‘I was trying to hold back my tears’ - Chahal opens up on World Cup exit

Chasing 240, Chahal walked into bat after Dhoni fell in the 49th over against New Zealand in the rain-affected semi-final which India lost by 18 runs.

India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action against England at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.   -  FILE PHOTO/ AP

 

World Cup scars are hard to forget, specially for a newcomer who saw the trophy slip by a whisker. Yuzvendra Chahal couldn’t hold back his tears when Mahendra Singh Dhoni got out in the semifinal against New Zealand in Manchester.

Chasing 240, Chahal walked into bat after Dhoni fell in the 49th over against New Zealand in the rain-affected semi-final which India lost by 18 runs.

Dhoni stitched a 116-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja to get India close after it was tottering at 92 for 6 at one stage. But Dhoni’s dismissal, run out on 50, crushed India’s hopes of reaching the final.

“It was my first World Cup and when Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) got out and I was going in (to bat), I was trying to hold back my tears. It was so depressing,” said Chahal on the sidelines of an event.

READ| Dhawan: 'I feel Dhoni understands when he should retire'

“We played so well for nine games but suddenly we were going out of the tournament. Rain wasn’t in our hands and so it won’t be right to say anything (about the interruption). It was the first time that we really wanted to go back to the hotel as soon as possible from the ground.”

India had earlier topped the league stage with seven wins from nine games.

Since the 50-over World Cup, Chahal has played only one ODI and has also been ignored from India’s T20 scheme of things ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup.

Asked about his omission, Chahal said his only job was to work hard and perform and not think about selection.

“Your job is to perform. when we (Kuldeep Yadav and me) came we performed really well. After IPL, our bench strength has got pretty strong too. Now if the team management is trying good talent, it is good that you know that there is competition and you have to work harder. You can’t stay away from cricket,” Chahal said.

ALSO READ| England's Sarah Taylor retires from international cricket

Chahal said he wants to carry on playing for five to six years and his only aim is to be a part of India’s World Cup-winning squad.

“I want to win at least one World Cup. I think the way we have been playing and how our team is shaping up currently, its a positive sign. We won in New Zealand, Australia and West Indies and if we win the T20 World Cup next year, all the noise will die down,” Chahal said.