Crying and hugging Rohit after the World Cup win will be forever special memory: Kohli

Indian team celebrated the WC win in front of thousands of passionate Mumbai fans. (PC: ICC)

It felt like all of Mumbai was out in full force last night, celebrating the magnificent victory alongside the World Champions, as the bus transporting Rohit Sharma and his team journeyed to the iconic Wankhede stadium. The parade was highlighted by loud cheers for the triumphant Indian team, with thousands participating in the grand festivities.

Fans cheered with slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, and ‘India India’. It was an emotional moment for both the Indian team and their supporters. The usually calm and collected Rohit Sharma was seen dancing, first in Delhi, and later in his hometown of Mumbai, with fans chanting his name. It was a rare sight to see Rohit so emotional, and for Virat Kohli, it was a special memory to witness this side of his longtime teammate.

“Crying and hugging Rohit after the World Cup win will be a forever special memory,” noted Kohli. “Rohit and I have been striving for this trophy for so long. Our only aim was to win the World Cup for the country. This is the first time in 15 years of playing together that I’ve seen Rohit show so much emotion on the field.”

Jasprit Bumrah, who spearheaded the team’s bowling attack, has been receiving widespread acclaim for his outstanding performances. Like many Indians, Kohli found it hard to find the right words to describe Bumrah’s impact. “He is a once-in-a-generation bowler,” said Kohli.

For Bumrah, this World Cup win, his first since debuting in 2016, was an especially “surreal” experience.

“After winning the trophy, it was unreal,” said Bumrah. “I am at a loss for words, I cried two or three times after winning, seeing my son there and winning the World Cup. I am going to miss this love. What I saw on the streets tonight, I won’t forget it.”

In the team environment, players frequently acknowledge each other’s contributions. Moments before Kohli praised Bumrah, Rohit doffed his hat to vice-captain Hardik Pandya.

“Hardik was bowling the final over for us (versus South Africa). Hats off to him for bowling that last over,” said Rohit. “You know, no matter how many runs you need, there is always so much pressure to bowl that over. But hats off to him.”

During the final phase of Rahul Dravid’s tenure as head coach, the Indian team reached the finals of all three ICC events within 13 months, ultimately clinching victory in the third attempt. For India, it was an 11-year wait, but for Dravid, it spanned over two decades. He decided to extend his stint with the team after a heartfelt phone conversation with the captain.

“For Rohit to pick up the phone and say, ‘Rahul, let’s have one more crack at it in six or eight months’ time,’” revealed Dravid. “It will be lovely to have a crack at it together. I am so thankful because I had the chance to work with an exceptionally great bunch of boys. But also to experience what I have experienced in Barbados and to experience what I have done here. Truly grateful and probably one of the best phone calls that I have received in my life.”

The day concluded with the entire Indian team singing the patriotic anthem “Vande Mataram” at the packed Wankhede Stadium, where the champions’ felicitation ceremony was held. Despite the long and exhausting day, the players remained energised, enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their careers.