Senior Indian pacer Mohammed Shami has shared that the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the dressing room served as a boost and revived the confidence of both himself and his fellow Team India players following their loss in the World Cup 2023 final.

In the final at the expansive Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India faced a 6-wicket defeat against Pat Cummins’ Australian side last Sunday, witnessed by over 90,000 fans. Australia’s outstanding bowling and fielding performances, coupled with a commanding century from opener Travis Head and a composed fifty from Marnus Labuschagne, secured Australia’s sixth ODI World Cup title. This victory marked Australia’s fifth title in the last seven ODI World Cup tournaments since 1999.

Despite winning 10 consecutive games, India’s hopes of replicating their 1983 and 2011 successes were shattered in the final, extending the senior men’s team’s ICC title drought for another decade. Reports emerged of disheartened Indian players, some of whom were visibly upset in the dressing room, including captain Rohit Sharma.

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Following the defeat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Indian dressing room to offer encouragement and support to the players and staff. A video of fast bowler Mohammed Shami embracing Modi in the dressing room quickly went viral.

Upon returning to his hometown of Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, Mohammed Shami reflected on the meeting with PM Modi, underscoring the significance of the Prime Minister’s uplifting words in boosting the team’s morale.

“It was very important. At that time, we had lost the match. In such a situation, when the Prime Minister encourages you, it is a different moment. When your morale is down, then if your PM is with you, your confidence builds up,” Mohammed Shami stated in an interview with ANI.

Mohammed Shami, who emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup with 24 wickets, is now anticipated to join the Indian cricket team on their upcoming tour of South Africa.