The Australians won the World Cup after Rohit and company failed in the final stage.
Watching live sports events in India is different for many reasons. First, the nature of the crowd is a good gauge of how the match is going. If India loses, the silence will hit you like a ton of bricks. On Sunday afternoon, at 3:30, a strange and uncomfortable silence fell among more than 90,000 people. Between them, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were involved in some rebuilding work, albeit a bit slow, on a surface that lacked pace.
It was a silence not felt by the Indian team since the start of the World Cup on October 8. Chennai, New Delhi, Lucknow… Kolkata, spreading joy. For nine hours in the ten days leading up to the final, they made tens of thousands of people fall in love again. They already have members. Now they are taking the country on an emotional journey. An epic was composed.
This journey was stopped at the altar by a familiar football team wearing familiar colors. Australian yellow canary. A target of 241 may be enough in the next few days, but not today. Facing a veteran winning team, the home team fell short. Jasprit Bumrah, as he often does, bowled some magical balls to identify the home team.
But that was not to be the case as the mercurial Travis Head joined the melee that ensured Marnus Labuschagne took them home with six wickets to spare. This uncomfortable silence – as most of Australia’s matches could have been played at a funeral – eventually fell on the field. “Roading in the blue ocean all around, it’s an experience you’ll never forget,” captain Pat Cummins said after the game. “The good thing is they weren’t as loud during that time.” Oh!
While some silence is understandable, the type of cricket this team played will be remembered for years to come. Of course, the “loser finalists” label will hurt them all. It should have been so, but it was a campaign in which they entertained themselves, winning big games in the running while adopting a more modern style of batting. Some may wonder why Rohit Sharma played a reckless shot to Glenn Maxwell soon after he had scored 10 off the first two balls of the innings, but that’s not the point.
This is how India helped reach the final. There will be subsequent studies to understand why the ICC’s mighty crown continues to elude them – in fact, it’s not a good idea to be without it for 10 years while controlling more than 75% of the sport’s total assets – but there’s no shame in losing out after giving it all what you have. That’s all you can ask for. After Maxwell scored the winning goal, several Indian players fell to the ground. A glorious dream met with a painful death. The theater of dreams has become a theater of tears. On Sunday morning, Ahmedabad woke up to promise. When the lights went out on the first night of winter, 16 hours later, the ambient music was eerily quiet.
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