ODI World Cup 2023: Yuvraj singh shares Sachin Tendulkar’s crucial advice from 2011 with Rohit Sharma-led Team India


Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma

The pressure of performing in a home World Cup can be challenging for even the most accomplished cricketers. As Team India gears up for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, they find themselves in exceptional form, having recently clinched the Asia Cup 2023 and secured a 2-1 victory over Australia in a three-match ODI series. However, managing the weight of expectations and external pressures is crucial for success. In this context, former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, a pivotal member of the 2011 World Cup-winning team, shared insightful lessons on how they handled pressure during their triumphant campaign.

Triumph in 2011: India’s second World Cup victory

The CWC 2011 marked a historic moment for Indian cricket, as they emerged as champions, securing their second World Cup title after their iconic win in 1983. Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar played instrumental roles in this successful campaign. Yuvraj’s exceptional all-round performance earned him the prestigious title of the ‘Player of the Tournament,’ as he showcased his prowess by scoring 362 runs, including a century and four half-centuries, and taking 15 crucial wickets. Tendulkar, the maestro of Indian cricket, was the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament, amassing a total of 482 runs.

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Handling adversity: India’s response to a loss

Even in their victorious 2011 quadrennial event journey, India faced challenges, including a group-stage loss to South Africa. Such setbacks often attract intense media scrutiny and criticism. It was during this critical phase that Tendulkar offered a valuable piece of advice to help the team cope with external pressures and stay focused on their goal of winning the World Cup.

Tendulkar’s wisdom: Blocking out the noise

Tendulkar suggested that the team should stop paying attention to media coverage, particularly during their interactions with fans at airports. Instead, he recommended using headphones as a means to block out external distractions and negative comments. This approach allowed the players to maintain their concentration on their game and their mission of winning the World Cup.

“Now, distraction is a bit more because that time there was no social media. There was distraction with media and people. We were trying to focus on the game, and in the world cup, we had lost to South Africa – a game we should have won. The media started to go berserk. Sachin sat down with the team and said, ‘we need to stop watching television, stop reading the papers. Use our headphones when we are going through crowds in airports. Just focus on the world cup’. The team agreed, we just followed that and it really worked,” Yuvraj was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

“Because there’s anyway so much pressure. Problem with India is that, people think only Indian team will win. It’s a big World Cup, there are so many good teams out there, and we got to be really focussed on your tasks at hand,” the Indian stalwart concluded.

Yuvraj emphasized that the team collectively agreed with Tendulkar’s suggestion, highlighting the unity and camaraderie within the squad. This approach ultimately proved effective in alleviating pressure and preventing external criticism from affecting their performance. India’s resolute focus on their game paid off, as they went on to become World Cup champions.

Crucial warm-up matches ahead of the World Cup

In their preparations for the upcoming World Cup, Team India will play two warm-up games. The first warm-up match is against England at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday, September 30. Following that, they will face the Netherlands in their second warm-up fixture on October 3 at the Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram. These games will provide crucial opportunities for fine-tuning their strategies and building momentum before the competition begins.

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