Former India opener Gautam Gambhir. @ AFP
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir. @ AFP

Mumbai: Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir, who recently hanged up his boots, says key for a sports person in handling pressure and overcoming a bad phase is to not let the occasion get the better of him.

Gambhir was part of the 2007 T20 World Cup team and was the top-scorer in the summit clash against arch-rivals Pakistan. The southpaw was also the top-scorer for India in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka, which the hosts won at the Wankhede Stadium.

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Asked about his preparations for the big World Cup finals, Gambhir said key is not to think about the occasions. “You can’t let the occasions get better of you. It’s still the contest between the ball and the bat, whether it is the World Cup final or it’s any other game,” Gambhir said addressing the Republic Summit here.

“It is difficult to accept that is another game of cricket but that is what a sports person needs to think and that is how I prepared myself. Ultimately, whether it is the World Cup final or the first game of the World Cup, the contest is not the World Cup final, the contest is between the bowler and the batsmen.

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“So, ultimately, I have to beat the next ball I am playing and I have got to do the best of whatever I could of the next particular delivery. So, that’s how I approached both the World Cup finals rather than thinking about the platform or occasion, it is about watching the ball and reacting to it,” he added.

Gambhir said he feels fortunate to be part of two World Cup winning teams. “When I was growing as a kid, it was my dream to be part of a World Cup winning team. The first World Cup of any sort, which I played was in 2007 and ended up being part of the winning team,” 37-year-old Gambhir said.

“So, very fortunate because I got the opportunity of doing something special for the country, not once but twice.”

During the discussion, Gambhir was flanked by star shuttler PV Sindhu and wrestler Babita Phogat.

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Gambhir also revealed about how he approached the two World Cup finals saying it was all about watching the next ball and reacting to it.

In his career, Gambhir featured in 58 Test matches and 147 One Day Internationals.