File photo of India batsman Gautam Gambhir. (AFP)
Chandigarh: With Indian team suffering one of its worst ODI series defeat in New Zealand recently, out-of-favour batsman Gautam Gambhir on Thursday said it is important to start a tour well as it becomes difficult to get the momentum back once the chips are down.
"One thing is certain when we travel overseas whether it is South Africa or New Zealand, it is important to start the tour well as it gets you the momentum.
"Once you miss that, it is difficult to get the momentum back," Gambhir, who is part of Rest of India squad that will take on Ranji Trophy champions Karnataka in the Irani Cup match in Bangalore from February 9, said here on the sidelines of an event.
Speaking on India's disastrous ODI campaign against New Zealand, Gambhir said the Kiwis started by winning the first two games and from there on India had always been chasing.
"You don't want to get into a situation where you are chasing, you should be ahead of the opposition," the veteran of 147 ODIs, said in a media interaction.
A listless Indian cricket team had slumped to 0-4 series defeat to New Zealand, ranked seven rungs below India.
The 32-year-old batsman, however, said "hopefully Test is a different ball game and India can get the momentum".
Asked about his tour to New Zealand in 2009, where he did well, Gambhir said, "There are times when expectation increases. It was my first tour and there was talk and pressure about how I will cope. International cricket is mostly about mental strength."
On the Irani Trophy, he said "it will be a big game".
"I don't look at these things differently. It is as important as I was playing the first class and other cricket and would play as I have approached the other matches," he said.
Gambhir said he preferred to ignore his critics.
"You know your game and many people don't know you and haven't seen you before they comment. A player can be in good form, but runs don't come and vice versa. But a player knows that if he is knocking the ball well. It's all about hanging in there. Anyway, nobody can perform at same level all the time," he said.