Manchester, July 12 -- In a silent trail behind their captain Virat Kohli, India's entire squad (management and all) descended the staircase leading on to the Old Trafford field to shake hands with the celebrating New Zealanders.
Palms were met, backs were patted and brave faces were worn. And one didn't need to be a therapist to know that behind their masks, the Indians were hurting. That they were perhaps in more pain than any other defeated Indian team in the past.
India have lost in the knockout stage of World Cups before. The tears of 1996 (semis to Sri Lanka in Kolkata), 2003 (final to Australia in Johannesburg) and even 2015 (semis to Australia in Sydney) come to mind. But none of those Indias were favourites for the trophy.