India have had a horrendous start in the 20-20 World Cup. The team has lost both their matches against Pakistan and New Zealand and are facing the arduous task of making it to the semis. A lot of analyses have been made about India’s heavy losses in the two Super 12 games. A few slammed the players and said they are only keen on performing in the Indian Premier League. Cricketer-turned-expert Gautam Gambhir though has offered a different take. Gambhir feels that blaming IPL for every debacle is not correct.
“You can’t blame the IPL. If anything goes wrong with Indian cricket, everyone starts pointing fingers towards the IPL. This is wrong. Sometimes, you have to expect that 2-3 teams are playing better cricket than you. The earlier you accept that, the better it will be for you,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Virat Kohli-led side will next face Afghanistan in a do-or-die encounter on Wednesday (November 3). The Mohammad Nabi-led team are placed second on the points table with two wins in three games. It’s a must-win game for India to keep their hopes alive for the semifinals. Afghanistan in these conditions, with the quality spin attack they have, are a dangerous side and Gambhir feels that India cannot afford to take the Nabi-led side lightly.
“Afghanistan aren’t pushovers. They have a better bowling attack than the likes of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh,” Gambhir told Star Sports.
Only a win will not help India to qualify for the semis and they will need some other results to go their way. Also, they need to win big in order to boost the net run rate, which is currently on the negative side. Gambhir feels India should first focus on winning the game before thinking about improving the run rate.
“In such a situation when runs are dried up, batters tend to play for their position, which can be extra motivation. Do that and get runs on the board. You try to win first, rather than thinking about the NRR. Once you are in the game, you play according to the situation,” he added.