Gautam Gambhir Picks This Star Performer Should Get Player Of The Match Award Instead Of Virat Kohli Against Pakistan

Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian opener known for his bold opinions, once again stirred the cricketing pot with his unique perspective. His recent comment after the India vs. Pakistan Asia Cup Super 4 match in Colombo raised eyebrows and sparked debates among cricket enthusiasts. Gambhir, never one to shy away from strong opinions, made an unconventional choice for the Player of the Match, and it wasn’t Virat Kohli or KL Rahul. 

Virat Kohli’s performance in the match was nothing short of spectacular. He smashed multiple records during the game. Kohli became the fastest cricketer to reach 13,000 ODI runs, a remarkable feat. Furthermore, he inched closer to equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record for ODI centuries (49). Another milestone was Kohli’s achievement of equaling Hashim Amla’s record for scoring the most consecutive ODI centuries (4) at a single venue. Kohli’s unbeaten 122-run knock and KL Rahul’s sublime 111*propelled India to their joint-highest ODI total of 356 against Pakistan.

Colombo’s pitch conditions, where a score of 250-260 is generally considered competitive, made chasing 357 runs a formidable task for any team. In this context, it was evident that India had batted Pakistan out of contention. As he has done on numerous occasions, Kohli played a pivotal role in this achievement. His innings, with a strike rate of 147, were undoubtedly a match-winning performance, given the challenging conditions and the quality of the Pakistan bowlers.

However, Gautam Gambhir had a different perspective. When asked to pick the Player of the Match during the post-match show on Star Sports, Gambhir surprised many by choosing left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Yadav had picked up his maiden five-wicket haul against Pakistan, dismantling their batting order and leaving them with no real chance of chasing the daunting target.

Gambhir explained his choice, emphasizing that Kuldeep Yadav’s performance was game-changing. He noted that on a pitch that offered seam movement and swing, Yadav’s ability to take five wickets in just 8 overs was exceptional. Gambhir also highlighted that Pakistan’s batters, traditionally strong players of spin, were thoroughly outfoxed by Yadav.

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“For me, it’s Kuldeep Yadav. Can’t look beyond him. I know Virat got a hundred KL (Rahul) got a hundred. Rohit (Sharma), Shubman Gill got fifties but on a wicket like this where it was seaming swinging, if someone get five wickets in 8 overs, especially against Pakistan batters, who play spin really well, is a game-changing moment. I can understand if it was Australia, South Africa or New Zealand because they don’t play spin that well. This just shows the quality of the bowler. He beat batters in the air and he beat batters off the wicket as well. Going into the World Cup, that is great for Indian cricket because now you have two attacking pacers upfront and Kuldeep… Three bowlers who can take wickets at any stage of the game,” Gambhir said.

Gambhir’s choice of Kuldeep Yadav as the Player of the Match was more than a momentary opinion. He said this performance was crucial for Indian cricket as they approach the World Cup. With two attacking pacers upfront and a spinner like Kuldeep, who can significantly impact any game stage, India’s bowling arsenal is looking formidable.

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