After being dropped from the Test and ODI squad, Gautam Gambhir is struggling in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) as well. His back-to-back ducks in the first two games as skipper for Kolkata Knight Riders notwithstanding, Delhi batsman's childhood coach Sanjay Bhardwaj believes his prodigy has it in him to make a comeback.
"Gautam doesn't have anything except cricket. He doesn't have a social life and only lives the game. Whenever he is in Delhi, he wants to be there at the nets. Off late he has been working very hard — practising at the nets both morning and evening for three to four hours. He is keen to make a comeback," said Bhardwaj, who is in the city for a coaching camp.
And with many games left for KKR, Gambhir has a chance to bounce back and announce his form, before India departs for the long tour of England.
With Shikhar Dhawan struggling at the moment, Gambhir could be considered as the third opener, something Mahendra Singh Dhoni had also suggested ahead of the South Africa tour.
"Gautam has a lot of cricket left in him," said Bhardwaj adding, "Dhoni has always considered him as the third opener. England will be a long tour with five Test matches and with Dhawan's form, they might have Gautam as a back-up option. If he gets a chance, he will have to prove it and give it his everything. Otherwise, it would be difficult for him to get another opportunity," he added.
Talking about his ward's back-to-back noughts in IPL, Bhardwaj said: "Gautam is a big player and there are huge expectations from him. He is under pressure as he has to live up to expectations and this happens with every big player. However, it is up to the player how he deals with the pressure. It could bring out the best or or affect him in a negative way. It is all about absorbing. Gautam must be under pressure," he said.
The coach added that Gambhir needs one big knock to get his form back: "He is not getting the starts. If he gets to play 10 balls, he will get into the groove. He has come into the tournament with some good knocks in Mushtaq Ali T20 that included a 75. It is just about one good knock and he will be back," said Bhardwaj.