New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday announced retirement from all forms of cricket. He announced his retirement via an emotional video message on his social media accounts. The Delhi left-hander might not be the part of the Indian side anymore, but Gambhir is regarded as one of the finest cricketers to have played for India.
“The most difficult decisions are often taken with the heaviest of hearts. And with one heavy heart, I’ve decided to make an announcement that I’ve dreaded all my life,” Gambhir tweeted. Gambhir’s illustrious career spanning over a decade saw him become one of the vital cogs of the Indian team under MS Dhoni. He played an instrumental role in India’s successful campaign at the 2007 T20 World Cup before playing a vital role at the 2011 World Cup which India won after beating Sri Lanka in the final at the Wankhede Stadium. In both the World Cup finals, Gambhir was the highest scorer for the Men in Blue.
Gambhir last played for India in December 2016 in a Test match against England in a home series. The southpaw played a total of 58 Test matches and 147 ODIs for India after making his international debut in April 2003. One of the greatest servants of the game, Gambhir scored 4154 runs in Tests at an average of 41.95 while in ODIs he scored 5238 runs at an average of 39.68 and a strike rate of 85.25.
Gambhir scored 75 off 54 deliveries in the 2007 T20I World Cup final against arch-rivals Pakistan. He was the top-scorer for India in the match and helped the team post a challenging total of 157/5 on the board. Pakistan faltered in the chase and fell short by five runs as India scripted history by winning the inaugural edition of the T20I World Cup.
Gambhir went on to play another memorable innings on a big stage, as he anchored India’s chase in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka. Gambhir scored a fine 97 off 122 deliveries with the help of nine boundaries as India chased down the target of 275 runs with ten balls to spare. Though his innings is not as much remembered as Dhoni’s World Cup-winning six, it will go down in the history as one of the finest innings by the former Indian opener throughout his career.