'They have inspired younger generation': Dravid lauds fighting spirit of Indian team

The Rohit Sharma-led side won the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean


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Photo: BCCI
Photo: BCCI

Published: Sat 6 Jul 2024, 10:43 AM

Rahul Dravid, who served as the Team India head coach during their ICC T20 World Cup victory, recalled the last time Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the team in Ahmedabad when the time "was not that good" and applauded victorious members, saying these players will "inspire the younger generation."

The last time the Indian team shared the room with PM Modi, it was the Ahmedabad dressing room filled with an atmosphere of gloom, heartbreak and distraught, but on Thursday, as the same team met the Prime Minister at his residence, it was a surreal display of pride and joy.

The former meeting took place in the Indian team's dressing room on November 19, last year, as the Men in Blue, after 10 dominating victories, failed to cross the final hurdle against Australia in the ODI World Cup at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium. The defeat had left the entire nation heartbroken.

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During these heartbreaking moments, Modi came to cheer up the nation's most cherished and beloved group of boys. He went to each player one by one, shaking hands and hugging them, comforting them with his words, and asking them to keep their morale up.

Dravid expressed gratitude towards PM Modi for the opportunity to meet during their ODI 2023 World Cup final match against Australia in Ahmedabad, which they lost by six wickets, and said they are happy to interact again on the happy occasion.

"I would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to meet you and during our match in Ahmedabad, you had come there as well, I agree, the time was not that good, so we are very happy that we could meet you today on this happy occasion," Dravid said during an interaction with PM Modi at Prime Minister's residence in Delhi.

Dravid, who earlier stated that India skipper Rohit Sharma convinced him over a phone call to continue as the head coach until the T20 World Cup, said the players' "fighting spirit" and "never-say-die attitude" will inspire the younger generation.

"I would just like to say that the fighting spirit that Rohit and all these boys have shown, the never-say-die attitude that they have shown, means a lot, the credit goes to the boys, they have worked very hard for this. It is a matter of great joy that these boys have inspired the younger generation..." Dravid added.

India's star batter Suryakumar opened up on his match-winning catch of South Africa's explosive batter David Miller during the T20 World Cup final against Proteas, saying that he was initially thinking of saving a boundary.

"At that moment I did not think whether I would be able to catch the ball or not and once the ball came in my hand, I had to pick it up and pass it to the other side... We have practised this thing a lot," Suryakumar Yadav said during his interaction with PM Modi.

On Thursday, after the Indian team left the national capital and arrived in Mumbai, the Rohit Sharma-led team kicked off the open-top bus parade from Marine Drive. Fans turned up in numbers, danced to the tune of India's success, and celebrated the arrival of the T20 World Cup-winning team.

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