KL Rahul knows exactly what it would mean to win this year’s World Cup in England, having seen for himself what a 2011 triumph on home soil meant to his fellow Indians.
Eight years ago, Rahul was a teenager watching television in a Bangalore bar as Gautam Gambhir’s 97 and then-captain MS Dhoni’s 91 not out saw India beat Sri Lanka in the World Cup final in Mumbai.
“When the game was over it was absolute chaos. The roads were blocked, everybody left their homes and was on the road celebrating,” Rahul said on Friday as he recalled the aftermath of India’s second World Cup triumph.
“It was an unbelievable experience to see so many people forgetting about their worries. Whatever they had going on in their lives, they were just so, so happy India had won the World Cup.
“To be here after eight years representing my country means the world to me. I’m looking forward to hopefully inspiring billions of people again and to win the World Cup would be the icing on the cake.”
“To be part of this team is incredible,” Rahul said. “It’s not just MS and Virat, there are so many other talented individuals — Rohit (Sharma) and Shikhar (Dhawan) and Jasprit (Bumrah), who is the most feared bowler in world cricket right now.