Gautam Gambhir was announced as KL Rahul's replacement for the ongoing India Test series against New Zealand on Tuesday after Rahul picked up a hamstring injury in the opening Test in Kanpur while running between the wickets.
The southpaw's Test career has received an unexpected boost, and he has been included in the national Test squad after a period of two years. Meanwhile, Jayant Yadav was also picked as a replacement for Ishant Sharma who is suffering from chikungunya.
Gambhir played his last Test in August 2014, during India's tour to England. In that series, he registered only 25 runs in four innings, with India losing 3-1 in the five-match series, despite taking a 1-0 lead.
At 34, Gambhir's international career seemed all but over after he was not named in the original squad despite putting up great performances in the recently-concluded Duleep Trophy. The left-hander scored 94, 36, 90, 59 and 77 to led India Blue to the title. The tournament was India's first day-night domestic tournament which was played with the pink ball.
Given his recent form and ample experience, BCCI's decision to recall him isn't such a big surprise. "Gambhir is definitely under consideration because he has been doing extremely well, and even the team management feels that with 12-13 Test matches coming up there needs to be some experience [at the top]," a BCCI insider reportedly told ESPNCricinfo.
However, it is still uncertain whether Gambhir would walk into the playing XI given the fact that Shikhar Dhawan is already in the squad as a back-up opener. Dhawan, who has been an active member of the Indian squad since his debut against Australia might just get the nod ahead of Gambhir.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 27, 2016