“Dhoniiiiiii finishes off in style. A magnificent hit into the crowd, India lift the World Cup after 28 years and it’s an Indian captain who has been absolutely magnificent on the night of the final” As Ravi Shastri thundered these immortal words on-air, an entire nation went into a frenzy as the heartbreaks of previous years were finally exorcised.
It is exactly ten years to the day when 11 Indian cricketers, players on the bench, and the Gary Kirsten-led support staff fulfilled the dream of the entire nation on that historic night against Sri Lanka at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The World Cup win was a fruitful culmination of years of heartbreaks that Team India and its fans had endured ever since that miracle of 1983 when Kapil’s Devils shocked Clive Lloyd’s world-beating West Indies on the grandest stage of them and at the ‘Home of Cricket’ Lord’s.
Since then what followed were a series of either so close yet so far moments.
Who can forget the semi-final defeats in the 1987 and 1996 World Cup, that too on home soil? The first one being engineered by Mike Gatting who swept India out of the tournament; the second one orchestrated by feisty Sri Lankans driven by the desire to assert themselves as the best in the world.
Who can forget the 2003 World Cup final where the dream of a billion people was ruthlessly crushed by a juggernaut masquerading as the Australian Cricket Team? And, finally, who can forget those glum faces in the Indian dressing room as the reality of bowing out of the competition- 2007 World Cup- in the group stage dawned upon them?
Unlike the 1983 World Cup where Team India went as underdogs, the 2011 World Cup saw the Men in Blue go into the tournament as firm favorites. The India of 2011 was completely different from the India of 1983. The India of 2011 was confident, ruthless, ambitious and nothing less but the titular heist would have sufficed.
A decade later, still fresh in our minds 🙌✨
What's your favourite 2011 World Cup Final moment❓ pic.twitter.com/SgnDaAMZXB
— BCCI (@BCCI) April 2, 2021
But all was not hunky-dory for the Men in Blue during their 2011 World Cup journey. They started off with a commanding win over Bangladesh thanks to that maniac 175 by Virender Sehwag and maiden WC ton by Virat Kohli but post that, the path to the knockouts proved to be a bumpy ride.
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar smashed memorable tons against England and South Africa but India couldn’t win either of those games. While the England game ended in a high-scoring tie, the game against the Proteas saw the hosts lose their last nine wickets for just 29 runs in what proved to be a fatal collapse.
But, the one thing that India did brilliantly during that World Cup was that they peaked at the right time. They won their last league-stage match against the West Indies thanks to a brilliant ton by the eventual ‘Player of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh, who scored more than 350 runs besides claiming 15 wickets during that campaign.
Yuvraj was once again at his best in the quarter-final against Australia as he and Suresh Raina, who was playing only his second game of the tournament, helped the hosts recover from 5/187 to chase down 261 runs to storm in the semi-final where they faced arch-rivals Pakistan.
Suresh Raina once again played a match-defining knock- 36 not-out off 39 balls- to help India recover from 7/205 to post an eventual match-winning total of 259, which was defended brilliantly by the bowling group with every bowler chipping in with two wickets apiece.
And, then come the final, Gautam Gambhir’s brilliant 97, Virat Kohli’s crucial 35 and skipper MS Dhoni’s masterly 91 not-out of 79 balls eventually sealed the deal for the Men in Blue as they lifted the World Cup after a hiatus amid jubilant Indian fans.
As the nation recalls that epic triumph on its 10th anniversary, the architects of the 2011 World Cup-win took to social media to share their emotions from that unforgettable night.
Here’s how India’s 2011 world cup winning members are celebrating the 10th anniversary of that memorable victory-
Thank you for your wishes and prayers. As a matter of abundant precaution under medical advice, I have been hospitalised. I hope to be back home in a few days. Take care and stay safe everyone.
Wishing all Indians & my teammates on the 10th anniversary of our World Cup 🇮🇳 win.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) April 2, 2021
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) April 2, 2021
April 2, 2011 – a day when history was created! We wanted to win the WC for India & for the master @sachin_rt who carried the nation’s expectations over decades!
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) April 2, 2021
🇮🇳🏆 2nd April 2011 when we all indians became the world champions..thank you for your love and support,prayers can’t believe it’s already 10 yrs @sachin_rt @GautamGambhir @virendersehwag @imVkohli @YUVSTRONG12 @msdhoni @ImRaina @iamyusufpathan @ImZaheer @munafpa99881129 pic.twitter.com/ftOWWGyHUX
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) April 2, 2021
#10years of winning the World Cup, fulfilling the dream of every Indian around the world. It’s such a nostalgic feeling where I can relive each moment of lifting the trophy & making our country proud. It will be cherished forever. #Worldcup2011 #IndianCricketTeam @BCCI 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/IFOttlXbUr
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) April 2, 2021
It's been 10 years but there are many memories still afresh. 2011 World Cup win – The golden moment which always will stay close to my heart. What a night it was for one billion Indian fans! pic.twitter.com/UCi25KVbti
— Yusuf Pathan (@iamyusufpathan) April 2, 2021
— Munaf Patel (@munafpa99881129) April 2, 2021