Captain Rohit Sharma is hurt the most, leaving coach Rahul Dravid to do the post-match fire fighting. (PTI/file photo)
Ahmedabad: After a Perfect 10, Team India dived down to zero in Sunday’s World Cup final, leaving cricket fans heart-broken. The wounds are deep and will take much time to heal. Captain Rohit Sharma is hurt the most and left coach Rahul Dravid to do the post-match fire fighting.
The Wall put up a stony front and attributed the slip to "a tough day at the office."
"There is disappointment in the dressing room but we ran a really good campaign and I am proud of the boys for the quality of cricket we played right through this tournament. Just at the last step, in the final, we probably didn’t have our best game and credit to Australia, who played really well and were better than us," he added.
Without doubt they were. Australia read the pitch precisely, bowled brilliantly, fielded superbly to plug the boundaries and exerted pressure to affect regular breakthroughs when India batted, to restrict them to a below par 240.
"I think we fell about 30-40 runs short. If we had got to 280-290, and they were 60 for 3, then it might have been a very different game but credit to Australia, they utilised the conditions really well and got the ball to reverse swing a lot. I thought their fielding too was spot on," Dravid said.
Dravid felt the Aussies held their line when Virat Kohli and K. L. Rahul were trying to build a partnership after India had lost three wickets just after the first power play.
"They bowled straighter lines, used the slower ball really well and didn’t let us get away with many boundaries in that middle period. We were rotating the strike but weren’t able to hit those boundaries. And then we lost wickets (of Kohli, Jadeja and Rahul) just when we felt that we built a partnership and can start going. Also, the ball was stopping in the afternoon a little bit more than it did in the evening, when it came on to the bat a lot better," he explained.
The Indian coach also praised centurion Travis Head, who won the game for Australia.
"I thought he was exceptional. He got through that initial period when we were a bit unlucky after beating the bat a few times and then played really well. Also, that terrific catch (he took to dismiss Rohit Sharma, which slowed down the Indian innings)," he said.
Asked if he would be keen to continue as India coach since his contract officially ended with the World Cup, the 50-year-old said: "I haven’t thought about it, will do when I get the time to do that."
He applauded the Indian captain.
"Rohit has led the team fantastically well. He’s given so much of his time and energy in the dressing room to the boys. His batting too was fantastic, the way he set the tone for us. He wanted to lead by example. I just can’t speak more highly of him as a person and as a leader," he added.