Gautam Gambhir has extended his support to the Indian team after their exit from the T20 World Cup 2021, and has urged the fans not to be too harsh on the players. Gambhir also added that the players need a lot of courage to play match after match, while going through a tough bio-bubble life.
New Zealand defeated Afghanistan by eight wickets in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, and with it, crushed India’s hopes of making it to the semi-finals. India had begun their campaign with defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, and that eventually costed them an exit from the Super 12s stage.
Following the results, there have been debates and criticism over the team's performance, selection as well as tactics by pundits and fans alike. Gautam Gambhir, who was a part of India's victorious 2007 T20 World Cup campaign, has came out in support of the team urging the fans to continue to be proud of the players.
"I'd urge the fans to continue to be proud of the Indian team. We will be disrespectful and unfaithful as their supporters if we judged them on this solitary performance in the ongoing World Cup. Yes, we lost to Pakistan. Yes, we were beaten on strategy by New Zealand. Yes, our friends from across the border are in the semis and we are not. But hold on,” Gambhir wrote in his column for Times of India.
Earlier this year, India won Test series in Australia 2-1 without the services of senior players including skipper Virat Kohli. They defeated England 3-1 at home later, and lead 2-1 away before the fifth Test in Manchester was postponed.
Gambhir reminded the capability of this team citing their heroics through the year.
"This Indian team won us a series in Australia early this year. Next, they turned it around when England visited India to beat them in all three formats. We currently lead them 2-1 in the away Test series with the last game to be played next year,” he said.
Gambhir addressed the severity of bio-bubble life and said that it was courageous of players to play match after match living in such restrictions.
“Before we take them to the cleaners, please pause and think that all these games were played in a bio-secure bubble. I know a few individuals who were petrified answering their doorbell when Covid-19 was at its peak, leave alone stepping out to work. But players were training at home, taking flights, quarantining in a hotel room, living a bubbled life to play and entertain you and me. Yes, they are paid handsomely and it's a professional world out there. How about just saying, 'well tried, boys'."
India will take on Namibia in their last fixture in Dubai on Monday, November 8.