'Though I admire his batting, he needs to finish off games': Gambhir's advice to India batter, wants team to be ruthless

  • Weighing in on the performance of the first T20I, former India batter Gautam Gambhir reckons that although India dished out a good performance, they should have closed out the game a lot earlier.
Gautam Gambhir wants India's batting to show more ruthlessness. (Getty Images)
Gautam Gambhir wants India's batting to show more ruthlessness. (Getty Images)
Updated on Nov 19, 2021 10:07 AM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

India registered a thrilling five-wicket win over New Zealand in the first T20I in Jaipur, and although in the end, the Men in Blue emerged on the right side of the result, the fact that they scraped through from having the match entirely in control would raise a few concerns. Chasing 165 to win, India were on course at the 15-over mark, but three quick wickets, including that of a set Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer and debutant Venkatesh Iyer, saw the equation tightening up.

India registered a thrilling five-wicket win over New Zealand in the first T20I in Jaipur, and although in the end, the Men in Blue emerged on the right side of the result, the fact that they scraped through from having the match entirely in control would raise a few concerns. Chasing 165 to win, India were on course at the 15-over mark, but three quick wickets, including that of a set Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer and debutant Venkatesh Iyer, saw the equation tightening up.

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Fortunately for India, with three needed off three balls, Rishabh Pant hit a boundary to win India the match, but it wasn't before the team endured a late stutter. Weighing in on the performance, former India batter Gautam Gambhir reckons that although the team dished out a good performance, it should have closed out the game a lot earlier.

"You have got to finish off much stronger because chasing targets like these, you have got to be more ruthless with the batting unit. Professionalism is not only about scraping through or getting these runs at the second last ball. When you were in the position where you could absolutely crush the opponents, go out and be ruthless. That is the attitude that India need for the next 11 months and that is what will define them when they head into big tournaments against strong sides," Gambhir said on Star Sports after the match.

Gambhir was disappointed with Suryakumar Yadav for not finishing off the match. Suryakumar roared back to form with a third half-century of his T20I career and registered his highest score in the format, top scoring for India with 62. However, in the 17th over, he was cleaned up by Trent Boult, the same bowler who had dropped a catch of his earlier in the innings. Gambhir reckons that although Suryakumar is a delight to watch, the batter needs to sharpen his ability of staying till the end and finish off games.

"Very disappointed. See, though I really admire him for his batting, he needs to finish off these games. It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish. It really doesn't matter if you've got a 60, 70 or 80, if you can score the last run, you are the most important part in the side," added Gambhir.

"Rishabh Pant finishing off this game was more important than Surya getting 62 runs because scoring that last run is the toughest run. So when he was in that position, where he could have come out 70, 80 not out and won the game, that is what maturity is about. You mature not just by scoring runs but by finishing off games in such scenarios."

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Thursday, December 09, 2021