Indian skipper Virat Kohli is able to lead the Indian cricket team because he has the likes of Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni by his side, said former cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Thursday. He further went on to say that the capability of one’s captaincy is in fact put to test when you lead a team in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“Still a long way to go for him. Kohli was very good in the last World Cup but he has a long way to go. He captains so well in international cricket because he has got Rohit Sharma, he had MS Dhoni for a long time. Captaincy credentials are noticed when you are leading a franchise, when you do not have other players supporting you,” Gambhir told reporters while interacting with the students of a university.
“I have been honest whenever I have spoken about this. See what Rohit Sharma has achieved for Mumbai Indians, see what Dhoni has achieved for Chennai Super Kings. If you compare that with RCB, the results are there for everyone to see”, the former India opener added.
Gautam Gambhir also endorsed for Rohit Sharma opening in Test cricket and stated that the batsman is too good to not be playing.
“I think KL Rahul has been given a longer run. It is time for Rohit Sharma to open the batting in Test cricket. If you pick him in the squad, he has to be a part of the playing XI. If he does not fit your playing XI, no point in picking him in the squad of 15 or 16. He is too good a player to be sitting on the bench,” Gambhir said.
The former also went on to disclose that he nearly left cricket in 2007 as he was left out of the World Cup squad.
The men in blue had a dismaying 50 overs World Cup in 2007 as they were eliminated in the group stages. Notwithstanding that, India went on to win the T20 World Cup in the same year under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, where Gautam Gambhir concluded as the leading run getter.
“In 2007, when I missed the 50-over World Cup, that was the lowest moment in my cricketing career. I had given up on cricket. Before that, I had missed both U-14 and U-19 World Cups. In 2007 I thought I was the closest to play the World Cup, but when they did not include me in the squad, I had given up on cricket,” Gambhir said.
“Then I was chosen in Twenty-20 World Cup in 2007 and I got dismissed for a duck in the first match against Pakistan. But as fate has it, I finished as the leading run-scorer in the World Cup and we ended up winning the tournament so one should never give up,” he added.
Furthermore, Gautam Gambhir stated that he always wanted to play Australia’s spin icon Shane Warne in international cricket, he further added that he only faced leg spinners in the IPL and he did not have difficulties facing them.
“I wished I could have faced Shane Warne in international cricket. I only played against him in Indian Premier League (IPL) and I did not find it that difficult,” Gambhir said.
Earlier, Gautam Gambhir also received Padma Shri, speaking of which the latter stated, that it was a surprise for him. He also asserted that winning the award will make him more level-headed now.
“I did not expect the Padma Shri award. I never worked to achieve many awards and rewards. I only wanted to come back to my room happy. But then Arjuna award was a surprise and so was Padma Shri. The award is a great honour, and it makes one more responsible,” Gambhir said.
Gautam Gambhir was an important member of India’s World Cup winning squad, the left hander went on to play crucial knocks which helped India win the T20 World Cup in 2007 and World Cup in 2011. Gambhir called it a day from all formats of the game in 2018 after he completed 10,000 runs.