New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir today hit back at critics who have raised doubts on the future of his opening combination with Virender Sehwag following their recent form slump, saying with an average of 53 they are still the best in the country.
"We still average 53 as an opening pair, which I think is one of the best when it comes to opening the batting in world cricket. There are not many opening pairs who have played for such a long time and have an average of 53 per innings. And if 53 is not good enough, I don't know what is good enough," Gambhir told PTI in an exclusive interview here.
"As an opening pair, you average 50 per inning and if you are giving 50 runs start in every innings, you can't do more and if people talk about not contributing, I will suggest them to look at the stats. Average of 53 is tremendous, its something a lot of opening pairs have not done in the past and are not doing today," he added.
Sehwag, in the last two years, has scored only one century and has averaged 37.26, which is way below his career average of 50.64 in Tests.
Gambhir, in the same period, has not scored any century and averaged just 30.31 as compared to his career average of 44.35 in the longest version of the game.
When asked if he is under pressure not having scored a Test ton in last two years, Gambhir replied in his trademark aggressive style, "It's not about scoring a hundred everytime, it's about contributing when you are opening the batting. It's not only me, a lot of other people have also not scored tons.
"People only discuss about scoring a hundred, I don't know why. I got 93 in South Africa, 85-odd in Australia...15 or seven more and people would not be discussing my hundred.
"It's about how much you can contribute when you open the batting. For me, it is all about contributing to the cause of the team," said Gambhir, whose last hundred came against Bangladesh in January, 2010.