Dravid hails 'exceptional' captain Rohit Sharma, says tough to see the emotion in dressing room

Dravid said Sharma was committed to playing 'a positive attacking brand of cricket'

PTI11_19_2023_001117B India's head coach Rahul Dravid, skipper Rohit Sharma and other players after the ICC Mens Cricket World Cup 2023 finals | PTI

India coach Rahul Dravid has said it was tough for him as a coach to see the emotion in the dressing room. Hailing Rohit Sharma as an 'exceptional captain', Dravid said the Indian skipper was "very committed" to playing "a positive attacking brand of cricket."

"His batting was fantastic, the way he set the tone for us," Dravid told reporters at a post-match media conference. "He wanted to lead by example. I thought right through the tournament, he was quite superb in doing that. And yeah, I just can't speak more highly of him as a person and as a leader."

"He has always been available for any of our conversations, any of our meetings. Sometimes there's been a lot of planning, a lot of strategy that goes in. He's always committed to those things. He's given a lot of his personal time, and energy into this campaign," Dravid added.

Dravid said that Australia bowled well, but he "felt like the ball was stopping in the afternoon a little bit more than it did in the evening." 

"And not that there was a lot of dew, to be honest, but it just felt like the ball came on to the bat a lot better in the evening. There was that period where the ball was stopping. We weren't able to get boundaries. We were rotating the strike, but we weren't able to hit those boundaries," the coach said.

Dravid also elaborated on the emotion in the dressing room after the defeat. "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 and the sacrifices they've made," Dravid added. 

"That's sport. That happens. And the better team won on the day. I'm sure the sun will come up tomorrow morning. We'll learn from it. We'll reflect and move on, as will everyone else."

As Australia ended their campaign with the win, Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli were seen struggling to control their emotions. KL Rahul and Mohammed Siraj too broke down in tears after the match.

On future

As his contract with the BCCI ends officially, Rahul Dravid remained tight-lipped about his tenure, adding that he needed time to reflect on his future.

On how he looks at his future and if he is game coaching in a single format, Dravid remained non-committal. "I haven't thought about it. I've just come off a game. I had no time to think about this and no time to reflect on this. Yeah, I will when I get the time to do that," he said.

"At this point of time, I was completely focused on this campaign and there was nothing else on my mind. And I haven't given any other thought to what happens in the future."

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