The Virat Kohli-led Indian team needs to figure out how to break the knock-out jinx at the ICC event, feels the legendary cricketer Brian Lara. India have been reaching the semi-finals and finals of the ICC tournaments on a regular basis but failed to win.
“That’s one of the things that you have to understand. Everybody is lining India up. It’s like fait accompli that India is going to make the semi-finals or definitely going to make the knock-out stages,” Lara said.
The world-record holder of the highest individual score in the longest format of the game feels that India need to grow that aura of unbeatable on the big days like West Indies of 1970’s or Australia of the last decade that won a hat-trick of ICC World Cups.
“Everybody is gearing up for that match, whether its a quarter-final or semi-final match. Look at how New Zealand played against India. They knew whom to target and what to do. So India will have to appreciate that. The invincibility of the West Indies in 75 and 79, Australia about three or four World Cups, they would tick all the boxes,”he said.
“They were so dominant. They knew in 1999, 2003 and 2007, they were the strongest teams. But they made sure that they tick all the boxes and stay that step ahead. Everybody knew that they had to beat Australia to win the World Cup. India need to appreciate that and turn it on at the right time,” said the former player.
Captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma are two of the best players in recent times but other teams have somehow figured out that they need to dismiss them early to win the game.
“You always feel that there is an opportunity to beat India if a Kohli or a Rohit doesn’t score. That always is a weak link. If you can get these two guys, we are into them. If they can defy that and have all 11 players walk in same direction, understand their roles, I think India can win many many World Cups in future. It’s just a one-match disappointment for India. It happened in England, it happened before and it might happen again where you don’t play at your best on one such day,” Brian Lara said.
He is hopeful that the West Indies have the potential in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
“West Indies team performed creditably in the three-match series. India stamped their authority winning the last game. But there are a lot of bright young stars in the West Indies team, and in 10 months they will be a force to reckon with. We are double World T20 champions so don’t take us easy,” Brian Lara added.