Three wins on the trot as captain and back-to-back centuries to help his side clinch the ODI series against New Zealand, Gautam Gambhir on Saturday said that he was enjoying as skipper of the Indian team as runs were flowing from his bat.
Gambhir said that leading the side in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni has not affected his batting and he did not feel any different while playing without the burden of captaincy.
"As a player or a captain I have given 100%. Captaincy has not changed my batting. I am striking the ball well and would have batted like this under any captain," Gambhir said after playing a captain's knock of 126 not out to help India score a series-clinching victory over New Zealand in the third ODI in Vadodara.
"Playing for the country is enough of motivation to do well. I always believe captain is only as good as the team he has under him. I am lucky to have a fine set of players who are all motivated to do well," he said.
Gambhir was fulsome in praise of his bowlers and described spearhead Zaheer Khan, who pushed New Zealand on the back foot with his two-wicket haul in the first five overs, as the best left-arm pacer in the world now.
"He's the best left arm pace bowler in the world now and to have him in the side is a a great asset," said Gambhir.
"Ashwin is a quality spinner with a lot of variety. To be able to bowl well during Power Plays and in the slog phase is great. If he keeps bowling like this he will be a big asset to the team," he said.
"Yusuf (Pathan) and Munaf (Patel) are very talented and quality players. Munaf bowled great at first change. Getting 1 for 28 in 10 overs in sub continent wickets is great. He was exceptional today. And the way Yusuf contributed with the ball was also a great job. Given an opportunity I would love to have him bat higher up the order," he added.
He said that it was a good toss to win as there was early morning help to the bowlers.
"When there is dew in Baroda it does a bit in the morning. It's red soil. It was a good toss to win but even it you win it or not you have to keep doing the job. It was a great effort from our bowlers to restrict them to 225-odd. It was a very good team effort," said the left-handed opener who slammed an unbeaten 126 to be named the man of the match.
It was the 29-year-old's second ton against the Kiwis on the trot after his match-winning 138 not out in the second ODI in Jaipur on December 1.