VVS Laxman on Thursday paid tribute to Gautam Gambhir, saying that the former Indian opener was totally obsessed with the game and never shied away from a challenge that came his way on the cricket field.
"Massively inquisitive and totally obsessed with the game, Gautam Gambhir never shied away from a challenge on a cricket field. Whether it was taking on express pace bowlers on spicy tracks overseas or standing up for a wronged teammate, he knew not what it was to back down," Laxman said in a tweet.
Gambhir, who made his international debut for India in 2003, played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is in which he scored 4154, 5238 and 932 runs respectively.
The former left-handed batsman was part of India's successful campaign at the 2007 World T20 where he was the second-highest scorer in the tournament with 227 runs in seven innings. He scored 75 runs from 54 balls in the final against Pakistan which India won at the Wanderers.
His decisive knock in the final of the 2011 ODI World Cup, which India won beating Sri Lanka at the Wankhede, made him a national hero of sorts. The 38-year-old scored 97 runs off 122 balls as the MS Dhoni-led side ended India's World Cup drought of 28 years.
Gambhir also led Kolkata Knight Riders to two Indian Premier League (IPL) titles in 2012 and 2014.
In December 2018, Gambhir announced his retirement from all forms of cricket and is now a BJP parliamentarian from the East Delhi constituency.