India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 1st day December 5, 2012

Gambhir admits run out error


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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • suresh 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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

  • Kall 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!

  • Bibhu 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.

  • Prince 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....

  • Clive 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!!

  • Mohammed 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.

  • Jay 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.

  • John 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.

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