Former BCCI team selector Sandeep Patil has stated Gautam Gambhir's attitude a reason for his ostracism from the Indian team.
In his column for The Quint, Patil penned down about his view on Gambhir's step down as captain from Delhi Daredevils (DD). Sandeep also added that the discarded Indian cricketer could have been a legend of Indian cricket had he not decided to miss the 2011 tour of England, after being hit on the head.
“I used to be the Director of the NCA during that period. I was in shock when I saw the reports of the physio and the doctors, who confirmed that his injury was not serious at all, and he could have continued in that series,” Patil wrote.
Gambhir has left the captaincy of DD and Patil respects his decision. Shreyas Iyer is appointed as captain of Delhi.
“I respect his decision to quit Delhi Daredevils captaincy, but he is the only person who knows why he stepped down in the middle of an IPL campaign. In my view, only an individual can understand what is going on inside his head,” said Patil.
Patil said when he replaced Gambhir with Shikhar Dhawan, it led to the end of his friendship with the Delhi cricketer. “I was the chairman of the Selection Committee at the time and we selectors decided to give Dhawan a chance in place of a struggling Gambhir. Later on, all doors were shut for Gambhir as Murali Vijay too was performing excellently as an opener,” he said.
“That was the time Gambhir decided to end our friendship. I understand his feelings and took it in the right spirit. I did not take it personally. He hardly smiled whenever we met and he seems angry with me even today. When it comes to selecting a player for India, friendship or emotions don’t work. The interest of the country always comes first – survival of the fittest. Even the king of jungle has to surrender his territory one day.”