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Best knocks by Gautam Gambhir in his international career3 min read

Best knocks by Gautam Gambhir in his international career

Gautam Gambhir was one of the most underrated cricketers who donned the Indian jersey in the last decade.


With a Test average of 41.95, 11 ODI tons and countless match-winning knocks, the southpaw from Delhi carved his own niche in the cricketing realm. As he announced his retirement, we look at the five best knocks from the left-hander’s willow.

 

The composed 75 in the WT20 finals against Pakistan, 2007

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Months after he was ignored for the 50-over World Cup, Gambhir was leading India’s charge in the 2007 WT20. Facing Pakistan in the summit clash, the pressure was immense on both sides and it needed a calm knock under pressure to take the side to safety. The Delhiite held one end up and even as regular wickets kept falling at the other end, he ensured that the side got to a formidable target by scoring 75 in 54 balls.

Though the attention throughout the tournament was on Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Joginder Sharma, and Robin Uthappa, Gambhir was the silent warrior in India’s triumph, finishing as the second highest run-scorer with 227 runs and three fifties.

 

206 runs against Australia at Delhi in 2008

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Image Credit: Sportskeeda

Gambhir’s only Test double hundred came at his hometown against the ferocious Aussie unit in 2008. After losing Sehwag and Dravid early in the third Test, the local boy took it upon himself to thwart the threat of the rival bowlers, combining with Sachin Tendulkar and then with VVS Laxman to take India to safer shores. His knock of 206 that came in 380 balls after nine hours of batting was memorable for it came against a rampaging Aussie unit.

 

150 runs against Sri Lanka at Kolkata in 2009

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Image Credit: AFP Photo

Long before Gambhir had won over the Kolkata crowd with his captaincy while playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders, a selfless act endeared him to the packed Edens in 2009. Chasing a stiff 316 runs to win in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka, the Indian side had lost Sachin and Sehwag inside 4 overs and it was imperative that Gambhir stood strong and pave the way for a memorable triumph.

He combined with tyro Virat Kohli to stitch together a 224-run partnership, with the senior player making 150 runs. He shielded Kohli away from the lethal Lasith Malinga and held his nerves as he took India over the line. He later passed on his Man of the Match award to Kohli, who had smashed his maiden international hundred in the game.

 

Batting for 643 minutes against New Zealand in 2009

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Image Credit: AFP

India’s first series win in New Zealand came at the back of a fighting knock by Gautam Gambhir. The Indian side were 1-0 in the three match-series but were in danger of conceding their lead after they were asked to follow on in the second game, with two and a half days still left at Napier. New Zealand still had a lead of 314 runs and just when it seemed that all was lost, in emerged Gambhir, who possibly played the best knock of his Test career.

Batting 643 minutes and 436 balls, Gambhir ensured that India were always in the game. He kept the Kiwi bowlers on the field and tired them out and as India walked away with an improbable draw, Gambhir had already reached Dravidesque levels for his undying patience and commitment.

 

The knock in the 2011 World Cup finals that no Indian can forget

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(Reuters Photo)

The best knock of Gambhir’s cricket career has to be the knock of 97 that he played in a dire situation against Sri Lanka in the summit clash of the 2011 World Cup. Chasing 275 runs for a win, India had lost Sehwag and Sachin by the time the scorecard read 31, and as a hushed silence prevailed, Gambhir, once again with Kohli, rescued India from the abyss.

His innings was overshadowed by Dhoni’s six, yes, but his contributions can in no way be overlooked as he helped India clinch their second world title after 28 years.

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