EMOTION ran high among the Indian players as they walked back to the dressing room after coming second-best by a distance to Australia in the World Cup final. It was a feeling of disappointment at not realising the dreams of more than a billion people. The trophy that had eluded them since 2011 remained out of reach.
Rohit Sharma’s tears found their way out, he tried not to show it but to no avail. Mohammed Siraj sobbed and head coach Rahul Dravid revealed that the dressing room was an emotional place.
“He’s (Rohit) disappointed, as are many of the boys in the dressing room. There was a lot of emotion in that dressing room. It was tough to see as a coach, because I know how hard these guys have worked, what they’ve put in, the sacrifices they’ve made. So, it’s tough. It’s tough to see that as a coach, because you get to know these boys personally. You get to see the effort they put in, the hard work that we’ve put in over the last month,” Dravid said at the post-match press conference.
The sun will rise again but this opportunity will not come for many in this Indian team. Especially Rohit, who gave everything he could to India’s World Cup campaign. There were several doubts surrounding the team at the start of the tournament and everyone had expressed some flaw in their line-up. A few players were coming back from injuries and the middle order was said to be a cause of concern. But Rohit’s team crossed every hurdle in style, till the final.
But they fell short on the biggest day of their careers.
“We gave everything we had in this tournament. Just with the last step of the campaign, we probably didn’t have a nice game. Today was a bad day for the boys at the office. The quality of cricket we played, we are proud of the team and boys. We ran a very good campaign,” Dravid added.
The team management felt that the ball was stopping in the afternoon but came nicely on to the bat in the evening. The Australian surprised many by choosing to chase, but they had come well prepared.
Dravid said a total of 290 could have been ideal on the pitch which was slow initially.
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“I thought the ball was stopping in the afternoon but in the evening it was coming nicely on the bat. Just when we thought that we were going well, we lost Virat and then others. If we would have got 280-290, could have been a different game. But with 240, we knew one partnership and things could change,” he explained.
The tenure of Dravid and his support staff was till the end of the World Cup, but it’s not clear whether the Indian board will renew or extend their contracts. Dravid was asked about his future, but evaded a direct reply.
“Honestly, I haven’t thought about it. I think all our campaign, all our energies were focused on this match, focused on this tournament, and focused till here. And I haven’t actually given it any thought. I have no plans of what’s going to happen in the future,” he stated.