It's all about pressure

17 May,2024 06:10 AM IST |  New Delhi  |  IANS

Former Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq attributes arch-rivals’ subpar record at ICC tournaments to high public expectations which affect players, but believes current team are very skilful

India players wear a dejected look after their defeat to Australia in the ICC ODI World Cup final at Ahmedabad last year. Pic/Getty Images

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India's struggle in the mega tournaments has not been hidden from the world and ahead of the blockbuster T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA, former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq opined that the team are lacking behind in finishing strong in the last few years at the ICC events while hailing the current team as "skilful" with a "powerful bowling line-up".

In last year's ODI World Cup, India remained unbeaten in the tournament until bowing down against Australia in the summit clash at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.


India have not won any ICC title since the 2013 Champions Trophy under MS Dhoni. They missed out on World Test Championship triumphs on two occasions in the span of three years. In the last edition of the T20 World Cup, the Men in Blue faced a defeat at the hands of England in the semi-final to end their campaign.

Misbah credited India's current pace attack led by Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami while also praising the quality of Indian cricket.

"It's a different Indian team now, a skilful team with a very powerful bowling line-up. The batting has always been strong, but the quality of their fast bowling has really elevated their game. With bowlers like Bumrah, Shami, Siraj, and the all-round abilities of Hardik Pandya, the quality of Indian cricket has increased significantly. Their ability to handle pressure has improved too," he said during Star Sports Press Room show.

"Playing so much cricket gives them exposure and boosts their confidence. To break this, opposing teams need to make a lot of effort, which is a difficult task. Look at Australia, for instance. They overcome most of these hurdles with their strong mental attitude. As big matches and pressure situations arise, they manage to stay composed," he added.

The 2009 T20 World Cup champion highlighted that India lacked in finishing the tournament on a high despite starting the event well. "In contrast, teams like Pakistan, India, and other Asian teams face immense pressure from their huge populations and high expectations. This pressure can affect performance significantly. It's something India have struggled with in the last few mega events, where they haven't been able to finish strong," Misbah said.

"For Australia, this isn't as big of an issue, but for Pakistan and India, playing under such intense pressure is a major challenge. It will be interesting to see how these teams manage it in the future. India, especially, will need to find ways to overcome this mounting pressure if they want to succeed in upcoming events," he added.

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