Gambhir eyeing Test opener’s slot with IPL performance

May 23rd, 2008 - 7:27 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Gautam Gambhir is a roaring success in the inaugural Indian Premier League and the orange cap should remain with him as the highest scorer in the Twenty20 tournament unless his Delhi Daredevils team is shown the door before the semi-finals. With 504 runs from 13 matches at an average of 45.81 the Daredevils opener is the top scorer in the IPL, followed by teammate Virender Sehwag (385) and Shaun Marsh (378).

Gambhir told IANS Friday that he is going through a dream run and hopes that the wealth of runs he has accumulated in the shorter forms of the game would help him regain the Test opener’s slot, now that he has established himself in the One-Day and Twenty20 sides.

The 26-year-old Delhiite realises that it is not going to be easy. Even before he made his mark as an opener in the one-dayers, he has been in and out of the Indian dressing room, but a splendid display in the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa turned things around.

“I have done well in both the ODI and Twenty20 formats, but I would like to establish myself as a complete cricketer and for that I must get back into the Test squad. It is a tough competition and given a chance I would prove myself,” said Gambhir, who has played 14 Tests.

Gambhir’s Test woes began when an injury kept him out of Australia-bound squad and his replacement Virender Sehwag grabbed the opportunity. The other opener Wasim Jaffer has entrenched himself with double centuries against West Indies and Pakistan. Yet, the consistency from the openers is missing.

Gambhir feels that the orange cap should attract the national selectors. “Frankly, I am not disappointed as I cannot complain that I have not got opportunities to stage a comeback. But, now I am hoping the IPL performance will impress the selectors.

“The IPL has provided a great opportunity to the younger players. Like other young players I must have also gained experience and confidence from these outings.

“Scoring runs in any form of the game boosts your confidence and if you get it against quality bowling attack then the joy is that much more. I have scored runs against top bowlers in the world and that is a great satisfaction for me,” said the dashing left-handed batsman.

He said the IPL is the best thing to have happened to domestic cricketers.

“The IPL has shown that we have a rich talent base. A lot of young players have come up and playing alongside some of the great players has obviously helped them,” said Gambhir.

For him opening the Daredevils innings with Sehwag and sharing the dressing room with players of different countries has made the IPL memorable.

“Playing with Sehwag has always been a great experience as he takes the pressure off me. We both are stroke players and when we go out to open the innings we have just one thing in mind, to give a good start, and that’s what we have tried to do right through the tournament,” he said.

Gambhir ended on a positive note, that the Twenty20 will never endanger the popularity of ODIs.

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