India won 10 games in a row in the event before they went down meekly to Australia in the World Cup final at Ahmedabad. Batting first, India could only post 240 on the board, which was chased down in the 43rd over after Travis Head led the way with a scintillating 120-ball 137.
Following the defeat, several Indian players were unable to control their emotions. Rohit and Virat Kohli, in particular, looked distraught and had tears in their eyes as they walked back to the pavilion following the loss. Mohammed Siraj, KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah were among the other players who looked visibly upset as India missed out narrowly.
Most India cricketers have not played a single game since the defeat, also skipping both the T20I and ODI series against South Africa as they take time to recuperate before getting back on the field.
Rohit, who had admitted to having dreams about lifting the World Cup, has now opened up about the process of moving on. Speaking to his Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians, he said, “I had no idea how to come back from this. I had no clue what to do. My family and friends kept me going, and kept things pretty light around me, which was quite helpful. It was not easy to digest, but life moves on and you have to move on in life. Honestly, it was tough and it was not so easy to move on.
“I have always grown up watching 50-over World Cup. To me that was the ultimate prize. We have worked all these years for that World Cup. And it is disappointing if you don’t get through it, you don’t get what you want, what you have been looking for all this while, what you were dreaming of. You get disappointed. You get frustrated as well.”
Rohit also mentioned the outpouring of love that came their way after the defeat as fans appreciated his and the team’s efforts.
“After that final, it was very hard to get back and move on, which is why I decided I need to go somewhere and get my mind out of this. But then, wherever I was, I realised people were coming up to me and appreciating everyone’s effort and how well we played. I feel for all of them. Along with us, they were also dreaming of lifting the World Cup.
“I want to appreciate what people have done for us in that one-and-a-half months but again, if I think more and more about that [the defeat], I feel more and more disappointed that we were not able to go through all the way.”
“For me, to see people coming up to me and telling me that they were proud of the team made me feel good to an extent. Along with them, I was healing as well, because this is the kind of things you want to hear. When they understand what the player must be going through and when they know these kind of things and not bring out that frustration and anger, it means a lot to us. There was no anger, there was pure love from the people that I met and it was wonderful to see that. It gives you the motivation to get back and start working again and look for another ultimate prize.”
Rohit will take the field for India for the first time since the World Cup final when he leads them in the first match of the two Test series against South Africa, starting December 26.
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