HomeAnalysisGautam Gambhir: The Unacknowledged Hero Of India's World Cup...

Gautam Gambhir: The Unacknowledged Hero Of India’s World Cup Wins

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Gautam Gambhir was India’s premier opener from 2003 to 2016. The man who delivered at the biggest of stages for his country, twice.

A true soldier of the game, who played an integral role in India’s both World Cup wins.

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As India completed nine year of its World Cup win in 2011, we celebrate the match saving performances of Gautam Gambhir in 2007 and 2011 World Cup win.

2007 Twenty20 World Cup

Gautam Gambhir The Unsing Hero of Indian Cricket
Gautam Gambhir was the 2nd highest scorer India’s 2007 T20 World Cup win (imagecredits:zeenews)

The stage was set in the finals as the arch rivals India and Pakistan were to battle it out for the first Twenty20 World Cup trophy.

The opening veteran Virender Sehwag was not playing the final. So, Gautam Gambhir had to lead the batting line up alongside the debutant Yusuf Pathan.

Yusuf Pathan was dismissed cheaply for 15 runs. India soon lost their second wicket and were 40 for 2. Yuvraj Singh, the man in form came in to bat at number 4 but failed make an impact.

Gambhir was clinically finding boundaries against the Pakistani spin attack. He added 49 runs in the 63 runs partnership with Yuvraj Singh before Yuvraj was dismissed for 14 runs from 19 deliveries.

Soon, MS Dhoni was bowled for 6 runs from 10 deliveries and India was 111 for 4 wickets. Gautam Gambhir played a knock of 75 runs from 54 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes that allowed India to reach a defendable total.

Gambhir was caught out to short fine leg in the 18th over. Rohit Sharma’s quick 30 from 16 balls helped India reach a total of 157. Considering that Pakistan conceded 6 extras, Gautam Gambhir alone scored 50% of the team’s final total.

In the second innings RP Singh got rid of Hafeez and Akmal in the first and third over respectively. Misbah-Ul-Haq arrived at the crease with Pakistan at 65 for 4. In the 12th over Irfan Pathan got rid of Shoaib Malik and the dangerous Shahid Afridi in consecutive deliveries.

India won the match in the last over.

Irfan Pathan was declared as the Man of the Match for finishing his 4 overs with 3 wickets for 16 runs. As Gautam Gambhir, the 2nd highest scorer of the tournament and the man whose contribution helped India reach a respectable total remained the unsung hero of that final.

The Sheet Anchor of 2011 World Cup Finals

Gautam Gambhir The Unsing Hero of Indian Cricket
Gautam Gambhir held one end when India were struggling at 31 for 2 in the 2011 World Cup Win (Image Credits: Indiatoday)

Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat first. Mahela Jayawardene completed his century in the 48th over and Sri Lanka scored 18 runs of the last over. Sri Lanka finished their innings at 274 for 6 with the momentum on their side.

Lasith Malinga got rid of the explosive opener Sehwag for a duck in the second ball of the innings. In the 7th over, Malinga dismissed Sachin Tendulkar and left india struggling at 31 for 2.

Gautam Gambhir walked into bat in the first over. After Sachin’s wicket, Kohli and Gambhir added 83 runs together when Kohli was dismissed by Dilshan with a stunning one-hand catch.

MS Dhoni promoted himself up the order ahead of the in form Yuvraj Singh. Gambhir and Dhoni added 108 runs before Gambhir was bowled with 97 runs from 121 balls.

India now required 52 runs from 53 deliveries with Dhoni and Yuvraj at the crease. India won the world cup with Dhoni’s six over long on. Dhoni was awarded the man of the match award for his 91 runs from 79 balls.

Gautam Gambhir entered the battle in the 1st over and fought bravely till the 42nd over. He was a part of two crucial partnerships with Kohli and Dhoni before he fell three runs short of a well deserving century.

MS Dhoni was awarded the man of the match award for taking the charge, coming up the order and ensuring India’s win with 91 runs. Once again, the heroics of Gautam Gambhir was not given the deserving recognition.

Deserves Acknowledgement For Match Saving Performances

The Man of the Match award is given to the player with a match winning performance. In 2007 Twenty20 World Cup Win it was Irfan Pathan and in 2011 World Cup win it was MS Dhoni.

But Without Gambhir, we wouldn’t have had a total to defend and in 2007 and maybe we wouldn’t have recovered back from 31 for 2.

If the award was given to the player with a match saving performance. Probably, Gautam Gambhir would have been the Man of the Match in both the finals.

After 9 years of the win, we still see the country lauding only MS Dhoni for his performance and crediting him with the World Cup win.

The 2011 World Cup win was a team effort to say the least and many players contributed at various stages. Gautam Gambhir’s contributions were all the more vital and deserve acknowledgement along with others.

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