The transformation of Gambhir from just another cog in the wheel to one of the batting mainstays commenced in 2008 and continued through 2009. The ICC Test player of the year notched up big scores and amassed runs in all formats of the game but it was his performance in Test cricket that really attracted worldwide attention.
He made the runs in difficult circumstances against tough opponents both home and away and the crowning glory was four centuries in successive Tests against New Zealand and Sri Lanka. On the tour of New Zealand Gambhir removed question marks over his temperament and batting outside the sub continent with a series of sterling displays.
He had a series topping 445 runs with two centuries in the three Tests the highlight being a marathon 137 in the second Test at Napier for which he batted 10-3/4 hours while negotiating 436 balls to help India save the match. Successive centuries in two Tests late in the year against Sri Lanka brought his tally of three figure knocks in the last nine matches to seven and saw his average surge towards the 57 mark.
In the big league now the pugnacious left handed opener is part of a lustrous Indian batting quintet even as he continued to be among the runs in limited overs cricket.