I hope IPL is not a shortcut to playing for India: Gautam Gambhir | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former Indian opener and current KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir On Monday, he appreciated the high level of cricket in the Indian Premier League, but said the tournament should not serve as the primary means for young players to secure a place in the national team.
Gambhir, who represented India, stressed the importance of maintaining a balance between initial loading and other national cricket competitions.
The 42-year-old argued that while the IPL provides valuable exposure and experience, it should not overshadow the importance of traditional formats and tournaments in the development of aspiring cricketers.
Speaking on Ravichandran Ashwin's YouTube show, 'Kutti Stories with Ash', Gambhir said, “The biggest concern that arises is the number of youngsters who want to play Test cricket for India. I hope the IPL is not a shortcut to playing for India.
The KKR team mentor also claimed that the IPL has benefited Indian cricketers.
“Today, when I look at international T20 teams, apart from 2-3 teams, I don't see enough competition when it comes to playing for India,” he said.
“Not many teams can match the quality of India, so I think right now the IPL has become much more competitive than international T20 cricket.
“The quality of domestic players has changed, the way domestic players want to play in the IPL and the way they work around T20 cricket – I think they are mainly focusing on T20 cricket.”
The fans come to see my team win
Gambhir, who helped India win the ODI World Cup final in 2011 alongside MS Dhoni and led KKR to win two Indian Premier League titles in 2012 and 2014, returned to the team as as the team's mentor this season.
The 42-year-old is known for his outspokenness and seriousness.
Speaking on the same, Gambhir said, “I'm not breaking any rules. I want to be as aggressive as possible. And what's wrong with that?
“It's my nature. It's my characteristic because, for me, winning is an obsession, and I'm obsessed with winning. That's the problem I have.”
Gambhir also clarified that he doesn't need to smile as the fans come to watch him help the team win and all he cares about is his players giving their 100% on the field.
“Sometimes when people talk about him, he doesn't smile and doesn't like it. He's always intense, grumpy, he walks on the edge, he's old and he's got his game on,” he said.
“People don't come to see me smile. Unfortunately, people come to see me win. That's the kind of job we do. I can't do anything about it.”
“I am not an entertainment person. I am not a Bollywood actor, nor am I a business person. I am a cricketer with a passion for performing arts.
“My job is that I want to come back to a winning locker room. Fortunately, unfortunately, a winning locker room is a happy locker room, it's a winning locker room.”
(With inputs from PTI)

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