'Gautam knew about it and so did Sehwag': Rajat Bhatia narrates his experience of playing under Gambhir in IPL
- Rajat Bhatia revealed that although he had a good time overall playing under Gautam Gambhir, the first experience wasn't too exciting.
Former all-rounder Rajat Bhatia, who played with and under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir, has narrated what it was like performing under the leadership of his Delhi team-mate. Bhatia, besides playing domestic cricket for Delhi, represented Delhi Capitals (formerly Daredevils) and later on Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, both of whom Gambhir was captain of at one stage.
In the first couple of years, Virender Sehwag was the captain of DC before Gambhir was appointed skipper of the franchise in 2010. Bhatia revealed that although he had a good time overall playing under Gambhir, the first experience wasn't too exciting.
"I really enjoyed playing under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir, however, during his third year for Delhi Daredevils, there was a lack of maturity in his captaincy, maybe because it was his first ever role as a captain in the IPL and there were also a lot of changes made. So, at that time, I did not enjoy playing under his captaincy at Delhi," said Bhatia on SportsTiger’s new interview series - Interact. Personal. Laugh & Life.
However, when both jumped ships and moved to Kolkata Knight Riders, a team that would go on to win two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014 under Gambhir, Bhatia said things fell back in place. The fact that Bhatia had played for years under Gambhir and Sehwag at different stages of his career, worked in his favour and that there were times when Gambhir would back the all-rounder to the hilt.
"But when we both moved to KKR and he became the captain, I had a doubt that whether I’ll be able to enjoy under his captaincy or not. But there is huge advantage if you have a captain from the same state because they know what is required. Gautam knew about that and so did Virender Sehwag because I played under his captaincy in Delhi Daredevils for two years," Bhatia added.
"When Gautam was there as the captain of KKR, he used to prefer me in his playing 11 and made me play consistently. Sometimes, the wicket was a bit flat, and there was a need to play an extra fast bowler. But he never let me get dropped, and played me consistently. Big names like L Balaji or others would be dropped, but I would not get dropped. He always used to tell me that he believed in me and knew how to use me and that’s why I enjoyed playing under him."