Two years after India lifted their second ODI World Cup, MS Dhoni registered another feather on his cap. While it began in 2007 when one of the vast underdog teams, captained by a long-haired messiah won the inaugural World T20 in South Africa, it didn’t stop there. Across formats, MS Dhoni comfortably marked his territory till 2011. The Champions Trophy victory in 2013 made his record as captain unblemished.
India and hosts England met at the final at Edgbaston, which had already witnessed quite a lot of humdingers. And they were about to prepare themselves for another nail-biting finish. The Englishmen suffered their only loss to Sri Lanka at the group stage while India advanced to the final, unbeaten and unconquered. Three years after England captured their maiden ICC title in the West Indies, it was Alastair Cook’s turn to repeat the same on the home soil.
In a rain-curtailed encounter, England sent MS Dhoni’s men to bat first. The pace trio of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Tim Bresnan all bowled economical spells, never allowing the Indian batsmen to getaway. Broad and Anderson picked up a wicket each while conceding runs at six runs per over while off-spinner James Tredwell chipped in with one. Nevertheless, the pick of the bowlers was Ravi Bopara, whose medium pace yielded three wickets off four overs.
Shikhar Dhawan, who was the leading run-getter in the tournament, made 31. A young Virat Kohli top-scored with 43 after which Ravindra Jadeja, who batted at number seven, struck two mighty blows in his knock of 33 off 25 deliveries. Rest of the batsmen managed only single-figure scores while the extras accounted for four wides as the tourists dragged themselves to 129 in 20 overs.
MS Dhoni’s gamble proves to be fruitful:
England suffered a wobbly start of their own as their top four including Cook, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, and Joe Root were back in the hut within 50 on the board. Trott, who sat behind Shikhar Dhawan, in terms of a number of runs, made 20 before a brilliant stumping from Dhoni plotted his departure. After causing damage with the ball, Bopara joined hands with Eoin Morgan and revived the innings with a 64-run stand.
The capitulation once more began as none of the English batsmen were able to withstand the pressure. The 18th over seemed to be a game-changer for England as Morgan hammered a six off the second ball from Ishant Sharma while the next two deliveries went for a wide. The clash swung in India’s favour again Ishant plucked Morgan and Bopara in successive deliveries for 33 and 30 respectively.
With the Three Lions still requiring 19 runs off the final two, things got even tougher for them. Jadeja’s off-spin removed Jos Buttler for a duck while Bresnan found himself miles shot as Rohit Sharma came in from cover to effect a run-out along with the captain. Ravichandran Ashwin took over the responsibility to defend 14 runs off the last over. The off-spinner conceded just the one boundary alongside two doubles and a single to script a memorable win by five runs in a low-scoring encounter.
Ravindra Jadeja received the man of the match for his spell of 4-0-24-2 and for making an invaluable 33 runs. Ashwin’s spell read 4-1-15-2 while Ishant’s 18th over proved unforgettable even as MS Dhoni had Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav to play with. Jadeja was also the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 12 scalps from five fixtures at 12.83. Nevertheless, the victory proved to be India’s last ICC title triumph as the subsequent years continued with the side ending their campaign with one or two steps short.