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Cricinfo: India v England 2008-09
CricinfoCricinfo: India v England 2008-09
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2nd Test: India v England at Mohali - Dec 19-23, 2008, 2008

Gambhir shines in Mohali gloom

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir scored his fourth Test century, and his third of the year, on a gloomy day in Mohali to take India to position of advantage at 179 for 1 before bad light prevented further play. He combined with Rahul Dravid in an unbeaten stand of 173 to help India recover well after the early loss of Virender Sehwag.

Gambhir played a patient game as the conditions and the pitch were favourable to seam bowling early in the day. He had to restrain himself early on to see off Stuart Broad and James Anderson who made good use of the conditions to generate swing both in and away from the batsmen to keep them on their guard.

Having seen off Broad's six testing opening overs, Gambhir took two fours off the seventh and gradually flourished against the rest of the attack. He motored along in the hope that the man at the other end would stick around to provide him company.

Gambhir had two lucky moments, both off Graeme Swann - a dropped catch by Collingwood when on 70 and, one run later, when he copped one on the pads, the ball seeming to have everything going for it except Daryl Harper's consent. They were rare moments of fortune in what was otherwise a commanding innings.

Three consecutive off-side doubles, each more aggressive than the last, took Gambhir to 99 and he duly raised a century off 214 balls with a trademark clip off the pads. In terms of balls faced, this was Gambhir's slowest hundred but it will give him immense satisfaction for he has helped lay the platform for a formidable Indian score.