India`s tour of England: Stern test waiting for `reserve` opener Gambhir

Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai

After performing decently in the domestic league and then in Indian Premier League`s seventh edition, Gautam Gambhir has been called back in the Indian Test squad for the five-match Test series against England.

The Delhi opener last played a Test in December 13-17, 2012 against England. For the much anticipated tour, the southpaw has been given the role of a reserve opener. But chances are high that he gets a chance sooner or later in the series to prove his point in English conditions. He is the only player in the current Test squad who has played Test cricket in England along with the skipper MS Dhoni and Ishant Sharma.

In fact, the Delhi opener would be high on confidence after leading his IPL franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders to it`s second IPL title in three years. Gambhir has been good for Delhi in the Ranji season too. But after a forgettable start with the bat in the IPL-7, he got his Mojo back and played match-wining knocks for his side.

The role of openers during the England tour would be crucial for India, where the new duke ball seams and swings a lot. There is a possibility that openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan would be Dhoni`s first priority but if any one of them failed to impress in the first couple of matches, Dhoni won`t think twice before giving Gambhir a chance to open for India.

In the first warm-up match against Leicestershire, Gambhir showed the glimpse of his former self by scoring a fluent fifty-run knock on the first day of their three-day game.

But probably it would be ageing opener`s last chance to prove that he still has a lot of cricket left in him.