The night of November 19 India were left numbed after their dream died in the ODI World Cup final in Ahmedabad. Skipper Rohit Sharma appeared the most shattered as the players walked off the field after the defeat to Australia. He missed selection when India hosted, and won, the 2011 edition, and the 10 wins on the trot had raised hopes that Sharma would lift the trophy he had cherished, and chased, all his career.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma tosses the ball during the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) final match against Australia.(AFP)

Teary-eyed, he, however, didn’t elaborate to the media on what went wrong; a slow and used pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium and the inability of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul to hit boundaries against a sharp bowling attack was all blamed for the defeat.

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Rohit Sharma opted out of the current white-ball section of the South Africa tour, instead spending time with his family and friends. On Wednesday, in an Instagram video, 24 days after that loss, he said the love of fans had helped him “heal” after struggling initially.

“I didn’t know what to do the first few days. My family and friends kept me going, (but) it wasn’t easy,” he said. “It wasn’t easy to digest, but live moves on. Honestly, it was tough. It wasn’t just easy to move on.

“I’ve grown up watching the 50-over World Cup. To me that was the ultimate prize. We’ve worked all these years for that World Cup. And it is disappointing, right? If you don’t get through it, don’t get what you want, what you’ve been looking for all this while, what you were dreaming of.”

He admitted things didn’t go right in the final.

“If someone asks me what went wrong — we won 10 games and in those 10 games, yes, we made mistakes. But those mistakes happen in every game you play. You cannot have a perfect game. You can have a near perfect game.

Having taken a break to be with family, Sharma says he was lifted by the warmth of people.

“I’m really proud of the team. How we played was simply outstanding…And I know at least how we played up until that game, it would have given people lot of joy, lot of pride.

“After that final, it was very hard to get back and start moving on, which is why I decided that I need to get my mind off this. But then, wherever I was, people were coming up to me and they were appreciating everyone’s effort, how well we played. I feel for all of them. They all, along with us, were dreaming of lifting that World Cup,” he said. “I want to appreciate what people have done for us in that one-and-a-half months.”

He added, “Everywhere we went during this entire campaign, there was so much support from everyone who came to the stadium, firstly, and people who were watching it from home as well.

“People coming up to me, telling me that they were proud of the team, you know made me feel good to a certain extent. Along with them, I was healing as well. I felt, okay these are the kind of things you want to hear, when they understand what the player must be going through and when they know these kinds of things and not to bring out that frustration, that anger. It means a lot for us…it was pure love from the people that I met and it was wonderful to see that.

“So, it gives you motivation to get back and start working again and look for another ultimate prize.”

He will travel to join up with team ahead of the two-Test series in South Africa starting on December 26.

By admin

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