The 36-year-old decided to relinquish the captaincy after a run of one win and five losses as Shreyas Iyer was appointed to the vacant role.
Just two days after Gambhir’s announcement, former India chief selector Sandeep Patil has shed light as to why the left-hander’s India career had come to a standstill since his last ODI appearance in January 2013.
Gambhir was a mainstay in the India side which lifted the World Cup in 2011, but since then, the Delhi-born man’s international career started in a downward spiral before his last ODI appearance in 2013.
According to Patil, it was Gambhir’s attitude which spelled the end of his India career.
“He was dropped from the Indian team and the main reason behind it was his ever-growing so-called ‘attitude problem,’” Patil wrote in a blog for Quint. Patil believes it was the opening batsman’s decision to return from a tour of England in 2011 after being hit on the head by a bouncer that cost Gambhir dearly.
“I used to be the Director of the NCA during that period. I was in shock when I saw the reports of the physio and the doctors, who confirmed that his injury was not serious at all, and he could have continued in that series,” Patil wrote.
Patil explained that he enjoyed a good friendship with Gambhir but that it turned sour once the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay established themselves in the opening positions.
“I was the chairman of the Selection Committee at the time and we selectors decided to give Dhawan a chance in place of a struggling Gambhir. Later on, all doors were shut for Gambhir as Murali Vijay too was performing excellently as an opener,” Patil stated.
“That was the time Gambhir decided to end our friendship. I understand his feelings and took it in the right spirit. I did not take it personally. He hardly smiled whenever we met and he seems angry with me even today. When it comes to selecting a player for India, friendship or emotions don’t work. The interest of the country always comes first – survival of the fittest. Even the king of jungle has to surrender his territory one day,” he added.
From former India skipper Sourav Ganguly to Bollywood celebrities, there was no dearth of well-wishers for the legendary batsman.
@sachin_rt …happy birthday..champion ..may u live 100 years …love to the family
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) April 24, 2018
Tendulkar’s former India team-mate Suresh Raina summed it up best when he wrote: “To the man who united a billion Indians and brought a smile to their faces every time he walked out to bat. A dream that he turned into reality. Sachin is an emotion. Sachin is a phenomena! Happy birthday, Paaji!”
To the man who united a billion Indians and brought a smile to their faces everytime he walked out to bat. A dream that he turned into reality.
Sachin is an emotion.. Sachin is a phenomena!
Happy birthday, Paaji!! @sachin_rt
— Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) April 24, 2018
Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq too took to Twitter to convey his wishes to the Indian icon.
“Long live legend Sachin Tendulkar. One of the best batsman ever, great inspiration, great human,” he wrote.
— Saqlain Mushtaq (@Saqlain_Mushtaq) April 24, 2018
VVS Laxman lauded the ‘Master Blaster’ for his contributions towards society as he sent in his birthday wishes.
“Happy birthday dear Sachin Tendulkar. You are and will always remain an inspiration. It’s wonderful to see you contribute towards society with some really good initiatives even after your retirement. Wish you success always,” he wrote.
Happy Birthday dear @sachin_rt . You are and will always remain an inspiration . It’s wonderful to see you contribute towards society with some really good initiatives even after your retirement. Wish you success always. #HappyBirthdaySachin pic.twitter.com/aWQxZ9kRjV
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) April 24, 2018
Congratulatory wishes for Tendulkar also poured in from badminton aces Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu along with wrestling stalwart Geeta Phogat.
Many players have played cricket, few became Legends, few became greats but there was, is and will be only one GOD of Cricket.
Happy birthday to the greatest of the greats @sachin_rt Sir 🙏
— geeta phogat (@geeta_phogat) April 24, 2018
— Pvsindhu (@Pvsindhu1) April 24, 2018
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) April 24, 2018
India’s Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin were on hand to wish the Mumbai-born icon too along with India’s U19 World Cup winning captain Prithvi Shaw.
— Prithvi Shaw (@PrithviShaw) April 24, 2018
Happy birthday to @sachin_rt, the man who inspired a billion people to love the sport. 🎉
— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) April 24, 2018
Happy birthday Sachin paaji @sachin_rt Thank you for being an inspiration for all of us. Your guidance has always meant a lot to me. Have a wonderful year ahead. #HappyBirthdaySachinTendulkar pic.twitter.com/aujLjU91nL
— ajinkyarahane88 (@ajinkyarahane88) April 24, 2018
Former Australia speedster Brett Lee too took to Twitter to wish Tendulkar many happy returns.
— Brett Lee (@BrettLee_58) April 24, 2018
And of course, no Sachin Tendulkar birthday will ever be complete without the ‘home of cricket’ also sending in its wishes for the honorary Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) member.
— Lord’s Cricket Ground (@HomeOfCricket) April 24, 2018
Speaking in an interview with ANI, the 36-year old said: “I am going to look to play till 2019, whatever cricket I get to play. I will take a call when that year is over.”
“Everybody has to take a decision after a while. I have been playing international cricket since 2000, it has been almost 17-18 years on and off. So, I will definitely take a call after 2019.”
Currently playing with the Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2018, Singh is hoping his team can qualify for the semi-finals.
“We are looking ahead to first qualify in the last four and I think we have got a great team this year. We have got a very powerful batting attack, smart bowling attack, and hopefully we look to qualify and then see if we can win the finals,” he said.
KXIP are second in the points table, only behind Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on net run rate.