September 23, 2011

NEW DELHI: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels that opening batsman Gautam Gambhir’s leadership skills are at par with those of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and he has it in him to be future India skipper.

Akram, who has played under the likes of legendary Imran Khan, was impressed with the way Gambhir led Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

“Look, I have worked with Gautam Gambhir as the bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders and I have no qualms in saying that Gambhir is a world class cricketer, a fighter and very committed individual. I think he is at par with Mahendra Singh Dhoni when it comes to leadership and man-management,” Akram said. KKR on Wednesday qualified for the Champions League Twenty20 main tournament for the first time even after losing their qualifying round match to Somerset.

Akram, who has captained Pakistan in 25 Tests and 109 ODIs, said Gambhir has almost recovered from his head injury he sustained during India’s disastrous tour of England and could soon be playing.

“Gambhir is a strong boy but concussion after the head injury took a toll on him. I have learnt that his condition was very bad when he returned home midway from the England tour. Apparently, he threw up around 3-4 times even while on flight from London to Delhi,” Akram said.

Gambhir suffered a head injury during the Oval Test in London while trying to take a high catch off Kevin Pietersen’s bat. Apart from missing the lone Twenty20 International and the ODI series against England, he also could not play the two qualifying matches for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Champions League Twenty20.

Akram is against India having different captains for different formats of the game. “I don’t think that is the way to go about things. In my opinion multi-captaincy can confuse the players of a team as different leaders have different styles of leading,” he said. The former left-arm paceman said that India would still be a formidable side even after the debacle in England, once the injured players recover.

“Yes, they will have to plan well for Australia and I hope they would have learnt their lessons after what happened in England. Apart from that I think once the injured players attain full fitness it would be difficult to beat India on their home turf,” said Akram in reference to India’s upcoming home series against England and the West Indies.

Courtesy: Times of India

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