The Telegraph
Friday , May 16 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

‘I’m focused only on immediate future’

- Have been missing the support of Eden Gardens, says KKR captain
Gautam Gambhir

New Delhi: After regaining form with a hat-trick of half-centuries in the ongoing IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Gautam Gambhir is focused on the current tournament and not thinking about Team India’s upcoming England tour or the 2015 World Cup.

Gambhir began this IPL season with three ducks in a row, but has certainly led by example in the last few games. He, however, reiterated that he doesn’t take IPL as a comeback platform.

“I still stand by my thought that the IPL is not a platform for comebacks, but is a great tournament, which I thoroughly enjoy playing… And I am doing my best for the team,” Gambhir, who last played an international match, against England, in Dharamsala in January last year, said.

Asked if India’s tour of England in June and the World Cup Down next year are on his radar to make a comeback, he said he was not thinking about them right now. “Right now, I am only focused on the immediate future and doing well for the team.

“If my performances are good enough, I am sure people in charge — selectors — will make the right decision,” he said.

He also said that he believes in responding through performance to critics. “As a player, you realise that criticism is always going to be there, especially if the results are not going your way. I personally feel the best way to respond to it is by going out there and performing to the best of your ability,” the opener elaborated.

The KKR captain is also confident of contributing to the team’s cause once he gets a good start. “It is a good feeling to be having a few runs now under my belt.

“I was always confident that once I got a good start, I would be able to convert those into scores that would help the team and I am glad that I have been able to do that in last few games… Looking forward to continue the good run for the rest of the tournament,” he said.

KKR are fourth in the points table with five wins and as many losses out of 10 games. Gambhir has admitted that the 2012 champions had started slowly, but have gradually picked up momentum.

“We had a slow start and were unlucky in a few games. Throughout the tournament, we have played some good cricket, but it was just a matter of ensuring we maintain the level for the entire game.

“The whole team has played well as a unit now and I am happy with everyone’s contribution.”

The southpaw is confident of emulating 2012’s success when he led the franchise to its first ever IPL triumph. “The focus right now is to take each game at a time and put in our best effort in every match. We have a well balanced team with a good mix of experience and youth and I am confident that we can do well this year as well,” he said.

Gambhir also conceded that the team is missing its home ground, Eden Gardens. “All teams had to play their matches away from home when the first leg was played outside India. Obviously, we have been missing the support and atmosphere of the Eden.”