‘Tough to see as a coach…’ Rahul Dravid reflects upon India’s loss, shares details of emotions in dressing room


India, clear favourites for the World Cup 2023 title, suffered a disheartening defeat in the final. Despite a stellar run leading up to the final, the team faced a setback against a formidable Australia.

The emotional impact of the loss was visible among the players. Mohammed Siraj was seen shedding tears, KL Rahul was visibly distraught. Skipper Rohit Sharma – otherwise seen unperturbed – struggled to contain his emotions. Virat Kohli, too, sought solace behind his cap.

Meanwhile, India’s coach Rahul Dravid shared insights into the team’s emotional condition. He expressed that the dressing room was emotionally charged, reflecting months of preparation and aspirations to end India’s decade-long wait for an ICC trophy.

“The boys are disappointed. It wasn’t, yeah, there was a lot of emotions 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…But yeah, but that’s sport,” ANI quoted Dravid as saying in a post-match press interaction.

“The better team won on the day. And I’m sure that the sun will come up tomorrow morning. We’ll learn from it. We’ll reflect. And we’ll move on, as will everyone else. I mean, that’s what you do as sportsman. You have some great highs in sport, and you have some lows in sport. And you keep moving on. You don’t stop. Because if you don’t put yourself on the line, you don’t put yourself in games like these, you don’t experience the great highs. And neither do you experience the great lows. And if you don’t do that, you don’t learn,” Dravid said.

At the same time, he praised Rohit Sharma’s captaincy in the cricket tournament.

“He’s been an exceptional leader. You know, Rohit’s really led this team fantastically well. I think he’s certainly got the dressing room. I just think he’s given so much of his time and energy in the dressing room to the boys. He’s always been available for any of our conversations, (or) any of our meetings. Sometimes there’s been a lot of planning, a lot of strategy that goes in. He’s always committed to those things. He’s given a lot of his personal time, energy into this campaign. And his batting as well, I thought it was fantastic, the way he set the tone for us,” Dravid added.

Rahul defends Rohit’s shot selection

While there have been questions about Rohit’s shot selection in the final, the coach defended him.

“We knew that we wanted to play a certain way. We wanted to play a positive attacking brand of cricket. And he was very committed to doing that. And he wanted to lead by example. And I thought right through the tournament, he was quite superb in doing that. And yeah, I just can’t speak more highly of him as a person and as a leader,” he added.

(With ANI inputs)

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Updated: 20 Nov 2023, 09:17 AM IST

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