As the country celebrates T20 World Cup win, Sunil Gavaskar says ‘India’s standout performance of the tournament was…’ | Cricket News

As India’s victory parade moved through the Marine Drive before reaching the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the humongous crowd that gathered on the streets matched the Arabian sea just across the road.
Perched atop the ‘Champions’ bus, wearing a specially designed jersey, Rohit Sharma and his boys were visibly overwhelmed by the love coming their way in waves from a sea of crowd that surrounded the open bus parade.
The 2024 T20 world champions arrived home in the early hours of Thursday morning from Barbados and landed in Delhi, where they met Prime Minister Narendra Modi before flying to Mumbai for the open bus parade and the felicitation ceremony at the Wankhede Stadium
India had defeated South Africa by seven runs in a thrilling final at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 29, to win their second T20 World Cup.
Watching those scenes of euphoria unfolding in Mumbai, former India captain and 1983 World Cup winner Sunil Gavaskar was asked a question when he appeared on an ‘India Today’ show.
“What in your view was the standout performance of India’s victorious campaign?”
The batting legend replied: “There were several. If you have a look at what this team did, they were champions in every different field. So while there was ‘Player of the Tournament’ Jasprit Bumrah, who absolutely totally deserved to be the ‘Player of the Tournament’, the main man running the show was Rohit Sharma.
“So Rohit’s captaincy is something that has to be admired because never once during tense situations did his body language go down. Yes, we have all got used to some of his grimaces and stuff like that, but that’s okay…The way he handled the situation when it was not looking good for India, that is deserving of the highest praise.”
Thus, Gavaskar’s verdict was unequivocal.
“That is why his captaincy was the standout Indian performance of the tournament for me.”
He was further quizzed on where does he rank this World Cup win, considering he too has experienced it when India lifted a World Cup (ODI) for the first time in history, in 1983.
“It’s going to be pretty much at the top because of the expectations factor, the pressure of expectations that this team had over the last 17 years, ever since India won the first ever T20 World Cup in 2007,” Gavaskar said.
He added that with the introduction of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the expectations from the team at T20 World Cups only rose.
“Then the IPL started in 2008, where India got to play so many T20 matches with and against some of the best players in the world. India were expected to win the T20 World Cup after that practically every single time,” he said.
That pressure understandably increased, especially after 2013 when India won the Champions Trophy. For 11 years after that, the team kept losing in the knockouts of the ICC tournaments, be it the ODIs, Tests or T20 World Cup, with the latest being the heartbreaking defeat in the final of the 2023 ODI World Cup against Australia.
“This time around, the pressure was even more because the last couple of times, India got to the semifinals and the finals but were not able to win it. So the pressure was at its peak. Therefore, to come through that pressure and win is absolutely terrific,” said Gavaskar.

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