Gambhir downplays Test omission, says ` doesn’t play for selection`

New Delhi [India], Sept.15 : After being sidelined for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand, out-of-favour Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has said that he doesn't play for selection in the national squad, insisting that his job is primarily to go out and perform well for his team.

"I do not play for selection. Ultimately, my job is to go on the field and score runs and that is what I focus on. And that is what I can say to everyone, whoever play should just go out and look to control things. Rest, they should not be thinking of controlling. Whatever the selectors decide it is their opinion. But ultimately my job is to go there and help my team well," Gambhir told reporters here. Labelling New Zealand as a `gritty` side, the 34-year-old believes spinners would decide the fate of the upcoming three-match series against the Kane Williamson-led side, starting from September 22 in Kanpur.

"New Zealand has always been a very gritty kind of a side. They have always been underdogs, no one rates them very highly but they have always done well in most of the conditions.

And the kind of the squad they have got. They have got three spinners (in Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig). So ultimately I believe whichever spinners bowl well, decide the series," Gambhir said. The left-hander also reflected his views on use of pink ball in Test cricket, insisting that there was no need to change the traditional method of the longest format of the game while adding that the experiment of using the new ball instead of red one should be done in shorter formats.

"I totally believe that just to attract crowd we don't need to shift to pink balls from red balls unless you think red ball cricket is not producing results and or resulting in poor Test matches.

So there is no need to change the traditional method of Test cricket just to attract the crowd. Now-a-days we hardly get to see a drawn Test. Test cricket is a traditional format and it should left as it is. You can experiment pink balls in T20, ODIs, there is no harm in it," said Gambhir, on the sidelines of a talent hunt programme, Indian Junior Players League (IJPL), of which he is the brand ambassador.

Meanwhile, Gambhir also expressed his views on the 2016 Rio Paralympics, saying that the significance of the ongoing quadrennial event is as huge as Cricket World Cup,.

"Paralympics is as big as anyone. Winning a gold medal in Olympics is as big as a World Cup. It happens after four years so does the World Cup. Obviously, they (Para athletes) should get Bharat Ratna and there is nothing wrong in that. If not Bharat Ratna, they should get at least Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award," he said. India has increased its medal tally to four at the Rio Paralympics after javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia inked his name in the history books by becoming the first athlete from India to win two gold medals at the Paralympics.

Earlier, Mariyappan Thangavelu had won gold in the men's high jump, while Varun Bhati had secured a bronze in the same event.

Shot putter Deepa Malik then scripted history by becoming the first Indian female paralympian to win a medal (Silver).

Source: ANI