My insecurities well documented but raised the bar alone, says Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir has stated that he "doesn't see anything wrong" in the former’s analysis of his insecurities. However, the former opener has also asserted that he is not a vulnerable man, citing the 97 that he scored in the World Cup final to prove his point.
In a career that marked several highs and some staggering lows, Gautam Gambhir has never let his aggressive demeanour down and the Delhi swagger was always on the show whenever he crossed the rope to enter the cricket field. While the on-field performance towards the end of his career is something he would not be very proud of, he, however, never mellowed down and always remained a superstar for his fans.
In his overall career, he has played 58 Tests, scoring 4154 runs, at an average of 41.95, including nine centuries and 22 fifties. His 97 in the 2011 World Cup final is still one of the best ODI innings under pressure and he displayed that so many times while playing 147 ODIs and scoring 5238 runs at an average of 39.68 and a strike-rate of 85.25. He was also an important member in India’s 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team and ended his career by playing 37 T20Is for India from 2007-2012, scoring 932 runs at 27.41 and a strike rate of 119.02.
Most of his success came when Paddy Upton, who is the current coach of Rajasthan Royals, was the mental conditioning coach of the Indian cricket team and when Upton released his new book 'The Barefoot Coach', it was expected to burst so many myths about the notions of mental toughness. Upton called Gambhir "one of the weakest and mentally most insecure" although he went on to praise his attitude to his game.
"Using the popular notion of mental toughness, he was one of the weakest and mentally most insecure people I have worked with. But at the same time, he was undoubtedly one of the best and most determined and successful Test batsmen in the world. Something he would prove yet again in 2011 World Cup final,” Upton wrote.
However, Gambhir responded back in a calm manner and added that he doesn't find anything wrong with Upton's assessment.
"Well, Paddy Upton is a genuinely nice man and he won't have done anything with any sinful intentions. I have full faith in him. In any case, my insecurities as a cricketer are well-documented. It is not as if Paddy has spoken about something that was not there in public domain," Gambhir told PTI.
Gambhir, however, added that the insecurity came from the vantage point of making Indian team attain perfection and he is not "hurt" that Upton has termed him "negative and pessimistic".
"It doesn't hurt me but I would like to put things in perspective. Look, what Paddy couldn't say – maybe he didn't know or the publisher of the book chose to edit it – that I wanted the Indian team and myself to be the best in the world.
"That is why I was not satisfied even after scoring a 100 and wanted to score 200 as has been mentioned in Paddy's book. I see nothing wrong there. As a driven individual I have always strived to be the best and raise the bar for myself alone. I am not hurt at all, like I said Paddy is a top man. But I'd like to set the record straight that a vulnerable person can't score in pressure situations of a World Cup final," the 37-year-old said.