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Gambhir takes giant leap

Published: Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10:14 [IST]
 
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Gautam makes giant strides

Bangalore: Gautam Gambhir's innings at Napier will surely be part of Indian cricketing folklore.

An innings defeat was looming India when India lost its stand-in captain Sehwag in the second innings of the Napier Test. Two more days were left and New Zealand were well placed to seal a victory in the Napier.

Gambhir lived up to the expectations of Indian hearts by crafting an epic, he batted for 642 minutes and faced 436 balls for his 137 runs. The 27-year-old's innings spanned over 10 and a half hours, the longest innings by an Indian in New Zealand.

A grateful Sehwag described Gamhir as the second wall of Indian cricket team.

"I think Gautam played an innings of a lifetime, I can say that because hardly any player plays for almost 11 hours nowadays. He is the one who saved the game for us. I think we can call him the second Wall of the Indian cricket team. This one comes from north."
nt fixture – as permanent as the superstars.

Gambhir"s success story has been nothing short of sensational. At 27 the pugnacious left-hander from Delhi had over the first three years of his Test career experienced the ups and downs being in and out of both the Test and ODI squads.

But since the Test series against Sri Lanka he has been a tower of strength at the top of the order, striking a particularly fruitful association with his Delhi mate and good friend Virender Sehwag and made it that much easier for the exalted middle order to play that much more freely. Mental strength allied to his natural talent and the capacity to rise to the occasion when the chips are down have seen Gambhir make giant strides.

From now on it is impossible to think of the Indian team without a substantial contribution from him at the top of the order. From being in and out of the team he is now a permanent fixture – as permanent as the superstars.

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