Indian Premier League 2013 March 29, 2013

Gambhir ready for title defence

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Gautam Gambhir has said that he should be fit in time to play the first match of the Indian Premier League against Delhi Daredevils on April 3. Gambhir, who was dropped from the Test squad against Australia for the first two Tests and then missed out due to a bout of jaundice, had resumed training and was keen on getting back into the groove.

"I started out slowly as I hadn't played for 10 days, and the fatigue is still there," he said in an interview to the Hindustan Times. "But I should be available for the first match (April 3). We have a long break after that, which should give me enough time to recuperate."

Gambir, who captained Kolkata Knight Riders to their first IPL title last year and was the second-highest run-getter in the season, said that he didn't regret not being part of the side that beat Australia by a historic margin of 4-0. "Playing for India is my biggest motivation, but not the only one," he said. "As a sportsperson, I want to keep performing. I hadn't played for Delhi in a long time, so it felt great to be back. That we won the Vijay Hazare Trophy after 17-18 years made it doubly special. I just want to make runs that help my team win. I don't want to complicate things. I want to keep my cricket and my life simple by scoring runs."

His lack of match practice going into the IPL, however, isn't a cause for concern. KKR coach Trevor Bayliss said that Gambhir and Jacques Kallis were players who would prove their experience once the competition begins. "At the same time, we have a squad with highly effective players in the middle order, who can handle the responsibility they have been entrusted with," Bayliss added.

Bayliss also admitted there would be pressure on KKR in the tournament as they seek to defend their title. "In a way, our achievements last season do bring in a bit of extra pressure," Bayliss said in an interview to the Telegraph. "But at the end of the day, it's a good feeling to start a competition as the defending champions. We need to carry on with the momentum we had gained last year."

England batsman Eoin Morgan, Lakshmipathy Balaji and left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla joined the team in Kolkata on Thursday.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY LotusGenius on | March 31, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Gambhir still has a few good years left. He should improve his physical strength by muscle building. Otherwise he will always be caught at long-on or long-off.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | March 31, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    KKR, if you want to defend your title, drop Kallis and pick Tendo, that's how you can save the 30-40 deliveries Kallis waste in every match.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Without SHAKIB, Its realy too hard to KKR defence the trophy...he is true allrounder in every format..but he more suite player in t20...last two times BPL man of the series.....this year he also signing for English club Liecestershire CC....J.Kallis more suite for ODI and TEST format....NARINE not good enough now as he showed last IPL...Lots depends on GAMBHIR, TENDO(if they use him), and BALAJI.........PATHAN should come with his natural instincts

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Ipl always gives every indian player to get away from mates and achieve some game winning runs on there own.

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Whao!! Mr. Gautam. I am very pleased to see your commitment for India. You do not regret on missing as a member of Team India, infact you love to play for Delhi. Ok fine then, please keep on playing for Delhi only. We are also happy to see you out of the Indian team.

  • POSTED BY pzsrivastava on | March 30, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Surprise, Surprise! Mr Gautam Gambhir always recovers in time to play for IPL. If I remember correctly last year he was not available for team due to some shoulder issue but recovered in time to manage lead the KKR team. This time around he was suffering from jaundice, and was supposed to be out for 4 weeks, was not available to join the Indian team for the 4th test (due to Shikhar Dhawan's injury) and now again he is available to play for IPL.

  • POSTED BY cricankul on | March 30, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    Gauti ,your presence is an asset for the kkr.take some good decisions and make kkr win the title again.

  • POSTED BY A.J.KnightRider on | March 30, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    Tendo and Morgan should be used more often this time around. Will be interesting to see how Kolkata fares without Shakib for the first half of the season. But we certainly have it in us to win another title. GO KKR !!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Sunil Narine is the key and will lead KKR to another title

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    My Eleven for KKR(I know this line up is 1 bowler too many but kkr doesnt have any good batsman in middle order to be included) gambhir kallis mcculum/morgan yusuf tiwary Tendescate/Mcclaren bisla/das bhatia/shukla narine balagi abdulla/shami ahmed(depending on track spin or pace)

  • POSTED BY LotusGenius on | March 31, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Gambhir still has a few good years left. He should improve his physical strength by muscle building. Otherwise he will always be caught at long-on or long-off.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | March 31, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    KKR, if you want to defend your title, drop Kallis and pick Tendo, that's how you can save the 30-40 deliveries Kallis waste in every match.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Without SHAKIB, Its realy too hard to KKR defence the trophy...he is true allrounder in every format..but he more suite player in t20...last two times BPL man of the series.....this year he also signing for English club Liecestershire CC....J.Kallis more suite for ODI and TEST format....NARINE not good enough now as he showed last IPL...Lots depends on GAMBHIR, TENDO(if they use him), and BALAJI.........PATHAN should come with his natural instincts

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Ipl always gives every indian player to get away from mates and achieve some game winning runs on there own.

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Whao!! Mr. Gautam. I am very pleased to see your commitment for India. You do not regret on missing as a member of Team India, infact you love to play for Delhi. Ok fine then, please keep on playing for Delhi only. We are also happy to see you out of the Indian team.

  • POSTED BY pzsrivastava on | March 30, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Surprise, Surprise! Mr Gautam Gambhir always recovers in time to play for IPL. If I remember correctly last year he was not available for team due to some shoulder issue but recovered in time to manage lead the KKR team. This time around he was suffering from jaundice, and was supposed to be out for 4 weeks, was not available to join the Indian team for the 4th test (due to Shikhar Dhawan's injury) and now again he is available to play for IPL.

  • POSTED BY cricankul on | March 30, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    Gauti ,your presence is an asset for the kkr.take some good decisions and make kkr win the title again.

  • POSTED BY A.J.KnightRider on | March 30, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    Tendo and Morgan should be used more often this time around. Will be interesting to see how Kolkata fares without Shakib for the first half of the season. But we certainly have it in us to win another title. GO KKR !!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    Sunil Narine is the key and will lead KKR to another title

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    My Eleven for KKR(I know this line up is 1 bowler too many but kkr doesnt have any good batsman in middle order to be included) gambhir kallis mcculum/morgan yusuf tiwary Tendescate/Mcclaren bisla/das bhatia/shukla narine balagi abdulla/shami ahmed(depending on track spin or pace)

  • POSTED BY ABRULES on | March 29, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    kkr won bcoz of gambhir..solid and strict captaincy. motivating players by scoring and putting a example before them of how to handle pressure.i think he was the only captain to field 3 fotiegn players in a match, which means believing u r players. that's a big thing from a captains point of view,he also got a good vision to read the game and i pray to god that he returns to form quickly make a place for himself in the team.he could be a good captain

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | March 29, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Tendo should play every match instead of Kallis.He was one of the most consistent player of BPL2.Brett Lee is mentor? Then how they will drop him for poor performance? He and Kallis may get rooted to the team for all matches regardless of performance.Sunil Naraine is mandatory.So, only one slot is left for McCullum, Morgan Tendo and Senanayeke.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | March 29, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Th reason why KKR did so well last year was simply Sunil Naraine.I do not know how long Jack Kallis will be given chances after chances just because he is Jack Kallis.What is his overall strike rate in whole IPL career?Players like Marlon Samules are far better than Kallis in this format.KKR should not field Kallis in every match.He has fixed a spot and doing trouble to players like Tendo and Morgan.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Should use Eoin Morgan more judiciously this year...Senanayke along with Narine will be potent attack on Kolkattan pitches..Best Luck Team KKR!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    I think this is KKR's best team: 1. Manvinder Bisla (wk) 2. Gautam Gambhir (c) 3. Brendon McCullum 4. Jacques Kallis 5. Manoj Tiwary 6. Yusuf Pathan 7. Debabrata Das 8. Brett Lee 9. Iqbal Abdulla 10. Sunil Narine 11. Lakshmipathy Balaji Of course, depending on the pitches, Sennayake and Shakib should also play some games.

    I think the only team which can claim to be stronger is CSK

  • POSTED BY dailtire on | March 29, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    marriage has brought luck to many indian players e.g. pujara, dravid. let us hope yusuf performs well this season.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    @ Nipun: Some positives which you missed out for KKR. Shami Ahmed is big plus in terms of Indian bowler on circuit, Manoj Tiwari is reliable as ever, and Yusuf looks in much better form compare to horrible season last year.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Sunil Narine -----Trump Card for KKR

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    Ryan tenDoeschate may get a run if Shakib is not there...

  • POSTED BY Nipun on | March 29, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    This time Shakib Al Hasan won't be there I guess. Now they will understand how badly they will miss him when they will get thrashed by all the big teams this year. Brett Lee, the one who can't even pick up a wicket per game & goes for about 8 an over, is the bowling advisor ? What will they learn from him ? Jacques Kallis, who irrespective of the state of the match goes about the same strike rate of about 115, or at most 120, will continue to pile on the runs & boost his average & play out half the overs for little purpose. He is a legend but that won't take away the fact that he is not very well suited for this version of the game. Sunil Narine, well, his ordinariness has already strarted to show up & he hasn't even played about a year, though he should be moderately successful in this format since the players have to attack him right from the word go. Last season, if my memory serves me right, Brendon McCullum went at about a strike rate of 102. He is in good form now though.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    Looking at there team Squad at present it seems like they cannot defend

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  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    Looking at there team Squad at present it seems like they cannot defend

  • POSTED BY Nipun on | March 29, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    This time Shakib Al Hasan won't be there I guess. Now they will understand how badly they will miss him when they will get thrashed by all the big teams this year. Brett Lee, the one who can't even pick up a wicket per game & goes for about 8 an over, is the bowling advisor ? What will they learn from him ? Jacques Kallis, who irrespective of the state of the match goes about the same strike rate of about 115, or at most 120, will continue to pile on the runs & boost his average & play out half the overs for little purpose. He is a legend but that won't take away the fact that he is not very well suited for this version of the game. Sunil Narine, well, his ordinariness has already strarted to show up & he hasn't even played about a year, though he should be moderately successful in this format since the players have to attack him right from the word go. Last season, if my memory serves me right, Brendon McCullum went at about a strike rate of 102. He is in good form now though.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    Ryan tenDoeschate may get a run if Shakib is not there...

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Sunil Narine -----Trump Card for KKR

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    @ Nipun: Some positives which you missed out for KKR. Shami Ahmed is big plus in terms of Indian bowler on circuit, Manoj Tiwari is reliable as ever, and Yusuf looks in much better form compare to horrible season last year.

  • POSTED BY dailtire on | March 29, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    marriage has brought luck to many indian players e.g. pujara, dravid. let us hope yusuf performs well this season.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    I think this is KKR's best team: 1. Manvinder Bisla (wk) 2. Gautam Gambhir (c) 3. Brendon McCullum 4. Jacques Kallis 5. Manoj Tiwary 6. Yusuf Pathan 7. Debabrata Das 8. Brett Lee 9. Iqbal Abdulla 10. Sunil Narine 11. Lakshmipathy Balaji Of course, depending on the pitches, Sennayake and Shakib should also play some games.

    I think the only team which can claim to be stronger is CSK

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Should use Eoin Morgan more judiciously this year...Senanayke along with Narine will be potent attack on Kolkattan pitches..Best Luck Team KKR!!!

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | March 29, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    Th reason why KKR did so well last year was simply Sunil Naraine.I do not know how long Jack Kallis will be given chances after chances just because he is Jack Kallis.What is his overall strike rate in whole IPL career?Players like Marlon Samules are far better than Kallis in this format.KKR should not field Kallis in every match.He has fixed a spot and doing trouble to players like Tendo and Morgan.

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | March 29, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Tendo should play every match instead of Kallis.He was one of the most consistent player of BPL2.Brett Lee is mentor? Then how they will drop him for poor performance? He and Kallis may get rooted to the team for all matches regardless of performance.Sunil Naraine is mandatory.So, only one slot is left for McCullum, Morgan Tendo and Senanayeke.