iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Anand Sachar, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, December 12, 2012
After Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag finished their nets session on Tuesday, the two had a lengthy discussion on the sidelines. Their opening partnership will be extremely crucial if India are to reverse the losing trend against England. And, the duo knows it all too well.
For an inexperienced middle order - barring Sachin Tendulkar - to fire, they need a solid platform and who better than the two Delhi dashers to provide the perfect start. While Gambhir and Sehwag have been getting decent starts in the series, the need of the hour is to make a telling contribution, because whenever they have been involved in a big partnership, India have flourished.

On Wednesday, there was a slight setback when unconfirmed media reports stated that Dhoni was not happy with Gambhir. However, the skipper came out with wholesome praise for the left hander. "The best thing about him (Gambhir) is that he is an aggressive player. I don't mean only stepping out and hitting the ball, but even defending the ball positively. It's his aggressive mindset."

Dhoni also hoped that Gambhir would click in the must-win clash.

"His batting has improved, you can see he has been batting beautifully in the last couple of games. He is a big-game player and I hope he can convert his starts. He is taking time but I am hopeful he can get us a good one," said the skipper.

In the only game that India won at Ahmedabad, Sehwag gave a perfect start, slamming 117 and stitching a 134-run partnership with Gambhir.

The last time India beat England before the Ahmedabad Test, in Chennai 2008, the duo had a 117-run partnership in the second innings. The stand was vital in India chasing down a mammoth 387.