Wanted to go back to the hotel ASAP: Chahal recalls distressing World Cup exit
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Over two months after India’s exit from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has revealed the state of despondence in the dressing room that followed the loss to New Zealand in the semi-final.
India’s No.10 in the 240-run chase, Chahal walked out to bat at the fall of M.S. Dhoni’s wicket, which had all but extinguished India’s hopes. Chahal could add only five more runs to the total, before being the final wicket to fall, as India ended 18 runs short.
“It was my first World Cup, and when Mahi bhai [Dhoni] got out and I was going in [to bat], I was trying to hold back my tears. It was so depressing,” Chahal said at an event in New Delhi.
Dhoni provided a calm supporting hand to the enterprising Ravindra Jadeja during India’s pursuit in Manchester, after they had lost their top-three batsmen with the team score at 5, which further reduced to 92/6 by the 31st over. Their 116-run stand raised chances of a dramatic fightback, but Jadeja’s dismissal sent the equation into a tizzy, and Martin Guptill’s run out of Dhoni, off a direct hit, proved to be the final nail.
The result of the rain-hit game, played over two days, ended India’s pursuit of a third 50-over World Cup title, truncating a dominating campaign that saw them top the group stages with seven wins in nine games.
“We played so well for nine games but suddenly we were going out of the tournament. Rain wasn’t in our hands and so it won’t be right to say anything [about the interruption]. It was the first time that we really wanted to go back to the hotel as soon as possible (ASAP) from the ground,” he said.
“I want to win at least one World Cup. I think the way we have been playing and how our team is shaping up currently, it’s a positive sign. We won in New Zealand, Australia and West Indies and if we win the T20 World Cup next year, all the noise will die down,” he added.