#1 Big match player (Top scorer in both ICC tournament finals)
There have been three significant moments in white-ball cricket for India in the 21st century, all three ICC World Championship triumphs (World T20 in 2007, World Cup in 2011, Champions Trophy in 2013). In two of those, Gautam Gambhir played a significant part in the final. However, with others performing and getting the man-of-the-match trophies, it has often been overlooked.
He had two big finals and he top-scored in both of those games. A very underrated yet big-match player.
#2 Unbeaten record as a skipper in international cricket
Gautam Gambhir, the captain will always be remembered for his exploits in the IPL. He led the Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles (in 2012 and 2014). After a lackluster first three seasons, the Gambhir-led KKR became one of the most consistent sides in the IPL.
While his record as an IPL captain is relatively known, his exploits as captain in international cricket are largely unknown. He has led India in 6 games (all of them in ODI cricket) and India have tasted victory in all 6 games. He led India in 2010 in a 5-match series against New Zealand at home and whitewashed the Kiwis 5-0.
He always had a terrific cricketing brain and his captaincy records speak for himself. However, it is unfortunate that he couldn’t lead India in more games as his captaincy skills were largely underused.
#3 Only Indian to score 300+ runs in four successive Test series
Gautam Gambhir scored 4156 Test runs at an average of 41.96. He represented India in 58 Test matches and has batted over 100 times in the whites. While he holds the record for being the only Indian to score five consecutive Test centuries, he is also just the second batsman after Sir Viv Richards to score 11 successive half-centuries.
There’s another special record that Gambhir holds. He is the only Indian to score over 300 runs in four consecutive Test series. He scored 310, 463, 361, and 445 runs against Sri Lanka (away), Australia (home), England (home), and New Zealand (away) respectively between 2008 and 2009.
He scored seven fifties and five hundred in this phase and India dominated during this phase as well. He also rose to the No. 1 Test ranking in this phase and was the best opening batsman going around in world cricket.
#4 Gautam Gambhir – The nationalist and humanitarian
Gambhir has been in the news for his off-field commitments as well. He is very vocal about his support for the jawans and the Indian army fighting at the border. He recently funded the education of children of CRPF jawans martyred in Chhattisgarh and Zohra.
He runs the Gautam Gambhir (GG) Foundation which works for the welfare of poor people. He recently announced the opening of a special kitchen through a tweet, ‘Compassion in my heart, a plate in my hand & a prayer on my lips ‘No one should sleep hungry’.
He has come out in support of transgenders as well. He has also been quite local about terrorism in India and has fought (and argued) multiple times against terrorists and terrorism in general.