Gautam Gambhir on selectors’ radar if KL Rahul fails to recover in time


New Delhi: Opportunity could once again knock on discarded Indian opener Gautam Gambhir’s door. If various reports are to be believed the left-handed opening batsman might be included in the India’s Test squad for the Kolkata Test. However, there is a catch to it. If KL Rahul, who suffered a hamstring injury during the first Test at Kanpur, fails to recover on time Gambhir is likely to replace him.

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According to a Wisden India report, Gambhir's career might get an unexpected boost due to Rahul's hamstring injury. Virat Kohli's men registered their first victory of the long home season, which incidentally was also India's 500th Test. New Zealand failed to show resistance against the duo of Ravichandran Ashwin-Ravindra Jadeja, ultimately losing the match by 197 runs.

BCCI reported Rahul's injury as a slight niggle, but it appears to be a serious injury after Gambhir was asked to join the Indian squad as a back-up opener by coach Anil Kumble, India Today reported.

Calls for Gambhir's inclusion in the India's team increased after he had a spectacular run in the recently-concluded Duleep Trophy. The left-hander scored 94, 36, 90, 59 and 77 as he led India Blue to the title. It was also India's first day-night domestic tournament which was played with the pink ball.

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 who played his last Test in 2014 against England in Oval.

Ishant Sharma was also ruled out of the first Test after Kumble announced that the fast bowler is recovering from chikungunya. India, after winning the first Test, have a realistic chance to regain ICC Test Rankings top spot if they win the second Test. The match will be played at Kolkata and will also be Indian team's 250th Test at home.

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