Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gambhir: Team effort matters to me

The Delhi Daredevils captain Gautam Gambhir spoke about the reasons for his side's downfall in Airtel CLT20.

Q.Delhi Daredevils had a mixed bag of results in the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 tournament. How do you sum up this competition?
A.I think playing three matches in Delhi on this kind of track was difficult especially when we played against Victoria. It was our first game and we never knew what total would be a winning one. But I think that one game made a lot of difference, as you can see. And then we didn't really capitalise on the chances against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the League Stage. If we would have grabbed our chances then we would have certainly made it into the semi-finals of the tournament.

Q.Do you think the failure of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag - as an opening pair - was the reason behind Delhi Daredevils failure to reach the semis?
A.Obviously, as an opening pair one needs to give a good start to the team in any form of the game - be it Twenty20s, one-day games or Tests. At the same time, the expectations which people have from us have gone really high. That puts a bit of pressure whenever I take guard but it also poses a challenge. But then one plays cricket for these very challenges. I play cricket to accept those challenges and do well. Maybe in this tournament Viru [Virender Sehwag] and I didn't click as a pair and I agree that it was one of the reasons why we didn't do well in the tournament.

Q.You recently said that your side missed the services of Daniel Vettori, but you had another option in Amit Mishra.
A. Danny [Daniel Vettori] is a quality bowler. He has this amazing ability of drying up the runs with his immaculate line and length - he is a top class player. I have already said that his absence was felt throughout this tournament. Amit [Mishra] bowled pretty well in the tournament but his combination with Danny would have made this a different ball game altogether.

Q. How was the experience of captaining Delhi Daredevils?
A. It is a completely different experience when you captain the side because it is a new challenge and a huge responsibility as well. At the same time, one not only has to think about his own game but also about the rest of the players. Things like how to motivate them and take the best out of them. So it is great challenge. Personally it has been a great experience for me and hopefully I will learn a lot from this stint as skipper. For me, only team goals matter. It is always the team effort that matters to me.

Q. And what was it like leading a team with Glenn McGrath in its ranks?
A. It was a great honour, I must say. Captaining Glenn McGrath is without doubt one of the high points of my career. He is a once in a lifetime kind of a cricketer. And one can learn so many things from him just by watching him sweat it out in the nets.

Q. You looked relaxed while captaining the side even when you were losing.
A. I have always been calm and composed on the field whenever I have led the side. I try to keep myself as relaxed as possible. I think it is important for the entire team and for me personally as well. I don't like to show emotions. I prefer to stay calm and just take control of the situation. And that is what I have been trying to do throughout Airtel Champions League Twenty20.

Q. What is the secret behind your consistency in all formats of the game over the last two years?
A.I try to prepare myself in a similar fashion for all three formats. I try to keep my game simple. The aim is to score runs off each ball I face whether it is Tests, ODIs or Twenty20s. That is my basic game. I have always gone in with this mindset. This could be the reason why people say I have adjusted well to all three formats of the game. For me, the key is to keep thing as simple as possible. When I am playing Test cricket, I don't go to the middle just to survive - I go in there to score runs. I think that is one reason why I have been able to give consistent performances in all the three formats of the game.

Q. But to achieve that is a huge challenge.
A. Look, if you ask me as a batsman or any of the cricketers, it is really hard to adapt to all three formats of the game. One needs to shift gears and more importantly, in my opinion, one needs to increase the risk-taking factor while playing the shorter versions of the game. And then reduce it while keeping the flair intact in Test cricket. To be consistent in all three versions of the game is really difficult whether you are a bowler or a batsman - it is a challenge.

Q. Senior pros like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have spoken about the 'zone' they find themselves in while batting. Have you ever entered that 'zone'?
A.Firstly, I want to go in there and score runs for the team and that is more important as compared all to other things. I don't know about the 'zone', but I sometimes feel that it is all about confidence. It is more about the mindset, how well prepared you are for the game. I have always laid special emphasis on my preparation for a match and it works for me. If I look back, there was a time while I was batting in Napier (he scored 137 runs to help India draw the third Test and win the Test series 1-0) against New Zealand when I could just see the ball and nothing else. But at the same time my confidence and concentration were really high. Was it the 'zone'? I cannot say. I suppose if I reached that state of mind in the future while batting, I might recognise it as such.

Q. Do you think that there are times when you need to shed your aggression to get your eye-in?
A. Well, sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't. In Twenty20, one needs to take chances from the word 'go' because it is the bang-bang format. So one requires to take the initiative from the start. In 50 overs' and Test cricket, one still has time on his hand to settle down and get his eye in before making shots but in the shortest version, there is very little time.

Q. IPL-3 will be held in March next year. Your thoughts about the home support and the unfinished business in IPL.
A.I think it will be exciting to play in front of the home crowds. It is always a great feeling when the entire crowd is behind you, like we saw in Bangalore when we played against RCB. Hopefully, we will be able to turn things around. Delhi Daredevils have been the most consistent side in the last two editions of the IPL but unfortunately, we just played one bad game and crashed out both the times. It will be a great challenge because a lot of teams know each other's strengths and weaknesses after having played two editions.

Q.Trinidad & Tobago have been the flavour of the season. Do you think they are favourites to lift the CLT20 cup?
A.I think in Twenty20s, no one is really a favourite. They have been playing really well. It is important for West Indies cricket that the side do well. They have shown the amount of flair they have and how good they can be on good tracks. They have played as team and I wish them all the best in the tournament.

Subscribe in a reader

No comments:

Post a Comment