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Siraj & Rohit in tears, Kohli buries face after India's defeat

The Indian players found themselves in a state of emotional turmoil after their defeat to Australia in the 2023 World Cup final. The hearts of a billion Indians were shattered once again, with the pain felt most intensely by the 11 players who had given their all over the past 45 days.

While India did not emerge victorious in the 2023 World Cup, losing to Australia in the final by six wickets, the team's performance throughout the tournament was nothing short of a dream.

Despite their valiant efforts, sometimes things in sports are not meant to be, and this harsh reality was evident as India faced a similar fate to four years ago when they lost to New Zealand. The enormity of missing out on cricket's ultimate prize overwhelmed some of the biggest stars in Indian cricket, leading them to tears and sobs reminiscent of little children.

Notably, Mohammed Siraj couldn't hold back his tears, with Jasprit Bumrah attempting to console him. KL Rahul found himself on his knees, while Virat Kohli had to hide his face with a cap as he walked back after Glenn Maxwell secured the victory for Australia.

The most poignant sight was witnessing captain Rohit Sharma, who had put up a strong, sporty face throughout the post-match rituals, quietly walking off into the dugout with moist eyes once the dust settled.

This heartbreaking scenario exemplifies the unfairness inherent in sports. Despite doing everything right, the Indian team stumbled at the final hurdle. They had excelled in chasing down targets and defending them throughout the tournament, but on this crucial day, the pieces didn't fit together.

The Indian batting, which had instilled fear in the hearts of oppositions in the last month-and-a-half, could only manage 240. With the ball, despite making early breakthroughs at 47/3, India conceded a 192-run partnership that ultimately sealed their fate. Travis Head, the tormentor from the World Test Championship final, played what could be considered the greatest knock in a World Cup final.

Reflecting on the game, Head, named Player of the Match, expressed his excitement, saying, "What an amazing day! Just thrilled to be a part of it. It's a lot better than seeing the World Cup on the couch at home (on his injury). I was a little bit nervous, but Marnus played exceptionally well and soaked all the pressure. I felt the way Mitch [Marsh] took the game on set the tone, and that was the energy we wanted. It was a great decision to bowl first, and the wicket got better as the game went on.

It paid dividends, and it's nice to play a role. Again, it is something I work hard on and nice to hold on and contribute in front of a full house. Definitely third on the list and nice to contribute."

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