Gautam Gambhir believes preparing wickets for the bowlers would work in Sri Lanka's favour

no photo

Getty Images

Gautam Gambhir believes preparing wickets for the bowlers would work in Sri Lanka's favour

no photo

SportsCafe Desk


Gautam Gambhir has claimed that the only way Sri Lanka can trouble India would be if they prepare bowling friendly wickets for their bowlers to exploit. Gambhir also said should the Women's team lift the World Cup on Sunday, it would be a bigger victory than the 2011 Men's team's triumph.

The Indian team has already started the tour in Sri Lanka with a practice match and are itching to start off their campaign against the hosts in Galle on July 26. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be competing after their harrowing 2-3 ODI series defeat at the hands of 11th ranked Zimbabwe for which the team has been criticized a lot lately. However, the Sri Lankan team edged past Zimbabwe in the one-off Test registering a four-wicket victory over their opponents following the ODI defeat.

Gautam Gambhir believes the only way Sri Lanka could contest against the number one ranked Test team would be by preparing wickets that would favour the bowlers as taking wickets would be the only way to trouble the Indian team.

"Obviously, India start as favourites because they are the world number 1 and Sri Lanka, the way they have played, they don't have the bowling attack to trouble India. The only way Sri Lanka can trouble India is to prepare wickets which work for their bowlers," Gambhir told PTI during an interaction.

"The only way Sri Lanka can compete is if they can manage to get 20 wickets and to do that they need to have pitches in their favour."

I believe if they go on to win then this will be bigger than the men winning the 2011 World Cup

The Men in Blue will be coming into the series after ending their Champions Trophy campaign as runner-ups while registering an ODI series win against West Indies before finishing off their tour in the Caribbean with a one-off T20.

Gambhir suggested that the playing different formats in quick succession is not a problem for the current crop of players.

"Even Sri Lanka played the Champions Trophy, they only had one Test match against Zimbabwe, that is how international cricket is now. You need to get mentally ready to get used to different formats," he added.

Sri Lanka has been struggling lately with their form while India will be coming into the competition on the back of a strong home season and a series win on the Windies tour. 

"It is always good to win against any opposition but you can't compare Zimbabwe to India. India will be a completely different challenge. It will be far difficult," he said.

The Delhi batsman stressed on the importance of the innings of the opening batsmen.

"Openers are always important in any format, not only in Test cricket, but in ODIs and T20s, the platform set by openers is important, it gives middle order liberty to go and play the way they want to," said Gambhir.

The Indian women's team, who are just one step away in bringing the first women's world cup home, were singled out for special praise by Gambhir who said that a win for the women would surpass the men's team victory in the 2011 World Cup even though the Delhi batsman played a pivotal role with his 97 in the final. He justified the statement by saying that the Indian women were contesting for the Cup in English conditions, unlike the 2011 World Cup where the Men in Blue were competing at home.

"Not a lot of people used to follow women’s cricket and now they’re just one step away from creating history. I believe if they go on to win then this will be bigger than the men winning the 2011 World Cup. Going into 2011 World Cup, we were the favourites to win that title. And again it was happening in the sub-continent so we were not new to the conditions. Girls going to England, in different conditions and people wouldn’t give them the chance, never favourites but now they’re one step away from winning it. So if it happens, it will be bigger than 2011 and 1983 World Cup."

Look what Harmanpreet Kaur did. She could do that because she had the experience of playing the women’s Big Bash League in Australia.

The Indian Premier League has been a hub for budding Indian talent that has given us multiple stars that include the young Rishabh Pant who was recently included in India's tour of West Indies. Gambhir believes a similar platform could be used to boost the morale of the women cricketers in India. 

"Maybe the most important thing is the financial security – the contract system. I know it will be difficult for BCCI to pay them same as men but they should try and bridge the gap between women and men. Second is something like an IPL for the women – it will have a massive impact. How the IPL has done for the men’s cricket; they’ve created the pool of players especially in limited over matches. There are so many players who are picked from the IPL and straight away they have the impact of playing in T20 and One Day cricket. The moment you have women’s IPL, you will give them financial security, have a bigger pool of players and you will never be overawed by the situation. So you would have already faced most of the players when you go and play abroad."

Harmanpreet Kaur became an overnight sensation scoring an unbeaten 171 off 115 deliveries to guide India into the final of the Women's World Cup. Gambhir suggested that her experience with the Sydney Thunders came in handy during the crucial match.

"Look what Harmanpreet Kaur did. She could do that because she had the experience of playing the women’s Big Bash League in Australia. She never got overawed by the occasion or by the conditions. You just get better as players, you learn a lot as an individual when you play with great cricketers. Hope BCCI do it – even if not at the same time but create a window."

Gambhir concluded by wishing the team best of luck.

"Wish them all the best. They’ve had a massive impact on the World Cup and the country as well. A lot of people are following it and a lot of prayers are with them. Just one step more and once they do that, it will be bigger than the 2011 World Cup. All the wishes and prayers are with them. Good luck get the cup!" 

Predict TNPL Matches & Win Cash! Which city is the best?

Play & Win Today! Click here here to download Nostra Pro & get ₹40 Joining Bonus!

Predict Matches & Win Cash!! Play NostraGamus on Android - predict ANY Sport & win upto ₹10 Lakhs! Click here to Download & Get ₹40 Cash Bonus!