The unsung hero ~ Cricket Blog - THE COMMENTARY BOX



Thursday, September 27, 2007

The unsung hero

I think it is almost unfair that Yuvraj performed so well for India that the other real hero in India's triumph really did not make it big in all the news stories going around about the new 'n' young team. Dhoni was praised for his captaincy and Rohit Sharma for a fearless debut and the bowlers for containing the batsman.

But another deserving person that has really not recieved as much attention is Gautam Gambhir. Just take a look at his stats and you will see what I mean. He scored 227 invaluable runs for India in the World Cup at a very impressive average of 37.83 runs per match. What's more is that he was the second most prolific run getter in the tournament after Matthew Hayden and I suspect he would have bettered Hayden had the Scotland match not been rained out.

Maybe the cause for his not really being in the media eye was his strike rate. 129.71 is obviously lower than the strike-rates of some of the other players but the steady starts that he gave certainly proved very useful for those coming lower down enabling them to chance their arms around.

Infact I really think Gambhir deserved to have been awarded the Man of the Match award ahead of Irfan Pathan for his extremely sensible innings in the finals when the 'big stars' couldn't come up with the stuff. He scored almost half of the team's total in that game and his delightfully risk-free and clean, yet run-fetching, strokes were truly of the finest class. If not for him, I doubt if we would have been able to reach that score of 157.

Anyway, I am pretty sure the unsung hero's consistently good performances have not escaped the notice of the selectors and he should be opening the innings with Sehwag in the home series against Australia which leaves an unanswered question: Where in the batting line-up will the selectors find a place for Ganguly and Tendulkar? Only time will tell.

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