Mumbai, Feb 14: Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram defended out-of-form Gautam Gambhir and said that the selectors should have allowed the left-handed batsman to play the series against Australia, after he was dropped from the squad for the first two Tests.
Having scored 251 from 4 Tests at an average of 41.83, with a highest score of 65 Gautam Gambhir was the third highest run scorer for India in the series behind Cheteshwar Pujara (438) and Virender Sehwag (253).
Though he wasn't impressive against England, the left-handed batsman had recorded scores of 65, 60, 40 & 37, which aso suggests that he got a raw deal after India's series loss to England at home.
Moreover, Gautam Gambhir has averaged a mere 34.33 in Tests in the last twelve months and with scores of 0, 83, 31, 14, 34, 3, 22, 2, 34, 45, 4, 65, 60, 40, 37 in the last 15 Test innings, which suggests that the left-handed batsman has been struggling to strike form.
Having got the starts, Gambhir has been struggling to score big which has been a problem since the last few years, as he has not scored a century since three years now.
Wasim Akram, who has been associated with Gautam Gambhir's IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders as a bowling consultant, told Mid-day during an interview that he did not see the need to drop Gambhir from the important series against Australia, when asked about the KKR captain being dropped for the first two Tests.
"Gautam needs confidence. He didn't have to be dropped. He can play for another five to six years for India. The captain (MS Dhoni) needs to give him confidence because against a team like Australia you need experienced players," Wasim Akram told Mid-day in an interview.
Though he has not been picked for the first two Tests against Australia, Gambhir has an option of faring well in the second warm-up match as he is leading India A that starts on Feb 16 in order to regain his berth for the remaining Tests.