New Delhi: Lauding the team for their 4-0 triumph over Australia in the recently concluded Test series, out-of-favour opener Gautam Gambhir on Thursday stressed on the need to win Test series abroad in order to be recognized as a force in world cricket.
"Unless a team wins overseas, they are not recognized as a force. I have always believed that winning in overseas conditions matters a lot. I am happy that we have done well at home. There is nothing wrong in using home advantage as every country does that", Gambhir told reporters.
"But look at South Africa. They beat Australia in Australia and England in England. They are the No.1 side in world cricket," he said.
"My personal aim has always been to be a member of an overseas Test series winning squad and score runs in the team's victory," Gambhir said.
Gambhir, who has just started training after recovering from mild jaundice, said that "form is a state of mind" when asked about his poor run of late.
"For me, form is always a state of mind. If you are confident and fearless and ready to express yourself, that's what matters the most."
The stylish left-hander also supported BCCI's move to have a proper India 'A' team's tour of South Africa before the senior team goes there at the end of the year.
"It's a good thing that the India A team will be travelling to South Africa. This tour will give the players a fair idea about what to expect when the senior team goes there. Normally, when we go to South Africa, we play a couple of practice matches and by the time we gauge the pace and bounce of the wicket, the Test series gets over. So it's a welcome move."
Gambhir, who is the captain of the defending IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, said that he wants his boys to forget about any external pressures and play fearless cricket.
"I want the likes of Yusuf (Pathan), Manoj (Tiwary) and Bisla (Manvinder) to forget about any kind of pressure and play fearlessly. There was a lot of criticism that KKR wasn't performing upto its potential. We worked very hard and were champions last year. Now I want my boys to be fearless and express themselves out there in the middle," he said.
To Gambhir, captaining KKR is an "honour" rather than "pressure."
"It's always been an honour to lead KKR and it's not about me only. It's also about all the 23 players."
Terming it as a "political decision" Gambhir stressed that one or two Sri Lankan players not playing a game in Chennai would not matter a lot.
KKR has one Sri Lankan player in offie Sachitra Senanayeke.
"One or two individuals don't make a team. If 11 people are going in the same direction, it is a bigger threat for the opposition. In any case, we will get Senanayeke for the other 15 league games. We hope that he will strike a good combination with Sunil Narine."
Gambhir also supported KKR management's decision to appoint Australian pacer Brett Lee as the Team mentor.
"I don't think there will be any additional pressure on Brett. It is better to appoint someone who is a part of the set-up rather than someone new. Also Brett has been bowling really well. He recently clocked 150 kmph during the Big Bash (for Sydney Sixers). If he can bowl at that pace in the IPL, there is nothing like it."