Gautam Gambhir, the India opener who has been passed fit for the Champions Trophy following a groin injury, has said Virender Sehwag's absence will affect India and add responsibility on the rest of the players.
"[Sehwag's absence] does play on your mind," Gambhir said. "When he is around, he is so destructive that he allows you to be yourself. When he is not around, you try to take up the responsibility from both ends. He is a legend of the game and surely you miss him. We have a tremendous rapport, both on and off the field."
Gambhir had a great 2008 and has been nominated for ICC awards in two categories - Cricketer of the Year and Test Player of the Year. "It was a fabulous year. I never thought it would go the way it did and that I would be up for so many awards, including the Arjuna Award. How things change and so quickly." From January 2008 Gambhir averaged 44.31 from 41 ODIs, scoring four centuries and nine half-centuries.
Apart from Sehwag's absence, offspinner Harbhajan Singh felt India were missing a bowling allrounder like Shaun Pollock. Harbhajan also hoped to score his maiden one-day century during the tournament. "In a function in Mumbai recently, Sunil Gavaskar wanted to know when I would hit my first hundred. Coming from him it was a huge thing. Hopefully there would soon be a cause for cheer and it would be for Sunny bhai."
India will play their only warm-up ahead of the Champions Trophy on Sunday against New Zealand in Potchefstroom before their first game next Saturday against Pakistan at Centurion.