Road back To The 2011 ICC World Cup

Going back to the childhood memories, we have dreamed of playing for the Indian National Team and there were a few more memories back in those days. As India was hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup after 15 years so the whole country wanted India to lift the trophy in an impeccable style.

In 2011 people also understood that there has not been any team winning the world cup as the hosts. So the team along with chief coach Garry Kirsten started really focusing on winning it 10 months before the World Cup. They had a lot of time; and knew which players the team needed to prepare with; what moments they needed to prepare them for. They knew all the opposition that they would play in; they were very diligent in preparing to be able to be better than those opposition players in key moments.

There were a few standout stars who gave more than anything else to win the world cup in many games in the journey of winning the world cup such as :-

Sachin Tendulkar

Born in those days when India had won the world cup and had seen India lift the World cup under the leadership of Kapil Dev, so the Master Blaster was very well aware of the fact that this was his last chance to win what he saw as ‘cricket’s ultimate prize’. He gathered the Indian team together and told them that each of them must pledge to sacrifice something for the World Cup.

The dedication and hardwork put in by Sachin earned him the 2nd top scorer of the league and helped lead the Men in Blues to their 2nd World Cup.

Sachin did score 2 centuries and one of them was against England which was one of his memorable knocks as it was his 5th World Cup century.

The game against England, which was the 2nd game of the group stage and was a tough one played in Bengaluru. India seemed odds on to win, India was able to score 338 runs but in the end managed to just tie the match.

Sachin was able to pull off the show as he scored 120 of 115 balls with a strike rate of 104.34, but the top order had not supported Tendulkar, the bowling could be taken apart and the fielding did not suggest many in the team had taken Tendulkar’s advice.

There were hiccups: India lost to South Africa in the Group stage, despite Tendulkar hitting another World Cup century—his ninety-ninth in all international cricket.

But as the tournament progressed the whole team was able to stand up to Sachin’s expectations.

Yuvraj Singh

How can we forget about the player who scored 6 sixes in 6 balls, against Stuart Broad and became the first cricketer to hit 6 sixes in an over in a T20. Yuvraj achieved the feat against England fast bowler Stuart Broad in a T20 World Cup match in Kingsmead Durban to etch his name on the history books.

Yuvraj was one of the best players throughout the tournament but who knew that he was fighting with cancer during that period. Even before the world cup he was struggling with few injuries.

The crowning moment in Yuvraj’s career came in the 2011 World Cup which was jointly hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Yuvraj, who loves to perform at the biggest stage, also went on to pick 15 wickets in the tournament including two in the final played at the Wankhede as India scripted a famous victory in the summit clash and lifted the World Cup after a gap of 28 years. Yuvraj was named Player of the Tournament which further enhanced his reputation as one of the greatest talents unearthed from this country.

Yuvraj even scored scored a half century in the quarter finals against Australia and remained not out during the chase along with Suresh Raina.

Yuvraj remained perfect All-Rounder in the tournament and eventually won the player of the tournament scoring a total of 362 runs in 9 matches at a staggering average of 90.50.

Semi Finals : India VS Pakistan

How can we forget about one of the most exhilarating games of the the world cup.

So, India won the toss and opted to bat first, and were off to a good start with the help of Sehwag’s free scoring form scoring 38 in 25 balls.

Sachin Tendulkar scratched out an 85 that was quite the opposite of one his many routine, treasured, “chanceless” innings.

The big occasion in Mohali today didn’t quite find the alpha males. India’s World Cup MVP was sent back home within a minute of arrival, by a swinging full-toss.

India in the end managed to score 260 runs, it wasn’t a night made by India’s batsmen or even the improved Yuvraj Singh, now virtually considered the team’s fifth bowler, in his new all-rounder avatar, or even Zaheer Khan on a hot streak as a partnership breaker. The men who did the thorough rigorous housekeeping when 260 had to be defended were the ones who have not been certainties in an Indian starting line-up through the tournament.

Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel will never make crowds go wild. What they did against Pakistan all through their multiple spells of right hand-left hand art, was to ensure that the oxygen levels during the chase began to slowly drop.

Nehra was brought into the game because of the fact that the choice of bowler to step in turned out to be right, though, and Nehra knew what had to be done, and particularly how, in Mohali where the ball begins swinging for about an hour and a half in the second session.

Dhoni said that while India’s bowlers were far from express, their stock in trade was their deception and their ability to change length, line and speed depending on the conditions.

The difference between the 2 teams was the runs scored by the teams in the power play. Eventually, the difference between the two teams in the 15 overs was based on Sehwag’s innings. It may have looked like a typical casual dash, but what was important in this innings was not the casualness but the dash.

THE FINAL: INDIA VS SRI LANKA

India have looked more, sure of how they are going to get to their destination. They have won and lost tosses, they have chased and they have defended, and always they have known how to seize control.

The match began with the sort of drama that suggested the script had been written by a comedian. As the coin was spun Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan captain, called. The coin came up as heads, but the match referee did not hear the call over the crowd. It was decided that there would be a re-toss. Sangakkara called heads as the coin was spun the second time. It was heads and he elected to bat. 

Sri Lanka were off to a bad start scoring 182 runs for 5 wickets and then came Jayawardene, making, 103 not out and Sri Lanka finished on 274.

The Blues, could not have had a worse start. Sehwag was lbw for a duck to the second ball of the innings. Tendulkar raced to 18 off fourteen balls, but to the dismay of everyone, he went for a big drive off Malinga and edged a catch to Sangakkara. Kohli and Gambhir started the recovery, taking India to 114 before Kohli was caught-and-bowled by Dilshan for 35. And this is when Dhoni made the most dramatic decision of the final.

MS Dhoni already knew Muralithiran from CSK and would have faced less problems than other Indian players.

As Kohli walked back to the pavilion, instead of Yuvraj who had batted No. 5 or even higher throughout the tournament out strode Dhoni. From the start of his innings, Dhoni set out to prove why he was called the best finisher of a one-day game. Gambhir and he added 109 for the fourth wicket. When Gambhir was bowled, the target was in sight, with India needing 52 runs off fifty-two balls, Yuvraj now joined him, scoring 21 runs of 24 balls.

Four runs were needed off eleven balls. For Dhoni this was the moment to finish the match in the classic way he had often done as a boy in Ranchi. Kulasekara bowled the second ball of his eighth over, Dhoni, braced his left knee and with an extension of his forearms hit the ball high and wide over long-on. It was 10.49 p.m. Dhoni had not planned to finish the match with a six. The ball was there and he hit it. The shot became one of the most memorable in history.

Another historical moment was discovered in the 2011 World Cup the world watching, the God of Cricket lifted on the shoulders by the Indian Team and was carried around Wankhede.

There is nothing to suggest in that picture that he has captained this side to the World Cup and hit the six that won the trophy all of India had been seeking since 1983.

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