Gautam Gambhir: Our boys have not been able to handle the pressure during crucial games

Updated: Jun 17, 2020, 12:33 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

In an interview, the 38-year-old former Delhi cricketer addresses Indian players handling pressure at big tournaments

Pic/ Gautam Gambhir Instagram
Pic/ Gautam Gambhir Instagram

Former Indian cricketer and opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has been a player who has seen major pressure during big tournaments and also handled it well. Gambhir went on to star in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka. The 38-year-old former Delhi cricketer scored 97 runs off 122 balls as the MS Dhoni-led side ended India's World Cup drought of 28 years by lifting the trophy. 

The former left-handed batsman was part of India's successful campaign at the 2007 World T20 where he was the second-highest scorer in the tournament with 227 runs in seven innings. He scored 75 runs from 54 balls in the final against Pakistan which India won at the Wanderers.

Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, former India opener Gautam Gambhir talks about Indian players handling pressure at big tournaments, "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. 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. I've always said this, in bilaterals and league stages you have got probably a chance to make the mistake, come to the knockout stages, you don't have a chance to make a mistake, you make a mistake and you're going back home. So, that's where beliefs come into play and that where India lacks in all those crucial games."

Gambhir, who made his international debut for India in 2003, played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is in which he scored 4154, 5238 and 932 runs respectively.

Laxman's tribute to Gambhir

Last week former cricketer VVS Laxman paid tribute to Gambhir in a tweet. "Massively inquisitive and totally obsessed with the game, Gautam Gambhir never shied away from a challenge on a cricket field. Whether it was taking on express pace bowlers on spicy tracks overseas or standing up for a wronged teammate, he knew not what it was to back down," Laxman said on Twitter.

Bharat Arun on no saliva rule: Have to unlearn the habit

Indian cricket team’s bowling coach, Bharat Arun spoke about the no saliva rule, "When they (bowlers) get the ball in their hand, they are used to shining the ball with saliva. But now they have to unlearn this habit."

Bharat Arun

Bharat Arun

Bharat Arun also spoke about current generation of Indian fast bowlers, how are they being nurtured and the evolution in training methods, "Kapil Dev was naturally gifted. He was an outstanding athlete. Even though he did not do training like what the fast bowlers do now, he did a few training aspects which helped him. And now there is a lot more cricket than what it used to be earlier. But all said and done, for a quality player like Kapil Dev to play for so many years was a very rare phenomena. He is truly a great cricketer."

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