Won’t call India chokers, maybe they are overthinking in ICC knockout matches: Deep Dasgupta

Former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta on Monday said it’s important to look at India’s losses individually when talking about their losing streak in knockout matches of International Cricket Council (ICC) events over the last few years. Dasgupta said he wouldn’t call India “chokers” despite the long wait that has extended to 7 years.

India last won an ICC tournament knockout match in 2013 when an MS Dhoni-led side defeated England in a rain-curtailed final of the Champions Trophy. India lost the 2015 World Cup semi-final to Australia, 2016 T20 World Cup semi-final to West Indies at home, 2017 Champions Trophy final to Pakistan and 2019 World Cup semi-final to New Zealand.

Deep Dasgupta, speaking on Sports Today, said it’s hard to point fingers at one particular reason as the defeats have come in different scenarios for the senior national men’s team. However, the cricketer-turned commentator and expert said it might be a case of the team putting too much pressure on themselves and overthinking in the big-ticket games.

“Think about the choker remark the fact is that India has not won a knockout game in the ICC events since 2013. Again, there is no particular reason for that apart from that fact that maybe taking too much pressure and overthinking just because it’s a big game in an ICC tournament,” Dasgupta said while responding to a fan’s question.

“Also, think of the New Zealand game, I think India should have won that. 2017, the Champions Trophy game (final) against Pakistan, that no-ball, let’s not get into that. We have spoken a lot about that no-ball. Then, in the West Indies Wankhede game (2016 T20 World Cup), the toss played a crucial role. 180 (192) was not a bad score, but the dew factor and all that played a role,” he added.

“There is a reason behind every game, we need to look into them individually. I wouldn’t call India chokers.”

Rohit and Kohli shouldn’t be thinking too much about numbers: Dasgupta

India are a month away from playing the World Test Championship final, starting June 18 in Southampton. The World No. 1 Test side have an opportunity to win their first ICC title in 8 years when they face New Zealand in the big final.

Meanwhile, Dasgupta also pointed out that India need their big guns to fire in high-pressure games and stressed that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli shouldn’t be looking too much into numbers in the World Test Championship final, considering their recent dip in scores in the knockout games of ICC events. The two batting stars did not get past single-digit scores in the Champions Trophy final and the 2019 World Cup semi-final.

“You can’t deny the numbers. Ideally, speaking you want your best batsmen and best bowlers to perform in knockout games in the ICC. There’s no obvious reason why they aren’t. I also think it is something that they shouldn’t be thinking about.

“At times, when these numbers come up, you tend to put pressure on yourself by trying to prove the numbers wrong. I hope they are not thinking about it. I hope they are aware of this. I am not too sure whether they are thinking about it, I haven’t spoken to them about it. But yes, the fact remains they haven’t scored a lot of runs in these knockout games,” he added.

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