'I did not get selected because I didn't touch the selector's feet': Gautam Gambhir's date with reality | Crickit

'I did not get selected because I didn't touch the selector's feet': Gautam Gambhir's date with reality

May 21, 2024 04:54 AM IST

Gautam Gambhir revealed a startling tale from his childhood to explain why he doesn't care about how the public perceives him.

Gautam Gambhir has often been the subject of contrasting opinions. While his success with the Indian cricket team is undisputed, Gambhir's comments as a pundit and his no-holds-barred approach to defending his team when involved with one in the Indian Premier League (IPL) have led to the former batter getting caught at the centre of several controversies.

Gautam Gambhir is one of the most successful captains of all-time in the IPL(CAB)
Gautam Gambhir is one of the most successful captains of all-time in the IPL(CAB)

India spin great Ravichandran Ashwin, in a podcast he hosts on Youtube in which Gambhir was a guest, said that the latter's public perception seems to precede him regardless of what he does on the field. The 42-year-old Gambhir responded to Ashwin's observation by stating why he doesn't care about his perception any more. “When I was growing up, maybe when I was 12 or 13 years old, I didn't get selected when I tried out for my first under-14 tournament because I didn't touch the selector's feet. From then I promised myself that I will never ever touch anyone's feet and I do not let anyone touch my feet,” Gambhir told Ashwin on the podcast.

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Gambhir explained that there was a perception around him initially that he didn't want to be a successful cricketer as much as others since he came from an affluent family. I remember, coming through my career every time I failed whether it be in the under-16, under-19, Ranji Trophy or even initially in my international career, people would say that you come from a (well-off) family, you don't need to play cricket. You've got so many (options), you can join your dad's business," he said.

‘Toughest perception for me to beat was that I didn’t want it as much as others'

“So that was the biggest perception that was hanging on my head. People did not realise that I wanted it more than them. I wanted to beat that perception. So when I was able to do that, no other perception ever bothers me. The toughest perception for me to beat in my life was that I didn't want it that hard. I wanted it harder than any of them,” Gambhir added.

Gambhir retired in March 2019 having played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is. Gambhir has over 15,000 runs in first class cricket and over 10,000 runs in the one day format. He scored 4154 runs in Test cricket at an average of 41.95 with nine centuries and 22 half-centuries. In ODIs, Gambhir scored 5238 runs at an average of 39.68 with 11 centuries and 34 half-centuries while in T20Is, Gambhir scored 932 runs in 37 matches with five half-centuries at a strike rate of 119.02. Gambhir was an integral part of the Indian teams that won the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World Cup, famously scoring 97 in 122 balls in the latter and resurrecting the Indian chase against Sri Lanka after they lost Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar early. Gambhir is also the third most succesfull of all-time in the IPL, only behind Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni, having led the Kolkata Knight Riders to the title in 2012 and 2014.

Since retirement, Gambhir has been active as a commentator. He was mentor for the Lucknow Super Giants in 2022 and 2023 seasons of the IPL. This year, he has returned to KKR as a team mentor and the team finished top of the table in the league stage. They are set to face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first qualifier on Tuesday.

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