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Fighter in Gauti comes alive

He may not be as accomplished a batsman as a few others in the side, but when it comes to fighting it out in adverse situations, Gautam Gambhir is second to none. Subhash Rajta reports.

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2011 01:17 IST
Subhash Rajta

He may not be as accomplished a batsman as a few others in the side, but when it comes to fighting it out in adverse situations, Gautam Gambhir is second to none.

On Thursday, he gave more proof of his fighting abilities as he came up with a combative half-century to stave off South African attack and guide India to a draw.

A close to four-and-a-half hour vigil on the wicket would anyway have been special on the last day of the match, but given that he did it with a bruised elbow and injured hand makes it even more praiseworthy.

Just like injured Jacques Kallis battled hard to bail out his side on Wednesday, Gambhir held fort for India. To make it even more difficult for him, a Morne Morkel delivery struck him on the bruised elbow --- which he had been nursing with ice since Tuesday --- in the very second over of the day.

Just like Kallis, he too looked in pain, but chose to play on and ensured India didn't lose on the last day. While the knock was far from being convincing or classy, Gambhir deserves praise for not throwing it away and fighting on as long as he could.

In fact, it has been the hallmark of his journey in South Africa. He hasn't looked too comfortable or convincing right from the first match, but he always showed the guts to fight on. Even as Morkel sent down a barrage of bouncers, the left-hander didn't give in.

Gambhir is leaving South Africa with three half-centuries from four innings, and that's something no other Indian opener has managed. Besides, unlike many other Test stalwarts who came earlier to SA and had some time to get used to the conditions, Gambhir was amongst the last to arrive and headed straight into battle.

Yet, he has responded well, and gone back with his reputation enhanced.