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T20 World Cup 2024: Rohit Sharma calls win his 'greatest' moment

I think of winning games for India, winning trophies for India, Rohit said.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 17:32 IST

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Barbados: When Rohit Sharma smiled, threw his head back a bit and took a moment to himself at the post-match press conference, you knew something was coming. Meanwhile, the World Cup trophy, which he and his team had won about an hour ago, was still shining a beam of light on him from inches away. 

With his greatest triumph by him, Rohit leaned into the microphone and said he was calling it quits in Twenty20 Internationals. This came not long after Virat Kohli had announced his retirement in the format after India won the T20 World Cup final against South Africa.  

Even before the collective gasp in the room could die down, Rohit revealed that he hadn’t planned on doing it then and there, but once the question was asked, he felt no need to hold back. 

This was as good a day as any so he let go in typical Rohit fashion - clicks of the tongue and a broad smile peaking through his lowered cap - but this press conference was more than just a forum for a curtain call. 

This, expectedly, was one of the most emotional addresses the Indian captain has made since becoming the skipper. Excerpts... 

If this was his greatest moment? This has to be the greatest. It's only because of how desperately I wanted to win this. All the runs I've scored in all these years, they matter, but I'm not big on stats. I think of winning games for India, winning trophies for India. And having this now right beside me probably has to be the greatest. 

On his reaction after the game: It was very emotional. I wanted this badly. So, it’s very hard to put it in words because at that moment, I don't want to say what I was thinking and what was going on in my mind, but it was a very emotional moment personally for me. I will always remember that. Yeah, those are the moments you wait for, you can’t plan these things. It happens because you're so desperate for certain things in life and I was very desperate for this in my life. 

On being destined for this triumph: I believe that what is written is going to happen. I think it was written. But obviously, you don't know before the match that this is written. This is the game. Otherwise, we would have easily come and said, ‘ah, it's written so we can just hang out’. I think everything has to fall into place. As you saw, we were way behind the game. At one point, it seemed like they would win easily. The wicket was running well, they were batting well. We had options so it was important to fit in the plan. Maybe, good things happen to good people (laughs). 

On the message to the team when South Africa needed 30 runs from 30 balls: The message was very loud and clear to everyone that until the last ball of the game is bowled, the game is not over. Because that's what happens in cricket and you've got to believe that. And my job as a captain is to make everyone believe that. Every time we had the ball in hand, whether we got wickets or we didn't get wickets, we wanted to keep fighting. Keep fighting whether we are ahead in the game or behind in the game, we wanted to keep fighting because moments like this will never come again. This is the final. So, you have to give everything that you have inside your body, mind, and everything. Even though we were behind in the game after 15 overs when they required just 30-odd runs in 5 or 4 overs, the belief was still there. We wanted to fight, we wanted to fight. 

On where the game changed hands: In a game like this, there are a lot of turnarounds. I cannot single out one or two aspects of the game, but looking at where the game was when four or five overs were left, obviously that wicket of Klaasen when Hardik took that wicket, that was actually very crucial from our point of view. And then again, Miller's wicket at the back in the last over, that catch of Surya (Kumar Yadav) of Hardik's bowling was again superb. You can't forget what the batters did with the bat either. Virat (Kohli) got those runs, Axar (Patel) played his part, and then eventually we got to a decent score. And then obviously when we started with the ball, (Jasprit) Bumrah, Arshdeep (Singh) were superb. I don't know how much I can talk about Bumrah. Obviously, we've been seeing this with him for such a long time now. Whenever he has a ball in his hands, he tends to create magic for us every time. 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.

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Published 30 June 2024, 17:32 IST

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