This was a two-year journey: Rahul Dravid on India’s T20 World Cup win
By SMCS - Jul 1, 2024 3:12 pm
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Amid the jubilant celebrations following the World Cup, Rahul Dravid shared his emotions. In a moment of exhilaration, he lifted the World Cup with wild celebrations, although this was not the usual Dravid we knew. Typically reserved and a behind-the-scenes man he allowed his emotions to take over while lifting the trophy.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

“There is no redemption, I am not one of those guys who thinks about those kinds of things,” he said as quoted by Cricbuzz. “As a player I was not lucky enough to win a trophy but I tried my best. It was not to be. I am not usually short on words, I have really felt short on words in the last few hours. I cannot be more proud of this win, and the way we had to fight the situation. To be in the kind of situation we were in with 30 balls to go… the boys just kept fighting and kept believing. It’s credit to them and members of the coaching staff. I feel really grateful. We need to enjoy these moments because of what they have done in the pressure situation. It’s phenomenal and is lovely to be part of this team. It’s a memory of a lifetime.”

After the celebrations were completed, Rahul Dravid took all members to the pitch and thanked every one of the sides taking names, including the masseurs for their efforts.

He said, “I have been lucky to have had such a support staff. They are an exceptionally hardworking and intelligent bunch of coaches who made it possible. They helped us create a fantastic environment, led by Rohit (Sharma). With a bit of luck, it resulted in this trophy.”

However, one of the talking points of his coaching tenure was his perfect professional equation with Rohit Sharma. Both had tremendous respect for each other. Meanwhile, Rohit announced that the World Cup Trophy was dedicated to him as well.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma inspecting the pitch

“He, more than any one of us, deserved that trophy. What he has done for Indian cricket for the past 20-25 years, I think this was the only thing that was left in his cabinet. I am very happy that we could actually do this for him. You saw how proud he was and how excited he was. Really grateful for the occasion for this to happen as well,” the skipper said.

“He’s done so much for Indian cricket when he played. Over the last three years, he has worked hard with this team. He has had to suppress his instincts on many occasions because it is not that easy for the boys to match his wavelength. So Rahul bhai suppressed himself. He learnt what the boys wanted. He prioritised that. Rahul bhai did that for the whole team. He tried to understand what the boys wanted, and what is needed to be given to them. Because eventually we have to do the job, Rahul bhai can’t go and bat,” he further shared.

“For three years he has provided the boys role clarity. The boys who are not with the team, he has stayed in touch with them: keep telling him what is up with the team, when they can come back, what their role will be when they come back. Rahul is a studious person. He was the first one to take care of this when he came: we have to tell the boys what we want from them,” Rohit Sharma again said.

However, Rahul Dravid also said that he will miss Rohit as a person as he leaves this Indian team. He also said the triumph was the result of two years of planning and not because of the hard work of just one month as well.

“I will miss him as a person. Forget his cricket and the captain he is, what impressed me is the kind of person he is. The respect he showed (for me) and care and commitment he had for the team. Great batter and great captain apart, I will remember the person most,” Dravid revealed. “This is a journey of two years. I think about the construction of the team, the players we wanted and the balance we wanted. The discussions started when we started in September 2022. It culminated in the World Cup but honestly the disappointment of Australia (in the 2022 World Cup where they reached semifinals) and World Cup final loss (in India last year) also contributed. This feels like a two-year journey, not one month. It all came together here on a beautiful afternoon here in Barbados.”

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

However, Rahul Dravid took over the reins of the team in November 2021 after Ravi Shastri. Under his tenure, India won 11 of the 14 bilateral T20I series, 8 of the 11 ODI series, and 6 of the 8 Test series as well. India made it to two finals and two semi-finals of the four ICC world events and they also reached the final of the World Test Championship in June 2023 as well, where they lost to Australia. They also lost the 2023 World Cup final, again to Australia at home. Under him, India also became the No.1 team in all three formats. At present, they are No.1 in both limited-overs formats and No.2 in Test format, after Australia as well.

“What I can say is that the current bunch is a fantastic talent. The energy and confidence levels are on a different plane. I hope, I wish and I am confident that this is just the beginning. I am sure they will win many more in the next four-five years. There is no shortage of talent in this group. There was a moment when we felt that we are working hard and playing well but we are unable to cross the line. After this I am confident many more will follow,” Rahul Dravid concluded.