Out-of-favour India opener Gautam Gambhir is still hopeful of a national comeback and will only call time on his career once he gets the feeling of being out of place in international cricket.
With Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma being certainties for opening slot in ODIs and Murali Vijay doing reasonably well in Tests, Gambhir's career as of now has hit a roadblock as he fights to atleast get into the squad as the third opener in national team's tour to South Africa.
"As long as the belief is still there, I can play international cricket, I will continue to play. But the moment I feel I can't play international cricket anymore, I will retire," Gambhir said at a promotional event here on Wednesday.
For Gambhir, who has enjoyed so much success with the Indian team, it is difficult to find himself outside the hallowed dressing room. But left-handed opener insisted that he doesn't play cricket to make comebacks.
"I always said that I don't play cricket to make comebacks. I play cricket because I enjoy the game. The word comeback is not in my dictionary," said the Delhi captain, who was presented with a special edition KTM 390 Duke sports bike.
"As a cricketer, I give my best for the team's success. I am a player first who needs to be honest with the team. As a player, the aim should be to go out there and do the job to the best of your ability and win matches for your team," he said.
Asked how hopeful he was of making it to the Indian team for the upcoming South Africa tour goinng by his present form, Gambhir said: "It's you (media) who say I am out of form if I don't score run in one innings.
"But I don't judge myself on every innings. I judge myself on how relaxed I am at the wicket and how much I am enjoying myself there," he said. Gambhir also refrained from talking about any individual players of the current Indian team.
"I never like talking about individuals because cricket is a team sport. I don't belive in commenting about individuals," he said.
Gambhir also brushed aside the chances of a possible drop down the order, just like his former India and Delhi teammate Virender Sehwag, to regain his lost touch.
"I am an opening batsman and I believe in opening the batting. I think it is the toughest job to open the innings on hostile foreign wickets. I don't belive in going down," he said.
He said for a cricketer every tour holds equal significance and South Africa is no different.
Gambhir also defended their decision to shift Delhi first Ranji Trophy home match against Haryana, starting tomorrow, to the Roshanara Club ground from the Feroze Shah Kotla, saying it was taken in the best interest of the team.
"I admit we didn't play well in the first two games so we have less points. The match was shifted because we wanted to play on a result-oriented wicket. It is always important to play according to your strength and Roshanara pitch is according to our strength," said Gambhir, who is also the captain of Delhi.
The much-anticipated Ashes series between England and Australia starts tomorrow at Brisbane and Gambhir has put his money on the visitors.
"England are very good, balanced Test side. Australia will have to play our of their skin to win the Ashes," he said.