Gambhir ready to battle it out

By now, Gautam Gambhir must have been well accustomed to the term out of favour. He last wore the India jersey five months back against England and judging by the current team set- up, a comeback may be distant. But the fighter in him has still not quit.

The emergence of the flamboyant Shikhar Dhawan as a classy and consistent left- handed opener has only added to Gambhir’s challenge. Dhawan’s exploits in the Mohali Test against Australia, and the ongoing Champions Trophy has ensured that the team has a reliable man at the start.

Add to it the form shown by Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik in recent times, and Gambhir’s chances don’t seem bright.

Gambhir, however, feels that such tough competition will only bring the best out of him and help him make a comeback.

“I think competition is a good thing as it brings the best out of me. It keeps one on his toes. It is good for any team to have many options for one position,” Gambhir said on Tuesday.

The 31- year- old batsman, however, admitted that it does not feel nice to be sitting out of the team.

“But this is a part and parcel of sports. Sometimes you are in, sometimes you are out. Obviously, one misses being in the team. But such things happens with everyone and I am not the only person,” said Gambhir.

“I will keep on trying hard and hopefully I will be back.”

Though it has been quite a while since the Delhi man was in the national team, he is following his side’s fortunes closely and said the start that it has got with a win in the Champions Trophy opener against South Africa augurs well for India.

“In this kind of tournament, the start is very important because that takes the pressure off the team. A solid first step is important as it gives the team momentum. The team had a good victory against South Africa, which is a good side, and it need to continue the winning run.”

Regarding India’s match against Pakistan on Saturday, Gambhir feels that India’s record of never beating their archrivals in the tournament should not play on their mind.

“Bygones are bygones, it’s about the present. It doesn’t matter if India has failed to win against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy. Every day is a new day and you have to start from scratch. Whoever performs well on the given day will be the winner,” he said.

Gambhir also added that the team’s good performance becomes all the more important in these troubled times when off- field controversies like spot- fixing are in the news.

“It is important that India do well in the Champions Trophy. It will increase the passion of the fans. I am aware of the happenings in the last few weeks, but on- field issues should be in the focus rather than offfield ones,” he said.

However, Gambhir believes that just because few cricketers’ names, including his former India teammate Sreesanth, have been associated with the spot- fixing scandal, it doesn’t necessarily mean the sport itself is unclean.

“A few players doing something wrong doesn’t affect the sport as better people are also there to carry the game forward,” he said.

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