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Gautam Gambhir excited yet nervous after recall to Indian Test side

The 34-year-old revealed that he has made a few changes to his technique as well as improve his mental strength.

Gautam Gambhir India Cricket
Gambhir is happy to be back amongst the mix of things as far the Indian Test side is concerned

Indian opener Gautam Gambhir who earned a well-deserved call-up to the Indian Test side after a gap of over two years is excited about the prospect of representing India again. The left-hander scripted his way back into the team owing to his good run of form in domestic cricket, especially the recently concluded Duleep Trophy tournament where he scored four half-centuries on the trot.

He added that he is hopeful the changes he has made mentally as well as with his technique recently will pay off if and when he gets a chance to be part of the playing eleven. 

“It’s a feeling of being nervous, it’s a feeling of being excited as well,” Gambhir told BCCI.TV. “Obviously whenever you get to represent your country, especially in Test cricket, the most important format of the game, it is very exciting. Very few people get to play with the blue cap on and for me to get that chance one more time is an unbelievable feeling.

“Whether you play a hundred Test matches or you have played one Test match when you approach a Test match you are nervous. The important thing here is how much you can control your emotions. As an opening batsman, I have always felt at the start of day 1 if you go in first, you will always have nerves but they will eventually settle down the more time you spend time in the middle. It is not that someone being experienced won’t be nervous, everyone feels that and it is good.”

Revealing more about the changes he has adopted after being forced to grind it out in the domestic circuit in order to make a comeback, Gambhir said that it was more about getting into the correct frame of mind. 

“I have made a few technical changes over the past two years but mostly it was more mental. It was more about trying to get all your doubts out of the system which is very important. For someone who has been playing international cricket for a very long time, you have certain kind of targets set for yourself, and then when you are not doing really the way you should be doing; doubts start creeping in,” he said.

“When you go away from the game and are not part of the international side, you need to negate all those doubts and come back having more belief in your game.” 

After being overlooked for the first Test against New Zealand, which the hosts won convincingly by 197 runs, Gambhir’s chances of an international comeback looked all over before a hamstring injury to KL Rahul which forced him out of the remainder of the series, made the new selection committee headed by MSK Prasad turn to Gambhir as the team’s third opener.

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While it remains to be seen whether Gambhir makes it to the playing eleven or not, the 34-year-old is more than happy to stick around and support his teammates should skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble decide to open with the duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay.  

“Honestly, I was not thinking of a comeback even when I was getting runs in the Duleep Trophy. My reasons of playing cricket are very different. I have always believed that whichever team I represent; be it the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL or Delhi in the Ranji Trophy or playing for a side in the Duleep trophy, I as an individual have a job and responsibility to go and contribute for the team’s success,” he said. 

“I just want to be a part of a winning dressing room and that is where the happiness is and that is what a happy dressing room is all about. Whenever you play a game of cricket, you want to get back to a happy dressing room. Even after Duleep Trophy the feeling was that we won the competition and not thinking or (was) too much worried about selection,” he added. 

Also read: Can Gautam Gambhir do a Sourav Ganguly?

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