India badly wanted T20 World Cup title, says captain Rohit

India, the financial powerhouse of the sport, have been starved of global titles since winning the Champions Trophy in 2013.

India are no strangers to heartbreak in major global tournaments and captain Rohit Sharma said winning the T20 World Cup trophy on Saturday was something they badly wanted.

India became the first team to win the title going unbeaten throughout the 20-team tournament in the United States and West Indies.

They were pushed in the final, however, but Virat Kohli's stellar 76 and impeccable death-overs bowling secured their seven-run victory over a gallant South Africa playing their first World Cup final in any format.

"It is very hard to sum up what we have been through for three or four years," Rohit said after a victory that left most of his team mates in tears.

"There has been a lot behind the scenes. So winning this game isn't just about what we did today, it's about those years, it's all that hard work."

India, the financial powerhouse of the sport, have been starved of global titles since winning the Champions Trophy in 2013.

They lost back-to-back World Test Championship finals in 2021 and 2023 and finished runners-up in their home 50-overs World Cup last year.

"We've played a lot of high pressure games that we've been on the wrong side of," Rohit said.

"We now understand what needs to be done when the pressure is on. Today is the perfect example of what we can do with our backs against the wall. It was going South Africa's way but we wanted it so badly."

It was a fitting farewell for India coach Rahul Dravid, whose spell in charge of the team ended with the match.

The usually stoic Dravid shook the trophy and screamed in joy in a rare outburst of emotion by the former India captain.

Batting stalwart Virat Kohli quit T20 Internationals after producing a match-winning knock.

South Africa captain Aiden Markram looked dazed after suffering their first loss of the tournament in the final.

"Gutted for the time being," he said. "It will take some time for us to reflect on this.

"We've had a great campaign but this hurts. I am so proud of all my players and everyone involved in this team.

"We thought it was a chaseable total," he said referring to India's 176-7, the highest score in a T20 World Cup final.

"It was a great game of cricket, I'm chuffed with all my guys, it's hard not to get over the line but I'll always be proud of them."

While previous South African sides have tended to buckle under pressure, Markram's team have repeatedly found ways to win matches in the tournament.

"It changed quickly at the end there. But we were in a great position. We know we could've won the game," he said.

"Hopefully moving forward we can learn from this and use it. This will always be a proud day for us, regardless."