That brash kid from Delhi, so impressionable, so immature; Gautam Gambhir has come a long way in his international career.
From having played that 75 run knock in the 2007 T20 World Cup, to leading India’s run-chase in the 2011 World Cup final, to finally getting a chance to lead an IPL franchise, and doing so successfully by winning two titles for the grieved Kolkata franchise, Gambhir has grown in stature.
He too realises that he is now a senior statesman in his Ranji side(and probably in the upcoming IPL too) and wants to impart his knowledge onto the next generation of stars, irrespective of the franchise that he gets picked for.
“Back in 2011, I remember it was January and the only worry I had was whether I will be picked for the 50-over World Cup later that year or not. It was only on the day of the auction, I had a few butterflies in my tummy. Now, seven years later, I have a broader view to life and cricket,” Gambhir told PTI.
“I am at a stage of my career where I want to be a senior statesman, a mentor to the younger cricketers. Whether that happens in KKR, Sunrisers, Delhi, Mumbai I am absolutely fine with it,” he added.
When asked if it will be tough to move on from KKR, with the franchise not having retained him, Gambhir said “Yes it will be, it will be tough as KKR gave a platform to express myself as a batsman, a leader, as a human. But at the end of the day I respect the call KKR has taken, they have some solid reasons behind the move which they have explained and I am fine with them.
“There are no hard feelings at all, may be there are fresh challenges waiting for me. I will be glad to accept them and turn things around. Lets see what happens,”.
Gambhir did not want to talk about his favoured franchises and one’s that he would want to play for from IPL 2018.
“Again this is a question that only the franchisees can answer. People know what I bring in the package as a captain and as a player. I’ll be happy to take any group to the next levels wherever I am picked.” the former KKR captain said.
Rumours state that Delhi Daredevils will be looking to buy Gambhir in the auctions, but Gambhir refused to concede that DD had made any contact with him.
“See, this is a hypothetical question, something which is not in my hands. There are a lot of variables which have to go right to have a wishful auction. I can only say that I am happy to play anywhere the auction lands me whether it is Delhi or any other franchisee.
“At the end of the day, it is a simple game — you can only control your bat in hand, thinking about the rest of the aspects can only add to your stress.” GG said.
Gambhir is competing with the younger generation in order to land a good IPL contract, but by the looks of it, he looks ready for the challenge.
“It is a life circle and I completely understand this part. The bottom-line is that I am absolutely ready to compete with players of any age-group or talent pool.
“I have had an almost 700-run season in Ranji Trophy, I have been working hard on my fitness for last 5 years and this is what matters. Rest are mere details,” he concluded.