'Definitely one of the greatest, hard to put it in words': Rohit Sharma on T20 World Cup win

by IANS |

 June 30 (IANS) India skipper Rohit Sharma has described the prospect of securing the 2024 T20 World Cup title as the pinnacle of his career and said winning matches and trophies for India has always been his foremost aspiration. In a battle between two unbeaten sides in the final, Men in Blue sealed T20 World Cup glory after an epic duel against South Africa with a seven-run win on Saturday night. However, after leading his side to ultimate glory, Rohit and Virat Kohli confirmed that they played their final international in the shortest format of the game. In the post-game press conference, when asked if it was the best moment of his career, Rohit agreed it was certainly up there with the highlights thus far. "This has to be the greatest time, I can say that. It's only because how desperately I wanted to win this. So, all the runs—all the runs that I've scored in all these years, I think it does matter, but I'm not big on stats and all of that. "I think winning games for India and winning trophies for India, that is what I look forward to all the time. And having this now right beside me probably has to be, I don't know, honestly, I don't know if it's the greatest or what but it is definitely one of the greatest, I can say that. Emotions were running high after the victory, with Rohit seen sliding onto the ground in the final over as the win was secured, tears of joy streaming down his cheeks. "I wanted this badly. It's very hard to put it in words because that moment, I don't want to say what I was thinking and what was going in my mind, but it was a very emotional moment personally for me. I wish I could capture that moment myself but not really, you can't do that but I will always remember that. "Yeah, those are the moments you wait for and then you don't plan these things, it just happens because you're so desperate for certain things in life and I was very desperate for this in my life. So, happy that we eventually crossed the line this time," he added. Rohit brought the trophy to the press conference and dedicated the T20 World Cup triumph to head coach Rahul Dravid for his contribution to the sport and said "this was the only thing that was missing in his cabinet". "More than any one of us, I think he deserved that trophy. What he has done for Indian cricket for the past 20-25 years, I think this was the only thing that was missing in his cabinet. I am very happy from all of us on behalf of the entire team that we could actually do this for him. You saw how proud he was and how excited he was. He's done so much for Indian cricket when he played. Over the last three years, he has worked hard with this team. "He has had to suppress his instincts on many an occasion because it is not that easy for the boys to match his wavelength. So Rahul bhai suppressed himself. He learnt what the boys wanted. He prioritised that. Rahul bhai did that for the whole team. He tried to understand what the boys wanted, and what is needed to be given to the boys. Because eventually we have to do the job, Rahul bhai can't go and bat. "For three years he has provided the boys role clarity. The boys who are not with the team, he has stayed in touch with them: keep telling him what is up with the team, when they can come ack, what their role will be when they come back. Rahul is a studious person. He was the first one to take care of this when he came: we have to tell the boys what we want from them," said the Indian skipper. The 37-year-old further revealed that he had made it very clear that regardless of the pitch conditions, the team must focus on scoring runs and then battle it out. "I'm a believer of just having runs on the board in big games. That's how my mind works. It is not necessary that everyone thinks like that in the team. But I have a decision to make and I made it very clear that no matter how the pitch is, whatever it is, we have to try and put runs on the board and then fight it out. You have the talent in your bowling and I have seen what the guys have done with the ball. So, I had that confidence that whatever score we have, we can try and defend it," he said. He added that even if the result had not gone in their favour, he would have fully supported the decision to bat first. "I know the result came in our favour, but even if the result didn't come in our favour, I would have still completely backed the decision of batting first. Although I thought the pitch really played well, throughout the 40 overs the pitch was really good. It didn't grip as such, which we really thought it would after the first half, with the sun beating down so hard, there is no grass on the pitch, it looks a lot drier. "But obviously a lot of rolling and water must have gone in there to make it nice and hard. But, yeah, that was the thought and we were very clear with that decision as well, that we want to put runs on the board and try and defend it later," said Rohit. Rohit signed off, praising a whole host of contributors to the win in the final. "I am very lucky to have players like this in my squad, players who are playing for me and Team India - really, really grateful and thankful as well." --IANS bc/

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