India news January 5, 2014

I insisted on playing on green tops - Gambhir

ESPNcricinfo staff
26

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Anubrata29 on January 6, 2014, 16:27 GMT

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

  • vjwithcricinfo 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.

  • 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 ball...no 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...

  • cad76 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!!!

  • ProdigyA 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.

  • tanstell87 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 team....how 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..

  • Nampally 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Anubrata29 on January 6, 2014, 16:27 GMT

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

  • vjwithcricinfo 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.

  • 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 ball...no 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...

  • cad76 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!!!

  • ProdigyA 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.

  • tanstell87 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 team....how 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..

  • Nampally 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.

  • 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

  • Nampally on January 5, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    It will be tough for Gambhir to make a comeback unless he has an average of over 100 runs/innings. If you see Pujara, when ever he appears in Ranji he makes it count. In his last appearance he scored a double century when his Province needed it badly. That is the hall mark of a great player. Gambhir needs to imbibe that quality. That is the only way to show your hunger- with discipline, Patience & compiling consistent centuries. The opening spot is always open in the Indian Test team. Dhawan is making the same mistakes as Sehwag & Gambhir made to lose their spots. So his spot is up for grabs. Had Gambhir an average of 100 instead of 48, he would have made it to NZ & OZ squads.

  • SachinLara1 on January 5, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    why cant these guys leave the pitch conditions to the curator rather than indulging in their job????

  • StarHawk on January 5, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    @Deven Sharma, yes, that is exactly what Gambhir is saying. KKR has good spinners, which is why he wanted rank turners in Kolkata. Delhi team got good pacers, which is why he wanted a green-top. It's not irony, you are proving his point!

  • jaggi.jagan on January 5, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    Blindly backing Shewag and if the reports were to be believed, going the extra mile to show dissent against the Indian team management or Dhoni, actually undid Gambhir. His series of bad performances too did not help his cause. Given that Dravid, Laxman & Tendulkar all gone and Shewag in miserable form, there wouldn't have been any way that Gambhir is dropped. There is plenty non cricketing reasons too that is keeping him out. He has to come clean and play for team India even if here were to play under Md. Shami !

  • on January 5, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    gotta feel for this guy, i still consider him as a valuable asset of the indian team.

  • SanjivAwesome on January 5, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    Gambhir, thanks for your courageous services, fearless lion! Leave the spot for young blood and do something else with your life!

  • IndCrab on January 5, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    Score some double digits then

  • arjunkamath on January 5, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    @Deven Read the complete article before posting. Gambhir said that his priority is his team's victory. For KKR their best chance of winning might have been to prepare slow and dusty pitches.. Delhi wanted outright wins and with the lack of a good spinner their option was to go for pitches which helped pacers. I dont see any irony here.

  • sony_sr on January 5, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    not sure what he meant by saying this.

  • ashok16 on January 5, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    It is indeed true that Gambhir doesn't play for selfish reasons and he is refreshingly non-whiny. If not for India, I hope he plays for Delhi for a lot more years. Though I wouldn't be surprised if he is on the plane to England. He would do well to play in English county cricket this year even if he isn't on the team to England.

  • on January 5, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    He has been a part of india's performance in the world cup winning team by scoring runs at the top in pressure situations and has played his part in winning test matches as opener as well. i think he deserves a comeback if he has been consistent enough in the domestic circuit. Also remember that he has captained his team in IPL winning the final against dhoni's almighty chennai super kings chasing a huge total. It explains how influencive he is on the players as a captain. India definitely needs to look beyond dhoni for a better test captain though he could lead the ODI and T20 teams.

  • on January 5, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    @Deven Sharma.. and that was also to win matches not to score individual runs.. it is called playing to the strengths of a team. your example just adds to the point being made in the article..

  • IndianEagle on January 5, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    and also he praised vijay, insists experts to wait on dhawan before coming to conclusion.

  • on January 5, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    What I know is that there are not many people who play the game as intensely as Gambhir does. Maybe he has not scored as many runs like Jiwanjot did in the present ranji season but he scored his runs on the roshanara track which was pretty much a green top. Also delhi was a tad unlucky that their opening match of the ranji season got washed out against jharkhand which is a pretty much weak side as compared to Delhi. Gambhir has always played to win and that has been his hallmark and maybe its history but I will again repeat that india won the t20 final and 2011wc because of his contributions only and as a senior player he never got the respect that he deserved. Best of luck to this guy who is much better than vijay and shikhar for the opening spot in test matches and deserves a chance in indian middle order in odi's. He needs to just cut down on that dab shot of his in test matches and I m sure he must have worked on it.

  • on January 5, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    Really? Did'nt he ask Kolkata pitch curator to prepare slow and dust bowl pitches in IPL so that Sunil Narine can cause all sort of troubles for other teams? Irony!

  • Johnny_129 on January 5, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    Gambhir is saying the right things. Not sure if the rest of India truly believes and accepts his sentiments but unless India learns to bat and bowl on greentops they will never maintain a lengthy run at the top of Test cricket.

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  • Johnny_129 on January 5, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    Gambhir is saying the right things. Not sure if the rest of India truly believes and accepts his sentiments but unless India learns to bat and bowl on greentops they will never maintain a lengthy run at the top of Test cricket.

  • on January 5, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    Really? Did'nt he ask Kolkata pitch curator to prepare slow and dust bowl pitches in IPL so that Sunil Narine can cause all sort of troubles for other teams? Irony!

  • on January 5, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    What I know is that there are not many people who play the game as intensely as Gambhir does. Maybe he has not scored as many runs like Jiwanjot did in the present ranji season but he scored his runs on the roshanara track which was pretty much a green top. Also delhi was a tad unlucky that their opening match of the ranji season got washed out against jharkhand which is a pretty much weak side as compared to Delhi. Gambhir has always played to win and that has been his hallmark and maybe its history but I will again repeat that india won the t20 final and 2011wc because of his contributions only and as a senior player he never got the respect that he deserved. Best of luck to this guy who is much better than vijay and shikhar for the opening spot in test matches and deserves a chance in indian middle order in odi's. He needs to just cut down on that dab shot of his in test matches and I m sure he must have worked on it.

  • IndianEagle on January 5, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    and also he praised vijay, insists experts to wait on dhawan before coming to conclusion.

  • on January 5, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    @Deven Sharma.. and that was also to win matches not to score individual runs.. it is called playing to the strengths of a team. your example just adds to the point being made in the article..

  • on January 5, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    He has been a part of india's performance in the world cup winning team by scoring runs at the top in pressure situations and has played his part in winning test matches as opener as well. i think he deserves a comeback if he has been consistent enough in the domestic circuit. Also remember that he has captained his team in IPL winning the final against dhoni's almighty chennai super kings chasing a huge total. It explains how influencive he is on the players as a captain. India definitely needs to look beyond dhoni for a better test captain though he could lead the ODI and T20 teams.

  • ashok16 on January 5, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    It is indeed true that Gambhir doesn't play for selfish reasons and he is refreshingly non-whiny. If not for India, I hope he plays for Delhi for a lot more years. Though I wouldn't be surprised if he is on the plane to England. He would do well to play in English county cricket this year even if he isn't on the team to England.

  • sony_sr on January 5, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    not sure what he meant by saying this.

  • arjunkamath on January 5, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    @Deven Read the complete article before posting. Gambhir said that his priority is his team's victory. For KKR their best chance of winning might have been to prepare slow and dusty pitches.. Delhi wanted outright wins and with the lack of a good spinner their option was to go for pitches which helped pacers. I dont see any irony here.

  • IndCrab on January 5, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    Score some double digits then