Is Dhoni angry with Gambhir?

If this story on cricketnext.com is to be believed, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has reportedly complained to the BCCI about Gautam Gambhir, saying that the batsman's approach is selfish. While it is clear that there is no bad blood between the two players, Dhoni feels that in his struggle to overcome his poor form, Gambhir is ignoring team goals and focussing only on his personal performance. The two run-outs that Gambhir has been involved with, have only brought out these differences, claims the author of the article.

"Of late Gambhir has gone into a shell and focusing on just to save his place in the team. His prolonged poor form has resulted in low self-esteem and he's cut off from other issues pertaining to the team," said the player. "But what irked Dhoni was Gambhir playing for himself and not for the team. It was evident in the way Gambhir batted in the second innings of the Mumbai Test that he was more interested in carrying his bat by remaining not out, rather than shielding the tailenders and scoring quick runs.

"What possibly could be the reason behind taking singles off the first or second ball of an over and exposing the tailenders to Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar on a rank turner? India needed some runs on the board to give something to their bowlers. Every run was crucial but Gambhir chose to be a mute spectator. The whole world saw that and everyone was taken aback. The effort to contribute to the team wasn't there. Look how well R Ashwin batted with maturity during his unbeaten 91 in the Kolkata Test and he isn't a specialist batsman. He shepherded the tailenders superbly and scored vital runs. If Ashwin can do, why couldn't Gambhir?"

While assuaging thoughts of any bad blood between Dhoni and Gambhir, the source did, however, cite the run-outs of Virender Sehwag in the first innings of the Kolkata Test and Cheteshwar Pujara in the second as moments which precipitated India's downfall and left Dhoni miffed with Gambhir's current approach.

"On both occasions, Gambhir was at fault. While there were clearly three runs in Sehwag's case which Gambhir declined, the call for a run to Pujara was ill-judged. He was having a tough time against Steven Finn and wanted to get off the strike. His desperation cost Pujara his wicket. Dhoni doesn't have doubts about his integrity or commitment," he said. "Gambhir, obviously, didn't do anything deliberately. It's just that in his struggle to overcome poor form, he is overlooking team's interest and remains oblivious of team goals. This has not gone down well with Dhoni, who is determined to win the Nagpur Test and level the series, and he conveyed his thoughts to the BCCI officials in no uncertain terms.

"Dhoni and Gambhir are cordial with each other. Gambhir has scored a couple of half-centuries in the series and seems like getting his old form back. If he could clear the unwarranted cobwebs from his head, he's a fierce competitor. He has the backing of the team. One of the BCCI officials will speak to Gambhir before the match and the matter will be sorted out. It is important that all the members take the field in the last Test with the motto of giving their best shot," he concluded.

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