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Sunil Gavaskar: Fans need to show a ‘little bit more understanding’, back Indian team for Asia Cup, ODI World Cup

The next couple of months will be challenging for the Indian cricket team as it features in two high-profile events – first the Asia Cup, beginning Wednesday, followed by the ODI World Cup at home.

As the pressure mounts on Rohit Sharma’s men, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes that the fans need to show a ‘little bit more understanding’ and back the Men in Blue.

“I don’t think there’s any other cricket team in the world which is under as much pressure of expectations than the Indian team because every match that the team plays, the fans, the followers – not just in India, but across the world – expect and want India to win,” Gavaskar said on Tuesday, while releasing Amrit Mathur’s new book ‘ Pitchside – My life in Indian cricket’.

“In sport, we all know that sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. The pressure can be telling and I think that’s the kind of pressure the Indian team is currently experiencing with everyone wanting them to win the Asia Cup and the World Cup – which will be held in a month and a bit. This is where we, as cricket followers, need to show a little bit more understanding,” Gavaskar said.

In the last edition of the Asia Cup, India lost to Pakistan in a Super-four game and eventually crashed out of the tournament, and this time around, when the team begins campaign against Pakistan in Pallekele on Saturday, it will be missing out on the services of K.L. Rahul.

Gavaskar understands that ‘there will be days when the team will not be able to play up to its potential’, but he also hopes that “if such days come, they happen at the league stage and not at the knockout stage…”

Drawing reference to how the entire nation cheered for Neeraj Chopra as he clinched gold in the World Athletics Championships a couple of days ago, Gavaskar said, “As a nation that follows sport, we prayed for Neeraj Chopra to win. We stayed up to be able to watch, we had hearts in our mouth, hoping and praying that he would win and he did. This is what I request all of you, to convey to other Indian sports lovers to please do that so that our team goes on to win both the Asia Cup and as well as the World Cup…”

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