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Bhangra, fist bumps, and a huddle: Team India revels in T20 World Cup glory

In a rather animated display of emotions, Dravid pumped his fists while joining his players on the ground who watched in amusement as a rarely seen side of the Bengaluru-man went on display for the world.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 06:33 IST

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Bridgetown: The triumphant Indian team's celebrations at the Kensington Oval lasted close to four hours after a roller-coaster T20 World Cup final with players grooving to their favourite dance numbers and the usually reticent outgoing coach Rahul Dravid letting his hair down amid a general sense of relief for ending a lengthy title drought.

The euphoria carried on in the team hotel but before that, at the historic venue, skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who both retired from the format, and Dravid let their emotions take control after a gruelling month-long campaign in the Caribbean and USA.

It was the end of a wait that stretched over a decade and had its fair share of tears and frustrations.

Dravid, an undisputed great of the game who could not win a World Cup in his long playing career, usually does well to guard what's going on inside him. Not on Saturday.

In a rather animated display of emotions, Dravid pumped his fists while joining his players on the ground who watched in amusement as a rarely seen side of the Bengaluru-man went on display for the world.

Kohli, an antithesis to Dravid's personality, heaved a massive sigh of relief when India's win was sealed on the penultimate ball of the game with Kagiso Rabada being caught at long-off.

Standing in the deep, he too pumped his fist twice in the air before covering his face with his palms and heaving a massive sigh of relief as South Africa had the game in the bag not too long ago.

Then came the memorable visuals of Rohit and Kohli holding the desperately desired trophy with the Indian flag around them.

What followed was Bhangra with the boys in the middle with Kohli, Arshdeep, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj and Rinku Singh grooving to Daler Mehendi's iconic Punjabi number Tunak Tunak Tun.

There were tears of joy too both from Rohit and Kohli. Loud roars could be heard from inside the dressing room long after the outcome of the game was decided at 2pm local time.

At one point, it seemed the players just wanted to share their joy with anyone who would care to join them.

Rishabh Pant, who was coming back to international cricket after a life-threatening car accident in 2022, gifted his shoes to a fan in the building adjacent to the dressing room.

A sense of satisfaction and relief was clearly visible on Rohit's face when he came to the post match media interaction.

Choosing to play a high risk game since the ODI World Cup, Rohit finally got the much deserved trophy in his hands, seven months after the heartbreak in Ahmedabad.

"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," he said in his familiar nonchalant tone.

"I think winning games for India, 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," added Rohit before announcing his T20 retirement minutes later.

Dravid, who usually has long-winded explanations for everything that happens on the cricket field, struggled to explain his emotions for once. It wasn't easy for the man, whose entire reputation is built on being equanimous no matter the situation.

"I am not usually short of words but I have been short of words the last two three hours. I am not of those one those guys who thinks about redemption.

"As a player I was not lucky enough to win a trophy but I tried my best, it was not to be. I was lucky this bunch of players made it possible for me," said the former India captain.

A team huddle followed after the compulsory media engagements were out of the way with the squad members reflecting on a memorable month, an indicator of a collective belief that they indeed had done something special.

A category 1 Hurricane is expected to hit the island of Barbados on Sunday, potentially delaying the team's departure plans. If that does happen, the party will go on longer.

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Published 30 June 2024, 06:33 IST

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