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Updated: June 8, 2012 17:24 IST

Playing Pak no different from playing Australia or Bangladesh: Gambhir

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Gambhir feels that the team has to prepare well in order to get back to the top of the ICC Test Rankings. Photo: K. Pichumani
The Hindu
Gambhir feels that the team has to prepare well in order to get back to the top of the ICC Test Rankings. Photo: K. Pichumani

The clamour for revival of Indo-Pak bilateral cricket is growing with every passing day, but Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir is not overtly excited about it as he feels playing against the arch-rivals is no different from taking on a Bangladesh or an Australia.

“For me, Pakistan is no different from Bangladesh, Australia or New Zealand. The main thing is that you are playing for your country and that in itself is a big motivation,” said the straight-talking left-hander, who has had on-field run-ins with Pakistani cricketers, including the feisty Shahid Afridi.

Talking about his own team and the transition phase it is enduring after the retirement of veterans such as Rahul Dravid, Gambhir rejected suggestions that youngsters are under pressure trying to fill in the big voids.

“There are no seniors or juniors in the Indian team. Everyone is equal in a team. If you are playing for India, you have to take the responsibility. Obviously, when you have experience, you are a bit more matured,” Gambhir said after his office team ONGC beat Rajnigandha Club at Modern School ground (Barakhamba Road) in the Lala Raghubir Hot Weather tournament.

Gambhir had recently said in a television interview that he is ready for captaincy but today he decided to present a dead bat.

“That’s for selectors to decide,” was Gambhir’s terse reply.

When probed further as to who would be his choice of captain just like Dhoni had stated that his choice of captain would be he, himself, Gambhir said, “No comments.”

With India set to play 10 Test matches (four each against England and Australia along with two against New Zealand), Gambhir feels that the team has to prepare well in order to get back to the top of the ICC Test Rankings.

“This break from cricket will act as a positive for us. We will be able to come back fresh with better fitness. We have the talent and we have to get back to No 1 ranking in Tests,” the senior opener said.

The talented left-hander feels that in order to get back to the top of the Test ratings, India as a team would need to work and get better in all three departments.

“In international cricket, doing well in one department isn’t good enough. We need to work hard and improve in all three departments of the game.”

He has now played a couple of matches for his office side ONGC in unbearable Delhi heat but he has no complaints.

“I am employed with ONGC. The company pays me salary and it is my responsibility to play for them.”

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1. Winning an IPL trophy doesn't gurantee that Gambir is a leadership material.
2. Blaming Dhoni alone for OZ and England debacle is highly unfair. India scored more than 300 runs only once in the 14+ innings played both tours. None of the top/middle order performed which includes Gambhir.
3. On Dhoni's keeping, I feel he is the best Wicketkeeper India currently has who can bat at any position in any form of game. He has great reflexs. Even the Great Gilly commented that "Dhoni is not Second Gilchrist, but 1st Dhoni".
4. I agree that MS need to improve his test batting. He is quick learner and I hope his working on it.
5. I am not in for Split captaincy for different format of the game and India it will certainly not work.
6. Gambhir went to IPL with his worst form ever, surprising did well in the tournament. But lets see how if can continue the same international tournament begins. It would be good if he can continue, but I am not confident about it!!!

from:  Vignesh
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 11:16 IST

Gambhir is known for plain talk. He is also a shrewd strategist. He should be made the captain for the test team. Dhoni managed the dressing room (where admittedly there have been too many egos) better than his team on the field. Dhoni is unemotional and can withstand stress but he is not a thinker and he has no strategy as test captain. As a player he is not test class and he is not the best wicket keeper in the country. He should be dropped from the test team and retained as the captain of one day and T20 national teams. In the shorter forms of the game, there is perhaps no equal to him on the world stage. For Gambhir to succeed as test captain, the selectors should drop Tendulkar, Laxman and Sehwag and let the new captain build a team to reach the top spot again. The longer the older players stay, the more they haemorrhage the chances of the team. Cricktet India’s agenda should be building a top team but not a collection of former stars.

from:  D. Angirasa
Posted on: Jun 8, 2012 at 19:20 IST
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