New Delhi, April 1
Ten years after India won the 50-over cricket World Cup, Gautam Gambhir, the top-scorer in the final, today said that it’s time to look ahead rather than back, and that the team didn’t do anyone any “favour” by winning the tournament.
Gambhir was one of the heroes of the final on April 2, 2011, scoring 97 runs that set the platform for Mahendra Singh Dhoni to finish the game with that famous six.
“It doesn’t feel like yesterday. Not for me at least. It’s been what, 10 years now? I am not a person who looks back too much,” Gambhir, now a Member of Parliament said. “Obviously, it’s a proud moment but you know what, it’s time for Indian cricket to move forward. Probably, now it’s time that we win the next World Cup ASAP.”
Gambhir feels that people shouldn’t go overboard about past World Cup wins because the players were only doing their professional duty.
‘Doing our jobs’
“In 2011, we didn’t do anything that we weren’t meant to do. When we were picked to play the World Cup, we were supposed to win the World Cup,” said Gambhir, who also was the top-scorer in the 2007 World T20 final that India won. “There were no such emotions as far as I was concerned. We didn’t do anything extraordinary, yes we made the country proud, people were happy, it’s time to move on to the next World Cup,” he said.
At times, Gambhir feels that “looking backwards” might be a reason that India has had such limited success at marquee events despite a steady stream of world-class cricketers. “Probably India would have been considered a superpower in world cricket if we had won the 2015 or the 2019 World Cup. It’s 10 years and we haven’t won another World Cup. That’s why I never go too overboard with things that ‘oh this is a special achievement’,” he said.
“If I got 97, I was supposed to get those runs. Zaheer Khan’s job was to pick wickets. We were supposed to do our jobs. What we did on April 2, we didn’t do anyone any favours,” said the former India opener. “I simply don’t understand why people just keep going back and get that high of 1983 or 2011. More we look backwards, we would never able to move ahead.” — PTI
The 11 who featured in the final of the World Cup never played together again. For Gautam Gambhir, it is an unanswered question. “I know that’s probably the worst thing. Bhajji once told me that. Probably the better person to ask the question is the erstwhile coach (Duncan Fletcher, who took over immediately after Gary Kirsten’s departure at the end of the World Cup), the captain (MS Dhoni) and the selectors (K Srikkanth and Co.),” Gambhir said.