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Duncan should continue: Gauti

Gautam Gambhir

New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir came out in support for Duncan Fletcher, saying the Zimbabwean should not be removed from the coach’s post immediately.

“I know Fletcher well… He is a good coach. I don’t think he should be replaced now… I feel he should continue,” said the out-of-favour India opener on the sidelines of a function, here, on Wednesday.

“What is the point in criticising the coach? He should not be blamed. What could he do when the team does not play well? However, I feel the Indian team would bounce back in the World T20,” Gambhir opined.

Asked whether the forthcoming IPL would be a suitable platform for him to make a comeback into the national team, Gambhir said one should not mix up two things. “I was asked the same question last year as well. But that’s not the point here. IPL is a separate tournament. I play IPL for my team and do well for them. Performing for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) remains the most important point in my mind when I play in the IPL,” the KKR captain made it clear.

Gambhir pointed out he had been picked up by the Knight Riders on the basis of his performance. “Even during last season, I was the top scorer for KKR in the IPL. Had I not scored those runs, I would not have been there,” he said.

“Moreover, making a comeback into the Indian team is not the reason why I am playing cricket. I play the game because I love to and want to give my 100 per cent in every match I play,” he added.

Gambhir felt that playing the IPL in UAE would be easier in terms of conditions. “I think playing in countries like UAE and Bangladesh would be like doing so in India. Had the tournament been played in South Africa, the conditions would have been entirely different.”

Elaborating on the IPL, Gambhir said most of the franchises have a balanced set-up, which could lead to a competitive season. "Most of the sides are well balanced. It's going to be a competitive tournament and that's what we are looking at in the IPL.

“I would be playing domestic T20 tournaments. It's actually going to be good practice before IPL.

The more you play T20, the more you get into that groove. It's better to have certain number of games under your belt before you go into the IPL.”

Gambhir also refused to set any time frame before thinking of calling it quits.