The Telegraph
Saturday , June 9 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

‘We’ve the talent to regain top spot’

Gautam Gambhir

New Delhi: Team India have been having a testing time as far as Test cricket is concerned. Humiliating results against England and Australia had almost wiped away the glory that the Mahendra Singh Dhonis had earned by being the No.1 side in world.

But Gautam Gambhir, a key member of the team, feels that there is enough talent in the side to get back to the top spot. He is also of the view that the break that the Indian team is currently enjoying would help them come back stronger, with improved fitness.

“It is good that we are having a break now,” Gambhir said, on Friday. “It’s a positive for us… We will be able to come back fresh and with improved fitness. Our team definitely has the talent to get back the No.1 position. We should be well prepared for our series against England, Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

Gambhir was speaking on the sidelines of the ONGC versus Rajnigandha Club match, in the Lala Raghubir Singh Hot Weather Cricket Tournament. Gambhir’s side, ONGC, won the match by seven wickets.

The team is led by Tanmay Srivastava, a former India under-19 opener. ONGC also have players like Mithun Manhas and Ajay Ratra in their ranks.

According to the left-handed opener, the key to regaining the top spot is doing well in all the departments of the game. “What is most important to regain the top place is to perform well in all three departments of the game…

“In international cricket, doing well in one department is not good enough. We need to work hard in every aspect of the game,” Gambhir said.

Gambhir, who is riding high on his success as the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, said retirement of senior cricketers like Rahul Dravid would not dent India’s performance and reiterated that everyone in the team were equal.

“There are no seniors or juniors in the Indian team... Everyone is equal in a team. If you are playing for India, you have to take the responsibility. Obviously, when you have experience, you are a bit more matured,” he said.

However, the former vice-captain to Dhoni refused to be drawn into the debate over India’s Test captaincy, saying that it should be left to the selectors.

“That (captaincy) is something for the selectors to decide,” was Gambhir’s straightforward answer. It may be recalled that Gambhir, a few days back, had said that he is ready for captaining the Indian team in Test cricket.

Talking about revival of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan, Gambhir said: “For me, Pakistan is no different from Bangladesh, Australia or New Zealand...

“The main thing is that you are playing for your country and that in itself is a big motivation,” Gambhir said.