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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Cricket Columns

Delivering under pressure is the secret to survival
Sourav Ganguly
October 08, 2011
First Published: 01:12 IST(8/10/2011)
Last Updated: 01:21 IST(8/10/2011)

The four teams to have qualified for the Champions League T20 semifinals are not the strongest in the tournament, but have advanced on sheer team effort and on the basis of a very important aspect: to be successful as an individual or team, you have to deliver under pressure and at the right moment.

Moments are very important in a sportsperson's career and one who survives over a longer period, flourishes in crunch situations and delivers at the right moment. That's why, if you analyse careers of champions and champion teams, you will see they have had periods when they haven't won anything or performed as per expectation, but just when everyone felt it was over, they turned it around. I believe that's the secret of survival over a period of time.

The two prime examples of this in the current tournament are Royal Challengers Bangalore and New South Wales. The Australian team has been a winning unit and has managed to hold on to its nerve under pressure in the two decisive group games. They went past a Super Over and in the crucial game against Chennai, Warner came up with a terrific batting effort. They are also winners of the first edition of the CLT20.

The same holds true for RCB. They have been in the IPL final twice. Their big guns have stood up when it has mattered most and, irrespective of the result of the semifinal clash today, Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dishan, Virat Kohli and skipper Daniel Vettori will always be match-winners.

For KKR, which is obviously the most discussed teams, it was not a very satisfying tournament. They managed to scrape through in the qualifiers and didn't play very well in the final round till the last two games. Gambhir looked in much better touch and, more importantly, Jacques Kallis was a different player when he got the new ball in hand.

They will need to improve as I am sure they can't be satisfied with their performance this year.

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