India news January 5, 2014

I insisted on playing on green tops - Gambhir

ESPNcricinfo staff

Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir has said he insisted that his team play their home Ranji Trophy fixtures on green pitches at the Roshanara Club, though playing on flatter tracks might have made it easier for him to score runs in a bid for an India comeback.

"I have never played cricket for selfish reasons like scoring 800-900 runs on flat tracks to make a comeback," Gambhir told PTI. "Delhi team needed outright wins and I insisted on playing on green tops at the Roshanara rather than on a flat track. Had I played on a flat track, I could have got close to 900 runs."

Delhi's strategy of playing at the Roshanara brought them their only two outright wins of the season, and helped them move up to second on the table. They lost their next match at the venue to Punjab, though, despite bowling them out for 74 on the first morning. Delhi eventually failed to qualify for the knockouts, finishing fifth in Group A.

Gambhir made 578 runs in seven matches at 48.16, with one hundred and three half-centuries. He didn't find a place in India's squad to South Africa or in the squad that will travel to New Zealand later this month for five ODIs and two Tests.

"It's a reality that I am not in the team to New Zealand," Gambhir said. "I wish all the 16-17 guys best of luck for the tour. As I have maintained, I don't play for comebacks, I play the game because I still have that hunger to perform. I want to be part of the team that wins a Test series in England and Australia. This is what drives me on, as in my 54 Tests we only won a series in New Zealand and drew in South Africa.

"Frankly, I don't know whether I am 1, 2, 3 or last," Gambhir said, when asked about where he thought he stood in the pecking order among present Indian openers. "I know that my job is to score runs and I will continue to do that."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on January 7, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Irrespective of Gambhir's form, it has to be said that he is an aggressive and passionate player. As Mark Twain said, its not the size of the dog in the fight but the side of the fight in the dog. And don't forget his match winning 90 in the final that won us the World Cup!

  • Android on January 7, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    if only bcci prepare fair sporting tracks it had been a different story altogether.gambhir saying he wants to play on green tracks but are there any such tracks available.only solution I guess indian domestic cricket should be played on foreign countries in australia and africa.indian cricket will dominate but is bcci listening.

  • ANUBRATA on January 6, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    Really good to hear something like this from Gambhir. Should have been selected for NZ tour.

  • Vijay on January 6, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    Gautam Gambhir can replace Shikhar Dhawan in the test squad and I foresee and not so good series for Shawan in NZ..He can dominate in ODI with his attacking instincts but not in NZ..Ghambit is so wise and with his hunger to prove himself , dhoni and the selctors can set their sights firmly on Gambhir.

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    @tanstell87; true mate... but we shudnt allow underperforming players in team...i like rohit as an opener to blunt first few overs eventhough he fails to score runs....we dont need an opener who throws his wicket away exposing other batsman to face new ball... if openers role is only to score runs ,anybody could have been opener...gambhir was in team when he scored runs or blunt the pace attack with new one did remove him for that... he was removed because of his failures with bat as an opener... how many times i have seen indian scores as 24/2 in test matches...i m just saying score few runs just like other ranji players rather than comments like dis...

  • chandu on January 6, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    he cud hv been captaining the test side by now... he and viru failed intentionally to trouble dhoni during declining days of dravid, sachin and vvs... thinking dhoni will be thrown out after 8-0 loss.... now both of them are outside the team!!!

  • Shiv on January 5, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    If GG was in form and a regular in the Test team, he would have easily dethroned Dhoni as captain of the Test team, who is becoming a burden to the team in overseas conditions. I think the NZ series should be the last chance for MS and if he fails to contribute he must be dropped. You cant be in the team only for captaincy.

  • Tanmay on January 5, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    @Mallikarjun Suligavi - hey mate i am Maharashtrian a staunch supporter of Mumbai Ranji Team & Mumbai Indians...but as an Indian fan, i will have Gambhir anyday over Rohit Sharma in my ODI as well as test can an Indian fan forget his 75 in WorldT20 2007 final & 97 in World Cup 2011 final ?? Gautam Gambhir will be make a grand comeback to Team India..

  • Ashok on January 5, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    I cannot access the article by Kesavan- "Shades of Gavaskar" to make my comments on the Cricinfo article. Pujara's batting has shades of : Patience of Vijay Hazare, technique of Gavaskar & defence of Jaisimha-all rolled into one. Pujara has taken the best of all these great Cricketers & made it work for him. Today he leads the Indian Test batting average of over 66 in 17 matches not by fluke but by diligence & execution. He is definitely the #1 batsman in India today & ranks on par with likes of Clarke, Cook & Amla of 3 other nations. Many commenters keep saying we want to see how good he is on overseas pitches. The fact of the matter is his technique is so good that he adapts himself to the new pitches by his patient approach. So whether it is Oz, SA Or English pitch, he gets his eye in first by getting used to the pace & bounce of the wicket before he goes for his strokes. V.Hazare also used to score on any pitch because of his patience as did Jaisimha & Gavaskar! Good Luck Pujara.

  • Dummy4 on January 5, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    i think only people backing gambhir are either kolkatta or delhi... as he is kkr and delhi player they shud support him... but he has to score runs rather than comments like this at the sensitive times

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