Battle-ready India aim to go all guns blazing

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Barely moments after he finished a lengthy batting session, Gautam Gambhir was working on his close in catching with the fielding coach.

It was the first day of the two-day camp, aimed mainly to break of the rust that had set in from a long break, Gambhir the quintessential pro was only eager to kicks tart the season with vigour.

For a player who holds Test cricket close to his heart, the ensuing season will be massive and Gambhir will also have a couple of points to prove as well. The opener on whom a lot will depend in the coming series shared his thoughts after practice.

Q: India and Sri Lanka have played a lot against each other but the slow wickets could prove difficult to adapt right away, how do you see it?

A: We need to be up for the challenge. It’s going to be a tough series and we can’t just take Sri Lanka lightly especially in their own backyard. They have got quality players and more importantly they are coming from a tough series against Pakistan where they did well. They will be high on confidence while we are coming back after a break.

We have got enough talent in our dressing room and if we play to our potential, we will be the team to look out for. We can’t be thinking that let’s take our time while entering a battle. We need to get out there all guns blazing.

Q: You are one of the few players in the Indian side who plays in all three formats? This is going to be a long season, how do you see it personally?

A: The start of the season is very important because it sets the tone for the rest of the year. It’s very difficult to say how I look at it personally. I just have to take each game as it comes. As we all know, we have been playing all the three forms of the game. As professional cricketers, we have to adapt to these situations.

Every format is different. It’s important for me to start well because if I do well, I will take that confidence into the Test series (against New Zealand) and then the all-important World Cup (T20) and then against England and Australia as well. (Gambhir was only later informed about the short series against Pakistan).

So I need to start well and take that momentum forward. When you are playing all the three forms of the game, the important thing is to stay clear in your mind and try and take each game as it comes rather than thinking that you have the whole season in hand and so many games coming up.

Q: A month long break for an Indian cricketer is a huge luxury. How difficult is it going to be to break the rustiness?

A: When you are playing professional cricket, there tends to be a time when the energy levels drop down sometimes. But when you have a one-and-a-half month or two-month break, the energy levels are up there again. Hopefully the guys can show it on the cricket field.

Q: For the first time in recent memory, all top players were available for selection. What does it mean to the team to be injury free?

A: When everyone is available, you can put your best team on the park. And when you have everyone available, you can start the season on a good note and then carry that forward.

It is very important because you don’t want to start a season on a bad note.

You want to start the season on a positive note and hopefully we can do it in Sri Lanka. But as I have said, you can’t take Sri Lanka lightly because they are a formidable side.

And at the end of the day it is always the team that delivers. Individuals don’t matter much.

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