Gautam Gambhir: Definitely not an oxymoron
When he was born, either his parents knew what his nature would be or he thought he was supposed to be the person that his name suggests. Yes, we are talking about Gautam Gambhir. Many people loath Gambhir for his prognosis or his desire not to smile. It is very natural for human beings to assume that their problems are bigger vis-à-vis others. So maybe his actions are mere reflections of this assumption. Jokes apart. Actually, I’m a big fan of Gambhir for a plethora of reasons.
As a sportsperson myself, I could, to a certain extent, relate to what goes in his mind. Certain people (including me) take everything very seriously. It keeps them focused and drives them to achieve greater feats. If you ask any great athlete, everyone would say that the ‘fear’ inside them enables them to perform better.
This is exactly what Gambhir epitomises. The ‘in your face’ attitude, which is innate in him, provides the requisite impetus to perform or just to be super focused. So the whole debate of him being churlish and brash is baseless.
I first saw Gambhir when he scored a double hundred against Zimbabwe while playing for the Board President’s XI. He never had the swagger, but he looked compact with a certain degree of frailties. I was sure it wasn’t long that he represents India, which he eventually did. I am a big fan of Gambhir for multiple reasons. There are so many articles which have highlighted his cricketing prowess and his run scoring ability. Without delving into that, I would like to accentuate Gambhir as an individual, both on and off the field.
Hard work and determination: The keys for Gambhir
We all know that Gambhir didn’t have the swagger or the talent adorned by the likes of Yuvraj and Sehwag. He was gritty and feisty, which made him so successful. I always had the affinity towards personalities, who through the audacity of dedication and tenacity to grind have achieved success. Hence I prefer Nadal over Federer, Ronaldo over Messi and Dravid over Tendulkar. It gives me immense joy when hard work prevails over talent. And Gambhir epitomises every bit of it. Here I’m not opining that talented players don’t work hard, it’s just that the less talented players have to work harder to be on the same pedestal.
Secondly, Gambhir has always been a team player. As captain of KKR, during the post-match presentations, he has always laid the importance of playing as a team. Gambhir was inspirational in KKR’s double win in 2012 and 2014. He was the main architect. But the captain took a back stage and let others be in the cynosure.
Thirdly, in both the World Cup finals i.e. in 2007 as well as 2011, Gambhir was the top scorer. In our lives, we have all come across instances where we have felt ‘betrayed’ or hard done by trivial acts of luck.
How do we feel when the credit for all the hard work that we have put in goes to our bosses? Consider the plight of certain actors, who have given their blood and sweat for a movie but somebody else, runs away with all the accolades?
Success, as a standard connotation, is 99% hard work and 1% luck. But consider the contribution of luck being 0.9% to your journey. The analogy that I want to draw from these examples is suppose in the 2011 World Cup final, Gambhir wouldn’t have played that rash shot but instead would have scored a well deserved century, then who would have become the so called icon in the country?
In a matter of few seconds, the ‘legacy’ of a person was changed. Hence, like me, many would be able to relate with Gambhir since we all have gone through such incidents in our lives.
Finally, why would anyone not like a ‘fighter’? Gambhir is a fighter. Every time he has been out of the side, he has clawed his way back through non-negotiable work ethics. In today’s scenario, players who do not represent the country can create a niche for themselves by performing well in IPL.
Gambhir not only succeeded in the IPL but also scored heavily in the domestic circuit. All these were not achieved overnight. From going through those grueling net sessions that he arranged at his own place to going abroad to improve his technical skills, Gambhir did everything to remain match fit.
In a nutshell, my admiration towards Gambhir is symbolic. From maintaining a no-nonsense attitude towards something that you are passionate about, to achieving everything on the basis of blood and sweat, I aspire to be like him.