Hurst did the right thing, says Gambhir

It was both embarrassing and disappointing

Hurst did the right thing, says Gambhir

Dashing opener Gautam Gambhir holds forth at a promotional event in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

Even though the Delhi and District Cricket Association claimed matches have been played on worse surfaces and that Hurst should have considered another track that was offered, Gambhir saw logic in Hurst’s decision to call off the game.

“I think the match referee did the right thing. He must have given it serious thought. It was not an ideal wicket for a one-day international,” Gambhir told reporters after he was signed as a brand ambassador of Seagram’s Royal Stag Mega Cricket.

Dismissing DDCA claims that the match could have carried on, Gambhir said, “The whole world now knows why the match was called off. Had the wicket been alright, there would have been a full match on Sunday. “This is an embarrassing situation which doesn’t happen often and someone has to stand up and take the responsibility,” he said.

Gambhir said but for the Kotla pitch playing spoilsport, India would have ended the year on a winning note. “It was both embarrassing and disappointing. A 4-1 win would have looked more comprehensive. We wanted to end the year on a high with a win.

“ It would have given us momentum going into the tri-series in Bangladesh (starting on January 4),” he rued.

Gambhir also said he was happy to drop down the order to pave the way for Sachin Tendulkar in India’s one-day line-up. Gambhir partners Delhi team-mate Virender Sehwag both in Test and Twenty20 but has to bat down the order in ODIs when Tendulkar comes in at the top.

“When you have two of the world’s best openers, you don’t think about that. With two legends of the game opening, you have to give them the honour. They have a great record together and I’m happy playing down the order.

“I’m happy playing at whatever position I’m offered. The slot doesn’t matter. What really matters is how much you contribute. I’m happy while opening. Even when I’m not, I want to contribute as much as possible for the team,” said the left-hander.

With Tendulkar opting out of the Bangladesh tri-series, Gambhir will be back opening again and said it would not be a problem for him. “Whenever you play for India, you have to take responsibility and perform. There is always pressure but you can never leave the job to others and hope Dhoni, Yuvraj (Singh), Sehwag or Tendulkar will do it,” he said.
In fact, so impressive was Gambhir at the top that Sehwag called him the best Indian opener since Sunil Gavaskar. “It’s a big compliment coming from Sehwag, but I think I have a long way to go. It’s important for me to do consistently well,” said Gambhir, ranked number one Test batsman in ICC rankings.

Asked about his captaincy ambitions, the left-hander said he enjoyed leading Delhi in the Ranji Trophy and was looking forward to leading the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League. “Captaining a side is a great honour -- whether it's Delhi, Delhi Daredevils or India. You don't lead differently for different teams. It's a great responsibility also and it makes me more responsible.

“I want to lead from the front. We won the Ranji Trophy (in 2008 under his captaincy) after 16 years and I made five centuries. Captaincy brings out the best in me,” said Gambhir.

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