Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma breaks silence for first time since CWC23 Final

Rohit Sharma

India embarked on a dream journey in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 at home, securing victories in all 10 matches leading up to the Final against Australia on November 19.

However, it all ended in heartbreak for India as they faltered in the final step with Australia clinching their sixth title on the night in Ahmedabad.

Australia break India's unbeaten streak to lift the World Cup | Match Highlights | CWC23

The Men in Blue had little time to digest the outcome, returning to the field just four days after the Finale. They faced Australia in a five-match T20I series, followed by the ongoing all-format tour of South Africa.

In the midst of it all, Rohit Sharma has taken a well-deserved break, opting out of the white-ball series against Australia and South Africa and simultaneously stepping away from the public eye. Now, more than three weeks after the Final, the Indian skipper took to social media to open up about his emotions after missing out on cricket's biggest prize.

"I had no idea how to come back from this the first few days," Rohit Sharma said in a video posted on social media. "I don't know what to do. You know, my family, my friends kept me going, kept things pretty light around me, which was quite helpful."

"It wasn't easy to digest, but yeah, life moves on. But honestly, it was tough. It was not so easy to just move on. I've always grown up watching 50-over World Cup and to me, that was, you know, the ultimate prize, the 50-over World Cup.

"We've worked all these years for that World Cup and it is disappointing, right? If you don't get through it and you don't get what you want, what you've been looking for all this while, what you were dreaming of, you get disappointed and you get frustrated as well."

The skipper was however extremely proud of the effort put in by the players leading up to the final, which included a 10-match unbeaten run. Setting a stellar example with aggressive strokeplay at the top, Rohit received solid support from Virat Kohli, who emerged as the highest run-getter in the tournament.

The likes of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul too chipped in with vital runs.

Every six from Rohit Sharma | CWC23

Rohit Sharma hit 31 sixes in the World Cup.

The bowlers, spearheaded by the formidable pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami, dismantled the opposition's batting lineups with remarkable ease. Accounting for 20 and 24 wickets respectively, it was the first time a bowling duo scalped more than 20 wickets for India in a single edition of the World Cup.

The left-arm spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav too played their roles to perfection in the middle overs, capping off a perfect team effort that led India's march into the Final.

Every Mohammed Shami wicket | CWC23

Every Mohammed Shami wicket | CWC23

"At times I thought we did everything we could from our side if someone asked me what went wrong because we won 10 games and in those 10 games, yes, we made mistakes. But those mistakes happen in every game," Rohit continued. "You cannot have a perfect game. You can have a near-perfect game but never a perfect game.

"If you look at the other side, I am really proud of the team as well because how we played was simply outstanding. You don't get to perform like that every World Cup.

Rohit also conveyed a heartfelt message to the fans who supported the team not only during the World Cup but also in the aftermath of the defeat, providing him with added motivation to guide India to future glory.

"It would have given people a lot of joy, a lot of pride watching the team play after that finals, it was very hard to get back and start moving, which is why I decided that I need to go somewhere and just get my mind out of out of this," Rohit said in the conclusion of the video. "But then wherever I was, I realized that people were coming up to me and there they were, appreciating everyone's effort, how well we played.

Extra Cover: Behind the scenes of the historic CWC23 final

The Cricket World Cup trophy was lifted for a record sixth time by Australia.

"I feel for all of them. Because they all along with us, they were dreaming of lifting that World Cup along with us everywhere we went during this entire World Cup campaign, there was so much support from everyone, you know, who came to the stadium firstly, and then people who are watching it from home as well.

"I want to appreciate what people have done for us in that 1-1/2 months. But again, if I think more and more on that, I just feel quite disappointed that we were not able to go through, all the way. For me to see people coming up to me and telling me that they were very proud of the team made me feel really good to a certain extent.

"And along with them, I was healing as well because I felt OK. You know, this is the kind of thing that you want to hear. It was just pure love from the people that I met and it was wonderful to see that.

"So, it gives you motivation to get back and start working again and look for another ultimate prize."

Rohit Sharma will be back in action to lead India in the World Test Championship series against South Africa, starting with the Boxing Day Test in Centurion. India are currently second in the WTC25 standings with a 66.67-point percentage while the Proteas are yet to play a game in the current cycle.

Cricket World Cup