On November 19, India suffered a heart-breaking six-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, after winning 10 games on the trot in the tournament.
“I see India winning a World Cup very soon. It might not be a 50-overs (one) that easily because you have to again rebuild the side, but 20-overs cricket, the very next one India will be very serious challengers because you have got the nucleus, it’s a shorter format of the game. Your focus should be on that,” Shastri said at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.
Summarising India’s campaign in the World Cup, Shastri, speaking at the launch event of a pan India tennis-ball cricket league, “I think it was fabulous. To be honest, it still hurts from the outside, that we could not win the cup because we were the strongest team. The way the bowling stood up towards the mid stage of the tournament, you thought they had a great, great chance. But then nothing comes easy – even the great man Sachin Tendulkar had to wait (for) six World Cups to win one. You don’t win World Cups (easily), to win a World Cup you have got to be damn good on that big day. What you did earlier does not count.”
Shastri pointed out that Australia raised their game when it mattered, in the knockouts, coming back to win the World Cup after losing their first two matches.
“On that big day, that’s when you rise to the occasion. Even before the start of the tournament, you knew what happens (in terms of the format)…early doors are there, top four teams are there, semifinal and final. Those two days if you perform, you win. And those were the two days, Australia performed when they came from nowhere. They lost the first two, but on the D-day, the two days, they did. It was heart-breaking but a lot of our guys will learn, the game moves on,” he said.