Vizag Test 'make or break' for Gautam Gambhir as KL Rahul looks to partner Murali Vijay in Mohali
The 35-year-old Gambhir only gathered 29 runs in 1st innings, followed by a duck in the opening Test in Rajkot.
New Delhi: Veteran Indian opener Gautam Gambhir won back selectors' trust with some special knocks in Duleep Trophy and Ranji Trophy. The left-hander's performance against New Zealand in the only Test he played was also deemed good enough by the selection committee to grant him a chance for England series.
Injuries to fellow openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan meant Gambhir didn't have any competition whatsoever for a place in final XI.
Coach, captain, selectors and especially fans backed Gautam to form a formidable opening pair with Murali Vijay and show everyone that he has still got fire in his belly.
The 35-year-old gathered 29 runs in 1st innings, followed by a duck in the opening Test in Rajkot.
The news of KL Rahul being declared fit and included in the roster for 2nd Test in Mohali will certainly bring chills down Gautam Gambhir's spine as he now has a fierce competitor battling to regain his spot in match squad.
Ensuring selectors of his form and fitness, Rahul smashed 76 off only 85 balls as Karnataka scored 345 for six against Rajasthan in a group B Ranji Trophy.
A subsequent knock of 106 runs including 13 fours and 4 six in his 131-ball journey was enough to vanish selectors' doubts, if they had any.
The second Test of the 5-match series begins in Vizag on Novemeber 17 and Gambhir might just get the nod to partner Vijay once again but Rahul's inclusion means that the Delhi boy will most likely have to settle for a place on bench in the 3rd Test.
The young and dynamic 24-year-old Rahul is already a favourite after impressive performances in West Indies and also against New Zealand in 1st Test.
The Karnataka lad, who made his Test debut against Australia in 2014, has so far played nine matches and scored 562 runs including three hundreds.
Provided Rahul is not rushed back into the final XI straight away, Gambhir only has the 2nd Test to show selectors that he still has some form at the International level left, and with the Karnataka batsman waiting in wings, he might as well make this opportunity count, as another failure could possibly bring an end to what was considered a second birth for the left-handed veteran.