Gautam Gambhir : IPL no basis for Champions Trophy selection

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Gautam Gambhir : IPL no basis for Champions Trophy selection

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SportsCafe Desk


Gautam Gambhir has asserted that IPL form should not be a part of the Indian team's selection criteria for the upcoming event. Gambhir, who hasn't represented India since 2013 in ODIs, went on to add that it would be "selfish" on his part to score runs for KKR just to be considered for the CT squad.

The Knight Riders' captain has been in inspired form during the current edition of the IPL scoring 411 runs in 12 matches at an average of 51.37, which is almost 20 runs higher than his career average in the competition. There have been a lot of voices in support of the former Indian opener's return to the national team for the upcoming Champions Trophy in the UK. Gambhir, however, rejected the notion that his performances for the Kolkata-based franchise warranted a call-up to the National team.

"Absolutely, I totally agree [that T20 numbers should not be the sole criteria for ODI selection]. T20 runs should only be a 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 said in an interview with Cricinfo. 

"I could have said that yes, I hope I'm in contention. But I have generally not thought about it. I am someone who tries a lot to stay in the present."

Without mincing his words, Gambhir made it clear that everyone in the Kolkata team was focused on winning back the IPL Trophy for the franchise. The Knight Riders are currently third on the table with 14 points, two behind the Supergiant, but the two-time champions have a better net run rate relative to their nearest rivals.

"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 2011 World Cup winner was also quick to point out the differences in approach between the the two formats of the game. "You need different skills to do well in 50-overs cricket. You need completely different skills to do well in Test cricket. You need different skills to do well in T20 cricket. It is not the same," Gambhir added.

"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 form 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 technique to survive those first 10 overs."

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