Gambhir hopes Zaheer`s reverse swing benefits India
Kolkata: James Anderson`s successful execution of reverse swing has made Indian opener Gautam Gambhir believe that his senior colleague Zaheer Khan will perform even better as he is a bigger exponent of the art.
Anderson got the ball to reverse consistently in the post tea session that saw England claiming three wickets to leave India tottering at 273 for seven at the end of day one of the third Test here.
"We have got Zaheer and Ishant who can reverse the ball really well. If they are on song, it`s going to be difficult for England as well," said Gambhir after the first day`s play.
"Zaheer Khan is a master of reverse swing. If he gets going I think it would be worrying for England. Hopefully, Zaheer and Ishant can do the job for us and play a big role for India. This is a wicket which will have something for everyone. It has carry, and sometimes the ball remains up and down," he added.
Praising Anderson (3 for 68), Gambhir said the English pacer was hiding the ball well as he dismissed Sachin Tendulkar and Ravichandran Ashwin with reverse swings.
"He didn`t give loose deliveries. It was reversing and he was hiding the shine as well. It really gets difficult when someone hides the ball as you`re not able to see the shine of the ball and don`t know which way it would go. Ultimately you have to play the ball late," explained the opening batsman.
Gambhir said that the match is currently evenly poised and if India were able to post a total of 330 plus tomorrow, it could turn out to be a good contest.
"I think we have lost two wickets more. The way Ashwin was batting, we could have continued a bit more. But it`s part and parcel of the game. It was an even day... Can`t really say it can go England`s way. If we can put 330-350 on the board it would be a good contest," he said.
Gambhir conceded that Virender Sehwag's run out for 23 was disappointing from the team's point of view.
"I thought that was not a situation for a third run. The ball was in his hand and I thought it would be risky going for a third. But after watching replay I thought there was a third run. We lost an important player. He was hitting the ball well. If he could have continued and we had a bigger start, we would have been a different position.
"When that kind of a dismissal happens, it starts playing on your mind because you've done all the hard work putting 47 runs on the board and he was playing well. Things would have been different if he had continued playing. It's disappointing from the team's point of view," he said.
Insisting that it was important for the players to convert their good starts, Gambhir said, "Unfortunately that's missing. That happened in Mumbai and now here. Me and Sachin could have continued...We would have been in a much better position if one of us had got a hundred.
"But it's just day one. Firstly, we have to put runs on the board and try put them under pressure.
"When you win the toss, 300 is first thing that comes on to your mind. I won't say it's a good total but a decent one. If we can get 300 and above and our bowlers bowl well, it's going to be a good Test match."
Asked about Tendulkar's return to form, Gambhir said, "Every run is important. You play a team sport. I never discuss about individuals. I've always maintained it's not about individuals. It's about what team does. It's about what we collectively put on board. It will not help if one gets 100 and the team ends up at 250-260. It's a team sport."