T20 World Cup 2021: Gambhir questions current Indian team’s mental toughness in high-pressure matches

Indian cricket team | GETTY

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir doesn’t think the current Indian cricket team has the mental toughness to emerge victorious in must-win matches. Gambhir’s statement came after India’s loss against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2021.

India needed to win the match to ensure they stay in contention for the semi-final. But now after a defeat on Sunday (October 31), India’s fate in the tournament isn’t in their hands.

“Yes talent is one thing, you’ve got all the skills and do really well in bilaterals and stuff. But when it comes to these kind of games and tournaments, this is when you have got to stand up and perform.

“This game was literally like a quarterfinal. The problem is with the mental toughness of the side. Suddenly when you know you have got to win the game and can’t make mistakes, in bilaterals it’s different because you can make mistakes there. But in these kind of games, I don’t think India has got that mental strength,” Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo.

The ex-cricketer admitted that the players have good skills and they are capable of beating any team being a strong side. But he pointed out that no one stood up when it mattered the most for India.

“They have the skill and are a very dangerous side. But unfortunately, we can keep talking about it that we need to stand by our team when its not doing well but it’s been a trend and its been happening for a very long time in most of these ICC tournaments, whether its the semifinals or the game today as well. When it mattered the most for someone to put his hand up, they just couldn’t,” he said.

India could only manage 110 for 7 in 20 overs after being asked to bat first by Kane Williamson. In reply, the Blackcaps won the match by 8 wickets in just 14.3 overs.

The Virat Kohli-led side will now have to win their remaining 3 games and depend on other results to stand a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. They will next face Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on November 3.