Defending Team India’s often-criticised character of crumbling under pressure, former captain Sourav Ganguly said that the current side is better adept in responding to difficult situations than before.
“In 2003, we lost to the best Australian side under Ricky Ponting. But, the Indian team won’t buckle under pressure,” Ganguly said.
Addressing a large gathering, Ganguly remembered the loss against Australia in a one-sided final in 2003, saying it was very difficult to captain the Indian cricket team because of the expectations surrounding the sport in the country.
“Stones were thrown at us after the Johannesburg loss. We Indians react under pressure. But we are used to it (pressure). You have to deal with it,” he said.
Talking about pressure in the upcoming edition of showpiece event, 1987 World Cup-winning Australian captain Allan Border said there is a unique pressure attached to the 50-over event.
“It’s once in a four year chance to show your skill, talent and mettle in the cricket’s showpiece event,” Border said.
Border opined that pressure will be there on defending champions India to repeat their 2011 success as the country is so passionate about cricket.
“Flavour of cricket fans here is second to none,” he said.
Clive Lloyd, the legendary West Indian and winner of 1975 and 1979 World Cup, said he felt the pressure when he represented the culture and dreams of thousands of Caribbean islanders.
“Pressure is always there. We are a side comprising players from different islands, representing different cultures. England is one country. India is one country. It’s very difficult to get people together in the West Indies. You represent different people.” Lloyd said.
And about the 1983 Wold Cup loss to India, Lloyd said that what happens on a particular day matters.
“Whoever plays better wins. India did play well. It gave them that lift.”