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Wasim Akram bats for Gautam Gambhir

Former Pakistan captain turned television commentator Wasim Akram has gone out to bat for Gautam Gambhir, who has been dropped from the Indian team for the first two Tests against Australia.

Akram has worked with the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper in his role as bowling expert for the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Indian Premier League franchise.

Excerpts from an interview:

On whether India can whitewash Australia:
Four-zero is easier said than done. But India can win the series. They need to start well.
India are favourites. The Indian spinners will trouble Australia on turning tracks and I am happy for recalled Harbhajan Singh. Good luck to him.

On the dropping of Gautam Gambhir:
Gautam needs confidence. He didn’t have to be dropped. He can play for another five to six years for India. The captain (MS Dhoni) needs to give him confidence because against a team like Australia you need experienced players.

However, I felt Mohammad Shami Ahmed (pacer) should have been in the Test squad.

On Sachin Tendulkar’s long career:
Sachin can play till he has the passion. It depends on him. I can’t predict anything where he is concerned.

On whether reverse swing will play a role in the series:
England won the last Test series in India because they could reverse swing the ball. India needs to learn that.

On Duncan Fletcher’s unsuccessful term as coach:
It depends on the team’s performance. If India’s showing is to be looked at, there must be something wrong. 

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