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'We still average 53 as an opening pair' - Gambhir

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 25, 2012

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Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir with their pads on, Mumbai, November 21, 2011
Gautam Gambhir has defended his opening partnership with Virender Sehwag, saying they are still the best choice for India at the top of the order © AFP
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Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag haven't put on a century stand in Tests in nearly two years raising questions over the pair's future but Gambhir has insisted they are still the best openers in India.

Gambhir and Sehwag have been among India's most durable Test opening pairs, and one of only five combinations to put on more than 4000 Test runs at the top of the order but their form has dwindled over the past couple of years.

"We still average 53 as an opening pair, which I think is one of the best when it comes to opening the batting in world cricket," Gambhir told PTI. "There are not many opening pairs who have played for such a long time and have an average of 53 per innings. And if 53 is not good enough, I don't know what is good enough.

"As an opening pair, you average 50 per inning and if you are giving 50 runs start in every innings, you can't do more and if people talk about not contributing, I will suggest them to look at the stats."

While their overall figures are still pretty good, the pair are under scrutiny due to their performance on India's abysmal tour of Australia last season, when Gambhir and Sehwag's highest stand in eight innings was 26.

Gambhir also hasn't scored a Test century in nearly three years, though he insisted that shouldn't be the criterion by which a batsman should be judged.

"It's not about scoring a hundred every time, it's about contributing when you are opening the batting. It's not only me, a lot of other people have also not scored tons.

"People only discuss about scoring a hundred, I don't know why. I got 93 in South Africa, 85-odd in Australia...15 or seven more and people would not be discussing my hundred."

Gambhir and Sehwag are expected to be India's openers for the home Test series against England which starts in mid-November.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by kanevs11 on (October 28, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

what we should do is to find a new pair not FLAT TRACK BULLIES!!!!!!!!!

Posted by cricket9lover on (October 28, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

In present situation I would like to see shikhar dhawan and rahane opening and including ishant,yadav & awana/pathan as pacers,ashwin ojha bhajji as spinners if selectors really think to do some good to indian cricket then select them for test cricket when selected then only will we know which pair is good gambhir sehwag or dhawan rahane,mind it rahane and dhawan are good puller and hooker good signs to succeed overseas.Though gambhir and sehwag are still good in one dayers.

Posted by mylife4cricket on (October 27, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

i think it has been a long time since i have seen India-100/0! i think they both are putting pressure themselves by going for some ridiculous shots and getting out,and i dont understand why?because they have played together for more than 5yrs and know each other very well.BCCI should take this seriously because its openers responsibility to provide a good start for the team and INdia's strength is their batting. For the last 3 years openers are not performing and middle order is feeling the pressure and in the end, team is losing.Lets wait and see against England!

Posted by ajeeshferdin10 on (October 27, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

steve finn will tear you away gambhir and your partner viru will be fried by swing of anderson...he he he...INDIAN

Posted by Atticus100 on (October 27, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

Hilarious! Gambhir, you rock!! You dont deserve a place in the Indian team based on your performance in the last three years. If it is past records that is the criterion for selection today, then we should bring in back Sunil Gavaskar as opener. As per Stats, he is the best Indian Opener of all time without a shadow of doubt!!

Posted by joseyesu on (October 27, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

Ofcourse they were the best and not now. Sehwag is more like afridi now and gambir in wanting to maintain a strike rate, is getting out early. I will not be surprised if they score 100 or more runs here. It is in overseas they left out the pride.

Posted by maximus1982 on (October 27, 2012, 4:06 GMT)

gambir is a nut shell. look at he average outside india and see how you and Shewag has performed...........

Posted by FRRR on (October 26, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

First the focus should be on getting rid of Tendulkar. Then sehwag and Dhoni should go ,,,,

Posted by Cricketfan101 on (October 26, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

Rohits turn to say that gambhir and sehwag are the best in the nets

Posted by SasiGladi on (October 26, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

Yes Viru and GG were most prominent openers for India, but GG you forgot ur technic both against fast and spin bowlers was so perfect thats the main reason for u to sustain such long time but you strenght is fading way u r getting out is because of bad technic....we do remember u have scored most consecutive fifties......but forget about centuries we havent witnessed any fighting innings from you after WC final...it is agreed u guys still deserve to open against ENG but please recall your strength and work on it.......

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