But 9 years in the past, on a sultry Mumbai night time they joined forces to take India to triumph within the ICC 50-over World Cup after 28 years. When India gained the World Cup in 1983 beneath Kapil Dev, it was the bull run of the underdogs towards the then mighty West Indies. A sporting miracle within the proportions of Miracle of Belo Horizante.
But the 2011 World Cup was completely different. It was staged within the sub-continent, and India performed their all however one match at residence. And by then, India had lengthy established themselves as one of many main cricketing nations on the sphere, and off the sphere a monetary superpower. So, the followers wished for nothing lower than a title.
The heightened expectations and the tag of favourites can generally derail a workforce. But India benefitted immensely from having a cool-headed Dhoni on the helm. Coach Gary Kirsten labored tirelessly together with his assist workers, making certain the workforce stayed collectively and in prime form. The tag of favourites for as soon as was not seen as a burden however as a motivation.
The steely dedication of the Indian workforce got here to the fore within the quarterfinal towards then defending champions Australia. The Aussies beneath Ricky Ponting was undefeated throughout three World Cups – 1999, 2003 and 2007 and probably the most dominant cricketing pressure the world has seen. Ricky Ponting made 100 as Australia notched up a difficult 260 however with Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh making fifties and Suresh Raina made a fast unbeaten 34 as India raced previous them at Ahmedabad.
India tamed Pakistan in a high-voltage semi-final at Mohali to arrange the ultimate with Sri Lanka on the Wankehde. Mahela Jayawardene unfurled a chic hundred to energy the Lankans, the finalists of the 2007 version, to 274/6. Now that whole is kind of huge in a closing. India had been undoubtedly on the backfoot after they started the chase.
In Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Thissara Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara, Lankans had a set of bowlers who can comprise any opposition. Malinga fired an early warning when he trapped Virender Sehwag leg earlier than within the first over itself. Tendulkar too didn’t make a big contribution.
But Dhoni and Gambhir determined to plough a street forward collectively. Unlike their persona, the essence of their batting is kind of related – take singles and twos and punish the freebies after they come their method. The strategy could look fairly ugly however vastly efficient because it allowed them to gather runs devoid of danger and India at all times stayed throughout the neighborhood of the asking fee.
It was the second time Gambhir performed a pivotal innings in a World Cup closing after his fifty towards Pakistan within the ICC World T20 title conflict towards Pakistan in 2007. 100 there was for his taking on the Wankhede however a reasonably causal shot towards Perera ended his vigil at 97.
India wanted an additional 54 runs at that stage however Dhoni, who promoted himself to No 5, regardless of being in appreciable bodily discomfort guided India previous the goal within the firm of Yuvraj Singh. It was fairly apt that Dhoni hammered the successful six off Kulasekara deep into the long-on stand and Yuvraj witnessed it from the opposite finish.
The closing, in actual fact, was the approaching collectively of three most vital gamers India had in that World Cup – Dhoni, Yuvraj, later adjudged participant of the event, and Gambhir. The cricketing motion ended with that immense shot however the night time didn’t.
Team members partied arduous, the Mumbai crowd by no means slept as they turned Marine Drive into an enormous get together place. It was an evening in contrast to another. Magical. And the recollections are nonetheless magical.
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