I struggled with vision - Gambhir
Concussed India opener Gautam Gambhir is still suffering from the after-effects of the fall he took during The Oval Test, and has been advised complete rest for ten days along with medication that should help him recover faster.
Gambhir vomited even during the flight back to India, and has been told by the specialist that he shouldn't have stayed back for so long. "The doctors said if you are still dizzy and puking, these are clear symptoms of concussion," Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo.
During what was a wretched tour of England for him, a full-blooded sweep from Matt Prior hit him on the left elbow when he was fielding at forward short leg during the first Test. He couldn't open the second innings of that Test, and batted at No. 4 on the fifth day. There he batted for 70 minutes in India's unsuccessful attempt to draw the Lord's Test.
The scans didn't show any break, but the intense pain ruled him out of the second Test. In the final Test of the series, even before he got a chance to bat, he fell awkwardly on his head while trying to catch a skier. That left him concussed. He came out to bat twice despite dizziness and blurry vision, but lower down the order. However, it was clear he was having trouble sighting the ball, and could barely exert himself when running between the wickets. He batted for close to two hours over the two innings. He described his condition thus: "If I looked down, I felt like puking. If I tried to focus on one object, that made me feel dizzy. The vision remained blurry."
Since Gambhir's comeback to the Test side during the tour of Sri Lanka in 2008, this was the first time he ended a series longer than two matches with an average of less than 40.00. "You can't even get down to thinking of the performance when you have batted through injury three out of the six innings," Gambhir said.
Gambhir is no stranger to batting through injury or pain, though. Earlier this year, he had already been ruled out of the ODI-leg of the South Africa tour with an injured hand when he batted for four-and-a-half hours to help India save the Cape Town Test and draw the series. He scored a match-winning century in the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy final with a broken hand. At the same venue, the Wankhede Stadium, Gambhir played half his World Cup final innings with back pain.
This time, though, the pain and injury barrier proved too significant to ignore without running the risk of letting the team down. "If your vision is blurry, if you can't focus on one object, if you can't judge the pace of the ball or its trajectory, not only are you putting yourself at risk, you are also letting your team and your country down," Gambhir said. "During the [Oval] Test I did what I had to do. There was no choice but to bat, but after that, even when taking throwdowns, I struggled with the vision." Gambhir stayed with the team for a while, hoping he would recover in time for the limited-overs leg of the tour, but the symptoms remained, eventually ending his tour.
If it was the classic accompaniments of concussion that kept him out of the ODIs, the pain in his injured elbow kept Gambhir out of Trent Bridge. "Look, you are not just blocking, which is what was required at Lord's," he said. "This was a new Test. It was not just about time, you had to score runs, you had to field, you had to last five days.
"The pain in the elbow was massive. It might be easy for an outsider to say that it is not broken and he can play, but the pain was too much. I experienced it during the nets and the throwdowns before the match. And an elbow injury is different from a hand injury, which was the case in Cape Town. You can bat with a swollen hand, but it is very difficult to bat with a painful elbow."
Now, Gambhir said all he could do was rest for ten days and take the prescribed medicines.