Gautam Gambhir feels the current Indian team lacks the mental strength to win important games, which is why they have lost knockout games in ICC tournaments over the last two years.
Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir doesn’t think Virat Kohli’s team has the mental strength to win knockout games in ICC tournaments after their 8-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup on Sunday.
India had to beat New Zealand to revive their campaign and were expected to come hard at the Blackcaps, but the complete opposite happened when they took the field in Dubai. Earlier, in their opening game, Virat Kohli’s men couldn’t defend 152 in Dubai as Pakistan’s openers chased it down in 17.5 overs, grabbing two crucial points in the T20 World Cup.
After Pakistan beat India by 10 wickets in their first-ever win over India in a world cup match across formats, the Indian team looked very nervous right from the start of their second game against New Zealand on Sunday.
The Men in Blue managed just 110 for 7 in 20 overs after being asked to bat first and then saw the Blackcaps gun down the target in just 14.3 overs. India will now have to win their remaining 3 games and depend on other results to stand a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
Ishan Kishan opened the batting along with KL Rahul while Rohit Sharma dropped to No. 3, but even that move didn’t work. Ishan Kishan scored just 4 runs from 8 balls, while Rohit Sharma made 14 from as many balls in India’s below-par total of 110 for 7 in 20 overs.
They ended up posting 110 for 7 in stipulated 20 overs, in which they didn’t effectively score runs in nine of those overs (54 dot balls). Worse, they were just able to hit a single boundary between overs 8 and 15 when two spinners-Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, were in operation. Indian batsmen Ishan Kishan (4 off 8 balls), Rohit Sharma (14 off 14 balls), KL Rahul (18 off 16), Virat Kohli (9 off 17), Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) failed when it mattered most.
Gautam Gambhir, however, feels the current Indian team under Virat Kohli lacks the mental strength to win important games, which is why they have lost knockout games in major tournaments over the last two years.
“Yes talent is one thing, you’ve got all the skills and do really well in bilaterals and stuff. But when it comes to this kind of games and tournaments, this is when you have got to stand up and perform,” said Gautam Gambhir.
“This game was literally like a quarterfinal. The problem is with the mental toughness of the side. Suddenly when you know you have got to win the game and can’t make mistakes, in bilaterals it’s different because you can make mistakes there. But in these kind of games, I don’t think India has got that mental strength,” said Gautam Gambhir.
“They have the skill and are a very dangerous side. But unfortunately, we can keep talking about it that we need to stand by our team when its not doing well but it’s been a trend and it’s been happening for a very long time in most of these ICC tournaments, whether its the semifinals or the game today as well. When it mattered the most for someone to put his hand up, they just couldn’t,” said Gautam Gambhir.
India will next face Afghanistan in their third match on November 3 in Abu Dhabi in the hope of turning their campaign around in the United Arab Emirates.
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