MS Dhoni may have owed up to much of the blame for the spate of recent losses in away Tests by admitting he was the “main culprit”. Teammate Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday felt the failure was collective.
“I am not someone who will hesitate to take responsibility,” Gambhir said. “I think we have not played well. I will be the first one to accept it. If we want to be the No 1 Test-playing nation in the world, we have to do well overseas. That has always been my stand. You have to do well in England, South Africa and Australia.”
The seven straight losses in England and Australia have evoked strong criticism from the fans and experts back home. The feisty southpaw added that the team was prepared to face the music.
“Whatever backlash is happening in India, we are ready to accept it. We have given the opportunity to people back home to give whatever they are giving (us). There is a lot of expectation from us; that we should have done well. And with the kind of batting line-up we have, we should have done well.” He also sprang to the defence of the under-fire veteran VVS Laxman, saying it was wrong to single him out.
“Look, my question is, why criticise one person? He has been a legend of the game. It's not only Laxman, all of us (who have under-performed). The top six, the top seven should be criticised equally. We have all failed as a unit. So, why only Laxman?
“He has been a legend of the game. He has served Indian cricket for a long time. There should not be anyone (else) who should be deciding about his retirement. It should be him. Whenever he wants to take it, he should take it. The entire team is behind him (Laxman). “Whether it be the media or people back home, I think no one has any right to force anyone to take retirement.”