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Rahul Dravid puts 2007 Windies ghosts behind, redeems himself with T20 World Cup 2024 trophy

Rahul Dravid puts 2007 Windies ghosts behind, redeems himself with T20 World Cup 2024 trophy

The West Indies, as a place, holds a bittersweet place in Dravid's heart. He may have had nightmarish experience as a cricketer in the Caribbean, but his coaching career has brought some happy and unforgettable memories. 

Rahul Dravid’s tenure as India’s head coach has come to an end. When things eventually come to an end, most are saddened, but knowing how Dravid is, he’d cherish every single moment of his final act as India’s commander-in-chief. Poetically, the West Indies, which gave him one of the worst moments of his playing career, has also provided him with arguably the greatest high of his coaching career.

The 2007 tragedy

17 years ago, Dravid was India’s captain and was leading a star-studded team into the 2007 ODI World Cup. Having reached the final of the previous edition, naturally, Team India was one of the favorites to lift the title. But as we know, that didn’t happen. Instead, India was knocked out in the group stage after facing defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Having played 3 ODI World Cups, Dravid was never able to lift the trophy. To add misery to that, one of India’s performances at an ICC event also came under him. So, when he was appointed the head of the Indian cricket team, he’d hoped to right some of those wrongs.

During his tenure, Dravid underachieved. As a successful India U-19 and A coach, everyone had high hopes. Under him, India wasn’t able to win the 2022 Asia Cup, the 2022 T20 World Cup, the 2023 World Test Championship, or the ODI World Cup. His last chance to leave a legacy was the 2024 T20 World Cup.

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One was hurray for Rahul Dravid

With a strong side and favorable conditions, India had a huge chance to break their 11-year ICC title drought. Of course, knowing that the event was being played in the West Indies, winning it would be the best redemption for Dravid. Rohit Sharma’s men started strong, beating Ireland, Pakistan, and the USA in the group. The Super 8s went equally great as they beat Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Australia.

But the next stage was where India under Rahul Dravid kept slipping—the knockouts. Having a familiar foe in the semifinals (England), the Men in Blue were reminded of the horror Adelaide semifinal from two years ago, where they were thrashed by 10 wickets. Put in to bat first in what was a rain-affected match, India rose above the pressure and expectations and made it to the finals.

The 2024 T20 World Cup Final posed a challenge that India hadn’t overcome since 2013. As if it were written, it was with Dravid by the side that India won, and two of their biggest champions, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, signed off as well. A fitting tribute to three of the best servants Indian cricket has ever had. Rohit and Kohli are known to wear their hearts on their sleeves, but to see Rahul Dravid so animated was unexpected and beautiful. He deserves all the plaudits for India’s victory in Barbados and much more.

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