‘Testing ‘ time for Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir’s worst fears have come true. Back in 2010, Gambhir was in a zone that everything he touched turned to gold. In the 13 Tests he has played since his return in 2008, Gambhir scored eight centuries — with five in a row — which also included the 11-hour-marathon hundred to save the Napier Test against New Zealand. It was a special one as it showed that the short-stature man was made of sterner stuff, says a report in Deccan Chronice.

“Cut to 2012, those words will be ringing in Gambhir ears. The painful 12-ball two runs that he managed on Saturday is a pale shadow of the Gambhir two years ago. The 30-year-old, who was racking up hundreds at will at one time, has not scored a century in more than two years. His last Test hundred was back in Jan. 2010 against Bangladesh, and thereafter has managed only 1044 runs in 39 innings at an average of 28.22,” says the report, adding that those statistics are a mighty fall from his best days, when he piled up 2692 runs from 50 innings, with an impressive average of 57.28.

“His downfall has quite naturally coincided with India’s slump — they lost all the overseas matches since then and have dropped off the perch to No. 5 in the rankings. On Saturday, he looked completely out of sorts in his 17-minute stay on a surface that was doing a bit, more so because of the overcast conditions than the extra-ordinary abilities of the Kiwi bowlers,” adds the report.

Meanwhile coming to Unmukt Chand, Hindustan Times reports that  he would be promoted to the second year of his undergraduate studies. Chand, who was prevented by the college from joining the second year due to shortage of attendance, will now be allowed to carry on with his studies in BA Programme. He will also be permitted to clear his backlog papers of the first two semesters in the current academic session.
“Unmukt Chand has distinguished himself and brought laurels to the country. Keeping in mind his outstanding achievement, and this is one of the rarest of rare cases in sports, we are allowing him to move to the second year of study. He will also be permitted to appear for the backlog exams of the first two semesters,” said Singh.

At a time when Unmukt Chand, the victorious captain of the U-19 World Cup winning India team had to fight it out with his college in court and media owing to insufficient attendance, Harmeet Singh, an integral member of Chand’s team is relishing the support provided by his college authorities here, says a report in The Asian Age.

On Friday, the Mumbai youngster received a cheque of `50,000 from Thakur College of Science and Commerce at a grand felicitation function here, which was also attended by his family members.

Hundreds of cheering college students danced to deafening drum beats, taking even the local hero by surprise. Harmeet, who admitted that the feeling was yet to sink in, was quick to thank the college staff.

“I am thankful to my college as they have stood by me through thick and thin. They were not judgmental in their approach and supported me even when I was an upcoming cricketer and not part of the India U-19 team, “ said the 19-year-old SYBCOM student.