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Gautam Gambhir gives reality check to people creating hype around young Indian cricketers

Published at :May 21, 2024 at 5:06 PM
Modified at :May 21, 2024 at 5:06 PM
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(Courtesy : Source-KKR)

Jatin Khandelwal


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Gautam Gambhir has cautioned the commentators to have a “balanced approach” when hyping Indian youngsters.

Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir has urged commentators to be “balanced” when they hype young players who burst onto the scene, especially fast bowlers. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) mentor believes channeling extra attention on a youngster at the start of his career could “backfire” for the player.

There have been cases with players such as Umran Malik and Devdutt Padikkal, who had an impressive start to their Indian Premier League (IPL) careers, but have fallen through in the last couple of seasons.

Gambhir, who is currently the mentor of KKR in the IPL 2024, reckoned Indian fans and commentators go over the moon whenever a young pacer touches the 150 KPH mark on the speed gun but they fail to assess whether he will be able to succeed in Asian conditions where there is little help for seamers. Similarly, with the batters, the 42-year-old asserted the importance of strike rate and impact over runs and averages in T20 cricket.

Speaking on off-spinner R Ashwin’s YouTube channel, Gambhir said, “In India, we start creating so much hype with these young cricketers coming through. Everyone gets excited if someone is bowling 150 clicks. The point is you need to look at the conditions as well. Going forward in T20 cricket, the average and runs will have no impact. It is the strike rate when you select a batter, and when you have to select a bowler, it is the kind of tough overs he can bowl. That will be the discussion that will happen in the next two or three years.”

“We keep talking about the amount of runs and averages, and all that stuff, someone bowling 150s. Sometimes when you go in conditions like West Indies or Bangladesh, you don’t need someone bowling 150. You need someone who bowls cutters as well. That is where the vision lies with the selectors. Sometimes you pick raw talent. But creating so much hype after two or three games, we need to have a balanced approach.”

It is easy for them to get deviated from the hard work: Gautam Gambhir

The 2011 World Cup winner also opined that a young player may get swayed away from doing the hard work consistently if he gets extra hype from the commentators. Gambhir warned the commentators to avoid going over the board with their praises and predictions about new Indian players.

“The graph goes [up and down] in India, and it is not good for a young player. That is where the experts and commentators need to be balanced when it comes to these young players. It is easy for them to get deviated from the hard work and the good things they are doing. Because suddenly when you start talking about a young player doing well, it can backfire for them,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gautam Gambhir is reportedly in contention to become India’s head coach after the T20 World Cup in June, when Rahul Dravid’s tenure ends.

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