'To play Pakistan is no different from playing Australia'
The clamour for revival of Indo-Pak bilateral cricket is growing with every passing day, but India batsman Gautam Gambhir is not overtly excited about it. He feels playing against the arch-rivals is no different from taking on a Bangladesh or an Australia.
"For me, Pakistan is no different from Bangladesh, Australia or New Zealand. The main thing is that you are playing for your country and that in itself is a big motivation," said the straight-talking left-hander, who has had on-field run-ins with Pakistani cricketers, including the feisty Shahid Afridi.
Talking about his own team and the transition phase it is enduring after the retirement of veterans like Rahul Dravid, Gambhir rejected suggestions that youngsters are under pressure trying to fill in the big voids.
"There are no seniors or juniors in the Indian team. Everyone is equal in a team. If you are playing for India, you have to take the responsibility. Obviously, when you have experience, you are a bit more matured," Gambhir said.
'We have to get back to No 1 ranking in Tests'
Gambhir had recently said in a television interview that he is ready for captaincy, but on Friday presented a dead bat.
"That's for selectors to decide," was Gambhir's terse reply.
When probed further as to who would be his choice of captain, just like Dhoni had stated that his choice of captain would be he, himself, Gambhir said, "No comments."
With India set to play 10 Test matches (four each against England and Australia along with two against New Zealand), Gambhir feels that the team has to prepare well in order to get back to the top of the ICC Test rankings.
"This break from cricket will act as a positive for us. We will be able to come back fresh with better fitness. We have the talent and we have to get back to No 1 ranking in Tests," the senior opener said.
'We need to work hard and improve'
The talented left-hander feels that in order to get back to the top of the Test ratings, India, as a team, would need to work and get better in all three departments.
"In international cricket, doing well in one department isn't good enough. We need to work hard and improve in all three departments of the game."
He has now played a couple of matches for his office side ONGC in unbearable Delhi heat but he has no complaints.
"I am employed with ONGC. The company pays me salary and it is my responsibility to play for them."