Having seen Gautam Gambhir milk a trio of international spinners in the quarter-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday, one couldn’t help but wonder if there can be a case for the southpaw to be recalled to the Indian ODI side. Not at the top of the order, as the Indian team already have three regular openers, but as a possible No. 4 batsman, the slot that still seems to wide open with less than a year to go for the 2019 ICC World Cup.
In the current season, Gambhir has notched 490 runs from eight innings thus far with two hundreds and a fifty, at a strike rate of 117.78. But these numbers are not what would make one sit up and think. Leggies Amit Mishra, Yuzvendra Chahal and offie Jayant Yadav were the bowlers Gambhir was up against on Sunday, apart from a third leggie in Rahul Tewatia, and all of them were literally toyed with, Chahal in particular. Fifty of Gambhir’s 104 runs in that game came off the spinners, with the left-handed opener consuming a mere 41 balls for it.
With his proven ability to play the pacers and seamers, Gambhir should be given a go by the national selectors for the few remaining matches ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
Amol Mazumdar wants Gambhir to bat at no. 4
Counted as one of the stalwarts of Indian domestic cricket, Amol Mazumdar thinks Gambhir fits into the Indian middle-order at number 4 in ODIs. In his opinion, age is just a number for anyone to stage a comeback. He gives priority to fitness and the agility, to be considered as the sole parameters apart from an individual’s skills.
“If I take my own career as an example, I am of the firm view that age is but a number. For someone to make an entry or comeback to international cricket, there are a number of boxes to be ticked and anyone, who ticks most of those boxes, should be under consideration,” Muzumdar was quoted as saying by Mid-Day.
“The hard new ball helps you get runs. But at No. 4 or lower, the ball is softer, the field is spread and you have to start afresh,” said Muzumdar.
The cricketer-turned-commentator also believes that if selectors feel there is still a possibility for Gambhir making his way back in the Indian side, then he must be talked to, for batting in the middle-order.
“If they feel Gambhir still has it in him, have a quiet word and maybe the second Vijay Hazare semi-final against Jharkhand on Thursday could be when he drops down the order in an attempt to make his way back to international cricket,” he stated.