India vs Australia: Australia shouldn’t change their identity, says Gambhir

The first India vs Australia Test passed largely incident-free and Gambhir was visibly pleased with India’s 31-run win in Adelaide.

The World Cup winner had words of caution against experimenting too much with the opening pair.   -  PTI

The jury is still out on whether Australia’s attempt at changing its on-field behaviour is a move in the right direction, but the idea hasn’t found an ally in former India opener Gautam Gambhir.

The 37-year-old Delhi batsman, who retired from all forms of cricket on Sunday, is no stranger to duels on the pitch, having seldom shied away when confronted.

“Australia should play the same way they have always played; one scandal should not change their complete identity,” Gambhir said on the sidelines of the RBL Bank's Umeed 1000 Cyclothon event, here on Monday.

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“They have always played their best when aggressive. There is nothing wrong in it as long as you do not get personal. Humans are bound to show their emotions. Robots do not play professional sport.”

“I have been sledged and I have sledged also. It is not just the Australians and South Africans who do. Indians sledge too. The banter is always good and keeps everyone on their toes. Australia did something wrong [ball tampering scandal] and they have been punished for it. Let's not make too much of a hue and cry.”

The first Test though passed largely incident-free and Gambhir was visibly pleased with India’s 31-run win in Adelaide. “We now have the early advantage which we never had on the previous two tours. Hope we can consolidate. But you can never take Australia lightly. They still have the bowling attack to hurt any opposition.”

The World Cup winner, however, had words of caution against experimenting too much with the opening pair. With Virender Sehwag, Gambhir had formed one of the world’s best combinations at the top, but in the present Indian team, it’s a game of musical chairs.

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“You’ve got to be patient with them. Facing the first ball on the first day is probably the toughest job in Test cricket. If it was easy everyone could have done it. A lot of greats who got 10,000 to 15,000 runs never opened in Tests.”

“I believe in security. If you keep rotating players for what is the toughest thing to do, you only make them more insecure. Give them a proper run and see if they belong to the level. If they don't, get somebody else and give them the same run. You have to be fair to everyone.”

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