Gambhir puts up a brave front

Out-of-form opening batsman jumps to the defence of his struggling team-mates.

Gautam Gambhir KOCHI: The questions were put in an orderly fashion, on India's poor bowling at the death, the spin struggle, failure of a set toporder batsman to get a big score, which would have made the chase easier in Rajkot.

India coach Duncan Fletcher seems to be giving tips to Virat Kohli ahead of the second ODI at Kochi. Kohli is going through a rough patch.

In an ideal world, there would be some sort of explanation on how the team planned to rectify the concerns.

But on Monday, Gautam Gambhir, given the job of explaining what the team's approach for the second ODI against England would be, swatted away almost every query.

NEED TO ANCHOR

Gambhir did acknowledge that at least one of the four batsmen who got fifties in the first ODI should have anchored the innings, but was anxious to defend his team mates.

“There won't be any motivation problem, the bowlers, including Ishant Sharma, can't be blamed because they gave away too many runs in the final overs, because it is a 100-over game,” he said.

“There has been just one match in this series, and unfortunately the problem here is after every defeat we start talking about form. That's not the way to look at it. We have to look at a broader picture.”

About the openers not going on to seal the win, he said: “It's not just about the opener, it's about 11 players. You can't say as an opener you have to do this and that, we contribute as a team, we play as a team.”

What did he feel about young pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who scored a century in the Duleep Trophy this season, shone with the bat too in Rajkot?

“Don't put pressure on a youngster. Just let him be, don't start tagging him as an allrounder and people will start talking that he should work on his batting.

“And rather than thinking about what's happened in the series, we want to see it's a start of a new series, just go out there thinking it's a four-match series rather than thinking we are 01 down.”

NEED TO PLAN

In contrast, England skipper Alastair Cook, looking to reverse the outcome after the washout on the last two trips, has shed light on every aspect of the team’s game. And that includes planning an innings.

“It is one of the skills that you need as a top-order batsman,” he said, when asked to explain whether the team could assess the ideal score on a particular pitch.

“When you are batting first, you need to be able to assess the conditions quickly and communicate that to the dressing room so everyone will know what a good score is.”

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