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After World Cup loss, a PM Modi pep talk in Indian dressing room: ‘We shouldn’t be disappointed…win or loss wasn’t in one’s hand’

AFTER THE World Cup final loss on Sunday, the disappointed Indian dressing room got a surprise visitor. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after handing the winners’ trophy to Australian skipper Pat Cummins, dropped by to console and motivate captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid’s heartbroken team whose 10-game imperious World Cup march was halted in the game they comprehensively lost by six wickets.

Those present at the interaction said Modi, after addressing the Indian team, sought out individual players to have a word with them.

Mohammad Shami, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker and the pacer responsible for triggering a frenzy at the stadium with his deadly spell, would later tweet a picture of him resting his head on the Prime Minister’s shoulder. Of his 24 wickets in this World Cup, only one came in the final against Australia.

“The Prime Minister told us that since we all had given our 100 per cent, we shouldn’t be disappointed. He said win or loss wasn’t in one’s hand, what was important was we played well and tried hard,” said a team member on the condition of anonymity.

Shami took to social media and said he was thankful for the support the team got during the World Cup. “Unfortunately yesterday was not our day. I would like to thank all Indians for supporting our team and me throughout the tournament. Thankful to PM @narendramodi for specially coming to the dressing room and raising our spirits. We will bounce back!” he posted on X.

Jadeja also acknowledged how the nation stood by the team that lost in the final. “We had a great tournament but we ended up short yesterday. We are all heartbroken but the support of our people is keeping us going. PM @narendramodi’s visit to the dressing room yesterday was special and very motivating.”

Modi watched the action from the ground during the second innings with Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. Also present was Home Minister Amit Shah.

Before Modi’s arrival in the dressing room, coach Dravid had a chat with the team. He pointed to the positives and advised the players to move on. With his coaching contract ending with the World Cup, Dravid and the Indian board officials will be in talks in the coming days before a final decision on his assignment is taken.

In his post-match press conference, the seemingly drained out Dravid said he was undecided about his future as India coach. “Honestly, I haven’t thought about it. I think all our campaign, all our energies were focused on this match, focused on this tournament, and focused till here. And I haven’t actually given it any thought. I have no plans of what’s going to happen in the future,” he stated.

He also shared the mood of the dressing room. “He’s (Rohit) disappointed, as are many of the boys in the dressing room. There was a lot of emotion 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. So, it’s tough. It’s tough to see that as a coach, because you get to know these boys personally. You get to see the effort they put in, the hard work that we’ve put in over the last month.”

After the game, Rohit was seen hiding his teary face under the cap. Mohammad Siraj, dragging his feet, also broke down.

© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd

First uploaded on: 21-11-2023 at 04:30 IST

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