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South African wickets test a batsman's mental grit: Gautam Gambhir

Friday, 13 December 2013 - 7:14pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

His form has been dodgy over the past couple of years but Gautam Gambhir's grit has always been unquestionable, something he believes is necessary when batsmen from the sub-continent play on bouncy South African tracks.

"When you play on pitches like those in South Africa, you need to show a lot of mental toughness. You have to be gutsy and have the grit to succeed in adverse conditions. One needs to have the ability to go out and hang in there despite all odds," Gambhir, who scored twin 50's in Cape Town (2010-11) with a swollen forearm, told PTI during an interaction.

Asked about what will be his advise for statemate Shikhar Dhawan, who will have a big role to play in the upcoming Test series, Gambhir turned diplomatic,"I don't ever make comments about individual performances. It's Indian team that needs to play well collectively. Test matches are won on the basis of collective effort".

Gambhir feels that despite the team's poor show in the ODI series, the Indian side has the talent and ability to make a comeback in the longer version.

"I believe that this Indian team has the ability to do well on South African soil. We have done well earlier and there is no reason we can't do it again".

The 32-year-old veteran of 54 Tests and 147 ODIs feels that it's the bowlers who will win the matches taking 20 wickets as batsmen can only set it up for them.

"The batsmen need to score well but they can only set it up for the bowlers. It's the bowlers who need to take wickets in order to win the matches".

Gambhir also came in defence of his out-of-form teammate Virender Sehwag, who has failed to score a single first-class 50 this season having played two first-class games against West Indies followed by eight innings in Ranji Trophy.

"Viru is a player who needs just one innings to get back into form. He is a player who will hit a big hundred if he gets going and I am not at all worried about his form," said Gambhir.

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