It's tough to understand what Gautam Gambhir is going through right now. It took the classy left-hander ages to cement his place in the Indian team, and once he had done it, he looked good enough to be there forever. He formed a lethal opening combo with Virender Sehwag.

The latter in fact, even called Gambhir "the best opener for India since Sunil Gavaskar," as the Delhi batsman scored runs in all conditions.

Who can forget Gambhir's 93 against South Africa at Cape Town (with a swollen arm) in 2011, the match-saving 137 against New Zealand at Napier in 2009, or the double hundred against the Aussies at Kotla in 2008? Why, he was even labelled as India's captain-in-waiting.

Then, bad habits crept in and the bad times arrived. Runs dried up and it led to his eventual ouster. Despite managing 251 runs in four Tests against England @41.83 at home, Gambhir has been dropped for the first two Tests against Australia. Was he made the scapegoat for the Test losses against England and the ODI reversals against Pakistan (he scored 34 runs in three games)?

He hasn't scored a Test hundred in more than three years now. In recent times, he has repeatedly got out caught behind or in the slips. What is wrong with Gambhir?

"He is transferring his weight too early on the backfoot, which is why he is edging the ball behind while trying to cut. When you meet the ball, your weight should be on the front foot, but in his case it is entirely on the backfoot. When I coached Delhi (back in 2007-08), I corrected that. Also, you aren't an opener if you don't leave the ball. He doesn't do that enough," says former India all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar.

Gambhir's coach Sanjay Bhardwaj feels his ward has got a raw deal. "He scored runs against England (scores of 65, 60, 40 & 37). I don't think anyone in India has been dropped after such a performance. It's just that the hundreds haven't come," he says. He makes another pertinent point when he adds, "They should have at least played him in the Irani Cup."

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Keywords:Gautam Gambhir,Indian team,opening combo , Virender Sehwag,Sunil Gavaskar, Delhi batsman , ODI,Manoj Prabhakar,Sanjay Bhardwaj ,Irani Cup,sports news,cricket news