India in Australia 2011-12 January 17, 2012

Laxman has right to decide when to go - Gambhir


Gautam Gambhir has come out in support of the under-pressure VVS Laxman, saying nobody has the right to decide when he should retire. There have been reports coming out of India, quoting BCCI officials, which say Laxman is going to retire soon. One report even said that Laxman might have played his last Test in Perth. Adding to that is criticism from former players, who feel the team is aged and urgently needs the infusion of fresh youngsters.

Gambhir said it was not fair for anyone other than the player himself to talk of retirement, or for people to criticise just one man. "Look, my question is, why criticise one person? He has been a legend of the game. It's not only, VVS Laxman but all of us [who have underperformed]. The top six, the top seven should be criticised equally. We have all failed as a unit. So why only VVS Laxman?

"He has been a legend of the game. He has served Indian cricket for a long, long time. There should not be anyone [else] who should be deciding about his retirement. It should be him. Whenever he wants to take it, he should take it. Rather than criticising just one person, you should be criticising all seven batsmen who have failed as a unit. The entire team is behind him [Laxman], and I have always believed you should not criticise only one or two people. If you are to criticise, criticise all seven batsmen who have not performed well and let the team down.

"No one should decide when people should retire, it should be the individual's decision. And it would always be an individual's decision. Whether it be the media or people back home or whether it's ex-cricketers, I think no one has any right to force anyone to take retirement. It should be his personal decision. He has served Indian cricket for a very long time, and he is still working very hard, as people have seen in the nets. I have said it's just a matter of one innings. With one good innings he will be confident again."

Whether Laxman is going to retire anytime soon or not is not clear, but the indications here are that Laxman will play the Adelaide Test. India had a full training session at the WACA ground, and Laxman batted for a long time. Duncan Fletcher, the coach, spent most of his time working with Laxman, especially when Trevor Penny, the fielding coach, gave him throwdowns.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    True words from Gambhir. We can not forget what guys like laxman, Dravid and Sachin have done for Indian cricket. I agree that Laxman is looking aged but still i agree with gambhir that nobody has any right to tell these guys that when they should retire. They are wise enough to decide on their own. It has happened in the past, when Indian selectors treated Sourav Ganguly in a manner that he choose to retire from cricket. But sice then we have tried so many players foor his spot but no one has filled it up to the mark. Though everybody here will say that he wont have served India verylong but still guys it should be up to the player to choose his retirement rather than a common man standing up and sayin that you should go

    Hats off to Gambhir for standing up and saying the truth.

  • Suresh on January 19, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Dear Mr Tendulkar/Dravid/Laxman:

    We have loved watching you all for so many years now. When will you retire and simply go away? It does not appear that you will retire on your own.

    Clearly the BCCI selectors do not have the GUTs to drop you. And you dont want to leave. What will it take to force you out?

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Raghu Chennappa: How will you prove that you have good team and players?? team india has already shown there class in england 4-0 and aus 3-0

  • Al on January 19, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    First thing BCCI needs to do is - DROP the Selectors. Look at Sri Lanka. They just dropped the selectors. Even though SL have performed better than India - they at least won a match against SA. The first thing the new selection committee needs to do is - DROP the non-performers - LAX, Viru, Gauti, Dravid and SRT and give a chance to youngsters like Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwari, Pujara, Abhinav Mukund. No Murli please - he got enough chances. If we are going to lose anyway - why not give a chance to the youngsters?

  • Shruti on January 19, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    Batsmen Like SRT come once in a lifetime.He can bat on any pitch .He was playing fluently in Trent Bridge or was it Edgbaston but got out freakishly at the non striker's end .Ofcourse he missed his 100th 100 at Oval by few runs and people have the audacity to say he was a disappointment in England.Even in Australia the likes of Dravid,Gambhir are scratching and scrapping for runs but SRT is fluent /effortless in his batting.No one dare talk of SRT,Dravid and VVS in same breath.SRT is and always will be cut above the rest as a batsman.But even he is not above team India,mind you.

  • VasudevaRanjit on January 19, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    well, there is no point in axing anyone before the last test as the series is already decided. Also, spare a thought for all the seniors who have helped India achieve many laurels. But since you cannot hang on to fading and out of form players in any sport, the best thing to do now would be to categorically tell all the seniors that this is their last test.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    no proper utilization of resources by the Management. too much of any thing will spoil the party. As our people will never understand. 1. After the first test match loss - no measures taken in the team to stablize. 2. after the 2nd test match loss - only ashwin is been rested and vinaykumar picked in(4 pace bowler). 3. third match is lost - the blame is on one person (laxshman). ridiculas.

    Keys points to be noted. 1 No opening slot shuffle. 2 unecessary 4th pacer. instead of evaluating our own strenght. 3 too many senior player in team. 4 dhoni should have been rested for atleast two test matches and given chances for upcoming youngesters. 5 only one young batsmen given opertunity and never allowed him bat up the order and in under pressure situation. 6 never used R P singh in past 3 test match hoping the forth coming one.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas.. Thats funny.. Can u tell me which 3 consecutive series r u referring to..?? And gimme the perfect stats.. Again, y pick only 3 series.?? Lets start frm SA tour and compare the stats of Indian batsmen.. Btw, scoring 100 runs doesn't mean anything to u.. rite.?? I hope u wont refer century column of stats to prove ur statement.. Check the consistency of runs scored..

  • Premanand on January 19, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas:- I used to enjoy your comments, most of them (90%) has solid cricketing logic. Of late, unfortunately, your views on Sachin (Just to make sure that Dravid & VVS, your favourites are supported) is uncalled for. He did well against WI in India (94, 76, etc. and all 3 SRT, RD & VVS failed in 3rd Test Run Chase in Mumbai). Dropping out of WI tour is no crime. In fact, he made sure that youngsters caan be fitted in (Kohli got the chance). I have never seen RD or VVS giving opportunity to youngsters like this, again it is n't anybody's fault. Other comments like exposing Unadkat, useless 50th century in SA (What about 3 useful RD's century in ENG Tour !!), Vacation in Wimbledon shows your immaturity / lack of foresight. Just see my comments in this article on future plan. 60 to 70% it will happen like that. Please send comments with crickeing logic. Only SRT is looks to be in form in OZ tour. That's the reality (Unfortunately BIG runs are not coming for him fo far)

  • Premanand on January 19, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    @Sundaram Natarajan:- Sincerely appreciate your cricketing knowledge as well your statistical analysis. Your stat itself shows VVS should be the first one to be axed. Sachin has 44+ average and VVS has only 36. More over, even though Dravid had a great 2011, if you have watched the AUS series, Sachin was the only batsmen who seem to be not having any trouble with his footwork, tmimng, etc. Watch these matches as well as listen to knowledgebale people on the commentary. It is just misfortune that his current form is not getting translated into BIG runs. Lack of support from others further adds fuel to the fire. Everyone's surprise, Dravid is struggling after a fantastic 2011. There is no biasing towards Sachin in retirement plans of BIG 3, but common sense & logical thinking is the need of the hour to phase out the 3 stalwarts.

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