Gautam Gambhir finally landed in Kolkata to join India’s Test squad for the remainder of Test series against New Zealand. The flamboyant left-hand batter from Delhi has replaced injured KL Rahul in the squad. Gambhir made a cut in the Indian Test after a gap of 2 years.
He last played for the country in August 2014 against England and failed miserably to embark an impression for a permanent place under the reigns of then captain MS Dhoni.
Though, India’s poster boy doesn’t persist a remembering outing in his last international appearance but he surely forced the selectors to exalt his domestic performances in the recent past. The left-hander scored four half centuries during the course of his five Duleep trophy innings which also included two scores of 90 and above.
The left-right contradiction
India is quite well known cricketing fraternity to work on the principle of left-right combination especially when it comes down to opening a Test innings. Instances of Sourav Ganguly-Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag-Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay-Shikhar Dhawan and so on.
In their first quest at Green Park, India opted for two right-handers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul to open the innings while the lefty Shikhar was warming the benches. A question that plays with the current scenario whether India would go with two right-handed batsmen for the opening stand or will the Virat Kohli-led team get back to the basics.
In both conditions, playing Gambhir in the final XI leaves a question mark for everyone.
Dhawan hasn’t had a purple patch with his last few performances but his stroke making ability surely can leave Gambhir’s place for the top XI in a dilemma.
Right for a right
The same question further follows that why not a right hander got a place in the Indian dressing room to replace KL Rahul.
Mayank Agarwal who fills the form for this opening slot quite efficiently and also ticks every box without any lapses could have been a choice for the selectors.
Agarwal scored over 400 runs in Duleep trophy while playing for winners India Blue. His innings included a ton along with four half centuries.
The most important part of the debate which would fetch all attention is his age. The Karnataka batsman is just 25 and a place in Indian colors at this point would have been a fruitful cause for Indian cricket.
Matching the genre, recent run feast and a great form at his disposal, an ignored Mayan Agarwal would have a thought about what went wrong in the present scene that he won’t don India’s Test jersey for now.
How long a career
Gambhir is 34 and if he’s able to his worth in this series, the Delhi dasher would sustain a place atleast in the Test standards.
BUT WHAT NEXT…??? Even if he attains a good place in the Indian squad again, for how long is it going to be beneficial for India.
With Murali Vijay too persisting an age of 32, Dhawan being 30 and having a Test record which is quite forgettable, what names would be there at no.1 and no.2 spots.
This surely is a huge question. Though, the way KL Rahul has been performing with the bat, it seems he would be a thorough customer of the Indian hut but at the same time the hunt for his permanent partner would be a task of intelligence as well as hard work for the selectors.
For now there are a lot of question marks in the kitty especially with regard to future of Indian cricket when it would come down to permanent pair for opening slot. A rigorous hunt is surely on the cards for Indian selectors instead of a competition among the youngsters to find a place in Indian team.
India have already taken a lead of 1-0 in the three-match Test series against New Zealand and will now play their second game in Kolkata from September 30.