Skipper Rohit Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli were in tears in the dressing room following India's heartbreaking loss to Australia in the recent ODI World Cup final in Ahmedabad, veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said.
Australia beat India by six wickets on November 19 in the final to win a record sixth ODI World Cup title.
After the loss, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Indian dressing room and tried to cheer up Rohit and Kohli.
But Ashwin said the dressing room witnessed some heartbreaking scenes.
"Yes, we were feeling the pain. Rohit and Virat were in tears, (and) seeing it felt bad. Anyway, (it was) not meant to be. This team was an experienced side, (and) everyone knew what to do," he told former cricketer Subramaniam Badrinath on the his YouTube channel.
Although India failed to emerge successful in the World Cup, Kohli and Rohit lit up the event up with their explosive batting.
Ashwin heaped praise on Rohit, both as a batter and leader.
"If you take a look at Indian cricket, everybody will be telling you that MS Dhoni is the best captain. (But), Rohit Sharma is an outstanding person, (and) he understands every single player in the team," he said.
"He knows the likes and dislikes of each of us and has a great understanding. He puts in the effort to know each player personally," he reckoned.
Ashwin played just a game in the entire World Cup, India's opener against Australia in Chennai, finishing with figures of one for 34.
Asked why Rohit didn't include him in the playing XI for the final, he backed the skipper saying it's not easy to change the winning combination.
"As far as I playing the final is concerned, the team combination and all is secondary. Firstly, it's about empathy, (and) I keep stressing it a lot.
"It's like standing in someone else's shoes and looking at things from his/her perspective. Had I been in Rohit's shoes, I would have thought 100 times about altering the (winning) combination," he said.
"It was going alright for the team, so why rest a fast bowler for three spinners?" he wondered Ashwin said he was prepared for the grand finale, but was not certain about his place in the playing XI.
"Honestly, I understood Rohit Sharma's thought process. Playing the final is big, (and) I was preparing for three days in the lead-up," Ashwin said.
"At the same time, I was also prepared to cheer for the side and run in with energy drinks if I was not given the opportunity. I was mentally prepared for that as well," the spinner concluded.
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