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Entire Indian dressing room breaks down, coach Dravid can't bear to watch emotional wreck after losing World Cup final

Mohammed Shami's Stuart Broad-esque strategy against David Warner, Jasprit Bumrah's short-ball challenge against Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith's brain fade moment with the DRS sent the Ahmedabad crowd up and roaring once again on Sunday evening at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

The target of 241 was never enough from India, but with Australia stuttering to 3 down for 47, there was suddenly hope. Especially with the form that the Indian bowlers have been in throughout the 2023 World Cup, where they have been deemed the best-ever attack.

But Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne showed immense grit against Shami and Bumrah, silencing the home crowd yet again as the pair engineered a match-winning 192-run stand to break a billion Indian hearts.

India were the overwhelming favourites going into the final, and rightly so. They have their top-5 batters in the best of their form. The bowlers were thoroughly exceptional. Even without Hardik Pandya, the line-up never looked imbalanced as India scripted the most dominating run ever by a team in a World Cup edition, even ahead of their 2011 and 1983 squad.

However, in the match that mattered the most, India crumbled in the face of exceptional captaincy from Pat Cummins and Head's record knock of 137, leaving the home team utterly distraught.

There were tears flowing down Mohammed Siraj's cheek, KL Rahul on his haunches. Captain Rohit Sharma tried his best to hide his tears while walking off the field but his eyes gave in. Virat Kohli took the help of his cap. He was not going to let the world see.

Speaking to the media after the six-wicket loss in the final, India head coach Rahul Dravid admitted that the dressing room was an emotional wreck given the months of hard work they have put forth to get to this position of standing so close to breaking the nation's 10-year drought of an ICC trophy.

"Yeah, of course, he's (Rohit Sharma) disappointed, as are many boys in the dressing room. It wasn't, yeah, there were a lot of emotions in that dressing room. It was tough to see as a coach, because I know how hard these guys have worked, what they've put in, the sacrifices they've made. So, it's tough. I mean, it's tough to see that as a coach, because you get to know these boys personally. You get to see the effort they put in, the hard work that we've put in over the last month, the kind of cricket we've played. But yeah, but that's sport. That happens. It can happen. And the better team won on the day. And I'm sure that the sun will come up tomorrow morning. We'll learn from it. We'll reflect. And we'll move on, as will everyone else. I mean, that's what you do as sportsmen. You have some great highs in sport, and you have some lows in sport. And you keep moving on. You don't stop. Because if you don't put yourself on the line, you don't put yourself in games like these, you don't experience the great highs. And neither do you experience the great lows. And if you don't do that, you don't learn."

Having learnt through his days as a captain in the forgettable 2007 World Cup, Dravid reckoned that the team will bounce back from their loss and move on to achieve bigger things.

"That's sport, it happens. It can happen and the better team won on the day. And I'm sure the sun will come up tomorrow morning. We'll learn from it, we'll reflect. And we'll move on. As will everyone else. That's what we do as sportsmen. You have some great highs and lows in sports but you don't stop because if you don't put yourself on the line, don't put yourself in situations like these, you don't experience it, you don't learn," he said.

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