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Lanka tour turning point of my career: Gambhir

January 10, 2009 22:32 IST

India opener Gautam Gambhir said last year's Sri Lanka tour rejuvenated his career and helped him cement his place in the Indian Test team.

Gambhir had been a regular for India in the one-dayers and Twenty20 format but his Test spot was not secured before the Sri Lanka tour in July-August last year.

In that three-match Test series which India lost 1-2 he became the second highest run-getter behind his opening partner Virender Sehwag, amassing 310 runs, and he felt that performance cemented his place in the Test team.

Gambhir said negotiating the deadly Sri Lankan spin duo of Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis had instilled confidence in him that he was a Test material.

"I feel that turning point in my career was the Sri Lanka tour. I was the second highest run scorer for India, after Veeru (Sehwag). The way I faced Murli and Mendis gave me confidence and with that I felt that I could play well in Test cricket also," Gambhir said.

"I was playing well in one-day cricket. So I was thinking that even if I won't prove myself in Test matches, at least my place is fixed in the ODI team," he added.

The year 2008 witnessed a rejuvenated Gambhir as the left-hander made his transition from shorter version of the game to Tests. He accumulated 1,134 runs from just eight Tests last year, thereby ending the debate over his ability to carry his limited-over form into the Test arena.

Calling himself a team-man, Gambhir said pressure doesn't have any negative effect on his game.

"Pressure is a gift of god; this is a part of profession. For me initially it was playing for the team, then it was for establishing me as a part of team. Now it is for winning and getting success for the team. Pressure is a part of game; it will always remain the same," he told IBN-7.

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