'...Yuvraj Singh, who was Man of the Tournament in 2011, how many people talk about him? Why? Probably he does not have a good PR agency. Probably this word 'underrated' is a very unfair word. It is actually under-shown, if you won't show the people, then they won't know and you keep showing one person, then he will become a brand.'
Former India opener, Gautam Gambhir has criticised the India fans' obsession with statistics and the problem arises when performances are under-valued.
In an interview during the ANI Podcast, Gambhir said: "People who say it was an underrated knock are the people who undervalue and underappreciate. Nothing is underrated, it is under-shown and under-valued, and that is where the problem lies. The country is obsessed with stats. Till the time you let go of the obsession with stats till then you won't get results," Gambhir said.
"Today, the Indian cricket team is full of stars and there are many upcoming also. It has become a race to maintain their form or consistency in every match otherwise many are waiting to replace them in the Indian team. They may choke under pressure because they don't play in many pressure situations. The Indian cricket team may also face subliminal pressure. For example, the home team advantage can be a morale booster, but it can also be a burden."
Gambhir, who is a BJP MP from East Delhi, is a cricket commentator and Kolkata Knight Riders' team mentor also attacked the media adding that the broadcaster has become a PR machinery towards certain players.
"It's been a long time since India won a World Cup and the bitter truth is our media and importantly the social media, if they become a PR machinery for certain individuals then you will never get the result. Every member of the squad works hard to represent India, and if a broadcaster becomes a PR machinery of 1-2 players then the other members of the squad won't be able to speak out openly," he added.
"One of the biggest crimes is to give one's credit to someone else. Every player deserves to get their credits. A broadcaster can never be a PR machinery, they need to be fair to everyone sitting in that dressing room cause everyone works hard. They need to value equally and not only one or two individuals. Social media decides who should get credits or not and this is not right. Till the time we look at all the members of the squad equally.
"The time we become a team-obsessed nation then only we will win a World Cup. At my time it was very different, there was not of many social media in 2011. At my time the broadcaster was not so self or individual-obsessed."
Referring to India's 2011 World Cup win, Gambhir said: "You please tell me that one player, Yuvraj Singh, who was Man of the Tournament in 2011, how many people talk about him? Why? Probably he does not have a good PR agency. Probably this word 'underrated' is a very unfair word. It is actually under-shown, if you won't show the people, then they won't know and you keep showing one person, then he will become a brand.
"If today I have machinery and I have to pick two persons where I show one person for two hours and fifty minutes and the other person for 10 minutes only, then a person shown for 2 hours and 50 minutes will become a brand. Then don't say that we do not get numbers when we show the other guy because the other guy is not a brand. When you did not show the other person, you did not value the other person. Unless you do not value the other person, he won't value himself and how will the country value him.
"In this World Cup one thing has changed which is we have become a bowling-obsessed nation from a batting one. Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj are getting the appreciation. Now they are getting the credit that they deserve. If you only be obsessed with batter, then who wants to become a bowler," he concluded.