Former Delhi seam-bowling all-rounder Rajat Bhatia, who played under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir during his stint with the Delhi Capitals [Daredevils] and Kolkata Knight Riders, recently recalled his experience of playing under his Delhi teammate.
Rajat Bhatia first played under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir during the 2010 season of the Indian Premier League when the southpaw was handed over the reins of the side from Virender Sehwag, who led the team in the first couple of seasons.
Bhatia recalled that Gambhir being an inexperienced skipper at the time, made too many changes in the playing 11, and hence his initial experience of playing under him wasn’t that great.
“I really enjoyed playing under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir, however, during his third year for Delhi Daredevils, there was a lack of maturity in his captaincy, maybe because it was his first-ever role as a captain in the IPL and there were also a lot of changes made. So, at that time, I did not enjoy playing under his captaincy at Delhi,” said Bhatia on SportsTiger’s new interview series – Interact. Personal. Life.
During the 2011 mega auction, both Gautam Gambhir and Rajat Bhatia were drafted to the Kolkata Knight Riders. And, it was during this particular stint of Gautam that the latter enjoyed his best years in the IPL.
Bhatia recalled that Gambhir, unlike his 2010 stint at the Delhi Capitals, trusted him a lot more and gave him a permanent place in the playing 11 even when conditions mandated playing an extra pacer.
But when we both moved to KKR and he became the captain, I had a doubt that whether I’ll be able to enjoy under his captaincy or not. But there is huge advantage if you have a captain from the same state because they know what is required. Gautam knew about that and so did Virender Sehwag because I played under his captaincy in Delhi Daredevils for two years,” Bhatia added.
“When Gautam was there as the captain of KKR, he used to prefer me in his playing 11 and made me play consistently. Sometimes, the wicket was a bit flat, and there was a need to play an extra fast bowler. But he never let me get dropped, and played me consistently. Big names like L Balaji or others would be dropped, but I would not get dropped. He always used to tell me that he believed in me and knew how to use me and that’s why I enjoyed playing under him,” Rajat Bhatia signed off.