'We have not been able to handle pressure' - Gautam Gambhir feels Team India lacks mental toughness

‘We have not been able to handle pressure’ – Gautam Gambhir feels Team India lacks mental toughness

According to the former India opener, India plays really well in league stages but fizzles out in the semi-final or knockout.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Gautam Gambhir has flaunted how a player should bat under pressure in two vital matches. Be it 2007 T20 World Cup final or 2011 World Cup final– Gambhir rose to both the occasions and steered India’s ship to the victory. The left-hander struck a much-needed half-century in the final of T20 World Cup 2007 against arch-rivals Pakistan. In a low-scoring thriller, Gambhir’s knock made the difference as India eventually went on to clinch the trophy.

Gambhir delivered under pressure yet again in the 2011 World Cup final as his 97-run knock was pivotal in India’s run-chase against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium. Gambhir stitched a crucial 83-run stand with Virat Kohli and then went on to add a 99-run stand with MS Dhoni to make things easy for Team India.

The potential and skill of a player or a team are truly tested in such crunch situations. Opining over the same, Gambhir said that India have not been able to handle the pressure in semi-finals and finals. According to the former India opener, India plays really well in league stages but fizzles out in the semi-final or knockout.

“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 knockout, it’s probably your mental toughness as well,” said Gambhir during Star Sports’ show ‘Cricket Connected’.

You don’t have a chance to make mistake in knockouts: Gautam Gambhir

Gambhir also pointed out that there’s no scope of making a mistake in the knockout stage of a tournament. India lacks in those crucial games and it’s the ability in such situations which sets a team apart from others, according to Gambhir, who donned the national jersey in 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is.

“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 Champion. So it’s just your ability in those crunch situations.

I’ve always said this, in bilateral and league stages you have got probably a chance to make the mistake, come to the knockout stage 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,” he added.

Watch Gautam Gambhir’s response: