Gautam Gambhir    Getty Images (file photo)
Gautam Gambhir Getty Images (file photo)

Gautam Gambhir who led Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) to the title twice has not been retained by the franchise. Gambhir is also KKR’s leading run scorer. KKR has retained Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. There were speculations that Gambhir and the management could not agree on a price point. However, KKR could still keep him through Right to Match cards (RTM) which would cost them less than retention.

Gambhir, while talking to ESPNcricinfo said that he respects their call.

“Above all, the communication between the KKR management and myself has been superb. We spoke in a very cordial atmosphere and I respect their call,” Gambhir said.

Gambhir is only behind Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in terms of most runs by an Indian player in IPL. Gambhir has scored 1, 1, 7 and 21 in his last four games in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. However, he has layed a major role in Delhi’s journey to Ranji Trophy final as they ended runners-up.

Gambhir believes that he is fit enough to play the shortest format of the game which is usually suited for the younger generation.

“I won’t have been playing the format if I was not convinced about my abilities,” he said. “I am feeling strong physically. Fitness and motivation have never been a challenge. When I turned 30 I promised myself that I needed to up the ante fitness wise as the game was changing, I was moving on and there is that thing called self-pride which you never want to dent. So, I do extensive gym training with my personal trainers, cross country in the ridge area behind my house in Delhi, yoga, kickboxing and also play badminton to stay in shape,” he said.

When asked about his role in KKR, Gambhir said the focus was on mentoring young players as it was on captaincy. He also agreed to the fact that his game has changed over the years.

“I’d prefer both but the dynamics of the sport are such that each phase of a professional sportsperson’s career comes with responsibility,” he said.

“The way I played in 2011 or 2012 is different to how I play now. Bowlers don’t bowl in my areas, as a senior member it is my duty to curb my game as per the situation. At the end of the day it is about a balanced approach because a team sport has to be played with a team’s interests in mind and not an individual’s,” he concluded.