IPL 2018: Gautam Gambhir – a Serious Twenty20 Performer in Wane?
One of the finest cricketers in Indian cricket in recent times, Gautam Gambhir has made a name for himself in Indian history. Be it his courageous knocks in the finals of Twenty20 World Cup 2007, ICC World Cup 2011 or the long-standing gritty innings in Napier, the southpaw was always there when the team needed him.
An epitome of kindness and patriotism, Gambhir has been the backbone of Indian Test team for a considerable time. His inclusion into all formats has helped India immensely over time.
Gambhir’s incredible understanding with his partner in crime Virender Sehwag had paid dividends for Indian cricket.
Gambhir had always complimented Sehwag’s batting across all conditions. Their understanding at the top of the innings had helped India gain No.1 ranking for the first time in 2009.
However, like all good things come to an end, Gambhir’s tenure in Indian cricket team had come to an abrupt end.
But the gritty player did not just let go, which had been the case with many cricketers in the past. He stood firm and reassessed his game as he became a stalwart in domestic cricket.
Despite him being dropped from Indian cricket team, Gambhir still played a massive role for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) over the years. He was their best batsman and continued his good form despite not playing much cricket for the rest of the year.
While many got their chances into Indian team on the back of their IPL performances, Gambhir’s consistent performances (let’s put it this way) did not catch the notice of national selectors.
The aggressive batsman kept on performing in IPL’s every season and been amongst the highest run-getters. He also holds the record for most fifties in IPL history. His desire to play for Delhi this season had stopped Knight Riders from bidding for him in the auction.
Delhi Stint Not Fruitful, Future Uncertain
Amidst many expectations, Gambhir took over as captain of Delhi Daredevils (DD) for IPL 2018. Blossoming with young talent, Delhi as a team was considered favourites with Gambhir at the helm. The veteran cricketer was expected to bring the best out of the young breed, who are still finding their feet in top-tier cricket.
Fast forward six games, Delhi had managed just one win at Wankhede and are reeling in the bottom half of the season. Most of the young talents were unable to live up to their expectations. In a normal scenario, the team management would take a decision owing to the change in leadership.
However, Gambhir was not a normal leader, he decided to step down as skipper taking the moral responsibility. Not many would be willing to let their captaincy go, leave alone dropping himself from the team.
The 36-year old Gautam Gambhir decided to stay on the bench as he asked the team management to go out with the best possible side.
Add to all this, he returned all the contract money back to the franchise. Gambhir is a rare gem of a cricketer and even a better person. Subsequently, it has garnered him millions of fans across the world.
Although his future remains uncertain, we can expect at least of a couple of bidders to go for him next season, considering his past success and IPL record.