We lost, but we’re winners in many aspects

We lost, but we’re winners in many aspects

AS with any other Indian, WMV too was waiting with bated breath with lofty expectations as the Men in Blue faced the Kangaroos in the final of the ICC World Cup played at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, November 19, 2023.

It was not an easy defeat to accept for the thousands of cricket aficionados at the stadium and millions glued to the TV world over, whose expectations were sans frontiers after the Indian team’s record-making scintillating 10 one-sided wins in the qualifiers. 

The fans are disappointed because the team did not live up to their expectations. The only word of solace to them is, after all, cricket is an unpredictable game. 
In India’s case, luck was on the Australian side. Let’s see what happened to ace striker Virat Kohli.

The fans were stunned after Kohli's untimely dismissal. The third ball of Australian Captain Patrick Cummins 6th over was a back-of-length delivery that bounced a bit more than Kohli had anticipated. As Kohli rose on his toes to defend it, with a slightly angled bat, it proved to be fatal for him. The ball took the inside edge of Kohli's bat and went on to hit his stumps.

Though India lost the cup, the Men in Blue in the final and knockout matches made history and broke records – individually and collectively - in batting and bowling.
Kohli has been awarded the "Player of the Tournament" title in the ICC World Cup 2023 for his exemplary performance. Kohli scored a total of 765 runs in 11 innings, the highest-ever runs scored by a batter in a single edition of the World Cup. He averaged 95.62 and ended up with a strike rate of 90.3.

The former Indian skipper also added 6 fifties to his name, including the 63-ball half-century he struck on Sunday in the final.

Mohammed Shami finished off as the leading wicket-taker of the World Cup 2023. In 7 matches, Shami scalped 24 wickets. He also breathed fire with his four-wicket haul against England as India registered a massive 100-run victory while defending 229 runs.

Earlier on Wednesday, November 15, India set the record for the highest team total in the history of knockout matches in ICC tournaments. The Men in Blue made the record after scoring 397 for the loss of four wickets in the semi-final of World Cup 2023 against New Zealand at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

India broke the record of their rivals who scored 393 for the loss of six wickets in the quarter-final of the World Cup 2015 at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also equally exhilarated: Congratulations to Team India! India puts up a superlative performance and enters the Finals in remarkable style. 
Fantastic batting and good bowling sealed the match for our team. Best wishes for the Finals!

Meanwhile, Kohli scripted history on Wednesday (Nov 15) after he broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most ODI hundreds in the World Cup semi-final contest against New Zealand at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

With his 50th ton, he now has the most hundreds in the 50-over format as he leapfrogged Sachin Tendulkar’s tally in his own backyard of Mumbai. He also broke Sachin’s record for most runs in a single ODI World Cup edition surpassing his tally of 673 runs. 

Playing in the 291st ODI match, the Delhi-born batter scored his third World Cup hundred having also got out on 95 and 88 runs in the tournament. The hundred is also his 80th on the international stage as he was guarded with a standing ovation at the Wankhede Stadium. 

The feat now sees him at the top of the list with the most hundreds followed by Sachin Tendulkar with 49 while another Mumbai-based batter and India skipper Rohit Sharma sits third with 31. He is followed by Ricky Ponting and Sanath Jayasuriya with 30 and 28 respectively.

Modi wrote: Today, Virat Kohli has not just scored his 50th ODI century but has also exemplified the spirit of excellence and perseverance that defines the best of sportsmanship. 
This remarkable milestone is a testament to his enduring dedication and exceptional talent.  
I extend heartfelt congratulations to him. May he continue setting a benchmark for future generations.

The ICC itself has acknowledged the high calibre and professionalism of the Indian team. A day after the World Cup 2023 final, the ICC has come up with its Team of the Tournament. Six Team India players were included - Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami - while only two from winners Australia gained entry: Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa. Rohit Sharma was named the skipper. 

Sports help foster a sense of national pride and unity among citizens, besides instilling values such as determination, discipline and respect for others. Through sports, people learn to work together as a team and strive for excellence.
It’s not the victory that matters, but the spirit of it. Let’s promote sports and sports people.

Modi noted after the final: Dear Team India,

Your talent and determination through the World Cup was noteworthy. You've played with great spirit and brought immense pride to the nation. We stand with you today and always.

So are we, Team India.