Former India batter Gautam Gambhir believes that pointing fingers at the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the team’s poor performance in the ongoing 20-20 World Cup is wrong. India got off to a horrible start as they lost to Pakistan and New Zealand in their first two games. Once billed as favourites to win the title, India now faces a tough task to make it to the semifinals. Post the defeats, many said that players are only focused on performing in the Indian Premier League. However, Gambhir does not agree with the theory.
"You can't blame the IPL. If anything goes wrong with Indian cricket, everyone starts pointing fingers towards the IPL. This is wrong. Sometimes, you have to expect that 2-3 teams are playing better cricket than you. The earlier you accept that, the better it will be for you," he said.
The Virat Kohli-led side will now be up against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (November 3). Gambhir feels India cannot take Afghanistan lightly as they have enough match-winners in the form of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Shahzad and Nabi.
"Afghanistan aren't pushovers. They have got a better bowling attack than the likes of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh," Gambhir told Star Sports.
Gambhir also believes that India should first focus on winning before trying to improve their net run rate. Wins in the remaining three games won't work for India unless a few other results go their way. Also, India need to get their run rate ahead of Afghanistan and New Zealand to have any hopes of qualification.
"In such a situation when runs are dried up, batters tend to play for their position, which can be extra motivation. Do that and get runs on the board. You try to win first, rather than thinking about the NRR. Once you are in the game, you play according to the situation," he added.