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Tears & Triumph: India’s T20 World Cup Win Marked by Emotional Farewells

Team India clinched their second T20 World Cup title in a thrilling final against South Africa. This historic victory was marked by the emotional retirements of cricket legends Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, making it a night to remember for cricket fans worldwide

New York: In sports, glory comes to those who work hard and never relent. Team India epitomizes this spirit, having pursued the T20 World Cup with unwavering determination for 17 long years. Their courageous journey culminated in the West Indies, where they were finally crowned T20 Champions of the World after a pulsating thriller with South Africa.

This historic night will forever remain etched in the minds of cricket fans as it was made even more memorable by the retirement of two superstars, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, from the shortest format of the game. These phenomenal players of Indian cricket achieved poetic justice by lifting the World Cup trophy together.

The Unforgettable Match

The final clash was a spectacle worthy of its grand stature. Facing a formidable opponent in South Africa, India had to bring their A-game to clinch victory. South Africa, often labelled unfairly as “chokers,” almost seized the moment. They restricted India to a slightly below-par total on a batting-friendly wicket and, thanks to the efforts of Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen, and David Miller, the Proteas brought themselves within touching distance of a maiden World title. However, in the last half-hour, India’s bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, and Hardik Pandya – displayed exceptional skill and tenacity to save the day, securing one of the greatest moments in recent cricket history.

India’s innings began briskly, with skipper Rohit and King Kohli putting 23 runs on the board within the first 10 balls. But soon after, they found themselves in a precarious position at 34 for 3, with the quick dismissals of Rohit, Rishabh Pant, and Suryakumar Yadav. It was Virat Kohli, who had struggled throughout the tournament, who rose to the occasion. His crucial partnerships with Axar Patel and Shivam Dube helped India post a fighting total after the initial collapse threatened to derail Indian dreams. Known for thriving under pressure, Kohli played a masterful innings, embodying the mantra “cometh the hour, cometh the man.”

india won t20 world cup axar patel rishabh pant mohammed siraj
Axar Patel Rishabh Pant and Mohammed Siraj during their victory lap | Courtesy: X/@ICC

Memorable Performances

Kohli’s relaxed demeanour and trust in his own game, backed by his captain Rohit Sharma, proved crucial. Rohit himself had been instrumental in getting India to the finals with stellar performances against Australia and England. But in the final, it was Kohli’s mature and sensational 76 off 59 balls which earned him the Player-of-the-Match award. This was his first fifty of the tournament, yet it came at the most crucial moment.

India’s triumph ended an 11-year wait for a global title and marked their second T20 World Cup victory, the first being in 2007. It was also India’s first World Cup win in any format in 13 years, after a series of near misses. This victory was sweet as India remained unbeaten throughout the tournament.

In this triumphant journey, skipper Rohit Sharma finished as the second-highest run-getter of the tournament, with 257 runs at an average of 36.71 and a strike rate of 156.71. His performances in crucial matches were pivotal, especially his 92 against Australia and 57 against England in the semi-finals. Rohit’s form was critical as his opening partner, Kohli went through a lean run until the final.

In a low-scoring tournament dominated by bowlers, Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav also made crucial contributions at vital moments. Pant scored 171 runs at an average of 24.42, while Surya managed 199 runs at 28.42. Pant’s consistency in keeping was a testament to his mental strength, recovering the way he did after his near-fatal accident.

Besides his batting, Surya was also exceptional in the field. The final over of the tournament began with 16 runs needed and Miller struck Hardik’s full toss which seemed to be sailing straight over the long off boundary. But Surya’s brilliance and sharp thinking turned an almost six into a vital wicket, completely derailing South Africa’s chase and leading India to victory. Surya’s catch truly proved the classical adage that ‘catches win matches’!

There were also significant contributions by all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel. Even in the final Hardik’s 3/20 and Axar’s 47 runs were critical in securing the hard-fought win. Hardik also excelled in the finisher’s role throughout the tournament, scoring 144 runs with a strike rate of 151.57; he also took 11 wickets in the tournament which reminded everyone of his exceptional all-round prowess. Meanwhile, Axar finished with nine wickets and scored 92 runs, including a match-winning 3/23 in the semi-final.

india won t20 world cup jasprit bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah | Courtesy: X/@ICC

This T20 World Cup will also be etched in cricketing history for the extraordinary performances of India’s pace-ace Jasprit Bumrah. While Arshdeep Singh emerged as the joint-highest wicket-taker among pacers with 17 wickets, it was Bumrah who stole the limelight with a barrage of incisive spells and crucial wickets. Adjudged the Player of the Tournament, Bumrah’s 15 wickets came at an economy rate of just 4.17, underscoring his dominance all through the competition.

Bumrah had delivered a critical performance even against arch-rivals Pakistan where he ended with figures of 3/14 from his four overs, conceding just one boundary. His consistency was evident during the Super Eight phase, where he bowled 12 overs across three games, yielding 6 wickets for 49 runs in just four days. His efforts were instrumental in helping India top their group, showcasing his ability to perform under pressure and in all conditions.

India’s strategic improvement in power plays and death overs played a significant role in their success. Their powerplay run rate of 7.77 and an economy of 6.29 were among the best, and their death overs economy of 6.48 was the third-best, reflecting their all-around strength.

Champions Bid Adieu T20

The finale was marked by emotional farewells as Kohli and Rohit Sharma announced their retirements from T20 internationals. Visuals from the ground were even more stunning as in a rare display of emotion, India coach Rahul Dravid, celebrated the end of his tenure with the national side.

In a nutshell, India’s journey to T20 World Cup glory is a fitting testament to their tenacity, teamwork, talent and indomitable spirit. The triumph in the 2024 T20 World Cup is bound to inspire future generations and will always remain a proud chapter in the annals of Indian cricket!

Siddhaarth Mahan

is a keen observer of the sports arena. Siddhaarth has been a state level cricketer. After a Master’s in Journalism, he has written several articles on sports and cinema. Now works in the Hindi film industry as an actor and filmmaker.

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