As India prepares to host the 2023 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the country’s magnificent win in 2011. One unforgettable moment from that tournament was the power-packed partnership between MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. However, beyond the on-field heroics, there’s a lesser-known player whose contribution often goes unnoticed – Gautam Gambhir.
The Unsung Hero: Gautam Gambhir
In a recent episode of the Kutti Stories with Ash podcast, aptly titled ‘The Legend of Dhoni’s Men’, Ravichandran Ashwin and Harsha Bhogle shed light on the momentous finale of the 2011 World Cup and Gambhir’s crucial role in it. Bhogle praised Gambhir for his ability to fly under the radar and play for the team’s success rather than personal glory. Gambhir’s presence in the batting lineup brought balance and added a dynamic left-handed presence at number three.
An Overlooked Gem
Ashwin joined Bhogle in acknowledging Gambhir’s contributions and described him as an “unsung hero” with unparalleled dedication to the team. Despite being an exceptional player of spin and possessing a keen cricketing mind, Gambhir often finds himself misunderstood. Ashwin emphasized Gambhir’s selflessness and highlighted the pressure he absorbed during the final against Sri Lanka after the early dismissals of Sehwag, Tendulkar, and Kohli. Gambhir’s innings of 97 runs off 122 balls played a significant role in India’s ultimate victory.
A Respected Figure
Ashwin expressed his deep respect for Gambhir and lamented the lack of recognition he receives. As the 2023 World Cup approaches, Ashwin is part of the Indian squad gearing up for their first match against Australia on October 8. The Indian squad for the tournament includes Rohit Sharma (Captain), Hardik Pandya (Vice Captain), and a talented lineup of players.
Gautam Gambhir’s contributions to India’s World Cup triumph in 2011 should not be overshadowed. His role as a selfless team player, exceptional batsman, and astute reader of the game played a vital part in the team’s success. As India gets ready to host the 2023 World Cup, it’s important to recognize and appreciate the unsung heroes who have made significant contributions to Indian cricket.