Images of the 26/11 terror attacks are still fresh in Gautam Gambhir’s mind. Like the rest of his teammates, the opener will take the field against Sri Lanka in the World Cup final with a prayer on his lips that India end up the better side.
If that happens on Saturday, Gambhir is certain of what to do next. “For me, it will be dedicated to the people who lost their lives in the 26/11 massacre. A win, that too in the World Cup final, and that too in Mumbai, should be dedicated to the victims,” he told HT in an exclusive interview on the match-eve.
The ‘patriotic’ streak was apparent as Gambhir recounted his chance meeting with some armymen during a visit to Jammu . “One of them was so emotional that he suggested I get a tattoo on my body saying, ‘I will never lose to Pakistan’. The tattoo hasn’t happened but the sentiment is etched on my heart and soul.”
The left-hander’s adeptness at playing spin is well-known, having been certified by coach Gary Kirsten too. Aware of the abilities of Lanka’s spinners, he says, “It’s about everybody in the group, not me alone. Yes, their spinners are world-class and the onus is on us to counter them.”
Gambhir says his secret (to playing spin) and his running between the wickets is thanks to the hours of street cricket he played in Delhi.