Gambhir warns teammates against complacency

Vadodara: India might be comfortably placed to wrap up the five-match series going into the third ODI against New Zealand with a 2-0 lead tomorrow, but skipper Gautam Gambhir on Friday warned about the dangers of complacency creeping into the mindset of his team.

“I have always felt players need to be wary from becoming complacent. We are going to see it now as three-match series. New Zealand are a dangerous one day side and we are looking forward to the contest tomorrow,” said the India captain at his pre-match media conference at the Reliance Stadium.

Gambhir, who would not be a part of the senior members team going to South Africa early for acclimatization, said his entire focus is now on the current series and in particular tomorrow’s match.

“I am not thinking about South Africa. My focus is on the series at hand and tomorrow’s match. I have been given a responsibility to captain the team and only after completing it I would think about South Africa tour,” Gambhir said.

“I will fully utilise the time I will get after reaching there to acclimatise to the conditions,” he added.

The Cricket Board has decided to send senior players- regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh -- well in advance of the opening Test against South Africa commencing on December 16.

The rest of the tour members, with the squad yet to be named, will leave after the conclusion of the ODI series against New Zealand.

He expressed similar views about the World Cup and said there was some time between now and the commencement of the mega event on February 19, 2011.

In the same breath the left-handed opener, who played a match-winning knock of 138 not out in the second ODI at Jaipur that India won by eight wickets, praised the decision of the selectors to include Zaheer Khan to play in the last three matches of the current ODI series.

“Zaheer Khan missed the last Test and the first two ODIs. Any bowling he does in this series now will be very useful to him before the South Africa series. It’s going to be a good match practice for him as we are not playing any practice games there. Any captain would love to have him in the team,” the stylist Delhi batsman said.

Gambhir wanted the yet-to-fire Murali Vijay to be given some more time to prove his one-day credentials.

The Tamil Nadu opener made starts in his short career but couldn’t convert them into big scores.

“Let us give him some more time and not condemn him after a few 20s and 30s. He’s not too far off from converting them into big scores. We had some good opening partnerships,” he said.

He also described Yusuf Pathan, the local hero who will be playing his first ODI in front of his home crowd, as a match-winner and said the big-hitting all rounder would benefit from playing more number of overs up the order with the absence of Suresh Raina who has been rested.

“Yusuf has always come down the order and had to go after the bowling (from the beginning). By batting more number of overs he can turn it to his advantage as he is a match winner and can turn around a game on its shoulder,” he said.


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