It is evident that India in the ICC tournaments mostly reaches in the knock-out stages (semi-final and grand-finale) but fails to get their hands on the trophy. Gautam Gambhir has given the mental weakness of the players as the reasons for India’s failure at crucial stages.
So far, India has reached the World Cup semi-final four times(1987, 1996, 2015, 2019). In 2003, they were the runner up after facing an embarrassing defeat against Australia in the grand-finale. India has only come out as victorious in the 1983 and 2011 World Cup.
Talking about the 20-over format World Cup, the Men in Blue have, so far, only won the inauguration edition (2007) at home. Since then, five editions have passed, and India was the runner up in 2014 and reached the semi-final in 2016.
Gautam Gambhir, who was the star performer for the team in the World Cup 2011 and T20 World Cup 2007 winning campaign, said that India fails to handle the pressure at crucial games. Therefore, the team has less number of trophies.
“What sets you apart from being a good player to being a very very good player in a team squad is what you do on those crucial games. I think probably we have not been able to handle the pressure, probably other teams have been able to handle the pressure that way,” Gautam Gambhir
Mental toughness is necessary: Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir acknowledged that India had got talented players who can be the world champions. But if they can not give their best at pressure situations, they can never be called the world Champions, as per the former cricketer. So, he feels India should work on their mental toughness equally.
“If you look at all the semi-finals and finals, it just shows when playing really well in the league stage and you don’t play well in the semi-finals or knockouts, it’s probably your mental toughness as well. We can keep talking that we’ve got everything, we have the ability to be the world champions, but till the time you don’t go on the cricket field and prove that, you will never be called the world champions. So it’s just your ability in those crunch situations,” Gambhir added.
Gautam Gambhir, who retired from the game in 2018, is now a politician. He is also connected to cricket as he does commentary and host shows.