Star cricketer Gautam Gambhir first grabbed attention as a 17-year old lanky strapping youngster in 2000 with his aggressive stroke-play as an opener for Delhi. However, some hiccups came in his way but they couldn’t deter him. Instead, his cricket instinct, footwork, aggression and a positive approach to the game have made him earn a big name in the cricketing arena. Today, he stands among the best in the world. In a conversation with us, Gambhir remembers his early days and lots more.
Q: Tell us about your school days?
Gautam Gambhir: I studied in Modern School, Barakhamba Road, Delhi. Though I could not devote much time into my studies, I was an above average student. The ambience there was more like a family, where everyone from teachers to classmates to non-teaching staffs was highly cooperative and compassionate in nature.
Q: Any family pressure during those days?
Gautam Gambhir: My family was highly supportive. They did not stop me from playing cricket and even encouraged me in every possible way to take this sport as a profession. They, indeed, left no stone unturned in shaping my career.
Q: Who is your idol?
Gautam Gambhir: Saurav Ganguly. I like the way he bats – particularly his Cover-drives. I was always sure that one day he would make a splendid comeback because of his fighting instinct and sportsman spirit. In true sense, Ganguly brought a new enthusiasm and dimension to Indian cricket, which was once going through a lean and thin phase due to lack of a daring captaincy. It was his audacious skippering which fetched India to the level of becoming a world champ, but unfortunately we lost the last ODI World Cup.
Q: Coach, who brought you to this stature?
Gautam Gambhir: Sanjay Bhardwaj. He is merely not a coach to me but a driving force and a Guru.
Q: Do you believe in God?
Gautam Gambhir: I am quite religious. I pray daily and am a God-fearing person. I believe in God and destiny.
What are your hobbies?
Gautam Gambhir: Listening to music and watching movies. I also like hanging out with buddies.
Q: How much time do you spend on cricket-practice daily?
Gautam Gambhir: It’s up to the schedule of the matches, whether domestic or internationals.
Q: Which is your favourite cricket ground(s)?
Gautam Gambhir: Kotla, Eden Gardens, and Oval, to name a few.
Q: If not a cricketer then..?
Gautam Gambhir: I never thought of my life without cricket.
Q: How does it feel to be on the road to become the next Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly or Rahul Dravid?
Gautam Gambhir: They are the stalwarts, who have broken and set numerous milestones. If I could achieve even a fraction of their achievements, it would be a lifetime award for me.
Q: What are your aims and targets?
Gautam Gambhir: I have only one objective and that is to play cricket for the country as long as I can. I want to improve my batting style with time.
Q: What is your message for upcoming players?
Gautam Gambhir: Be determined and focused. Believe in God and work hard with sheer dedication.