India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has termed the 2011 World Cup win as the best cricket day of his life. Tendulkar was playing a record-equaling 6th World Cup and probably as it turned out to be, his last as well.
Before this tournament, Tendulkar had come close twice, as India made it into the semi-finals of the 1996 World Cup and the closest when they were hammered by Australia in the final of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Tendulkar won the Man of the Tournament in 2003, but his hunger to win a World Cup made him continue till the 2011 edition, which was being played in India, along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Winning The World Cup In Mumbai At Wankhede, It Was Just Unbelievable, It Was The Best Cricketing Day Of Life: Sachin Tendulkar
In the tournament, Tendulkar had scored centuries against England and South Africa. He then scored an important 85 against arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final at Mohali to ensure India qualified for the finals. They faced Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium, Tendulkar’s home ground, as the Kumar Sangakkara-led Islanders were playing their second straight World Cup final after the 2007 edition.
Sri Lankan batted first and made 274/6 with Mahela Jayawardene making a masterful 103* and Sangakkara contributing 48. In reply, India lost Virender Sehwag for a duck and Tendulkar followed suit for 18, both falling to Lasith Malinga.
But then Gautam Gambhir (97), Virat Kohli (35), and captain MS Dhoni (91*) ensured that India didn’t fell behind the required run rate in a tricky chase against Malinga, Muralitharan, and Suraj Randiv. Dhoni hit Nuwan Kulasekara for a six off the second ball of the 49th over to make India two-time World Champions.
“When I saw Kapil Dev lifting the World Cup in 1983, it was an unbelievable experience. I enjoyed it with my friends and I wanted to chase my dream. I decided what may come, I have to focus and chase my dream of lifting the World Cup. In Mumbai at Wankhede, it was just unbelievable, it was the best cricketing day of life. How many times you have the country celebrate, many few things are there which the entire country celebrates,” said Tendulkar during Unacademy’s session aiming at Lessons in Resilience, Passion, Preparation, Innovation and more.
“The victory lap had one incident when Virat and Yusuf Pathan lifted me, I told them to ensure that I do not fall down. It was not just the Indian team that won the World Cup, it was the entire nation, it is all of us who did it,” he added.
Tendulkar went to play international cricket for two years more finishing his career in 2013 with 18426 runs in 463 ODIs and 15921 runs in 200 Tests with a total of 100 international centuries.