India badly wanted T20 World Cup, says Sharma

BRIDGETOWN BARBADOS (Reuters): India are no strangers to heartbreak in major global tournaments and captain Rohit Sharma said winning the T20 World Cup trophy on Saturday was something they badly wanted.

India became the first team to win the title going unbeaten throughout the 20-team tournament in the United States and West Indies.

They were pushed in the final, however, but Virat Kohli’s stellar 76 and impeccable death-overs bowling secured their seven-run victory over a gallant South Africa playing their first World Cup final in any format.

“It is very hard to sum up what we have been through for three or four years,” Rohit said after a victory that left most of his team mates in tears.

“There has been a lot behind the scenes. So winning this game isn’t just about what we did today, it’s about those years, it’s all that hard work.”

India, the financial powerhouse of the sport, have been starved of global titles since winning the Champions Trophy in 2013.

They lost back-to-back World Test Championship finals in 2021 and 2023 and finished runners-up in their home 50-overs World Cup last year.

“We’ve played a lot of high pressure games that we’ve been on the wrong side of,” Rohit said.

“We now understand what needs to be done when the pressure is on. Today is the perfect example of what we can do with our backs against the wall. It was going South Africa’s way but we wanted it so badly.”

It was a fitting farewell for India coach Rahul Dravid, whose spell in charge of the team ended with the match.

The usually stoic Dravid shook the trophy and screamed in joy in a rare outburst of emotion by the former India captain.

Batting stalwart Virat Kohli quit T20 Internationals after producing a match-winning knock.

South Africa captain Aiden Markram looked dazed after suffering their first loss of the tournament in the final.

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