India v New Zealand, 5th ODI, Chennai December 10, 2010

Gambhir praises Ashwin, team after series sweep

ESPNcricinfo staff

Gautam Gambhir has hailed offspinner R Ashwin as the find of the one-day series against New Zealand and praised the professionalism of his side after India beat the visitors by eight wickets in the fifth and final ODI in Chennai to sweep the series 5-0.

"Ashwin for sure was most impressive. He is a quality bowler even as we saw in the IPL, the way he bowled in the Powerplays ... If you have an offspinner who can bowl well in the Powerplays and slog overs, it can be a great asset for the team.

"I have always stressed that no one takes any match lightly when you are playing for your country. I think a lot of credit goes to young bunch as we didn't get complacent after clinching the series. That's what professionalism is all about and speaks a lot about your character."

Gambhir captained the team in the absence of MS Dhoni, who was rested for the one-dayers along with several senior players, and said it was a great sign for India that the reserve players had done so well. "It's a good thing that there is healthy competition and that can bring the best out of any player. You can never afford to be complacent at any stage because you know there is another one waiting in the wings."

India bowled New Zealand out for 103 on a turning track on which the spinners took seven wickets after the seamers had made early inroads "I think this is the first turning track we got and you don't expect the ball to turn and bounce so much in a one-dayer," Gambhir said. "So it was always difficult for them to bat because we have a lot of quality spinners in our side."

He also praised Yusuf Pathan, whose savage maiden ODI century carried India to victory in the fourth one-dayer in Bangalore, where they had to chase 316. "I have always felt that Yusuf is someone who has the talent to turn the game on its head. If you see the last game, he turned it completely. Given the situation, not many would have given us a chance to win the match, but he won it for us."

Despite the success against New Zealand, Gamhir cautioned that the team can expect a much tougher test in the 2011 World Cup, which will be played in the subcontinent. "There will be far more pressure and there will be a lot of expectations from us as well. If you really want to be No. 1 and you really want to sustain that position, you need to improve all the time."

One area where he felt the team could improve was their fielding. "If we compare ourselves to the New Zealanders, they were far more brilliant in the field. If we can improve as a fielding unit, we will be strong contenders for the World Cup as we have a very potent batting and bowling line-up."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kumar on December 14, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    ashwin should certainly be in world cup 11. and play alongside him or replace him if harbhajan underperforms in the first few games as he does usually. but with dhoni's sticking to player policy, future doesnt look bright for younger cricketers.

  • DINESH on December 14, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    D.Sharma and Bkraks21: Your comments may be correct to some extent had it said about D.Kaarthik. But not Vijay and Ashwin. They are selected based on their good performances only. There is always criticism if a player is selected from the same State which the Selection Committee chairman belongs to. I hope had Vijay and Ashwin played for some other State you would have appreciated them. I thank you D.Sharma for open heartedly coming out to the support of Badri. But what to say. His career is almost over and he is in 30s.

  • Senthil on December 14, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    @D.Sharma: I appreciate your effort. Do you really think they are getting the Chance becoz they play for CSK? Never. Just follow the Domestic Matches, I never seen any Selection Panel as good as this and in India making Happy of all is Never a Possible one, Even if you select 10 teams one gut come and ask where is He? Why he is not selected? all, Look at their Domestic Record also dude, Ashwin Captained TN during 2008-09 Vijay Hazare Trophy Title. He earned Grade D after that from BCCI Contract, check all those, Vijay and Mukund had a opening Partnership of over 450 and then only Vijay called to the Indian team and A Mukund done well for India A as an opener and that kid surly will come up good, His List A record Pretty Impressive, He scored a Century in England when India A chasing 349, the Match ended in a Tie. Look at what Ashwin has done in Domestic Cricket and then say. He deserves to be Selected and if Given a Chance he will outplay H Singh for sure but M Vijay is good for Tests.

  • Deep on December 13, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    @senthil... Not sure if my 1st comment was posted so I'll try again... Overrated may not be the right word, but guys like Vijay and Ashwin got their fame from the IPL. When you have the Chairmen of selectors well involved in the CSK team then one has to wonder. What about the recent talk about Mukund? I only would only like to see guys like Pujara, Rahane, Mithun and the unluckiest of them all, Badrinath. 90 odd matches with an average of 60! Domestic cricket all the way and not IPL. To give credit where it's due, I'll applaud Ashwin for having a KUmble like attitude.

  • Senthil on December 13, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    @ bkraks21, He has Bowled 12 Overs During Batting Power play and Taken at least a Wicket every time during Batting Power play and NONE of the Indian Fast bowlers bowled more then 6 overs During Batting Power play while he also Bowled 5 more overs After 40th Over. He bowled a Lot better then Fast Bowlers during Batting Power play and Slog Overs. I don't think H Singh so far would have Bowled 22 Overs during Power play in his Entire Career which Ashwin bowled in a 5 Match Series

  • Senthil on December 13, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    D.Sharma: Now Answer me, Guptil, McCullum, Taylor and Styris are Tail Enders and Bowling 22 Overs during Power play and 5 More Overs after 40th Over(Note Few Power play Over he bowled after 40th Is not added) and Bowling 12 overs During Batting Power Play, you need Big Heart and Guts and Ashwin have it all.. Ashwin have guts and He Never afraid to bowl at any time and He proved his worth in Champions League also. Still you are a Blind and biased then nothing can be done. I doubt any Indian Spinner so far bowled this many overs during Power play including H Singh in his so far Bowling(All Matches)

  • Raks on December 13, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    @Nampally - what are u talking abt? Ashwin is in the Team because of the selectors like Shirkant.

  • Raks on December 13, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    What has ashwin really done? He is good in powerplay but then compensates that by giving too many later on. I think Gambhir has been made to say these by Chief Selector Mr. Chica

  • Senthil on December 13, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    @D.Sharma: Here we have a Brain Check. Let see, how much you scores. 1st ODI Wickets - M Guptill - Opener and He took his Wicket by bowling in the Mandatory Power Play(PP), 2nd Wicket R Taylor and He Took his Wicket in the Batting PP and his 3rd Wicket is Hopkins also in the Batting PP. Ashwin has Bowled 7 Overs during the PP. 2nd ODI He again took out the Top Scorer M Guptil during the Batting PP and he Bowled 4 overs During the PP and 3 Overs after 40th Over.3rd ODI, He took out S Styris and N McCullum (2nd and 3rd Highest run scorer, 1st Remain N.O) and again he bowled 3 Overs in the Batting PP which Taken from 45th over. 4th ODI - B McCullum and R Taylor both During PP and again He bowled 6 Overs in the PP and 2 More Overs after 40th Over. 5th ODI, He taken out Styris, K Mills and T Southee. He again bowled 2 overs during the PP. Batting PP is not Taken. Whenever NZ Taken Batting PP Ashwin Bowled 3 overs out of 5 in all 4 Times and overall he bowled 22 Overs During PP out of his 47

  • Vincent on December 13, 2010, 6:03 GMT




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