ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 has a special mention in the history of Indian cricket. Be it fans or experts, the memories of the tournament are going to remain fresh forever in everyone’s heart. After all, the men in blue have lifted the trophy after 28 years and that too, in front of the home crowd.
It was a night when a billion dreams were fulfilled with MS Dhoni’s magnificent strike against Nuwan Kulasekara. “Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd! India lift the World Cup after 28 years,” – these words of Ravi Shastri still echo in every Indian’s ears who has witnessed that historic moment on the television.
A tricky chase of 275 was between India and the world trophy on the night of April 2, 2011. Mahela Jayawardene had already slammed a 103 off 88 balls and something similar was expected from someone in the Indian camp.
Playing a tournament like the 50-over world cup at home puts extra pressure on the players while it takes a lot for an individual to thrive under it. Amid a nerve-recking environment, the chase began at the Wankhede Stadium. But soon there was a pin drop silence at the venue as Virender Sehwag had lost his wicket off just the second ball.
Sehwag’s dismissal made way for Gautam Gambhir who joined forces with legendary Sachin Tendulkar. But soon the Indian fans suffered another jolt in the form of Tendulkar’s dismissal.
After losing two big wickets in the first five overs, India needed a strong partnership to calm down the nerves. Gambhir and Kohli teamed up and stitched a crucial 83-run stand for the third wicket before Tilakaratne Dilshan jolted the hosts with another wicket.
Kohli was gone for 45 and everyone expected the in-form Yuvraj Singh to walk out. But captain Dhoni made a stunning move and promoted himself up before his deputy.
In an exclusive interaction on Home of Heroes, Sports18’s newest offering, Yuvraj Singh recalled the moment and explained why the change in the batting order was made.
“Mahi going to bat ahead of me in the 2011 World Cup final was more of a team decision, I think. When Virat and Gautam were in the middle of a decent partnership, a conversation had happened in the dressing room. Viru, Sachin, Gary and Mahi may have had a discussion and planned that a left-right combination is needed in the middle because two off-spinners were bowling at that time. It was decided that if Virat gets out Mahi will go in the middle and if Gautam gets out, I will bat next,” Yuvraj said.
After playing a terrific knock of 97 runs, Gambhir was cleaned up by Thisara Perera. Yuvraj then joined Dhoni at the centre and the duo took the team home with 8 balls to spare.
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