Team India have enjoyed a supreme run in the ongoing ICC men’s ODI World Cup, securing commanding wins one after the other. The team finished the league stage unbeaten and will hope things to remain the same as we enter the business end of the tournament. India will kick-off the knockouts, where they meet familiar rivals New Zealand at Wankhede on Wednesday.
India appear to be settled at the moment despite the loss of all-rounder Hardik Pandya and have won all the nine league matches comfortably. However, one thing that could wary India is their poor reputation against the Black Caps in the ICC events. It was the same opponent four years ago who sent India crashing out of the World Cup in a similar stage.
Ahead of the much important clash, Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra had some pep talk for Rohit Sharma and Co. if they felt any sort of pressure on matchday. Bindra in a lengthy post on X spoke about routine and how it evolves “pressure into performance”.
“As the boys in blue gear up for the semi-final, here are my two cents on handling pressure – though not that they need any lessons on pressure, given their amazing performances so far. Remember, the present moment is like a perfect shot – it’s all you’ve got. Stay in it. Your routine is your ritual – it’s what turns pressure into performance. Stick to it, but don’t be afraid to throw in a googly and adapt when the situation demands,” he wrote.
The post was divided in three parts, which all narrowed down to how not to panic under pressure.
“Crisis? That’s just another word for ‘I’m about to make history’. So when the going gets tough, the tough don’t just get going, they dig deep and build a skyscraper right there.
“Lastly, pressure is like your shadow in the afternoon sun – it might look big, but it’s not heavier than a cricket ball. Don’t run from it. Embrace it, high-five it, and you’ll learn to dance with it on the pitch. So go ahead, knock it out of the park, but remember, if you find yourself in a sticky wicket, there’s nothing that a deep breath and a calm head can’t fix,” Bindra added.
India have already defeated New Zealand in the league stage and will be favourites between the two heading into the contest.