An Indian newspaper has hailed Rohit Sharma’s team as ‘champions’ despite falling short in their quest for World Cup glory against Australia in Sunday’s final.
India entered the contest as clear favourites after winning their previous 10 matches at the tournament to cruise through the group stage and then past New Zealand in the semi-finals.
However, they were soundly beaten in front of almost 100,000 of their own fans in Ahmedabad, as Travis Head hit a magnificent century to guide his side to a six-wicket win and their sixth ODI World Cup.
India have failed to win a global title since the 2013 Champions Trophy, but have still been praised for their efforts this time around.
The Hindustan Times went with the headline ‘Champions, Nonetheless’ above a picture of a sea of Indian fans cheering on their side.
The Hindustan Times has labelled India as ‘champions’ despite their World Cup final loss to Australia
Rohit Sharma’s side were comprehensively beaten after entering the final as clear favourites
Australia lifted their sixth ODI World Cup in front of 100,000 fans in Ahmedabad
They also labelled Australia ‘a different beast’ when it comes to finals after Pat Cummins’s men peaked at just the right moment once again.
Cummins led from the front on the biggest stage, taking the crucial wickets of Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer after making the bold decision to bowl first as India were bundled out for 240.
Head then dominated the run chase after only joining up with the squad midway through the tournament following his recovery from a broken hand.
The Times of India recognised Head’s immense contribution in the final, while also claiming the Indian players were ‘heroes’ regardless of their defeat.
Their headline read: ‘Crown on Australia’s Head, Heartbreak for our Heroes’.
India have made a habit of reaching the latter stages of tournaments over the past decade without being able to get over the finish line.
They will get another chance to end their trophy drought next June when they compete in the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA.
The Times of India labelled India’s players ‘heroes’ after their heartbreaking defeat