Sporting pitches the need of the hour, says Gambhir

Indian opener delighted with his great run of form in the series


“Especially in Ahmedabad, it was a very tough job for spinners and fast bowlers,” said Gambhir on Wednesday. The left-hander made 167 on day one of the second Test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, his seventh ton in his last nine Tests.

“The way Harbhajan and Amit Mishra bowled, my heart went out to them because there was nothing from the track. Even Muralitharan, the best spinner in the world, didn't have a wicket on the fifth day, only the third time that's happened. In future, I hope we can have wickets which suit both batsmen and bowlers so that it's an even contest.”
Gambhir reflected on his own exceptional run. “Whenever you contribute, it's really satisfying. I'm really happy with the way it's been going and hopefully, I can continue as long as possible. I've felt more secure over the last one or one and a half years, since the Twenty20 World Cup in 2007. The amount I've confidence I've got from all my team-mates, coach and captain is fantastic.”

The previous day, opening partner Virender Sehwag had called him the next superstar of the Indian team and exhorted him to emulate Sunil Gavaskar’s feat of getting to ten hundreds in 32 Tests. “In New Zealand as well, he had said I'm the next Wall. Coming from him, it's a great feeling,” Gambhir said. “If someone else had said it, I wouldn't have taken it seriously because these statements don't matter. Comparisons with other cricketers don't really make that much difference to me.

“I've never played for records or thought I'll be in the same league. No one plays for records. Once you get set, you just want to continue for as long as possible. As an opening batsman, you're bound to have more failures because you're playing on a fresh track.”

Gambhir added that India were well placed to drive home the advantage after amassing 642 and having Sri Lanka at 66 for one. “The ball's started turning and keeping low as well,” he pointed out. “If we can bowl well tomorrow and for the next two days, it's going to result-oriented. It's only going to deteriorate from here on. There's only one team that can lose from this situation and that's Sri Lanka. If we bowl well, we're favourites in this game.”

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