Incidentally, in the absence of regular skipper MS Dhoni, Gambhir was appointed at the helm for the ODI and T20 leg of India's tour to West Indies.
The feisty south-paw has now hit back at the doubters and said that he has never hid the injury to participate in the IPL. In an interview with the Hindustan Times, he said, "Any modern cricketer knows that by feigning or risking injury he is only jeopardising his own career. It is imaginative to say I was covering my injury to play in the IPL. I played with discomfort without realising the gravity of my injury. As a leader, my team needed me, but to say I preferred club over country is ridiculous."
Defending his commitment to the national team, Gambhir said, "I know how hard I have worked for my national cap and what it means to me. Not many people know that in 2008 I played the Ranji Trophy final against Uttar Pradesh with a swollen left hand. Earlier this year, I played the last Test of the South Africa series with an injured left hand. The swelling was so bad I could barely wear a glove. I am proud of the 93 and 64 I got on one of the most difficult pitches. It is embarrassing to publicise my commitment but I have no choice."
He added, "I am so keen to lead the side that even during the breaks between IPL matches I'd discuss with Yusuf Pathan our strategy for conditions in the West Indies. Now let us see how it goes. I hear there will be a fitness test and only post that things will get decided."
In a letter to the BCCI on May 25, Kolkata Knight Riders" physiotherapist Andrew Leipus said that Gambhir had complained of a sore shoulder right at the start of IPL-IV. Strangely, in spite of the injury, Gambhir has played all 15 matches so far in this season of the IPL.
According to Leipus, Gambhir has to avoid both batting and throwing for a period of four to six weeks to allow his shoulder to heal. This surely rules him out of India"s tour of West Indies next month where he was to captain the side.
Despite a serious shoulder injury, Gautam Gambhir took to the field for KKR for their knockout match yesterday at the Wankhede Stadium. Clearly in pain, Gauti got out early. While fielding, Gambhir writhed in pain as he tried to throw with his injured shoulder.
The issue of Gambhir's injury has gathered mass as there are hush-hush reports that the Kolkata Knight Riders team management was aware of Gambhir's injury and preferred to hid it from the player and the BCCI.
Irrespective of whether Gambhir knew of the extent of his injury or the KKR management preferred to hid it from him, from the next time around BCCI would do well to conduct a fitness for all the Team India players before the start of the IPL and if any one is found to have a injury, then prohibit from playing in the tournament.