Everyone needs to fill in for Andre Russell’s absence: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir leads KKR in IPL. (Source: Express Photo) Gautam Gambhir leads KKR in IPL. (Source: Express Photo)

Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders will be missing their key all-rounder Andre Russell but skipper Gautam Gambhir wants his team to treat the Jamaican’s absence as an “opportunity in bold letters” during the upcoming Indian Premier League.

The flamboyant Russell has been handed a one-year ban for violating anti-doping whereabouts regulations and KKR now have England’s Chris Woakes as a like-for-like replacement picked from the auctions.

“There are two ways to look at such situations in life. Either we can see Russell’s absence as a challenge or look at it as an opportunity in bold letters. I as an individual, and KKR as a group, are looking it as an opportunity,” Gambhir told PTI during an interview.

Asked if Woakes could fill in for Russell as a batsman, Gambhir gave an interesting answer.

“Maybe a combination of Manish Pandey’s batting and Ankit Rajput’s bowling can get us what Russell did. Not only Woakes but the entire team can try to fill-in for Russell and for that you don’t necessarily need an all-rounder. May be some other pair can do this,” said Gambhir.

The seasoned opener doesn’t believe that it helps brooding when one is a leader.

“I better be looking at glass half full,” he said.

Gambhir reckons that the core Indian group of batsmen like Manish Pandey, Surya Kumar Yadav and Robin Uthappa will have to take more responsibility on a relaid Eden track where pacers will have more advantage.

“From a track that used to favour spinners, it now has good deal of pace and bounce in it. With that as a background, batting has to be top-class. The rival team fast bowlers will come hard at us and we have to be ready for that.”

Talking about pace on Eden Gardens track, New Zealander Trent Boult’s presence would certainly add variety to KKR’s bowling season.

“We had left-arm pacemen in Jaydev Unadkat and Pradeep Sangwan in the past and understand the value of this skill that Boult brings in. Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Ankit Rajput and Woakes. We have all bases covered when it comes to fast bowling.”

Sunil Narine used to be a mystery spinner and strike bowler for KKR before he had to remodel his bowling action due to allegations of chucking.

But the former India ODI captain insists that Narine is still a force to reckon with despite adjusting to his new action.

“I think we start judging people a little too soon. You can’t expect a golfer, who has changed his swing to be the same force from day one on the greens. I have changed my stance (to open chested) and it’s been close to two years now and I am still settling with it. Give Sunil some time and some space and he will show you his wares again.”

On the personal front, the milestone of becoming the first franchise captain to win a hat-trick of IPL titles beckons Gambhir.

“The pressure is normal. We have to win and if we do we will create history by being the first franchisee to win IPL three times. In that sense you can say there is pressure,” he said.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/ipl-2017-10/everyone-needs-to-fill-in-for-andre-russells-absence-gautam-gambhir-4596610/

Amitabh Bachchan And Gautam Gambhir Slam Brad Hodge For Suggesting Virat Kohli Faked Injury To Play IPL

Brad Hodge’s claim that Virat Kohli pulled out of the Dharamsala Test to rest ahead of the IPL has not gone down well with many people. Amitabh Bachchan and Gautam Gambhir responded in style as they backed Kohli.


Big B took to social media to rubbish Hodge’s claims.

T 2477 – Brad Hodge says ‘Virat skipped 4th to play IPL’ .. RUBBISH ! he did it to tell you that his team can wallop you even without him ! pic.twitter.com/FVxFpYcgEq — Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) March 27, 2017

Gambhir too came out in support of him and said that Hodge should not comment without knowing the extent of the injury.


“That’s absolutely not valid. I feel that someone who’s playing for their country and captaining it would never want to miss a Test match and would definitely want to play for India more than any other tournament. That’s always been the case. Knowing Virat he would have never done that and these people, look if you want to be in the headline you can say anything you want and it’s just about making a headline or trying to get your name in the press by making such statements. If you don’t know the extent of the injury you should not be talking about it,” he said.
Courtesy: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports

Source: http://www.indiatimes.com/sports/amitabh-bachchan-and-gautam-gambhir-slam-brad-hodge-for-suggesting-virat-kohli-faked-injury-to-play-ipl-274474.html

Pressure of IPL will make Kuldeep Yadav a better cricketer: Gautam Gambhir

Kuldeep yadav picked four wickets against Australia on his debut. (Source: PTI) Kuldeep yadav picked four wickets against Australia on his debut. (Source: PTI)

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav’s fantastic Test debut has given rise to a school of thought that the youngster should be protected from the IPL where he plays for Kolkata Knight Riders but his team skipper Gautam Gambhir feels pressure of T20 will only make him better.

Gambhir, who will be leading Kuldeep once again in a week’s time feels that the UP lad will be taking confidence going into IPL.

“I am very happy for him (Kuldeep) and would love to see him playing all three formats of the game. I am sure his progress in Dharamsala Test match will give the momentum, which he will get into IPL this season,” Gambhir told PTI talking about India’s newest spin sensation.

Asked if Kuldeep needs to be kept away from IPL where a few bad matches can be confidence dampener, Gambhir said, “I don’t think so as pressure makes you a better human being and cricketer as well. What is the point in having the talent and not testing it in different circumstances or across different formats.”

For the veteran of 58 Tests, Kuldeep should be emulating the likes of Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, who played longest format with distinction but held their own in shortest format.

“Anil bhai (Kumble) was a rare breed, so was Sehwag, Yuvraj, Tendulkar, Virat — these cricketers don’t need any protection. They needed a challenge.”

However Gambhir gave ample indications that Kuldeep is very much in his scheme of things alongside overseas spinners Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine during this season where he would probably give Kuldeep more matches.

“I hope he can finish the tournament with a Purple Cap (highest wickettaker in IPL). Need I say more,” Gambhir’s statement said it all.

Kuldeep till date has played 27 T20 matches in his career which includes both IPL matches for KKR as well as Syed Mushtaq Ali national T20 matches for Uttar Pradesh. He has 37 wickets from those games and an economy rate of 7.10 per over which is expected to get better as he plays more matches.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/pressure-of-ipl-will-make-kuldeep-yadav-a-better-cricketer-gautam-gambhir-4589547/