Since winning the inaugural edition of the Men’s T20 World Cup in 2007, India has not taken home the trophy. In last year’s T20 World Cup in the UAE, India entered the tournament as the favorites but made an early exit in the Super 10 stage.
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“We don’t have the results in the World Cups, but that doesn’t mean we played bad cricket for so many years. I don’t agree that we played conservative cricket. When you lose a strange game at the World Cup, it seems that we did things wrong and we didn’t take our chances. But if you look at the overall games, we played leading to the World Cup, we probably won 80 percent of our games. If you’re conservative then I can’t understand how to win these many games.
“We lost the World Cup, we didn’t qualify. It happens, but it doesn’t happen, we didn’t play free or we were scared. Lately it’s not like we’ve made full changes. We just gave players the freedom to play their game, push yourself and don’t put pressure. When you play free, the performance comes out,” Sharma said ahead of the first T20I.
Sharma also asked people outside the Indian team to be patient to get consistent results from them. “The people on the outside have to keep the peace. The way we play cricket, there will be failures and the results may not go our way, but it’s okay if we try something and make an effort to do something different.
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“It can happen that mistakes are made, but that doesn’t mean the players are bad and the team is not good. It’s just that we try to do something new. With time, everyone has to change. We change, so people at the outside should also change your mind.”
Sharma admitted that there were some spots in the Indian team to nail in the run-up to the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November and has asked the players in the T20I series against the West Indies to play free as if they were for their state or franchise.