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Gautam Gambhir Reveals Favorite Cricketing Memory, And It's Not The World Cups

Likely to be appointed as the next head coach of the Indian cricket team, Gautam Gambhir was one of the finest openers produced by the national side across formats. He delivered some iconic moments for the country and was a crucial member of MS Dhoni-led teams that won the 2007 T20 World Cup and the […]

Gautam Gambhir (File photo)
Gautam Gambhir (File photo)

Likely to be appointed as the next head coach of the Indian cricket team, Gautam Gambhir was one of the finest openers produced by the national side across formats. He delivered some iconic moments for the country and was a crucial member of MS Dhoni-led teams that won the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Gambhir was the star performer in the finals of both tournaments, being the top scorer for the Men in Blue. In the 2007 T20 World Cup final, he played a crucial knock of 75 against Pakistan. Later, in the 2011 World Cup final, he scored 97 runs against Sri Lanka, rescuing the team after early dismissals of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar during a challenging chase.

However, when asked about his favorite cricketing memory, Gambhir surprisingly did not mention these events. Instead, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) mentor chose his match-saving knock against New Zealand in a 2009 Test match in Napier. Gambhir reminisced about batting for two and a half days to ensure India did not lose the game, maintaining their 1-0 lead in the series. The former Indian opener noted that he had never batted this long in his career prior to that match. The 2009 ICC Test player of the year recalled a conversation with VVS Laxman about how he managed to bat an entire session without uttering a single word.

“My favorite cricketing memory is not about World Cups. Never thought that someone like me, who’s been so impatient and could play for two and a half days to save the Test match, I had to get out of that comfort zone because I had never imagined that. To save the Test match, I had to bat two and a half days. I’ve never batted two and a half days ever in my life from school cricket to any form of cricket. I don’t know how it happened because I got into that zone. I remember batting on day five with VVS Laxman, and the session was between Lunch and Tea,” said Gambhir at a Forbes India event.

“We were back in the dressing room and he told me, ‘Do you realize one thing? You have not uttered one word for two hours.’ Actually, I didn’t realize it. He said, ‘You have not spoken a single word,’ and that is the kind of zone I was in. That is something that is the memory closest to my heart because, if given a chance, I don’t think I can do it again,” Gambhir added.

For context, New Zealand had taken a 314-run first-innings lead and enforced a follow-on against India. With the visitors seemingly set for a defeat, Gambhir played an extraordinary knock of 137 runs off 436 balls, ensuring India drew the game by reaching 475-4 in their second innings.

Regarding the series, India won the first Test, drew the second, and the third game also ended in a draw. This ensured India’s first-ever series victory on New Zealand soil in 41 years.

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Cricketing MemoryGautam GambhirTDGThe Daily GuardianWorld Cups