India opener admits team deserves criticism for pathetic Test show
Gautam Gambhir feels his team has warranted the scathing criticism they are receiving from all quarters for losing their seventh consecutive overseas Test. The India opener said the team has accepted criticism and is looking forward to next week's fourth and final Test at Adelaide.
Gautam Gambhir walks off after being dismissed on Day Four of the Sydney Test recently. Pics/AFP
The Indians, sans Zaheer Khan, hit the nets here at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground (WACA) yesterday. They will leave for Adelaide today afternoon. "I am not someone who will hesitate to take responsibility. We have not played well. It's as simple as that. I will be the first one to accept it," Gambhir told reporters after India's training session yesterday.
"If we want to be the No 1 Test-playing nation in the world again, we have to do well overseas. That has always been my stand. You have to do well in England, South Africa and Australia. Whatever backlash is happening in India, we are ready to accept it. We have given the opportunity to people back home to give whatever they are giving (us). There is a lot of expectation from us. They all want us to do well. And with the kind of batting line-up we have, we should have done well," he added.
Gambhir said the side was trying to stay motivated for the task ahead. "It is disappointing but the mood is absolutely fine. When you are playing for your country and there is another Test match coming around in six days, you need to be up for it. You still have to turn out and be positive, try and look at it as a new Test and try to win. I know things have not gone our way, but we still need to be positive. There is a one-day series coming up. Hopefully we can play well in Adelaide, and take the momentum into the one-day series."
Gambhir felt it was unfair to hold VVS Laxman as the sole culprit for the batting woes. "Look, my question is, why criticise one person? He has been a legend of the game. It's not only Laxman but all of us (who have failed to score runs). The top six, top seven should be criticised equally. We have all failed as a unit. So why only Laxman?
"He has served Indian cricket for a long, long time. There should not be anyone who should be deciding about his retirement. It should be him. Rather than criticising just one person, you should be criticising all seven batsmen. The entire team is behind him (Laxman). I have always believed you should not criticise only one or two people," he added.