Gambhir said Spin will decide India-New Zealand series


Former India opener, Gautam Gambhir, reckons that spinners from both teams will play a deciding factor during the upcoming three-match Test series between India and New Zealand, beginning on September 22 (Thursday), in Kanpur.

The left-handed batsman has played against New Zealand previously and regarded Kane Williamson’s men as gritty customers. “New Zealand has always been a very gritty kind of a side. They have always been underdogs, no one rates them very highly but they have always done well in every condition,” Gambhir told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday (September 15).

The out-of-favour India batsman was speaking during the launch of a talent hunt program, Indian Junior Players League (IJPL) – where he was named as the brand ambassador. “They have got a good squad. They have got three spinners (in Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig) and spinners of whichever sides bowl well it will eventually decide the series,” Gambhir added.

The Delhi batsman has hit good form in recent times and his 356 runs played a big role in securing victory for his India Blue team in the just concluded Duleep Trophy. However, his hopes of an India recall was dashed after the national selectors kept their faith in the out-of-form opener, Shikhar Dhawan. The southpaw isn’t disheartened by the snub though and is looking forward to the rest of the domestic season. “I don’t play for selection honestly. Ultimately my job is to score runs and that is what I focus on,” he said.

“You should just go out there and look to control things which you can control, rest is selectors job. Whatever the selectors decide it is their opinion. My job is to go out there and help my team in winning,” he added.

This season’s Duleep Trophy was played under lights and with a pink-ball, as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) experimented, keeping in mind the possibility of India featuring in future Day-Night Tests. While the move received thumbs-up from various quarters, Gambhir wasn’t too enthused, saying it’s best to let the five-day game remain as it is and if needed – experiment with the shorter formats of the game.

“I totally believe that just to attract crowd we don’t need to shift to pink balls from red balls unless you think red ball cricket is not producing results. Now-a-days we hardly get to see a drawn Test. Test cricket is a traditional format and it should left as it is. You can experiment pink balls in T20, ODIs, there is no harm in it,” h



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