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I don't play IPL for making a personal comeback: Gambhir

Last updated on: March 19, 2014 19:54 IST

I don't play IPL for making personal comebacks: Gambhir

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India discard Gautam Gambhir is looking to get the selectors' nod for the tour of England and World Cup with a good showing in the Deodhar Trophy and IPL.

 

Determined to fight his way back into the national side, Gautam Gambhir says he will be happy grinding it out in the domestic circuit for long rather than using the Indian Premier League as a "platform" to make a "personal comeback".

Once considered India's batting mainstay, the left-handed opener finds himself in cricketing wilderness because of indifferent form, but hasn't given up hope of returning to international cricket.

"I will never use the IPL [as a platform]. I will use the IPL as a platform to do well for my side KKR [Kolkata Knight Riders]. What all matters to me is good showing for KKR. I don't play the IPL for my personal comebacks. I play IPL [Indian Premier League] for my team and do well for them. Performing for KKR is all that is back of my mind," Gambhir said.

"It’s [domestic cricket] the stepping stone for making it to the Indian team. Till the time love for the game is there, I don't mind playing at any platform, be it domestic, IPL or international cricket. I love the game and that's what really matters to me," he added, on the sidelines of a promotional event.

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Image: Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: BCCI

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Decent form in domestic circuit

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It's been more than a year since Gambhir last took guard in an international game -- an ODI against England at Dharamsala in January 2013 -- while his last Test was also against England, at Nagpur in December 2012, and last Twenty20 against Pakistan on December 28, 2012.

That's around 15 months now.

The 31-year-old scored 578 runs in the Ranji Trophy this season with a top score of 153 against Haryana, but failed to make the cut for the Test squad to South Africa.

He also missed out on a berth for the New Zealand Tests despite the other opener, Shikhar Dhawan, having a poor outing with the bat in South Africa.

He was also ignored for India's limited-overs' campaign in the Asia Cup, where the team failed to qualify for the final.

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Image: Gautam Gambhir is clean bowled
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Looking to do well in Deodhar and IPL

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With India touring England in June, followed by the 50-over World Cup in Australia-New Zealand, Gambhir can still knock on the doors of the national selectors.

At the moment, though, he is focusing on domestic tournaments.

"Look, I don't predict what's there in future for me. I am looking that far [England tour and World Cup]. It's a long time to go. The reality is that I have to play the Deodhar Trophy and the the IPL," he said.

Gambhir also refused to set any time frame like Virender Sehwag before thinking about quitting the game.

"I don't know. I have not thought about it. I don't look at for how long I am going to play. The day I feel like I can't contribute to the team's success, that's the day I am going to call it quits," he said.

"The only thing on the back of my mind is to do well in the Deodhar Trophy and IPL. If I am able to make a comeback, I'll definitely give my 100 per cent," he added.

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Image: Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: BCCI

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'India have the firepower to do well WT20'

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Talking about India's chances in the ongoing World T20, Gambhir said India have the "firepower" to do well in the biennial event.

"All the games are very important in this format. Whoever plays well on a given day will win. India have the firepower. If they will play with freedom and flair, they will definitely do well," he said.

Gambhir said most of the franchises in the IPL have a well-balanced team set-up and it's going to be a competitive season.

"Most of the sides are well-balanced. It's going to be a competitive tournament and that's what we are looking at in the IPL. I would be playing domestic T20 tournaments. It's actually going to be good practice before IPL.

"The more you play T20, the more you get into that groove. It's better to have certain number of games under your belt before you go into the IPL," he said.


Image: Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni play football
Photographs: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

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