Friday, December 8, 2023

‘We’re heartbroken, hasn’t sunk in yet’: Iyer bares his soul after India’s World Cup final defeat, Gill ‘still hurting’

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Rohit Sharma-led Team India produced a supreme display at the men’s ODI World Cup, defeating every opponent on their way to the final. However, the team failed to replicate the show in the summit clash against Australia, who won the encounter by six wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Sunday.

India players Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and KL Rahul during the presentation ceremony of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 final(PTI)

India after being invited to bat first could only manage a modest 240 on the board in 50 overs. Such was Australia’s dominance in a slow Ahmedabad wicket that they conceded just four boundaries between overs 11 to 50. Virat Kohli and KL Rahul up to certain extent negated the Australian threat and slammed their respective half-centuries but it came at a slow pace.

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah then raised India’s hope early in the run chase as the two combined to reduce Australia for 47/3 in 7 overs. However, a powerful show by Travis Head and some gritty batting by Marnus Labuschagne saved the day for the Kangaroos. The pair added 192 runs for the fourth-wicket, with Head taking the charge and Labuschagne playing a second fiddle. Head was eventually dismissed for 137(120), while Labuschagne returned unbeaten on 58(110).

Despite the defeat, the unit has received immense appreciation from fans and experts, with many calling it a bad day at work. While this has been the common notion, team members Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill took to social media to share their experience. Iyer said the team is “heartbroken” but wished to take many learnings from the campaign.

“We’re heartbroken, it still hasn’t sunk in and it won’t for a while. My first World Cup was an experience that has taught me so much and made me grateful for everything that’s come my way. Thank you to the BCCI, team management, support staff, my teammates and you the fans for backing us from the beginning right up until the end. And congratulations to the entire Australian team on a marvelous campaign,” he tweeted.

Gill, on the other hand, also echoed similar views and tweeted: “Been almost 16 hours but still hurts like it did last night. Sometimes giving your everything isn’t enough. We fell short of our ultimate goal but every step in this journey has been a testament to our team’s spirit and dedication. To our incredible fans, your unwavering support in our highs and lows means the world to us. This isn’t the end, it’s not over until we win.”

As the ODI World Cup is done and dusted, the focus immediately shifts to the T20Is, especially with the World Cup lined up for next year. India will now be seen in action in the shorter format against the Aussies, which gets underway from November 23 in Visakhapatnam.

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