'While we celebrate MS Dhoni's innings in the final..' - Gambhir's claims bias from fans over 2011 World Cup triumph
Gautam Gambhir reiterated his longstanding pet peeve with Indian fans and overall culture sustained over time on the outside, stating that we are a country obsessed with personalities more than the team. The former India opener turned politician cited the aftermath of the 2011 World Cup triumph to stress home his point.
For Gambhir, not even half the credit associated with legendary MS Dhoni for the famous victory is given to the rest of the contributors of the great win. The experienced left-hander, who top-scored in India's great run-chase in the final at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai against Sri Lanka with a magnificent 97, feels the advent of social media has further amplified a bias that fans tend to operate with.
Gambhir said 'Player of the Tournament' Yuvraj Singh, joint highest wicket-taker Zaheer Khan, India's highest run-getter Sachin Tendulkar and other contributors are never celebrated in the same breathe as Dhoni is for India's last World Cup victory.
Gambhir accuses fans of bias with certain personalities
Having previously also made his point on multiple occasions, Gambhir said Indian fans and the country as a whole needs to get rid of this historic obsession with personalities and cults, and give cricketers their due acknowledgement.
"Do we celebrate Yuvraj Singh enough for what he did in the 2011 World Cup with all the health concerns he had? Do we celebrate Zaheer Khan's opening spell enough? To start off a World Cup final with four maiden overs is incredible, and yet he isn't given enough credit. Do we celebrate Sachin Tendulkar's efforts enough?" Gambhir asked on 'RevSportz'.
"Yes, we celebrate him and the win, but how many remember he was the highest scorer in the World Cup with two hundreds to his name? Do we celebrate Harbhajan Singh's spell against Pakistan in Mohali, or Suresh Raina's innings against Australia in Ahmedabad and Pakistan in Mohali? Both these innings were match-winning efforts."
Gambhir stood clear he has no problems with Dhoni's innings being celebrated but only wishes for a fan culture where more attention and value is attached to other key contributors of the side, for without them, India would've never won the 2011 World Cup.
"While we celebrate MS Dhoni's innings in the final, we should celebrate these other efforts as much. No one innings could win India the trophy. It was a collective effort, and should be celebrated as such," Gambhir said.
"It is because of social media that we don't do it. Social media is biased and we all know that. But social media doesn't make it the truth. There is always a tendency on social media to celebrate individuals more than the team."
"In doing so, what happens is we don't celebrate key performers who had as much a part to play. And that's an issue for sure. All I will say is we should celebrate the entire team. While we celebrate Dhoni, we should also celebrate the others who all played very important roles in the Indian win," he added.