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'Team India wants to win the World Cup for Sachin'

Last updated on: January 18, 2011 09:21 IST

'Team India wants to win the World Cup for Sachin'

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India opener Gautam Gambhir exuded confidence that the national team would do all it takes to win the upcoming World Cup for a certain Sachin Tendulkar, who will be making his sixth appearance in the quadrennial extravaganza.

"I sincerely wish that this would not be Sachin's last World Cup and he would play one more. All members of the Indian side would like to win it for him," Gambhir said. 

The dashing southpaw also felt that Yuvraj Singh's form would be crucial to India's fortunes in the tournament, scheduled to held in the sub-continent from February 19 to April 2.

"Yuvi can bat and bowl very nicely. He is a very passionate player," Gambhir said.


Image: Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: Reuters
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'Yuvraj is a very focused player'

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Contrary to the common perception that he is a 'party animal', Gambhir said that Yuvraj is a hard worker. 

"The fact is that he devotes a lot of his time on cricket. He is a very focused and passionate player," Gambhir told News 24 channel. 

Fitness has been a cause for concern in recent times, with quite a dew including himself, carrying injuries, but Gambhir hoped things would be alright before the World Cup.

"They would be fully fit before the start of World Cup," he said.


Image: Gautam Gambhir

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'I will be fully fit before the World Cup'

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Gambhir, who returned to India just before the start of the five-match one-day series against South Africa after hurting his left knuckles, assured that he would attain peak fitness before the mega event.

"I suffered an injury during the South African tour, but I will be fully fit before the World Cup," he said. 

Asked if he would like to see Sourav Ganguly as mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gambhir said, "Of course I would be happy to see him as mentor of KKR. It goes without saying that KKR is his team and I am sure that he would be happy to see us winning the IPL. Honestly, Sourav is an integral part of KKR." 

"He was and is a legend. There is no question about that. This is also true that you have to retire one day. You can not play for forever," he said.


Image: Gautam Gambhir

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'I will give my hundred per cent to KKR in IPL'

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Gambhir confessed that he was not expecting to be bought at an astronomical sum of 11.6 crore in the IPl auction. 

"I never expected that IPL franchise would take so much interest in me. I will give my hundred per cent to KKR and play with total passion," he said, adding that he will soon meet the KKR support staff.

Gambhir was modest when pointed out that he had left behind both Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the auction.

"You cannot compare Sachin and Dhoni with anybody.

"I am sure that they would be happy to hear that I got such a sum. Apart from the fact that both are very fine players,they very nice human beings," Gambhir said.


Image: Gautam Gambhir

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'I would also like to lead India'

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Gambhir led India to a 5-0 sweep of New Zealand in a one-day series last December, and asked if he would like to lead the side in future, he said, "This is the wish of every player to lead India. I would also like to lead India. But, Dhoni is currently doing a great job."

"I would expect 100 per cent from my players."  

Asked to chose between Tests and ODIs, Gambhir had no hesitation in opting the former. 

"I love Test cricket more than any other format of the game. You can become great through Test match only," he said.


Image: Gautam Gambhir

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