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Gambhir hopes Dhoni strikes it big Sunday

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali, IANS

Jaipur : Opening batsman Gautam Gambhir Saturday hoped that captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would repeat his 183-run knock against Sri Lanka two years ago when he plays in the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) against Pakistan here Sunday.

Dhoni had smashed 15 boundaries and 10 sixes in a savage batting display to propel India to a six-wicket win in October 2005.

“Not only me, but the whole country would like Dhoni to make 183 runs again and win the match for the country,” Gambhir told reporters.

Gambhir said that Sunday’s match would be fiercely competitive even though the India has taken a 3-1 winning lead in the series.

“Against Pakistan, there is no dead rubber. You try to win every game,” he said.

About his batting positions, Gambhir said that the team’s interest was paramount for him.

“Roles have been defined by the team. Your role changes with the batting position,” said the left-handed batsman who has scored 129 runs at an average of 32.25 in four matches in the series.

“To play well and win games for your country is more important,” he said.

On his on-field altercation with Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi during the third ODI in Kanpur Nov 11, Gambhir said that the incident was history.

“On the field everyone wants to win matches; off the field there are no grudges,” he said.

After bowling a ball to Gambhir, Afridi appeared to have deliberately shouldered the batsman as he was taking a run.

Match referee Roshan Mahanama took the incident seriously and fined Afridi 95 percent of his match fee and Gambhir 65 percent of his fee.