Have never played selfish cricket to make India comeback: Gambhir
Unfazed at being ignored for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, struggling opener Gautam Gambhir said he still has the hunger to perform and would fight his way back into the national team.
"It's a reality that I am not in the team to New Zealand. I wish all the 16-17 guys best of luck for the tour. As I have maintained that I don't play for comebacks, I play the game because I still have that hunger to perform," Gambhir said.
"I want to be part of the team that wins a Test series in England and Australia. This is what drives me on because in my 54 Tests, we only won a series in New Zealand and drew in South Africa," Gambhir said.
Determined he is to fight his way back in to the squad but Gambhir doesn't want to take the "selfish" route by scoring heavily on flat tracks to stage his return.
"I have never played cricket for selfish reasons like scoring 800-900 runs on flat tracks to make a comeback. It's up to an individual and I am not one of those guys who would back out from competition.
"The Delhi team needed outright wins and I insisted on playing on green top at the Roshanara rather than on a flat track. Had I played on a flat track, I could have got close to 900 runs. I have never ever played cricket that way with such selfish motives," Gambhir said.
Image: Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: Scott Heavey/Getty Images
'Focusing on 2015 World Cup is like looking too far ahead'
The 31-year-old scored 578 runs in the Ranji Trophy this season with a top score of 153 at the Roshanara on a green top against Haryana just before the Test squad to South Africa was announced.
Gambhir didn't wish to comment on skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's take that he is the No 3 opener in the country now.
"Frankly, I don't know whether I am 1, 2, 3 or last. I know that my job is to score runs and I will continue to do that. Someone asked me what exactly is a finished product, I said that no one ever is a finished product. We strive to improve everyday," Gambhir said.
"I am an intense person on the field. I always want to win as it matters to me a lot. That's why I never like to lose the focus or intensity," he explained.
A veteran of 54 Tests and 147 ODIs, Gambhir doesn't want to look too far ahead but instead wants to concentrate on his immediate future.
"Look, I don't know what's in store tomorrow and the 2015 World Cup is like looking too far ahead. I would like to think about Vijay Hazare Trophy and then about IPL which also is not anytime soon. I like to take each day as it comes and focus on my performance," Gambhir said.
Image: Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters