India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid, expressed the difficulty of witnessing the emotional breakdown of the Indian cricketers in the dressing room following their loss in the World Cup final.
In Sunday evening’s match at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, Mohammed Shami’s Stuart Broad-esque strategy, Jasprit Bumrah’s short-ball challenge, and Steve Smith’s DRS controversy fueled the crowd’s excitement. Despite a target of 241, hope arose as Australia stumbled to 3 down for 47. Yet, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne’s resilient 192-run partnership dashed Indian hopes and secured victory.
India entered the final as the favorite, boasting a top-notch batting lineup and an exceptional bowling attack. However, they faltered in the face of Pat Cummins’ captaincy and Head’s record-breaking 137, leaving the team devastated.
The dressing room painted a somber picture with tears flowing down Mohammed Siraj’s cheek, KL Rahul on his haunches, and captain Rohit Sharma struggling to conceal his emotions. Virat Kohli sought solace under his cap.
Speaking to the media after the six-wicket loss, Coach Rahul Dravid acknowledged the emotional turmoil in the dressing room, emphasizing the players’ months of hard work and sacrifices to reach the cusp of ending the nation’s decade-long ICC trophy drought.
Expressing the emotional toll, Dravid said, “It’s tough as a coach because you get to know these boys personally. You see the effort, the sacrifices, and the hard work they’ve put in over the last month. It’s tough, but that’s sport.”
Reflecting on his experience as captain in the 2007 World Cup, Dravid remains optimistic about the team bouncing back and achieving greater heights. He emphasized the inevitable highs and lows in sports and the importance of learning from such experiences.
Dravid concluded, “The better team won on the day. The sun will come up tomorrow morning. We’ll learn from it, reflect, and move on. That’s what you do as a sportsman—experience highs and lows, learn, and keep moving forward.”