Gautam Gambhir may have come of age during the tour to New Zealand with an awesome batting display but the diminutive opener is not willing to be distracted by the new-found stardom, saying he still had a lot more to achieve.
The 27-year-old Delhi batsman said he was still working on his flaws and it was a constant process to evolve. "You can never be stagnant. You have to keep moving. There is so much more to achieve. You have to keep working on your game for your progress and move ahead," he told PTI in an interview in New Delhi on Friday.
"I don't know if I have really come of age as far as my game is concerned but it's been really satisfying to do well overseas," he said. "It was a very satisfying tour because it was my first overseas tour and I always wanted to do well abroad, I am very happy that I could do that," he said.
Gambhir top-scored with 445 runs in three-Test series to average a whopping 89 as India won the series 1-0 after 41 years on New Zealand soil.
Reacting to his Delhi teammate and fellow opener Virender Sehwag's compliment that he was the best opener after legendary Sunil Gavaskar, Gambhir said he was indeed happy to know that.
"I don't believe in comparisons. But having come from my favourite player it means a lot to me. Sehwag is such a big player and that he feels so makes me really happy. He is one player I have always looked up to. If ever I would like to sacrifice my wicket for anyone I would do it for Sehwag," Gambhir said.
Gambhir rated his century innings at Napier as one of his best efforts on the 45-day long cricket tour. "My 137 runs in the Napier Test was my best innings. It is really very special to me," said Gambhir, who was described as the 'second wall of Indian cricket' by stand-in captain Sehwag after that knock.
Gambhir, however, said he had no personal goals to achieve but the one thing that occupies his mind was the success of team. "I don't set any individual targets. For me, its only team goals. I want to do whatever will make my team win. It is always a team effort and a team goal which matters to me. I don't play for individual achievements, don't plan for any personal milestones," he said.
Gambhir, who exhibited a fine blend of patience and aggression in his batting to adjust to the team's needs, revealed that pacing up his innings came naturally to him. "It comes very naturally to me. As a professional player, I should be able to adjust myself to any situation as per the need of the game. There is no excuse for not performing for the team. I have to play as per the need of the team," Gambhir said.
He, however, refused to give credit to anyone for his outstanding success. "I don't know how big a role anyone has played in my success but in a team everyone plays a collective role for the success and that translates into a win," he said.
Gambhir also supported Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision of declaring late in the third and final Test which drew a lot of criticism. "I think it was absolutely fine and fantastic. It was a collective decision by the team and I fully back Dhoni in his decision about the timing of declaration," he said.
Gambhir also dismissed suggestions that Dhoni was more lucky than skillful. "It's not true. Dhoni has very good cricketing brain and there is no question about it. There is nothing like its only luck which plays the role," he said.Asked if he idolised any cricketer, Gambhir said "Sehwag is my favourite player but I don't have any cricketer as my idol. If you ask I idolise Shahid Bhagat Singh'," he said.
Gambhir, who is performing outstandingly well since last two years, said "there is no difference in my successes last year and this year because my sole aim is to score runs".