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Gambhir should have gone to New Zealand as an opener: Chauhan

January 01, 2014 12:16 IST

Gambhir should have gone to New Zealand as an opener: Chauhan

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Manu Shankar

Throwing his weight behind out-of-favour India opener Gautam Gambhir, Chetan Chauhan on Tuesday said that the Delhi skipper deserved to be on the flight to New Zealand.

-Ishwar Pandey in Test and ODI squads for NZ tour; Yuvraj dropped

“Anybody averaging 45 in Test cricket, I consider him to be very, very good, especially as an opener.

“And if you ask me, he should have been selected in the Indian side as an opener. I will not use the word third opener, but as an opener,” declared Chauhan. 

The Indian selectors on Tuesday announced the Test and ODI squads for the upcoming New Zealand tour, wherein Stuart Binny was selected for the shorter format, and Ishwar Pandey drafted in for both Tests and ODIs.

With the Indian openers having struggled in the seaming conditions of South Africa, Chauhan felt Gambhir needed to be included in the squad for the upcoming tour since he had done well in New Zealand on the previous tour.


Image: Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Gambhir should have gone to New Zealand as an opener: Chauhan

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Manu Shankar

The Delhi opener’s domestic showing this season hasn’t been that great, but with three half-centuries and one hundred from 12 innings he could have been given the nod.

Quizzed about curator Venkat Sundaram’s recent accusation that Gambhir tried to interfere in pitch matters, Chauhan was quick to back the player.

-Feroze Shah Kotla curator accuses Gambhir of interference

 “The home team always wants home advantage and, as such, the request always comes from the home team. This time the request had come from the Delhi team to produce a result-oriented wicket,” said Chauhan. 

Having played three of their home matches on a seaming Roshanara track, Delhi were forced to play their final game at the Kotla, a ground which is not to their liking as they feel the wicket does not produce results.

Chauhan also took time to clear the air about the Navdeep Saini issue.

 “When you are in the association you have to take some harsh decisions, questionable ones, in the interest of the team and in the interest of cricket.

“Here the request came in from the skipper, coach and other senior players to include this particular player, and after a lot of deliberations with the team and other senior executives, including the president, we yielded to their interest and that’s how this lad played for Delhi,” clarified the former Indian opener.


Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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