On return home, Team India fields questions from PM: How did mud taste (to Rohit), what was going on in your mind (to Bumrah) | Cricket News

How did the mud taste, Rohit?” “What was going on in your mind in your final over, Bumrah?” “What were you thinking during that game-turning catch, Surya?”

Seated between captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid, with the rest of the players completing the circle, Modi’s meeting with the team lasted more than an hour.

The Prime Minister was as curious as any fan, said sources. A few clips from the match were played during the meet-and-greet session, and he asked several players about various aspects of the exciting final.

His question to Rohit was about the taste of mud. The Indian captain had sunk to the ground after the final victory, pulled off blades of grass and a bit of mud from the famous turf at Barbados, and proceeded to put that in his mouth.

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To Virat Kohli, Modi is learnt to have asked about his mood ahead of the final, after not-so-successful outings with the bat in the tournament before that.

He also asked Jasprit Bumrah what was going through his mind during his final spell, the crucial 16th and 18th over of the innings, where he gave away just six runs and picked up a wicket. South Africa were on the verge of victory when 30 runs were needed off as many deliveries with Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller in total control. From that position, India’s bowling attack, led by Bumrah, orchestrated a stunning comeback.

Modi is also learnt to have asked Suryakumar Yadav, who took the game-winning catch in the final over, about the thoughts running in his mind during those crucial few seconds. Suryakumar’s magical juggling catch on the fence to dismiss David Miller played a big role in India’s long-awaited ICC event triumph.

Axar Patel was asked how he felt when he was promoted with the team in trouble in the final. Similarly, all the players spoke about their moments from the successful campaign.

Narendra Modi New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with T20 World Cup-winning Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid during an interaction, in New Delhi, Thursday, July 4, 2024. (PTI Photo)

The mood was in stark contrast to the last time Modi met the players after the heartbreak at the ODI final, in a sombre dressing room in Ahmedabad on November 19. Back then, the players and Dravid were visibly down, and Modi had tried to console them. “Yeh toh hota rehta hai, aap log dus-dus game jeetke aye ho (these things happen, you won 10 games in a row),” he could be heard telling them, even as he patted the backs of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

He also tried to get the players to speak out, telling Rohit and Kohli, “sunayi-ye bhai, desh aap logon ko dekh raha hai (say something, the country is watching you,” but only getting wry smiles from the two lead stars. Hugging a despondent Mohammad Shami, he told Dravid: “Kya Rahul, aap log ne mehnat bahut ki hai (you all worked very hard)”.

This time, however, there were smiles and laughter, with Modi’s interaction with Yuzvendra Chahal, the non-playing member of the squad, triggering much mirth all around.

Earlier in the day, the players landed in a chartered Air India flight early morning, changed into their official team jerseys and casual trousers/ jeans before meeting Modi. The team’s homecoming was delayed due to a hurricane in the Caribbean.

After meeting the Prime Minister, the team proceeded to Mumbai, where they went on an open-bus victory parade from the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) in Nariman Point to the Wankhede Stadium.

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