Gautam Gambhir’s final look in aggressive cricket will include an emotional overtone to an otherwise ordinary Ranji Trophy group league encounter between a depleted Delhi and Andhra starting here from Thursday.
Among the biggest names to ever overlook the Delhi jersey, Gambhir is retiring from his religious house, the Feroz Shah Kotla, amidst an outpouring of emotion on social networking, where he enjoys a sizeable following.
However, Delhi could have ideally liked the veteran left-hander to complete the time but having understood a good IPL bargain is a long shot, Gambhir did what any player who’s played a little international cricket could perform — retire with minimal fuss.
While it’s a fantasy for any player to retire in an Indian jersey, Gambhir is going to be happy he is calling it quits on his own terms even though his condition team is in a spot of trouble.
Together with the regular captain, Nitish Rana and the gifted Himmat Singh off on national duty (with Emerging India squad), Gambhir’s experience was much more demanded at this point where a few bad games will put Delhi out of knock-out contention.
Gambhir will be the star attraction even as home team coach Mithun Manhas intends to hand three debuts.
One of them will be U-23 captain Jonty Sidhu, whose older team debut has been much expected after a series of great shows at the U-19 and U-23 level. A former U-19 India captain, the lanky left-hander Jonty is also a brilliant fielder and will replace skipper Rana from the playing XI as Dhruv Shorey leads the side.
Another debutant may be left-arm spinner Shivank Vasist while veteran Vaibhav Rawal could come in place of Himmat. The 3 players out of those 15 are Sarthak Ranjan, Kunwar Bodhuri, both of whom failed in the last match, along with left-arm spinner Varun Sood.