Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir at one point of time was one of the essential players in the national team as he used to provide the required support to the batting order. Although the credit of winning two World Cups for India – the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup – is given to MS Dhoni, Gambhir played a crucial role in both these tournaments. He scored 75 runs in the 2007 World T20 Final versus Pakistan and 97 against Sri Lanka in the 2011 ODI World Cup final.
The southpaw, who is now a Member of Parliament, turned a year older today. As Gambhir celebrates his 39th birthday today, here are his five best knocks.
75 runs vs Pakistan in 2007 World T20 final
India in the 2007 T20 World Cup final against Pakistan did not get a good start as Yousuf Pathan got out after scoring 15. He had come to open with Gambhir. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals, but Gambhir stood at the crease, ensuring his side reached a respectable total. He made 75 in 54 balls at a strike rate of 138.88. He smashed eight boundaries and two sixes. He helped his team reach 157 in 20 overs. India won this game by five runs.
97 vs Sri Lanka in 2011 ODI World Cup final
Gambhir in this match played a crucial inning. India had lost two early wickets. Virender Sehwag, who came to open with Sachin Tendulkar, got out at duck. Tendulkar also gave away his wicket at 18. Then Gambhir, who came to bat at number three, tried to stitch a partnership with Kohli after Tendulkar walked back to the pavilion. But, Kohli got out at the score of 35. When it looked like India were losing grip on the match, Gambhir and Dhoni made a partnership, bringing their side back into the game. Gambhir got out after scoring 97 in 122 balls. However, by that time he had done his duty. Finally, Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh finished the game and India lifted the World Cup.
137 vs New Zealand at Napier in 2009
This was a match saving inning after India was made to follow on and was trailing by more than 300 runs. He made 137 runs in 436 balls, staying on the crease for 643 minutes. He stitched partnerships with Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman in that game. By the time he got out, the team had come out of the danger and the match was saved.
206 vs Australia at Delhi in 2008
In the third Test match of the series against Australia, Gambhir, capitalising on home conditions, played an outstanding knock. He scored 206 runs off 380 balls with 26 fours and a six. He made a partnership with Laxman who also scored 200 not out. The two helped team cross the score of 613 in the first innings. However, the match ended in a draw.
150 (not out) vs Sri Lanka at Kolkata in 2009
Batting first, Sri Lanka had set a target of 316 for India. Chasing the target, India lost two early wickets as Sehwag and Tendulkar got out at 10 and eight. Then Gambhir and Virat Kohli stood for long on the crease and stitched a huge partnership. Gambhir scored 150 (not out), while Kohli made 107. The southpaw powered his side to victory.