Mandeep Singh, who notched a beautiful half-century in India’s series-levelling victory against Zimbabwe in the second T20 internationals, has claimed that he had to spend a sleepless night before the match because of the pressure but the burden completely vanished as soon as he stepped onto the field.
Mandeep, who scored an unbeaten 52 in a decent 100-run chase on Monday night, also said the anxiety he was dealing with before the match was surprisingly gone when he came in to bat.
“I had a sleepless night before the match, things like the pressure of winning a match or the series play on your mind, and also the fact that the selectors are watching you. Call it pressure or nervousness, whatever you want. But when you go into bat, it becomes a little easier, at least for me. At that time, I just thought, the target is 100, how do I achieve that.
“Once I’m inside, these things don’t bother me, that the selectors are watching, that this series is very important. Before the match these things do play on my mind, this series is obviously very important, but honestly, once I go in, it’s only, I have to bat, and win the match, and obviously, (things like) reading the wicket, what is the situation. So it’s a good thing that I forget (all the pressure) once I’m in,” insisted Mandeep.
After suffering a shocking defeat in the first Twenty20 International, Mandeep said the whole team was solely focused on the process rather than the result and it eventually helped India to level the three-match series 1-1.
“We were thinking to focus on our process rather than thinking too much about the result. Obviously, we want to win the series, but if we always think about winning then it will be like building up pressure. So we were trying to focus on the process,” revealed Mandeep at the post-match press conference in Harare on Tuesday night.
After coming into the series on the back of a sensational 3-0 whitewash of Zimbabwe in the preceding ODI series, India were handed a shocking two-run defeat against the hosts in the opening T20.
But the young brigade led by MS Dhoni was quick to response as they bounced back in the second T20 with a comprehensive 10-wicket win.
“Obviously, that defeat (in the opening T20) was hurting, but we discussed a few points that what we need to do and I think whatever we have discussed in that previous game we implemented.
“We have played five games now on this wicket. We discussed a few points and I think we implemented really well. So that was the main thing,” said Mandeep.
The 24-year-old batsman also revealed that the Indian players decided to relax on the eve of the second T20, instead of putting additional pressure on themselves.
“A few boys went to see a movie yesterday, we played FIFA, so we had quite a relaxed day yesterday, and obviously we discussed quite a lot about the previous game, and I think we played really well today,” he seemed to enjoy a great time with quality exposure.