In-form Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir might have been tipped by many to get picked up in the India squad for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy for his performance in the IPL but the 35-year old batsman feels that players should not be selected in the ODI team on the basis of their performance in 20-over cricket.
With KL Rahul all but out of the tournament owing to a shoulder injury, Team India are set to announce a new partner for Rohit Sharma for the Champions Trophy.
Gambhir, who has been in brilliant form in the ongoing IPL, is seen by many as a potential player to replace Rahul. However, the discarded India opener, who last played an ODI in 2013, has said that performance in T20 should not be used as criteria to select players for the 50-over cricket before saying that doing so would also mean disrespect to the domestic 50-over tournaments.
“Absolutely, I totally agree [that T20 numbers should not be the sole criteria for ODI selection]. T20 runs should only be the criteria to get selected for a T20 side. The moment you start picking players in the one-day format by their T20 performance, then you are giving your domestic 50-over competitions absolutely no relevance,” Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo.
He further said that players using the IPL as a platform to get selected in the Champions Trophy will be ‘very very selfish thing to do’.
“The moment I start thinking about me scoring runs to be part of the Champions Trophy team, it would be a very, very selfish thing to do. And being a leader you can’t do that. If I start thinking on those lines, there may be so many other guys in the [KKR] team who would be thinking of being in the Champions Trophy squad too and they would be thinking about their own individual performances then. That’s not right. You should always stay in the present. Rest of the things are byproducts – if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t happen, it is fine. Ultimately I don’t play to get selected, I play to win a game of cricket,” the 35-year old said.
Gambhir backed his claim by saying that the 50-over cricket is a different ball altogether and players need to have good technique to excel in this format, unlike the T20 cricket.
“Imagine, you have two new balls, two bouncers in one over, you have field restrictions, you have got 300 balls, and you have got quality bowlers from both ends with the new ball. You have got to have a tight technique, you can’t be so fearless like how you do it in T20 format. You have got to have a technique to survive those first 10 overs,” added the opening batsman.