New Delhi:Opening the innings with Virender Sehwag has its own peril since the right-hander makes batting look ridiculously easy but Gautam Gambhir believes he still manages to hold his own because he doesn't try to match his partner shot by shot.
In an interview before leaving for the tri-series in Bangladesh, Gambhir shared his batting philosophy which revolves around his own strength, rather than his partner's influence.
"I just try to be myself. I know areas where I'm strong at and play accordingly, rather than thinking what Sehwag is doing at the other end," Gambhir said.
"I have my own game, I have my own style. One good thing that happened with me is that I came to know my game much early in my career. I know my strength and I play according to it. That's what I always try to do, rather than going out of my comfort zone.
"I don't try things I cannot do. You cannot take challenges which you are not upto," he explained.
In recent times, Gambhir has evolved from just another swashbuckler from the Delhi stable to a batsman for all seasons and even though he has to vacate the opener's slot in ODIs for Sachin Tendulkar, Gambhir said he relished the challenge of batting at number three which allows him to prove his versatility.
"Batting at number three is the toughest job. There are times when you have lost an early wicket, and you've got to consolidate and at the same time, capitalise on the first 10-15 overs of the powerplays.
"You also have to carry on the momentum. You should be able to play both the games -- to consolidate and carry the momentum. That's why it's tough," Gambhir said.
"When you open, you have all the freedom in the world to go out and play your shots because there are other people who would take care of the rest. But at number three, you have to build a partnership and you can't waste balls or time either.
"In the past, I played one way. I just went in and started playing my shots. But I wanted to play the other way also to see if I can do that as well," he said.
Talking about his transformation, Gambhir said he realised soon that posturing in borrowed plumes doesn't help.
"In the past, I tried to be very flamboyant. But when you are trying to be more aggressive than you actually are, you are going to throw away your wicket. You may get 30-40 quickly but you are not going to get big runs which really matter. The more shots you play, the more chances you have of getting out," he said.
Apart from his amazing consistency, Gambhir has also emerged as a finisher and the left-hander said he enjoys this role.
"Rather than scoring a brisk knock, it's much more important to stay till the end and guide the team to victory. Your ability to finish off a game shows your character. There have been times when people had given us fantastic starts but still the team ended up losing the game.
"Nothing matches the satisfaction of winning the game for your country. This is one thing I always wanted to do. That's why the (match-winning) Eden Gardens knock (against Sri Lanka last month) is one of my best and close to heart because I finished it. Not having (MS) Dhoni and Yuvraj (Singh) actually helped me (in that match)," he said.
Interestingly, Gambhir is a rare Indian batsman who doesn't roll his arm, except the 2006 ODI against England at Faridabad.
Gambhir said he enjoys bowling his leg-breaks but batting saps him of all his energies.
"Honestly speaking, bowling does excite me. But I put too much pressure on myself while batting and I don't want to take any extra pressure. I work so hard on my batting that I'm hardly left with energy to bowl," he said.