Gautam Gambhir. @ Getty Images
Gautam Gambhir. @ Getty Images

Ever since he made his ODI debut for India in 2003, Gautam Gambhir has been in and out of the team. He last played a one-dayer in 2013 at Dharamsala where England won the fifth ODI by seven wickets. Gambhir scored a lukewarm 42-ball 24.

The veteran southpaw, who recently celebrated his 37th birthday, is in no mood to retire. Gambhir, who has played 58 Tests and is the only Indian to have scored centuries in five consecutive Test matches, said that he will hang up his boots only after the passion in him dies out.

“No, till the time I keep scoring runs, that makes me happy. You keep doing it. I think scoring runs, winning, coming back to the dressing room happy, being in the winning environment makes me happy,” he told IANS on Tuesday.

Gambhir smashed 104 off 72 to lead Delhi into the semi-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2018-19 season, has registered 490 runs in the ongoing List A tournament from eight matches so far.

“Till the time I have that passion in me, where I want to come back to a happy dressing room, I want to be a part of that happy environment, I am going to keep going, and the day I feel that there are no emotions involved in it then I would think it’s time to go,” he said,

Gambhir has led India to victories in the finals of the 2007 World T20 (75 off 54) and the 2011 World Cup (97 off 122). The Arjuna awardee also was the recipient of the ICC Test Player of the Year award.

“You can always fill in something. There is never an end to your journey and probably the day I would feel that has been achieved, I obviously could not have continued playing,” he said.

“There is a vacuum and there is always something more to achieve in life as well and that is what makes a person work hard and keep going forward as well.”

Gambhir, who was bought by Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Daredevils for a whopping Rs 2.8 crore, and was appointed captain before he relinquished the captaincy midway through the tournament, feels the IPL has become much more challenging.

“That will always happen because new players will come. Challenges will be different, players and franchises will get smarter. From the first to the eleventh edition, IPL has got tougher, better and more challenging.

“That is where the biggest challenge for any sportsman is. If you can keep growing with that challenge, that is what will keep you going,” he said.

“I’m not going to say that there is not anything left to achieve. Obviously, there is something to achieve. That keeps me going.”