Former India captain Sourav Ganguly backs Gambhir, says the opener will be at his best soon
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has backed under-fire opener Gautam Gambhir to come good in the remaining three Tests against Australia after his forgettable performance in the just-concluded first Test here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
A lot was expected off Gambhir as India began their pursuit of 292 on Day 4 yesterday. Gambhir hasn't scored a hundred in close to two years, but his 643-minute marathon at Napier in 2009 followed by three successive fifties in South Africa have given him the reputation of someone who will stand up in hard times.
Bounced out: Gautam Gambhir jumps to play an express delivery in
Melbourne yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
While batting on nine off 39 balls, all at sea against Australia's pace trio, Ian Chappell said on Channel 9: "Gautam doesn't know where his off-stump is at the moment. But he's a tough character. He holds the key for India now." In the next over, Gambhir continued to give the indication of someone tentative of leaving the ball at length.
All through his knocks in NZ and SA, Gambhir survived by either leaving a ball on line, or just defending it. When Peter Siddle angled one at short of good length, Gambhir ended up shuddering his hands slightly to the left, poked at the ball. It was almost a replica of his dismissal in the first innings. But Ganguly is not worried. "He has just played his first Test match in Australia. Give the guy a break. It's unfair to question him," Ganguly told MiD DAY.
Ganguly felt Gambhir was playing the ball too late. "I think it's too early to jump the gun on Gauti. He's playing the ball too late -- and because of that he is getting caught on the back foot. It's not always a bad thing to play the ball late but it's getting him out here.
He needs to make that slight adjustment here. I am sure he'll make it soon. You have to be able to leave on both line and length. I wouldn't say that he could have left the ball that he got out to (off Siddle). It was a top delivery.
If you noticed, his bat was pointing towards the ground. His bat needs to be more upright while playing a short ball outside off-stump," said Ganguly. "I thought he played magnificently in NZ and SA. So, his technique shouldn't be questioned. I am very confident that he will score big runs on this tour. He will come out of his poor run. India needs him and Viru (Virender Sehwag) to fire," he signed off.