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FEAR OF LOSING led to India's downfall

by K

When Zaheer Abbas-led Pakistan lost the 1979-80 Test Series in India 2-0, Imran Khan criticized his captain for being too defensive as he was playing with the fear of losing since he knew there would be a huge backlash in his country if his team lost. "ZED did not show the intent to win but he wanted to draw the Test matches and ended up losing" said Imran.

It was a similar story for India at the 2009 Twenty20 World Championship. The "fear of losing syndrome" gripped Dhoni and his boys and as a result they crashed out. Two moments that stood out for me:

1. Harbhajan feared being hit on a couple of occasions and thus darted it in - result on both occasions - wide and a boundary. 10 runs gifted - margin of loss - 3 runs.

2. Fake one down player and one-time captain courageous Dhoni wanted to shield himself and Yuvraj from the fiery spell of the English at the start and sent in inexperienced Jadeja who is not a boundary-hitter. Result - Jadeja crumbled under pressure - run rate shot up - game turned on its head. (Mind you, Yuvraj looked as if he was raring to go in at number 4)

Lesson for Pakistan - don't fear losing - put your best foot forward and send Afridi to open (he's useless at number 6 and Pakistan would be better off sending him to fight the Taliban instead).

Well played England!

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