`Sad that injured batsmen won`t be allowed runners`
New Delhi: Disappointed with ICC`s decision to do away with runners for injured batsmen in ODIs, star opener Gautam Gambhir today said that a batsman should be allowed a runner at least in case of a serious injury.
"I think it is disappointing. ICC can stop giving runners for cramps but should allow runners for serious injuries. It doesn`t make any sense that a batsman is injured but he still keeps on playing and aggravate his injury. Especially in close matches, if a batsman needs runner he should be allowed one," said Gambhir.
The 29-year-old left-handed batsman, who is all set to play his first Test series on the English soil said though "extremely excited" about playing in England, he hasn`t been preparing any differently from any other tour.
"I have played in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand but this would be my first Test series in England and I am very excited. I have faith in my batting ability and technique so haven`t made any changes to my batting.”
"It is all in the mind. I just want to prepare the way I do for every other international tour. I just want to do well in England," said Gambhir on the sidelines of a function, organised to felicitate him for making important contribution in India winning the World Cup after 28 years.
Gambhir also said that he is carrying no baggage of playing at cricket mecca -- Lord`s.
"For me Lord`s is any other ground. It is India vs England series and I want to keep it to that only," said the Delhi lad, who has 3234 runs in 38 Tests at a healthy average of 51.33.
Stating that International cricket is all about challenges, Gambhir said, "You should be able to play under different conditions and adapt to different pitches quickly.
On the preparations of the team, the southpaw said, "Whether it`s Ireland or Australia, our preparation is always the same."
Asked if off-spinner Harbhajan Singh would find it difficult in England, considering that he has become a `defensive bowler`, Gambhir lashed out at the critics, saying he would be a crucial member for the team in England.
"How can his form be a cause of worry? He is just two wickets away from completing 400 Test wickets. I don`t see any reason for concerns. Problem is people every time expect bowlers to take five wickets and batsmen to score hundred.”
"There have been criticisms that he has become very defensive but I feel he has always been a very attacking bowler. He will be a crucial person for us in England and I am sure he will be delivering for us," he said.
Gambhir has been trusted with an added responsibility of being the vice-captain of the Indian team for England tour, but he said his major role is serve the team as a batsman.
"Vice capataincy is just an added responsibility. My primary job is to go out there and score as many runs as possible. My job as a batsman comes first. But being the vice-captain of the Indian team is an honour and I would try to fulfil all challenges and responsibilities attached to it."
When asked if the team`s middle-order in Tests is still a weak link, considering their performance in West Indies, Gambhir said, "Virat Kohli and Abhinav Mukund have played only three Test matches and you can`t expect players to start scoring 90s or 100s from their very first game. One has to give them some time as they are the future of Indian cricket.