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Rohit Sharma emerges as the most popular player; Social media sees an explosion in fan conversations as India wins second T20 World Cup title

India, 01st July 2024: In an exhilarating match on June 29, 2024, India emerged victorious against South Africa to clinch the T20 World Cup title after 13 years. Held in Barbados, the final was a nail-biting affair, with India winning by a narrow margin. Key performances included a stellar innings from Virat Kohli, who was playing his final T20 international and was named Player of the Match. Jasprit Bumrah’s exceptional bowling also played a crucial role in India’s triumph, securing their second T20 World Cup title.

The emotional win was marked by the Indian team celebrating their long-awaited victory after their undefeated run through the tournament on the field, taking down a series of key rivals in Pakistan, Australia, and South Africa on the way. The tournament saw India showcase some of their best form yet, from Suryakumar Yadav’s masterful boundary line catch to dismiss David Miller, to Jasprit Bumrah’s consistent dominant spells to spearhead India’s bowling attack.

Each of these incredible moments only fuelled the celebrations of the Indian fans, growing more spirited in the stands and the online arena. The news of India’s win was also mixed with bittersweet memories, as three pillars of the Indian side, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ravindra Jadeja, announced their retirement from the T20 format in the aftermath of the win – making this World Cup a true roller coaster of emotions for Indian fans.

With the assistance of Sprinklr Insights, we’ve compiled a glimpse of the many exciting conversations Indian fans are having in the online sphere about team India through their many matches in the tournament so far – looking at the high points and most talked about moments and players that are driving the excitement for the tournament.

An Explosion in Fan Conversations

As the cricket fever takes over the country, fans sparked over 5.717 million conversations about cricket from late May to present day, with over 1.293 billion engagements – showing just how actively tuned in the Indian fans are to the sport and their online communities.

A majority of these conversations took place on the platforms of X (formerly known as Twitter) and Youtube, where cricket fan communities are the most active. Across the joint platforms of X, Youtube, Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, and news outlets, the combined conversations generated a massive 486.67 billion+ views in reach. Of this incredible number, over 89.41% of all conversations showcased positive sentiments as fans shared their excitement online.

As the country with the most die-hard cricket fans, it is no surprise that India also leads the global number of conversations about cricket surrounding the World Cup across social media – generating over 1Mn conversations alone.

As India take grand finals win, IND vs SA emerges as the new cricket rivalry to watch

The thrilling final match of the tournament was a true spectacle, as India met South Africa in their best form all year. The rivalry between the two teams, which has historically been lukewarm compared to the more closely followed IND vs PAK and IND vs AUS fixtures, reached its peak this weekend. South Africa put up a competitive performance, chasing a target of 177. The batting led by Quinton de Kock’s guiding 39 of 31 balls and a super power innings of 52 runs off just 27 balls from Heinrich Klaasen were the highlights of the South African innings.

However, despite a strong start, they struggled against India’s disciplined bowling attack led by India’s supreme pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who took crucial wickets at key moments and aptly backed by Hardik and Arshdeep at the back end of the innings to seal the match for India. The resounding roar from India’s victory thus drove the online world into a fervor that generated over 1,54,997 mentions and 24,480,256 earned engagements.

Rohit, Virat and Hardik Emerge As The Most Popular Players in the Day of the Finals
Virat Kohli was awarded the Player of the Match for the grand finals for his stellar innings against South Africa, while Rohit Sharma emerged as the most popular player on social media with 70,222,648 earned engagements for his consistent leadership and performance. This T20 World Cup would also mark the final one for three mainstays of the Indian side, as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Ravindra Jadeja all announced their retirement from the T20 format of the game following the World Cup win – closing their incredible T20 careers on a high note. Their departure from the game drew a flood of bittersweet conversations online, as fans shared their appreciation for the win and their tremendous performance this tournament to bring it home one last time.

Oman and USA Make it to Top 5 Most Popular Teams, Saurabh Netravalkar’s Brilliance Shines in the Tournament

The country came together to rally behind Team India for the World Cup, making them the undoubted favorites among Indian fans. South Africa also remained prominent favorites in online conversations, followed closely by Oman and Australia.

While the latter would not make it out of the group stage, Team USA surprised the world by making it to the Super 8; and has also gone viral among Indian fans for the many formerly Indian players who play on the US national team – who also secured an upset win versus Pakistan. At the center of this attention is the multitalented Saurabh Netravalkar – a former India U-19 player, who manages the twin roles of Oracle engineer as his day job and US player as a passion project. Is it any wonder that the US vs IND fixture generated over 51,000 conversations across social media, as fans found it in their hearts to appreciate the US side as well, with 5 Indian origin players who played their hearts out.

Brands join in to celebrate India’s big win

While fans rejoiced the Men In Blue’s victory, brands too joined in the celebration with online conversations. Whatsapp was the most mentioned brand in online conversations about the World Cup with close to 25K mentions across social media, being followed closely by Hotstar at close to 20K mentions, Dream 11 with close to 16K mentions, and Amazon with 13K mentions.

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