IMAGE: Ravi Shastri wanted the India players to feel proud of what they have achieved over the last two years. Photograph: Ravi Shastri/Twitter
India head coach Ravi Shastri has said the World Cup 2019 semi-final exit was ‘hurting and disappointing’ but insisted that Team India are on the right track.
Chasing a modest target of 240 against a spirited New Zealand, India’s famed top-order imploded on a day when it mattered the most as it lost the crucial semifinal by 18 runs in Manchester on Wednesday.
The disappointment was visible in the faces of India players as the reactions on the faces of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni as they walked back to the dressing room told the story.
Ravi Shastri, speaking to The Indian Express, said he wanted the India players to feel proud of what they have achieved over the last two years and that 30 minutes of play can’t erase their achievements.
Shastri also revealed that he addressed the players in the dressing room and told them, “Walk out with your heads held high. Be proud. Those 30 minutes can’t erase the fact that you guys have been the best team in the last couple of years. You guys know it. One tournament, one series and that, too, 30 minutes of play can’t decide that. You guys have earned that respect. Of course, we are all hurt and disappointed but, in the end, be proud of what you have done for the last two years.”
Shastri added: “Hurting, obviously. Disappointed, yes, but no tears. This is a tough team. A magnificent team. Look at how we bowled. The way the batsmen batted. A couple of youngsters might come in the middle and make this even more stronger. It’s a team on the right path they know it.”
“When you have played good and tough cricket for the last 30 months, this loss in the semi-final would hurt. It’s a tough pill to swallow and we are all gutted, but this is sport. That’s why we play it.”