India’s hopes of lifting the coveted World Cup trophy were dashed when they lost to Australia by six wickets in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Despite dominating the entire match, the Men in Blue stumbled on the biggest stage of the tournament, leaving their fans heartbroken.
India started the match but struggled to find momentum and ended up with a score of just 240 under par. Openers Rohit Sharma (47 off 31) and KL Rahul (66 off 107) got off to good starts but both failed to convert their starts into big innings. Virat Kohli, who was heavily favored, contributed 54 runs off 63 balls.
India’s bowlers got off to a good start with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah reducing Australia to 47/3. However, Travis Head had other plans as he hit 137 off 120 balls, including 15 fours and 4 sixes to win the match. He was ably supported by Marnus Labuschagne (58 off 110*) and the duo led Australia to a comfortable win in 43 overs.
The loss left the Indian players visibly frustrated. Bowler Mohammad Siraj and captain Rohit Sharma were in tears, while Kohli and the rest of the team looked downcast. Disappointment pervaded the entire dressing room.
In the post-match press conference, an emotional Rohit Sharma admitted that the Indian team had not performed well enough on this important day.” We were not good enough,” he admitted.” It would have been better if we could have scored 20 to 30 more runs, but we didn’t bat well enough.”
He praised the partnership of Hyde and Labuschagne for taking the sport away from India.” He noted, “The Australian team has built an important partnership after losing three par threes.” With 240 players, we were looking to get three-post wickets as early as possible, but credit goes to Travis Head and Manus. They took us out of the game completely.
India’s World Cup dreams were dashed in the final, leaving them to rue their missed opportunities. The inability to convert potential into performance on the big stage remains a problem that India need to address if they wish to lift the coveted trophy in the future.