Hailing from Karnataka, CM Gautam has played 68 First-Class matches for the state till now. In the Indian Premier League (IPL) Gautam has featured for Delhi Daredevils (DD), Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). However, with a batting average of 45.06 and a highest score of an unbeaten 264, Gautam’s expertise has often gone unnoticed. The wicketkeeper-batsman believes the short time that he spent with Michael Hussey during IPL 2014, has helped him. “IPL experience is something different. You get to rub shoulders with the foreign players and the international cricketers. You can see how they train, how they prepare for the game, what kind of shots they play and what is their mindset about T20 cricket.”
“Whenever I have time, I usually sit and chat with them about the preparation part and how to build an innings in T20 cricket, which is very important. The general perception about T20 cricket is that you go bang-bang from ball one. That is not the case – it is a 120-ball game, it is a long period. Building the innings in T20 cricket is something I have learnt and I would like to put that to use during KPL. I had a chat with Mike Hussey last year with Mumbai Indians. I spent a lot of time with him and he told me a few things about batting, how to convert your starts, how to build your innings, when to attack, when to play singles and all those things. The chat with him definitely helped me a lot,” Gautam was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
Speaking about getting married, Gautam said, “Getting married to your loved one is special and it has been a good journey so far. I had a good break, my wedding break for the past two months. I am really fresh and looking forward to this KPL (Karnataka Premier League).
Gautam did not play the previous season of KPL because of a knee surgery. He reveals that he will use his IPL experience to perform well in KPL.
“Last year, I did not play the KPL. I sat out because of my knee surgery. It was disappointing to sit back and see all your team-mates playing. It is a wonderful tournament. So, this year, I plan to use all my IPL experience in this year’s KPL. I have certain plans – how to build my innings, play according to the role given by my franchise and all those things. I have my own plans and I am prepared for this year’s KPL.”
Despite providing few good knocks lower down the order in Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Gautam was not convert his scores into hundred. “My contribution was very important for the team, especially during the first half of the tournament. We were playing on seaming wickets and were struggling a bit with the bat. Whenever I went out to bat, it was five down for 50 or 100. From there, I had to rebuild the innings and set a platform for the team to get a big score. However, I was not so happy because I could have converted those fifties to 100s. I missed out on three-four hundreds last year. That was pretty disappointing. Apart from that, the contributions to the team gave me immense satisfaction and eventually we went on to win the Ranji trophy. That was the most important thing, that’s what we play for.”
Gautam went on to miss the final of Ranji Trophy due to an injury. “It was very unfortunate, it was a freak injury. While getting down the stairs, I just slipped and tore my quadriceps. I was very disappointed not to play the Ranji final. It hurt me very badly because missing the Ranji final is something I never imagined. Sitting out in the final was the toughest thing. I have completely recovered form the injury and fit to play again. It has not hampered my keeping abilities. It was just a freak injury and it took me a couple of weeks to recover.”
Speaking on playing different formats, “I mentioned on how to build an innings. That is the key to playing different formats. In day’s cricket, you bat for time and overs, take it session by session. In T20 cricket, you play ball by ball, so it makes a lot of difference. At the end of the day’s it’s all about the mindset and your shot selection is very important when switching between formats. Probably in day’s cricket, you play two or three shots the entire day. In T20 cricket, you tend to play six-seven shots. This is the important part. A week is enough to brush your skills and adjust to different formats.”
Gautam will be playing for Mysuru Warriors in KPL. “Mysuru is a fantastic team and I am really happy to be in their side. The set-up is very good, the team management is very good. They have their own plans. I am really looking forward to be part of Mysuru Warriors camp. It will be a very good camp, I’m sure. We are defending the title and the pressure is on us now. The expectation is pretty high. So, we need to do well.”
“The role has not been defined yet, but as a senior player, I need to help the youngsters. Manish [Pandey] and I, we will have to hold the innings together. We have a pretty good team, so they can revolve around us and it will be fun (taking part in KPL),” Gautam concluded.
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