After India's crushing 8-wicket defeat to New Zealand on Sunday, Gautam Gambhir has said that India's don't have the mental strength to win crucial matches. After being asked to bat first India were restricted to 110 before New Zealand chased down the target with 8 wickets and 33 balls remaining.
India batsmen were miserable in the Powerplay overs again as Tim Southee and Trent Boult got the better of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan respectively. Rohit Sharma walked in at No. 3 in the match but could manage to add only 14 runs to India's tally. Virat Kohli's 17-ball struggle in the midde came to an end after Ish Sodhi dimissed him for 9 in the 11th over. Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) also found the going tough in the middle and was castled by Adam Milne.
Hardik Pandya (23 off 24) and Ravindra Jadeja (26* off 19) scored some important runs as India posted a below par total of 110 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
New Zealand lost the Wicket of Martin Guptill (20 off 17) in the fourth over but then a solid 72-run partnership between the opener Daryly Mitchell and Kane Williamson followed. Mitchell fell one run short of his fifty but Williamson continued from the other end and scored unbeaten 33 runs as India registered a thumping win over India.
Another defeat to New Zealand in the ICC event has dented India's chances to qualify for the semi-finals massively and former India opener Gautam Gambhir feels that India lack the mental strength to win crucial encounters.
"Yes talent is one thing, you've got all the skills and do really well in bilateral series 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.
"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," Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo.
With two consecutive defeats in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021, road to the semi-finals is extremenly tough for India. They next meet Afghanistan on November 3.