New Delhi: Lauding the Indian cricket team for their 4-0 triumph over Australia in the recently concluded Test series, out-of-favour opener Gautam Gambhir stressed on the need to win Test series abroad in order to be recognized as a force in world cricket. "Unless a team wins overseas, they are not recognized as a force. I have always believed that winning in overseas conditions matters a lot. I am happy that we have done well at home. There is nothing wrong in using home advantage as every country does that", Gambhir told reporters at a promotional event here.
"But look at South Africa. They beat Australia in Australia and England in England. Actually, they are the No 1 side in the world," he said. "My personal aim has always been to be a member of the overseas Test series winning squad and score runs in team's victory," Gambhir said at the launch of a new cricket portal CricLan.com. Gambhir, who has just started training after recovering from mild jaundice, said that "form is a state of mind" when asked about his century plus score in a first-class match versus Aussies and 60 plus score in a T20 game against Punjab.
"For me, form is always a state of mind. If you are confident and fearless and ready to express yourself, that's what matters the most." The stylish left-hander also supported BCCI's move to have a proper India 'A' team's tour of South Africa before the senior team goes there at the end of the year. "It's a good thing that India A team will be travelling to South Africa. This tour will give the players fair idea about what to expect when the senior team goes there.
Normally, when we go to South Africa, we play a couple of practice matches and by the time we gauge the pace and bounce of the wicket, the Test series gets over. So it's a welcome move." Gambhir, who is the captain of the defending IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, said that he wants his boys to forget about any "external pressures and play fearless cricket."
"I want the likes of Yusuf (Pathan), Manoj (Tiwary) and Bisla (Manvinder) to forget about any kind of pressure and play fearlessly. There was a lot of criticism that KKR wasn't performing up to its potential. We worked very hard and were champions last year. Now I want my boys to be fearless and express themselves out there in the middle," he said. To Gambhir, captaining KKR is an "honour" rather than "pressure."