New Delhi, Jan. 8 -- It is unusual to see an India opener take to the nets of his state team the day after playing a day-night game. Gautam Gambhir, in desperate need of runs, joined the Delhi nets on Monday, a day after playing Pakistan, to get his basics right. He had to negotiate both Ashish Nehra and Pradeep Sangwan, who bowled well to him in conditions favourable to bowlers.
Although he had a fine ODI record in 2012, the three innings in the Pakistan ODIs underlined his recent struggles.
He was bowled off an inside edge in the first ODI, got caught behind in the next and was out to a slash in the third.
Delhi and KKR coach Vijay Dahiya, who supervised the nets, blamed Gambhir's lack of footwork.
"When you score runs, no one looks at your flaws, but people talk about it only when you don't get runs. If you ask me what's the problem with Gautam it is a lack of decisiveness in his footwork," he said.
Gambhir's personal coach, Sanjay Bhardwaj, says the batsman must learn to relax. "Sometimes you start thinking too much about the game, on and off the field, and it can work the other way."
Gambhir though won't play Tuesday's warm-up against an England XI. Nehra is eyeing a comeback what with India struggling for bowling options.
Nehra, whose poor fitness and irregular appearances hurt the balance of the Delhi Ranji team this season will bowl at England batsmen in seaming conditions at the Ferozshah Kotla.
If he does well, there could be a chance for a comeback for the final two ODIs at Dharamsala and Mohali, if the other bowlers fail on batting-friendly Rajkot and Kochi tracks.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.