dravid was not as talented as his contemporaries. It is a mistake to assume that shot making comes naturally while defense can be learnt. Rahul Dravid had the natural flair of defending, as well has possessing all the shots in the game. And when the team needed balance in the ODIs, it was him and not his so called great contemporaries who took the additional responsibility of keeping (and still scored more than his great contemporaries). And this too when all his 'great' contemporaries started with bowling skills too and they could have developed these to the benefit of the team. Gambhir can still come back- every batsman has his lean period, just ensure that he gets some rest- Rahane could easily have been played instead of him (no Murali Vijay please).

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 1:43 GMT)

Oh Gambhir in which side were you? Gambhir ran out Schewg in the first innings and ran out the present best batter Pujara in the 2nd innings. Instead of Gambhir please take a school boy who could field. gambhir should have been out of the team for running out his partners and a very poor fielder. He has a poor record he is not a tEam person.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 1:36 GMT)

His arrogant statements contrast his poor performances...... for too long we have suffered him and a few others like him who talk with their mouth rather than with their bats..... clearly, he is not gambhir about his poor form !

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 11, 2012, 1:26 GMT)

Gautam Gambhir, please keep playing IPL as that is far better for you. Dont care any thing at all about test cricket. Fact is that this Indian batting lineup and whole team is overrated to the maximum and deserves to be playing more with Afghanistan and Ireland etc. I am sure Afghan bowlers can tear through this Indian batting lineup. India does well against SL, NZ and WI only through IPL bullying as if these 3 teams win against India, these players will lose their IPL contracts which pay more than their cricket boards. Also Indian test wins come with a cache as India always need umpires help to win matches. India beat NZ this year 2-0 all due to umpiring howlers going against NZ.

Posted by ausdarin on (December 11, 2012, 1:19 GMT)

A very good article and a person can only perform better only if he understands the reality, but Gambhir feels he is too good than the game and doesn't live in the world of reality. Still he feels along with Shewag as the best opening pair in the world then he hasn't heard about Smith-Peterson and the new England pair and the ever improving Australian opening pair. this summarises the Indian Cricket. Interesting stats about Jaffer and Gambhir. Let Gambhir understands where he stands. Its time Gambhir stops scoring runs by talking and start facing reality!!

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 1:16 GMT)

It is high time the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar are shown the door.. They are simply taking up precious space in the Indian team while hungry youngsters like Rahane, Rohit, Manoj, Badri are warming the benches and carrying drinks.. It is clear the "star" system in Indian cricket culture is hurting the Indian fan by the team's shoddy, amateurish performance. For running out Sehwag and Pujara in Kolkata alone, Gambhir should be dropped...that for me was the last straw.. I wish the selectors would grow a pair and act on these 3 yesteryear stars..

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 1:10 GMT)

Unless something dramatic happens at Nagpur, Gambhir's time is up. With no respectable technique to fall back on, he is floundering around like a fish out of water.He should expect to join the long list of ex-cricketers very very soon.

Posted by Biophysicist on (December 11, 2012, 1:10 GMT)

Monga: To compare with Gambhir and Jaffer, in the last 15 tests Tendulkar scored at an average of 33.51, had no centuries only seven 50s, which is between Jaffer and Gambhir in terms of performance. However, unlike Jaffer and Gambhir, he is pushing 40, that is ten years older than Jaffer when he was dropped and 9 years older than Gambhir is now. Clearly he is not an investment for future, yet you wrote an article supporting that he should be persisted with. Do you think he should continue beyond Nagpur, even if he scores a century there? In my opinion, if he does score a century, it gives him an opportunity to go on a high, if not he doesn't deserve another chance. Hopefully he quits honorably, otherwise he should be shown the door.

Posted by Sri_chicago on (December 11, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

Nice piece Sid. I have been watching Gambhir closely for a while now and everything you write about him rings true. Can't help but wonder if the glories of the IPL have something to do with it as well. These Indian sportsmen ... sad stuff .. they simply cant not let success go to their heads. God help India achieve sustained excellence - that is one of the impossibles it seems.

Posted by pranay_bangalore on (December 11, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

Its actually problem with Indian Cricket team set-up or may i say work ethics. The moment you play well for a season and you are deemed as a pseudo senior, the player stops working towards his game. Gambhir had just one or may be two years of good run. Then he hais been chewing on his past laurels with absolutely no effort to work/improve his game. His unspoken desire to captain india coupled with Sehwag's own desire to be one is ruining indian cricket....GG wins IPL and thinks he is above Dhoni and deserve to be the captain...These guys including Dhoni should realise that the more you go away from work ethics,the more you will be humiliated on the field from opposition team.

You hardly see a senior or a pseudo senior player diving on the field to stop runs. They think that its for the lesser fortunate,wanna-be-part-of-team players job to do this. Have you ever seen Ponting not give his all while fielding even in his last test. I am not even talking about fitness standards here.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 0:45 GMT)

By the way, his long standing partner Sehwag also needs a shock treatment, of getting dropped for a while, It had wonders in the past. It will again work. Of course, we want him not only for his game-changing type of batting, but also to plug the increasingly porous slip cordon, and to bring some cheer amidst the doom and gloom.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 0:41 GMT)

No doubt, Gambhir is a tremendous talent. But, those who can not , or do not see the reality, should be woken up. Shaken up. Immediately should be sent back to domestic cricket. After he gets out, a few times,by poking at some of the Ranji bowlers, we may be able to reclaim, the original Gambhir, the one who was touted as the best Indian opener in the contemporary cricket. He may also get rid of his habit of running out his partners,which is essentially happening out of a streak of selfishness -- when the run is for his kitty, he wants to run, even if it risks the partner. When the run is for the partner, he hems and haws. And his hot temper also needs to be doused, if he ever can be considered for Captaincy -- the stuff is there; but not temperament!

Posted by BG4cricket on (December 11, 2012, 0:28 GMT)

Great article and I could not agree more - he needs a big score. I suspect that given the departures of Laxman and Dravid recently the selectors were hoping for stability while they blooded new players but it has not worked with India losing 10 of their past 11 Tests and all of them very badly. The bowling has been very weak for some time but the team could rely on posting big scores to compensate but not any more. The selectors need to be brutal in assessing performance and demand consistent scores from the batsmen and if they are not forthcoming then give well performing players in the Ranji Trophy an opportunity - of the current line up only Pujara and maybe Kohli could be deemed safe.

Posted by chakra04 on (December 11, 2012, 0:16 GMT)

When Dhoni is uninspiring as Test Captain, I strongly believed that Test captaincy should go to Gambhir as he is aggressive and dedicated towards the country. But, his recent comments about his form and not being accountable towards his failures made me go against my earlier thinking and he is no longer any different from Dhoni. It is better to go in the direction of West Indies by sacking all these seniors and investing in youngsters.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (December 11, 2012, 0:14 GMT)

The only way Gambhir will learn is to be dropped and then have to work hard in the ranls to get his spot in the team back. Otherwise he will continue to mouth nonsense as he has been doing recently. Players like Steve Waugh, Michael Clarke etc were dropped and then workd on improving their game to make a comeback.

Posted by khanc on (December 11, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

Yes, Gambhir is struggling and should be dropped for a bit, but why compare him to Jaffer? Jaffer was never very good. If he averaged 36 in 15 tests before being dropped, he averaged 32 in the 15 tests prior to that. The problem is that Gambhir *was* good, hence dropping him is a bigger step. This does not excuse the Indian selectors; in fact, by unnecessary comparing Gambhir with Jaffer, Monga gives them an excuse which they shouldnt have.

Posted by Sanj747 on (December 11, 2012, 0:09 GMT)

A blunt appraisal that is the truth. Great stuff. There are younger players who should be given a chance ahead of Gambhir.

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (December 11, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

Could not agree more. I am one of those who thought we found a replacement for Dravid, long before Pujara was a known figure and thought he should drop down and play one down after Dravid is done, he could captain as well. But how things have changed. Like Yuvi said, he needs to learn a lot from Kohli, Gambhir also needs to learn a lot from the likes of Pujara with respect to discipline. Wondering may be he is unhappy, not becoming a captain in any format, likes of Kohli took over the vice captain, at that time Dravid did say, Gambhir should not worry and focus on his cricket rest would his way. Well, he has not done that. What a pity!

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 10, 2012, 23:55 GMT)

Gambhir should never be allowed anywhere near another Test cap. His "we will see you at home" prattle really exposed him as psychologically unfit for Test cricket - and I should know as I'm a psychiatrist - and he will never, ever be allowed a moment's peace by top opposition ever again. He has made himself into a marked man. But he is a shocking waste of talent anyway - he has always had a better technique than Alastair Cook, for example, but his combination of IPL riches-fuelled arrogance and complacency mixed with poor discipline in his shot-selection and a tendency to blame the pitch for his own errors has ensured that unlike Cook he cannot grind out big innings against good bowlers.

Posted by monivin on (December 10, 2012, 23:43 GMT)

I agree that Gambhir has to be sacked as he is no attitude to play for the country. Also, Sehwag and Dhoni has to be dropped as well.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 23:42 GMT)

Brilliant, honest analysis.

Posted by TRAM on (December 10, 2012, 23:33 GMT)

Sidharth, all your points are correct. But you dont have to write such a big article on one Gambhir alone. The attitudes you have described are there for most Indians including the youngster Kholi. The reason is simple and you already said that though you didn't say that as reason. It is the millions earned. Show me a single Indian millionaire player who makes attempts correcting his mistakes, keeping fit and dying to score runs/take wickets, improve the over all skill set. There is only one way to make the Indian player play. Keep him poor. Else drop him.

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (December 10, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

A very good article though I disagree about Dravid. Being 'gifted' is all encompassing - technique in defence as well as attack, concentration and determination is as important as flair. If you ask me Indian fans have put too much emphasis on the latter and not enough on the first three, which Dravid (like Cook) had in abundance. He alone stood out on the last tour of England His retirement has highlighted the cracks in the performance of rest of the Indian team, and I would guess the focus in the dressing room and on the training pitch .

Posted by xylo on (December 10, 2012, 22:56 GMT)

This article explains to me why my admiration for Gambhir has receded over the past couple of years. When he was at his best, I thought India's test future was in good hands, and that he would take over test captaincy from MS.

Posted by the_wallster on (December 10, 2012, 22:53 GMT)

wasim jaffer was better..

Posted by bonobo on (December 10, 2012, 22:45 GMT)

this story shows the evidence, Gambhir has consistently failed to score runs at the top of the order over a sustained period. this seems more than form. still he shows fight and India cant afford to throw away players, who have demonstrated they can play at Test level, at this stage. There has been much talk of moving Shewag from opener, but I dont see what difference it makes with him. Perhaps give him one final run, but in the middle order, possibly in Tendulkars place, a calm head and a man who still shows he has some fight, take him away from the new ball. It is also important to make sure India exhaust all options to get him back to form, because he is one if the few captaincy options if Dhoni goes, but at present he doesnt justify his place....and it has to be some condemnation of Rahan by selectors, that he still cant get a game

Posted by indianpunter on (December 10, 2012, 22:44 GMT)

Sid, i am beginning to admire your articles. For calling a spade a spade. You are certainly evolving as a writer of repute. If the selectors wont ask the hard questions, the media has to. Gambhir is a changed man, after his IPL mega millions and anyone who follows Indian cricket keenly would attest to that. He is brash, aggressive and in total denial. You stats about Jaffer was an eye opener and Gambhir should be next on the chopping block ( along with the elephant in the room, who hopefully will end his and our misery at the end of this series)

Posted by cricket_lover1 on (December 10, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

Even Murli Vijay can play more number of balls then Sehwag and Gambhir...How about Ashwin and Murli open the Innings...If they work it will be good for India..if they fail it would be another Sehwag/Gambhir test innings....

Posted by cricmatters on (December 10, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

Bring Rahane in the team to open with Sehwag and move Gambhir down in the order in place of Yuvi. He is an excellent player of spin and can play his shots freely against the older ball. His poor technique against the moving new ball was exposed in Australia where he was a walking wicket. He got into the habit of guiding every ball outside off stump to thirdman boundary and offered lot of catching practice to slips and gully. I still think he is a very useful player and can contribute a lot to Indian cricket however he is NOT cut out to be an opener. He neither has the technique nor temperament to open in a Test match against quality attack.

Posted by cricket_lover1 on (December 10, 2012, 22:39 GMT)

Gambhir should be out from the test team...India needs two good openers who can stay at the pitch...Sehwag can go down the order..may be no 6 or 7...and ASHWIN can open with Rahane....

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 22:39 GMT)

Absolutely - he needs to be questioned about this poor form and a specially his "won't care and will ignore" attitude needs to be changed

Posted by VickGower on (December 10, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

Yet, there is Maninder Singh, ranting and raving over there on IBN about how Gambhir should be the test captain.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 22:27 GMT)

I am surprised he still in the team. He should be the first one to go. What's the point in dropping harbajan he didn't even play the last match. BCCI needs to clean up, needs to show they have what it takes to get it right.

Posted by kc69 on (December 10, 2012, 22:15 GMT)

I dont see much difference in Sehwag and Gambhir...both are careless players...Especially i never recollect Gambhir winning a single test for India by himself.

Posted by A.Ak on (December 10, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

Give a little chance to MVijay or Mukund or Rahane. Young, talented and waiting.

Posted by Leggie on (December 10, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

Spot on with the assessment! None could have summarized this better. Gambhir's biggest problem is the denial that he is not in good knick. Some of his comments also make one suspect if there is any strong undercurrent between him and the captain. A classic example was when he mentioned that we should have chased better and completed the win sooner in a one-day match in Australia. The jingoist call for rank turners didn't sound professional. The Gambhir that fans like me loved was when he batted those long hrs in NZ to draw a test, a strong comeback in SA Tests, spiritedly taking on batting even after having convulsions in Eng. Since then though, he is a mere shadow of the greatness that he seemed destined for.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 10, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

Can't say I ever had great love for Gambhir but definitely respected him as a fighter. All that empty 'see you in India' talk seems to have revealed his lack of stomach for that fight anymore. Seems to be getting a very long rope from the selectors for one who is not in the great class.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 21:56 GMT)

Seems to me Gambhir is not alone in taking test cricket for granted. It feels like too many of the Indian batsmen no longer have the patience for tests. And the "we'll see you at home" campaign isn't going too well as a result at the moment. Getting huge amounts of money for playing IPL must be a lot easier.

Posted by here2rock on (December 10, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

Not only he has not learned from his mistakes but he ran out Shewag and Pujara in the last Test Match. One of the big reason India is struggling because he can not give them a positive start. His mode of dismissal has been almost the same in every game, caught behind angling the bat.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

What a big surprise. An Indian cricketer not admitting his own faults and failing to see that he is struggling. It's actually funny to watch these idiots lose match after match and think that it'll simply turn around. After their humiliation in Australia they said they'd respond in India. Were they talking about this year? Doesn't look like it. Over a billion people in the country and they don't have 12 that belong on the field, hilarious

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 10, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

This is an immensely absorbing portrait of a cricketer who, I always thought, should have something about him. Although not one of the legendary quartet, he, opening the batting for India, must have something about him, I thought. An opener's virtues are subtly different from those that follow him. He MUST practise self-denial, he MUST show patience, he MUST have or develop an intuitive understanding with his opening partner, stealing singles, turning ones into twos, so that together they can lay a platform for a large team total. In England, he got injured. I knew I'd not seen the best of Gautam, but on his own tracks I was expecting him to score heavily. How disappointing he has been, thus far! Then I read Sid's piece. Throughout, I feel the writer's sorrow: see him wringing his hands. Then I get angry. Here was a man of character dedicated to his craft, now seduced & traduced by easy bucks, & thereby losing his cricketing soul; it is a tragedy laid at the door of the horrible IPL.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

put in jaffer and drop gambhir from the test team tendulkar needs to say goodbye to cricket rahane needs to be given a chance why havent theybrought in varun aaron

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

Its baffling for a while, a long while indeed, that Cricinfo coloumnists have not applied same yardstick to all. Do not remember single statement on how Dhoni has never led from the front in tests. A captain who has never led from the front or played a matchwinning innings for 3 years - was never noticed or stated. Besides, his increasingly contradictory statements and strategies have never been criticised. His callous attitude and not trying attitude to become a test player despite all these years was like an elephant in the room that noone talks about. Has he ever tried? Darren Sammy tries hard despite his limitations. Being impartial keeps the interested ones loyal and intact.

Posted by cloudmess on (December 10, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

Sorry, what's wrong with his form? He has made 45, 5, 65, 60 and 40 in the current series so form. Sure he'd like to be converting some of these scores into centuries, but do they do not quite suggest a worrying lack of form. I think India's batsmen are constantly being blamed, whereas the real malaise is with the feeble bowling so often allowing teams above-par scores.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 10, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

Gambhir has simply gotten out to world class bowling in this tour, there's no shame in that. England have the most skilled flat-deck/green-top bowler in the world in Anderson, and boast the world best two spinners. There's no shame in getting out to bowling as good as this. He has been on the wane for years now though, time for India to think again if they can find anyone. What must they give for Cook...

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

Nice article... But India's persistence with Gambhir is also partly attributable to inability to find a better left-handed opener (Shikhar Dhawan is yet to prove himself worthy of Indian cap). Left-Right opening combination is a vital yet un-talked about aspect of the game. It never lets the bowlers settle into a rythme and length and helps batting side score early runs to calm their nerves. Gambhir would do best to step sown as KKR captain and focus on his performance as India's opening batsman.

Posted by victorprodigal on (December 10, 2012, 21:01 GMT)

I don't understand why people are after Gambhir..If you have seen the 1st three tests, it is Pujara, Sehwag and Gambhir who scored reasonable runs when the whole team collapsed. He is the one of the few uncredited cricketers in Indian Cricket today, but his failures have always been noticed. Not to pinpoint anyone, but the scores of the players are 1. Dhoni (5,DNP) - (29,6) - (52,0) 2. V.Kohli (19,DNP) - (19,7) - (6,20) 3. S.Tendulkar ( 13, DNP) - (8,8)-(76,5) G.Gambhir (45,DNP) - (4,65) - (60,40) shows a collective team collapse.....(Yuvi's performance though, is justified)

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 20:59 GMT)

Gaambhir is not a test player now ... thnx to Dare Devils & Knight Riders

Posted by Rahulbose on (December 10, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

No mystery here, he started playing T20 won big contracts in IPL. Now he is basically fit to play in T20 only, maybe will do alright in ODIs. Why should he focus on test cricket when Indian fans, board and the sponsors only care about T20?

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

Indian cricket never had a Test opener after the retirement of Gavaskar and Gambhir was lucky to stay around ever since he opened in tests. Agreed we hardly get the starts required from him and most of the time, its Sehwag's swashbuckling innings that saves him or Dravid's entry (after one down) that has managed to save him from facing the short ball abroad. It would be unwise to axe him in tests for the simple reason that he has been highly successful in other formats and his average in Tests is enough to give him confidence to continue. He seriously needs to see this position in the test team as a golden opportunity to linger around. He needs to learn how to see the new ball out and then take on the spinners. In short focus on his role as a opener. Only Sehwag has the license to go for the rash shots and Gambhir does not. Just imagine why Sachin won't open in tests. Its a thankless dangerous job and least promising.

Posted by seeni_kris on (December 10, 2012, 20:46 GMT)

Very well said Sidharth... exactly my thoughts.. Gambhir has become way too arrogant, not accepting his mistakes.. he has just been giving excuses ...high time Rahane gets in place of Gambhir..

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

Precisely! Not just Gambhir, but Indian cricket at large is in denial. It's fine to ask about turners, but not when your main spinners lack patience or discipline to make it count. It's fine to say that you have great batsmen in your ranks, but not when that person is nearing 40 and his eyesight and touch have slowly, but surely started slipping away. Your best hope for wickets is so unfit that he often misses entire series by pulling his hamstring, and can't get enough pace to make put the 'reverse' in swing. A 26-yr spinner is slower than most 30 yr olds in the team. The first thing is to confront your issues honestly, only then can you rectify! Until then, all the 'badla' series (revenge) will remain 'kuchh nahi badlaa' series (nothing has changed) ..

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 20:37 GMT)

Very well articulated.Gambhir is a terrific cricketer and will rank very high in my hierarchy even if he does nothing of note from here on. Where he is clearly losing the battle is not understanding that he has to work harder when things are not going for him. Rahul Dravid was very good at understanding that there was a problem when there was one. He needs to do the following things IMO.

1. Like you say - leave the ball outside the off stump. Get rid of the nothing dab to third man. Those shots are for club cricketers - not for test cricketers.

2. Stop running the risky singles. Rotating the strike well is one thing - patting the ball and running for life without knowing if you or your partner is at risk is not test cricket.

3. Stop telling the media things like "the opening pair has an average of 50+". We know how good you are. If you have to explain your stats to us all the time, something's not right but you're not seeing it.

Posted by tomtom100 on (December 10, 2012, 20:35 GMT)

i am glad to see the england spinners outbowl the indian ones.It is reasuring to see spinners bowl with a straight arm- arare sight these days.

Posted by VRRK on (December 10, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

Why would not he shrug off his struggles, as long as he is in the playing 11 and gets paid ?

Posted by PratUSA on (December 10, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

Gambhir's feet are stuck and he is actually lucky to have scored couple of fifties in this series. Just this past Saturday (before team announcement), I was arguing to some cricket buddies that Gambhir must be dropped. Why are we wasting M Vijay by depriving him of any cricket at all? I know it won't happen but Gambhir should not be playing in Nagpur. May be a dropping will change his denial and if it doesn't, surely there are other openers in India who can score at an ave of 30 at least.

Posted by fguy on (December 10, 2012, 20:22 GMT)

Gambhir plays for India or England? He has taken more wickets in 3rd test than zaheer. Why doesn't Indian media ask hard probing questions of Dhoni / Fletcher / BCCI / indian players instead of allowing them to give facetious answers & get away lightly? like for eg. grilling gambhir abt his following up "come to india & we'll show you" statment with action. instead, England came & have said "yeah, we're here, now what?" He should've been dropped ages ago. there is no respectable team that would have an opener that hasnt scored a 100 for 3 years. but then india dont care.

Posted by glen1 on (December 10, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

Sad indeed to see this decline and lack of fight. Professional sports lead to lot of compensation; take for example basketball in US, and that should be ok in cricket too. However, in cricket, we have a major problem: the skills and techniques of T20 are not transferable to Test cricket and vice versa. We need two sets of players: one for T20 & One day, and the other for One-day and Test. Mix them up for a one-day team. The same guys playing all three formats has led to this sad situation. Add to this, everyone is a captain of some team or the other and therefore thinks no end of himself. If this situation is not rectified, Test Cricket will be lost forever, and India will be at the bottom.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 20:16 GMT)

Come on GAUTI show ur class. show wat u still have got..

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 20:11 GMT)

This is an excellent article about Gambhir's fall.

Posted by svenkat02 on (December 10, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

Gambhir NEEDS TO BE DROPPED! The attitude of the guy is getting to be very frustrating. He talks when he should be talking with his bat. He is a major part of the Sehwag camp and doesn't have a very good equation with the captain. He also seems to be harboring captaincy ambitions and probably doesn't indulge himself too much under Dhoni so that he can get captaincy.. And the way he batted in Mumbai not shielding the tail and taking a single off the first ball and exposing the tail enders was pathetic. And he keeps running out his partners in a very consistent and calculated manner. Both Sehwag and Pujara are high impact players, and could have saved or even won India the Kolkata test had they not been run out.

I would try out Rahane or Chand or even Dhawan for Gambhir. Drop Gambhir, and he will either fight back or just die out.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 20:05 GMT)

Jafar is tmid Gambir is brave

Posted by Mashq on (December 10, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

Jaffer was thrown out because he doesnt enjoy any support. But Gambhir have the support of so called captain DHONI.If Dhoni is asked to select team on his own !! Dhoni's team could be like this: Dhoni , Gambhir, Rohit,Ravinder,Ravinder2, Gambhir2,Raina,Chawla, Yuvraj,Raina2,Balaji and Rohit2!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 19:55 GMT)

its really an amazing article.....

Posted by S_Pras on (December 10, 2012, 19:49 GMT)

A good article. Conveys to the point what is really wrong with Indian cricket - attitude of its younger players(if you can include Gambhir in that as well)!! Ever since they have been showered with millions of dollars through IPL & endorsements, they have really stopped looking at Test cricket as an option to showcase their talent. I enormously thankful to England for showing the real state of Indian cricket and how bare its bowling & batting cupboard is. I am sick and tired of hearing commentary which keeps repeating "that's how he plays". And yes Gambhir needs to be dropped as he has been sitting on his past laurels without really contributing. We need to begin giving chances to someone who is really hungry to perform in the tests. As a cricket lover, who has been watching cricket over decades now, I have never felt more embarrassed with Indian cricket team's performance. Indian team that I knew would fight really hard to keep its reputation intact in home tests atleast.

Posted by CbeCricket on (December 10, 2012, 19:39 GMT)

Gambir should have been dropped along with Zaheer Harbhajan and Yuvraj. He would have come back strong then. Hate to see these guys hold on to the place based on past perfomances. Give Rahane and Tiwary a chance.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 19:35 GMT)

" He has won millions of dollars and an IPL " you hit the nail on the head. Look no further for a reason.

Posted by SAboucher on (December 10, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

sid wants him to be dropped...so do I...

Posted by Jawz on (December 10, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

Once again very well analyzed Sid. He is lucky to be getting many chances. As rightly pointed out Wasim Jaffer never got another chance. And Gambhir caused 2 crucial and probably match changing run outs as well in Kolkatta. He is lucky that there is no consistency in the selection process otherwise Yuvraj and Harbhajan would have got another chance and instead of Ravindra Jadeja Manoj Tiwary or Rohit Sharma or Mohammad Kaif could hve been given chance.

Gambhir it seems has a last chance to redeem his place for Australia series otherwise there are many openers knocking on the door - Jiwanjot Singh, Unmukt Chand, Robin Uthappa, etc...

Posted by sachin_maesto on (December 10, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

Very well written article. I had exactly the same analysis of his decline in recent years and I truly feel that it's time "IPL performances" should be discounted for team selections because it undermines the need of being technically sound. Nobody would pay $1.2 million for someone like Rahul/Pujara/Badrinath/VVS. Why? We know it's market forces, but what If BCCI, with its riches, creates another market where they can award those payments to players doing consistently well over years in domestic seasons and then everyone would aspire to be Dravid/VVS rather than one-match wonders (don't want to name this endless list here). And, not to undermine the potential of Rahul(s) and VVS(s), because if they want they too can slog/invent new shots to score quick runs in T20s. But then if they do it intentionally, they too would become the entertainment package or "movie show" which entertained you in a T20 game and you forget them after 2 hours (unlike now where we remember them as the Wall(s)

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 10, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

oh well the IPL will be back soon so you can make a shed load of money so who cares about test cricket.Not you anyway

Posted by WAKE_UP_CALL on (December 10, 2012, 19:12 GMT)

when the shit hits the fan some guys run and some guys stay and here is the indian cricket facing the fire and gambhir is hiding in his absolute arrogant and rubbish behaviour.sid this article is equally important after you wrote about "india's year of denial" because these players need to be highlighted to clear the wax of their years and let them know that Enough is Enough.Though huge and immediate changes are required in indian domestic structure but before that the negativity should be eradicated of indian cricket team.not to an indian but to even foreigners gambhir looks tentative (even on batsman on indian pitches) and selfish player.no one is talking about his two run outs which were so crucial earlier in the test match.he is a good odi player but that also can easily be replaced by any of the talent young batsman waiting in queue.(coz atleast india is doing good in odi cricket).

Posted by Karthik_Kashyap on (December 10, 2012, 19:12 GMT)

he has been by far the most under-performing of our batsmen... he would be exposed further if and when Sehwag moves to the middle order... used to love this guy for his stubborn innings and felt for him when he was dismissed for 97 and missed out MOM in the WC finals and when he scored vital 93 and missed out on century vs SA, but that's it ... Gauti should go and be replaced by deserving Ajinkya.

Posted by luvcricket_new_gen on (December 10, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

Gambhir has serious problems and he is not ready to ack it and improve. No point in throwing up past stats and records to prove his worth. Attitude is what makes the difference and his has been awful. "Prepare rank-turners for Visiting teams' - that sums up all. I have never heard SA, Aus, Eng or any other team talking about taking revenge by doctoring home pitches. Those good teams work hard to WIN and do not complain, find excuses. Gambhir needs to be dropped and he needs a break. He can come back after working out his technique with an ability to bat long in tests. Cut those flashy pokes outside the off stump!

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 10, 2012, 19:07 GMT)

For me Gambhir needs rest and should play english country and prove himself world class again. he lost his mojo along with dhoni. I like gambhir as person with vigor and emotion. he is a fighter but he lost something. May be mentally he is not in right playe. I drop sachin ,gambhir , yuvi , dhoni , zaheer for ever. But gambhir can come back to team if he proves he regained his skill of occupying the crease long time. I want to move sehwag to middle order.

Posted by hems4cric on (December 10, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

Its not just Gambhir, the whole Indian team has become like a spoilt kid who doesn't care about anything or anybody and does what he likes because even the parents laugh it off saying he's just a kid and don't bother to correct him. Everybody else seem to see what is going wrong but the players and the board are the only ones who seem to believe everything is fine. Nothing will ever change till they come out of Self-Denial-Syndrome and start seeing things clearly. I think the hardest thing for them right now is to accept that they have become mediocre and need to work hard. Its the attitude of Lords that is affecting the team.. Its high time the BCCI and players realized that the money they are arrogant about came from cricket and you cannot forget cricket once you get money... Feed the hen that gives you golden eggs, starving it will only stop the golden eggs that you are so fond of...

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

If you look at how gambhir is playing, 4 Test series its really pathetic.If he is getting out to a good ball then make sense.He never looked like the gambhir who scored runs for india. You look at the run outs happened , all are caused by him.He just plafing for himself not looking what happening around.He won't care even if india loose couple of wicket , next ball he will go for the ball wide outside off stump and nick it and add one more to wicket column.He need to take a look back at what he is doing over past two years in test cricket , and do some adjustment, so he could be the old Gambhir again. Its better to drop him and give some time to get back into groove by playing county cricket.

Posted by Dhanno on (December 10, 2012, 18:58 GMT)

Sidharth, he isnt coming out for an interview anytime soon i guess :) Yes there was a time when Gambhir was in zone for test matches, but even if no one accepts it, its the easy money/ easy time of IPL which has changed it all. FOr Gambhir and 10 others. Patience/ discipline is gone and everyone is taking turns in blaming other factors, pitches/ green tops/ baretops/ moon-mars alignment/ troubles in eurozone etc for the defeats!

One sad thing is you reminded that statistic. Jaffer was someone I always rooted for. There was nothing wrong with his contribution when he was dropped, it was more like VC asked that he should get more flamboyant Gambhir as his strike partner, that is it, Jaffer was gone. Jaffer may have stayed rooted to avg of around 40, but he would have given his 100% every-time, just like he does when he goes to bat for MUmbai. A good test servant wasted (I use the word with utmost respect, he would have served the format with his sweat and blood)

Posted by jb633 on (December 10, 2012, 18:57 GMT)

From an English perspective I think it is fair to say that not many of our fans like this guy. This article and the criticism of dropping him seems pretty unjustified if you ask me though. In the last 3 innings he has played pretty well I think. The second innings in Mumbai was a particularly valiant effort, the only problem was that he had nobody to bat with him. Ghambir has often got a solid start with Sehwag and yes they have not gone on, but neither has Compton. Compton is getting nothing but praise for his role in England's win (and rightly so) but the media and the fans are attacking a guy who is doing alright. It is really the middle order that are letting India down in this series. There seems to me to be numerous knee jerk comments from the media and they would do well to write as a pundit first and a dissappointed fan second. Reading some of the recent articles they do seem to me to be written out of hurt and not sense. They are like reading all the comments below.

Posted by AbuUSA on (December 10, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

Cricket has offered Indians lots of money and fame. Most of them are not like Michael Jordan or Roger Federer or Rahul Dravid who will work hard regardless of money or fame. They are like William sisters in tennis - some days motivated and some days not. Most Indian settled players are not hungry. Shame that their lack of determination brings unpleasant result to India.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (December 10, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

Gambhir symbolises everything that is wrong with Indian cricket today. A flat pitch king to the core, staggering arrogance and living in a bubble since that huge deal with kkr. Same true of many cricketers. And sad part is that the mdeia and the general public worship such cricketers, who strut around without giving a damn about what made them stars in the first place. But then, we are a nation obsessed with pseudo-celebs!!

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

Well said Monga, a nice article indded. If only, Gauti or the selectors take a note of it... Honestly, if he does not score big runs in Nagpur; he should be asked to go back and grind in domestic cricket. Rahane should be given a chance in opening. And to hell with right/left combo, if that is what is keeping Gauti in this team.

Posted by Siddharth_Pandit on (December 10, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

Excellent Article, Gambhir has to stop running away and acknowledge first in order to address the issue.

Posted by Neeta on (December 10, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

As a Gambhir fan, I know and will be the first to admit his loss of form and more than that the lack of confidence in himself is worrisome. But still I somehow feel that he is one man who will take India out of the slumps if given a chance! Give the captaincy to Gautam Gambhir of the test team and I am sure that he will respond to it in a tremendous manner because he is a gusty guy and will do what it takes to take India again to the pinnacle of test match cricket. Some players do well when they are given a responsibility and Gambhir is one of those guys. Just try him out and I am sure that he will come up with the goods. After all they guy who has performed well and courageously in the past must have something in him which has not led the selectors to keep him in the side for a period of more than 3 years without scoring a test match century. Best of luck to the man for the Nagpur Test and I hope he comes up with a big one helping the team to a big win!!!

Posted by hoodbu on (December 10, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

I like the comparison with Wasim Jaffer. Homework well done Sidharth!

Posted by shoogar on (December 10, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

I wonder when the focus is ever going to shift to Mr. Dhoni. He has said and done many things; a great captain of the past but now clearly failing to carry on with his duties. As a cricketer, particularly test matches have never beenhis strong point and more so recently. I wonder when the question mark on Dhoni as a player, contributor to the team and finally a captain are going to come up. I see none of the experts even mentioning his failures; is this the fear of not having his replacement or just plain ignorance? Defeats by England In England & possibly home now & by Australia in Australia; I wonder what is left to show for India as a cricketing nation which a year back was the World cup champions and the No.1 test team some time further back. I think as a nation we need to blow the bubble of us being a good team and make some major changes to the side if we need to go anywhere in the long run!! Mr. Dhoni is definitely not cutting it anymore; neither as the player or the skipper!!

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 10, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

Yeah, not only Gambhir, but almost all the Indian players have seem to lost interest in Test and instead focus all their energy and attention to the IPL. In between the period discussed in this article, you could see how intense and determined he was to win the IPL for KKR. It's just a matter of preference. He clearly doesn't want to get too involved in Test cricket any more.

Posted by kadalai on (December 10, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

Sid - I hope BCCI is able to hear all your messages. It is truly depressing to see an unprofessional, clinical selection process.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 10, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

This is the one of many problems with Indian cricket. Players work hard to get into the team, bag their life-style changing contracts and then ride that wave for all its worth. To be fair, if the selectors reward failure what incentive is there for guys like Gambhir to address the malaise in their game - picked if they score runs, picked if they don't. Same goes for Sehwag, Tendulkar and Yuvraj (now dropped but for how long who knows). Harbajan was dropped only after a years of below-par performances and inexplicably recalled after no significant improvement domestically in India or in English county cricket. Unless others are given a decent run in the team, the continued automatic selection of players like Gambhir et al are defended on the grounds that there is no-one else. Of course there's no-one else if you don't give them a go.

Posted by VivSingh on (December 10, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

Finally, an article that flags such an important issue. Everyone is talking about dropping Sachin. He is going to retire imminently so leave him alone. I am absolutely amazed when I hear people arguing that Gambhir should be captain. He simply isn't the right leader for India simply because of his longstanding reluctance to acceptance harsh truths. Ever since I heard him call for "rank turners" after the England debacle it was clear this guy doesn't have the right mindset. The funny thing is that he has made some starts in this series, compared with other Indian batsmen. Based on that he should be an automatic selection for South Africa, right? Anyone who follows cricket knows that he is going to be ripped to pieces on their wickets. Spare him the humiliation.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

Absolutely spot on Sir, this has been Gambhirs main problem. He want to boss the bowler, he does not want to give respect to the good balls. he has stopped treating the ball on merit and when you do that, let alone test cricket you are in trouble in any format of the game for that matter.

Posted by inswing on (December 10, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

Gambhir needs to go, along with most of the bowling (Zaheer, Harbhajan, Ashwin). But selectors will keep picking him and he will keep making one 50 every 5-6 innings, averaging in the 20s. Weak.

Posted by moBlue on (December 10, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

i've always resented the selectors for picking gambhir over the classy classical patient and supremely talented wasim jaffer! jaffer was never given a fair shake by the selectors! gambhir has been their golden boy! this despite the fact that gambhir has ***always*** been vulnerable to the moving ball outside the off - even on indian pitches against a mcGrath (when gambhir debuted) or a steyn!

it is high time for this dude to be dropped and for jaffer to be reinstated! look at the huge statistical differences that sidharth mentions between the 2 players' last 15 tests! enough said... and jaffer is still scoring tons by the truckload!

the dignified jaffer has been treated just as shabbily by the crazy selectors of IND as they once treated the incandescent mohinder amarnath! the continued selection of gambhir is a part of that unfortunate story! at least, if this dude could play the moving ball outside the off and not spoonFeed the slips on a regular basis, i might have let it slide...

Posted by Optimistix on (December 10, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

The denial has been ridiculous, and more and more of the players have been joining the club.

If the selectors have any guts, most of this team needs to be dropped - barring Pujara, Umesh, Ojha and possibly Virat, nobody else really deserves to be in the team right now. Sachin could have retired before this series, but given that he hasn't, hopefully he can have another good series in SA and guide the rest of the lineup.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

You brought up Wasim Jaffer but not Akash chopra,nice article though.

Posted by Raki99 on (December 10, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

Ghambir and All the players are needed to be dropped. Ms dhoni, kohli,ghambhir are all non performers when it comes to test cricket. Let them go back to ranjis and find form. Even I don't know how Ishant keeps holding his place.No idea whether he can even play for a ranji side...... The problem is Dhoni just dosen't have the sharp mind for captaincy in the test areana. I have no idea how he survived for this long as a captian even after debacle after debacle both home and away.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

And what also about the number of run-outs he has been involved in? For a seasoned pair of Gambhir and Sahwag it is incredible how many times they have misjudged the run that wasn't a run...but a definite run out. Was there ever such a bumbling set of mistakes between Greenidge and Haynes? Shouldn't the coaches treat this as an urgent matter?

Posted by SmellyCat on (December 10, 2012, 18:33 GMT)

Good Article, his stubbornness is letting him down, and I fear it will be too late by the time he realizes it. He's a changed man since taking over KKR but test Cricket is not IPL or a bollywood romance.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

v nice article. gambhir got so much money from ipl that now he feels he does not need to fight hard for his cricket. he should be dropped for a few tests and be made to fight for his place again. if you can make billions batting for a few overs in ipl who has the patience to play for so long in tests.

Posted by stormy16 on (December 10, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

Here's my theory. Gambir never came accross as a T20 player but converted himself to be a very effective T20 player but in the process lost his test touch. So you reckon I am back to bashing the old punching bag - the IPL - well yes! Not the IPL but the lucrative T20 industry has brought about all sorts of possibilities for cricketers and test cricket is no longer what is about. Watching Gambir and other Indian batter couldnt help me wonder they the guys are playing too many shots - just watch Cook if in doubt! Some will make adjustment well - just check out Samuels who recently got a double hundred and today plundered 9 sixers in the T20. Some will be left with a lasting effect and Gambir looks one of them. Dont want to say this but even Kholi was playing too many shots in the series and led to his downfall.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

great article...thorough analysis.........i really started disliking harsh bhogle.....he will play with words n never be direct..........always supporting ipl....he is not honest with his passion anymore......thanks monga atleast some r raising valid qs.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (December 10, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

Talk of dropping gambhir is a bit premature, hes averaging a little over 42 in this series so far at an SR of 44, and is third in the Indian average list. People forget the purpose of the Opener is to see off the new ball, and get into the first change bowlers so that those that come in 3,4,5 can start to lash out. Hes run out 2 batting partners, though Sehwag's run out wasnt his fault he'd clearly said No to the third run, the second run out is more debatable.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

Argument is valid... why we r finding these all when we r loosing...!!!! Critics always finds problem with technique, skill and concentration after defeat only....

Posted by cricket-india on (December 10, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

it's not up to him to face up to his troubles - it's up to the selectors to see his dwindling contributuions and his increasingly negative attitude (we'll see them at home) and aggressive answers based on weak foundations (look at the numbers, i am the best opener we have...). players in denial is not a new phenomenon (SRT, anyone? a topic for another day, perhaps); send gambhir back to ranji for some serious soul-searching. he'll be better off for it. just ask alistair cook.

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