Struggling Indian opener Gautam Gambhir today conceded that his team has let the entire nation down in the ongoing Test series against Australia and has failed to live up to the expectations. India trail the four-match series 0-3 and are in danger of a second successive Test whitewash abroad after the England debacle last year.
"We have let the entire nation down and I will be the first one to accept it. There is a backlash which is happening back home and we are ready to accept it. We have given the opportunity to people (to criticise us). We haven't played good cricket and not lived up to the expectations, given the batting we have," said Gambhir after nets here today.
"We have let the common man down who expects us to perform and I accept it. We need to turn it around as quickly as possible," he added.
The left-handed opener has scored only 144 runs from six innings at an average of 24.00 and is only one of the batsmen of the Indian batting unit, which has collectively failed on the present tour.
"I am not someone who would be hesitant to take the responsibility. I will be the first one to accept it. If you want to be number one, you have to perform well and start winning overseas, whether England, South Africa or Australia," said Gambhir.
The left-hander's problem is symptomatic of a larger malaise as he hasn't hit a hundred for over two years now.
"If hundred is everything and I score one followed by four or five low scores, I don't think I would be satisfied. You want consistency. If a hundred is followed by innings when I don't reach double figures, I wouldn't be happy. "You want to be consistent. If a 100 comes your way, well and good. It's a long journey from zero to hundred and as we all know, it's a one ball game for a batsman. But I am not thinking of putting together a hundred, rather consistent 50s will make me happy," he insisted.
Gambhir also urged to consider collective failure as an issue rather than singling out individuals.
"What make us happy is winning the series not Sachin's 100th hundred. We would be far more happy if we win the series compared to if Sachin has got his 100. Conversely, if Sachin gets his hundred and we don't win, it isn't satisfying. It's all about winning the series rather than any individual performance."