India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 1st day

Gambhir admits run out error

Sidharth Monga

December 5, 2012

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

Gautam Gambhir goes over the top before lunch, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 1st day, December 5, 2012
Gautam Gambhir could not convert his hard work into the hundred India needed © BCCI
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Virender Sehwag's run-out says a lot about the tentativeness and lack of confidence currently afflicting India. They had got off to a solid start, were 47 for 0 after 10 overs, when their most positive batsman had just played a lovely whip off the pads, the deep square-leg fielder had to run a long way to his left and dive to keep the ball from reaching the midwicket boundary, and yet Sehwag's partner didn't want to take a third run. Mistakes happen in cricket, but Gautam Gambhir's explanation for what happened said a lot about the team's mindset.

"I thought that was not the situation to take the third run, a risky run," Gambhir said. "I was watching the ball, and I was thinking it was in his hand, I thought rather than taking the arm on… The ball was in his hand, taking the run on the throw was dicey. After watching the replay I realised the third run was on, but we were thinking that the kind of situation we were in, it was not important that we go for a [un]necessary risky run."

The fact, though, is, as Gambhir acknowledged, this was a regulation three, and so circumspect were India that they thought it was a risk taking it. Well, at least one of them did. As it often happens with India, Sehwag's wicket brought a turnaround. The run-rate dropped, England bowled to a plan, and India weren't patient enough.

"Obviously when that kind of a dismissal happens, it starts playing on your mind," Gambhir said. "You have done all the hard work, you have won the toss, there was something for the bowlers early on, the ball was swinging, you have got 47 on the board, you have done all the hard work, and suddenly losing your partner through a run-put plays on your mind."

One of the casualties of the slide was Gambhir himself, who made a second good start but couldn't convert it into a definitive innings. He will be gutted with this. He is now three possible innings from having gone three years without a Test century. Whatever he might say about centuries not mattering to him as much as contributing to the team, this has got to play on his mind.

Gambhir is an intense cricketer, and he will know that more than the missing centuries, it's the sub-30 average over the period of three years that is hurting his reputation. He can't afford to waste starts. "It was disappointing," he said. "Not only from my personal point of view, but from the team's point of view as well. As an opening batsman, if you get a start, you want to score big runs.

"You don't want to put hundreds on your record, you want to put the team in a position from where they can dominate. If you ask me personally, I am more disappointed from the team's point of view rather than my personal point of view. Someone had to bat long and put a big score, and I got set and I got a start and I should have continued playing a big innings, but these things happen, this is what cricket is all about."

Gambhir also said Test cricket was all about comebacks, and it was reverse swing that India were banking on. "I think it's an even day, even contest," he said. "You can't say it has gone in England's favour. The wicket has something for everyone. Especially for the fast bowlers, if you see once it starts reversing it becomes difficult. It reverses big. If we can put 350 on the board, it's going to be a big contest."

That brings into picture another struggling Indian player, who has perhaps been most crucial to India's success since Anil Kumble's retirement. If the ball has reversed alarmingly for England, Zaheer Khan won't get a better opportunity to strike form.

"They [England] showed it was reversing big, and we all know Zaheer Khan is a master of reverse swing so if he gets going it is going to be very difficult for England," Gambhir said. "Hopefully Zaheer Khan and Ishant can do the job for us. This is the wicket where there will be something for everyone, for fast bowlers as well. It has carry, and at times up and down, and it was reversing big. It has enough for the fast bowlers."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by sharidas on (December 6, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

Frankly, why so much fuss about a run out ? From the Indian point of view ( I am an Indian) I can understand the disappointmen, but,then Run outs are part and parcel of this game. It happens to the very best of runners. Take for example Hashim Amla's run out in the first inning of the Perth Test. Can we blame DeVilliers for going for a sharp single or blame Amla for being slow? It's neither. It was the quick work of Warner. So many if and buts.....that's the beauty of Cricket.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

Eng is emerging as a better batting and bowling unit than India. India is not patient enough with players still steeped in limited overs mindset.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

Hahaha zaheer khan master of reverse swing. gambhir should do double take between english bowlers and khan. khan slower, and isnt nowhere as fast as the brits

Posted by SouthPaw on (December 6, 2012, 6:27 GMT)

If Gambhir thought that the third run was not on, he should have SHOUTED "NO" instead of ball-watching. In this interview, he makes it sound as if on field it seemed like a couple and Sehwag was pushing for the third. Accept your mistake GG!

Posted by BibhuMisra on (December 6, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

Gambhir has just played two excellent back-to-back Test innings and Siddharth Monga is talking about his average and lack of centuries, and lack of decisiveness ?? What's going on here? A deliberate effort to undermine Gambhir because he is perceived by many as a potential captain who will replace Dhoni? What has been equally suprising is Monga's penchant for defending with his heart and soul every silly and incomprehensible statement made by Dhoni regarding the pitch over the past few days. It is very unpleasant to read this kind of biased reporting on crininfo.

Posted by kriketeer on (December 6, 2012, 4:51 GMT)

Runouts cannot be afforded at this level........

if i was in gambhirs shoes......I would have sacrificed my wicket for sehwag...... he would have changed the match in India's favour in the first session itself....

Posted by clearhead on (December 6, 2012, 2:27 GMT)

It's all well and good to have the welfare of the team uppermost....but it should not be the only motivation. Gambhir should invest a healthy dose of personal desire as well!!

Posted by Hiba.R on (December 6, 2012, 1:08 GMT)

There was a definite third run there had it not been the laziest of Indian player on the other end, it was difficult for Sehwag to go back in crease in time than it would have been for Gambhir. But Gambhir never turned back even once....that was poor cricket, that was a self inflicting wound given to the side by Gambhir and they never really could recover from it - Its really "Gambhir Problem" to have uncertain players like Goutham Gambhir on the team.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 6, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

@Buggsy: Oh yeah, there are plenty of promising batsmen in India. It's just that Gambir has enrolled in the club of 'senior players' and in Indian culture, we simply don't know HOW to drop the seniors. This 60 odd runs will ensure Gambir stays on in the team for another 5 years.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 5, 2012, 23:54 GMT)

It's all very well Gambhir saying that he now sees that a third run was on after watching replays but what matters at the time is what you think at the time. Gambhir didn't think that there was a run on and that's fair enough. I didn't see the footage but, from what I read, Gambhir called "no" repeatedly and Sehwag wasn't paying attention and ran anyway. To my mind, assuming that Gambhir did indeed call soon enough and loud enough, the mistake was Sehwag's, not Gambhir's.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

There is no doubt unless Sehwag makes a big score India can't win against England.Gambir can save the match and at the same time he has to be more cautious when batting with Sehwag.He should have sacrificed instead making Sehwag to go back.Hope he doesn't do this in the next innings.Tendulkar has to continue and not even think of retiring at present.If he feels good he has to be available.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

Do not blame Gambhir alone. Shewag should have looked also. Look what the fielder is doing and look where and what Gambhir was doing.

It is an honest mistake, so lets continue the match and let it not bother the performance and result of the match.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

sehwag looked in good form woulda been a another hundred for sehwag if gambhir paid more attention opening would have been excellent

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

VickGower nailed it! Gambhir had shown show much class and technique that he was virtually an aggressive version of Rahul Dravid who could be versatile and be defensive/aggressive as the situationd demands. In fact he had a better record overseas. All that has changed since the IPL/T20 BS has started. All these players need an attitude adjustment and need to come out of the T20 mode. T20 doesn't produce Test players - in fact has messed up existing good test players.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (December 5, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

Gambhir, i firmly believe that you can still score the big hundreds like is just a matter of have the patience and the tenacity required to succeed at this level....the big ones will come....mistakes happen to everyone....don't worry too much about it....just make sure that we win this match.....

Posted by Buggsy on (December 5, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

How the selectors patience hasn't run out with Gambhir is beyond me. Are India's cupboards really so bare? Surely there must be plenty of promising first class talent around just itching for the opener's spot?

Posted by cricmatters on (December 5, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

It does not matter whether you take the third run or not.. You should call loudly to let your partner know what you are thinking. Calling has been an issue and also not sliding the bat at the crease or holding the bat in the wrong hand while backing up has caused many run outs. It is the Coach's job to ensure that such technical errors are stamped out but how can you teach Cricketing basics to Test veterans? This run out incident shows India's batting mindset and how clouded their judgement has become when they are pushed to the wall in their own backyard.

Posted by tmp789 on (December 5, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

GG is a lazy runner, and lacks motivation and attitude to succeed at a high level

Posted by Shriman on (December 5, 2012, 19:51 GMT)

One needs to give credit to Gautam for being honest and frank in his assessment of the Sehwag dismissal. Still, the team is not badly placed with MSD still at the crease & pitch being flat. Anything is possible if he comes good with a rapid 90 or a hundred & India captures KP's wicket cheaply.

Posted by sirviv on (December 5, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

The highlight of Gambhirs career is leading KKR in the IPL last year. I wonder why the selectors are persisting with him. Maybe its the same reason Sachin is still around. Both top scored for the team so far so I guess that justifies their presence..

Posted by Nampally on (December 5, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

Ir was brave of Gambhir for admitting his mistake. I personally think that he expected the ball to go for 4. So he did not run the first 2 runs fast enough. In fact he had slowed down much towards the end of the second run to decide against it. Sehwag, a much slower runner than Gambhir automatically assumed the third run because he was easily making it. So Yes, 3 runs were there. "This was really the turning point of the match". Sehwag was needed to knock Panesar off & he was just beginning to open his shoulders. Another hour of Sehawag would have put India on top after a good start of 47 in 10 overs. Sehwag had belted Anderson + Finn & was about to launch on Panesar starting with that beautiful wrist shot!. Contrary to the report of the game, I tend to agree with Gambhir that the pitch is not flat but sporting. Any bowler with accuracy in length+ direction & bowling to his field should do well. Ashwin, Ojha, ZAK & Ishant should give serious thoughts of bowling to their field set !.

Posted by Emperador on (December 5, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

350 seems an unlikely figure. However even MSD is long overdue with a fine innings and this is a moment designed for him. If he can capitalize this opportunity with the help of the tail-enders 350 may not be a far off mark.

Posted by ProdigyA on (December 5, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

Yes these kind of things do happen in cricket but unfortunately most of the times its only India that is on the recieving end. That is because of the lack of commitment on the field. Samit, slowest of all, runs a mile to save a single, Finn, after having completed his over had no business to run all the way from mid-on where he could just have shown his hand (like we Indians do), a combination of excellent team work, commitment and professalism bought about the run out. How many opportunites have we missed and will continue to keep missing. Unfortunately, for us its only about the big centuries and the 5-wicket hawls that matter, these finer aspects of cricket are completely ignored.

Posted by niceguy31 on (December 5, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

A little bit of honesty here is expected Gambhir. You are admitting there might have been a mistake and at the same time not willing to take full responsibility. You are misleading the situation by stating repeatedly risky third run. This was always a regulation 3rd run scenario, what really did you in was your ball watching, if you were looking at your partner like you were supposed to, you could have easily made it. Its a shame this had to happen to one of the best running pairs currently going around and to one of the weakest fielder in the England side, the way Samit chased that ball, there was always a third. It felt bad immediately after the moment and in retrospect it feels so much worser now, since Sehwag was the only guy who could have given us the momentum.

Posted by luks on (December 5, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

Gambhir thinks this pitch has carry. Really? And, up and down is a good thing from a first day pitch?

Posted by AjaySridharan on (December 5, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

How about the selectors drop Gambhir and say "these things happen in cricket". I can't believe the nonchalance with which he is talking after wasting a good start and running so terribly. 350 will be enough just for Cook and Pitersen on this pitch. Ishant is going to spray the ball all over the place as he normally does, and he will get a pass too because he is trying to come back to form!! So sad that there are not enough people in the reserves to put pressure on Gambhir's position. You go out of form for a few months, maybe a year at the most...but 3 years?! Come on!

Posted by VickGower on (December 5, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

Ah, Gambhir, thou promised so much 3 yrs. back. It was so exhilarating to see you establish yourself. Thought you would be a major bridge to the new generation. Personally, you sure did well -- $2 mil is nothing to sneeze at. Yet the nation stands gutted. It doesn't seem to have figured in your prosperity. Do good players go through such a 3 year stretch of mediocrity in the prime of their careers? Where's the record book when you need one.

Posted by Dhanno on (December 5, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

Another wishful thinking. The run was on, no matter whichever way you look at it, Gambhir had no reason to ball-watch. Excuses excuses and more.

Sorry to also pop the bubble, Zaheer can no longer produce the kind of control, sustained pressure for long periods to get english wickets, atleast in heaps. Maybe two spells of 5 overs either side of tea break.? Maybe. Even if that happens, I am not sure Ishant will support him from other side/ maybe Ojha by keeping runs down ? But I would believe England batsman would weather through it. Our bowling attack is just not good enough, couple it with fact that the captain induces excuseful (if there is such word!) mentality. "Well this isnt spinning pitch so you guys have no chance" thats Dhoni's message to his team already.

While batting we do not have reserves of patience, not as a team atleast; while bowling we cannot bend backs and make something out of nothing, or even favorable pitch (e.g. Mumbai).

Excuses, that is all that is left !

Posted by shreyas24987 on (December 5, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

we(India) win the toss and decided to bat first & again we do same mistake which made in Mumbai. if we win the toss in last test then ..........

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