New Delhi:Former captain Mohammad Azharuddin on Sunday attributed India's lack of consistency as the reason behind their ODI series loss to Australia and said the players need to learn to win close games in pressure situations.
"They (Indians) lack consistency. They have not performed consistently for the last 6-8 months and lost some close games. They need to win those close games," said Azharuddin.
"Australia are a tough side. India are also no less and they have a lot of talent. But they are still a bit behind top teams like Australia and South Africa," he said.
Advising the cricketers to maintain a fitness regime, Azharuddin said at same time they should not hide injuries.
"Most of the players these days play with injury and hide it. Why are they doing that? They are doing something wrong by hiding injuries. My advice to players is to tell your physio or doctor about your problem. It's important to get it diagonised properly so as to prolong cricketing career," said Azharuddin at the concluding session of Sports Medcon here.
"Another problem is when the players go home after their hectic schedules they tend to become casual. They don't do anything and compromise with their fitness regime. Sometimes it invites injuries. So what happens that when they return to conditioning camp, they were not fit or little obese."
Narrating a few of his own experiences, Azharuddin said when he was playing in Reliance World Cup in 1987, he encountered an injury in the third and fourth games and went on to play with it till the semifinals.
"When I felt the pain, I consulted it with many doctors. However, they didn't diagnose me properly and gave me Cortisone injections.
"I had 25-30 injections over a period of time. I really struggled with the problem for five years. As a result, I became obese and missed many games. That injections was fine for one day, but pain again comes on second day," said Azharuddin, who captained India in 47 Tests and 174 ODIs.
As the country prepares for next year's Commonwealth Games, Azharuddin felt the country needs sports medicine experts in every sport.
"We don't have good sports facilities and sports medicine experts. We also need good sports physiotherapist and if country wants to hold successful Commonwealth Games next year we need trained doctors so that players don't get injured," he said.
On the WADA's 'whereabouts' clause, Azharuddin said he was against it as he would not want any interference during his personal time.
"If they want to conduct tests, do it on the ground when all the players are available at one place. To disturb them in their personal time is not a good idea. It's specially very difficult with the cricketers to inform about their whereabouts during their personal outings," he said.