India vs NZ: Gautam Gambhir's comeback is nice but all 15 players are available for selection, says Anil Kumble
While Shikhar Dhawan is running out of time, Gautam Gambhir would want to make the most of this opportunity if he gets to play at Eden Gardens for the second Test against New Zealand.
New Delhi: Indian cricket coach Anil Kumble today welcomed the comeback of Delhi batsman Gautam Gambhir into the Indian Test squad. (India vs NZ: Full coverage)
Gambhir, who last played a Test for India in 2014 during India's tour to England, was recalled as a replacement for opener Lokesh Rahul, who suffered an injury to his right hamstring during India's second innings at Kanpur.
Speaking at a press conference, Kumble, who recently became the coach of the Indian team, said while the Delhi batsman was back, his inclusion in the playing XI wasn't certain as all 15 players were available for selection. (Gautam Gambhir's Test comeback: Kolkata Knight Riders camp erupts with joy as BCCI recalls left-hander)
"I think it's really nice to have Gautam back. Gautam has done really well in domestic cricket. He is a part of the 15. I don't want to give away anything with regard to team combinations, but all 15 are available for selection. So it's nice to have him back," he said.
Gambhir had set the Indian domestic circuit on fire with impressive knocks.
In the recently concluded Duleep Trophy, the left-hander's form was vital in India Blue's title triumph. In five innings, Gambhir scored 356 runs at an impressive average of 71.20. In the summit clash, India Blue defeated Yuvraj Singh-led India Red to clinch the trophy. (Why Virat Kohli will pick Shikhar Dhawan over Gautam Gambhir to partner Murali Vijay)
But now that Rahul has been ruled out due to injury for the upcoming Kolkata Test, the fight is between Shikhar Dhawan and Gambhir for the opening slot with Murali Vijay as their partner.
Dhawan was left out of the fourth Test against West Indies, which was washed out due to rain. Even in the first Test against New Zealand, he was left out while Rahul opened the innings with Vijay.
While Dhawan is running out of time, Gambhir would want to make the most of this opportunity if he gets to play at Eden Gardens – which is a home ground for IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, of which he is the skipper. (How Shah Rukh Khan reacted after Gautam Gambhir was named KL Rahul's replacement)