India is a cricket-mad nation and everyone wants a piece of this beautiful game. Indian cricket has come of age in the last 25-30 years, but when India lifted the World Cup in 1983 everything changed and that exact moment of triumph happened on April 2, 2011. Indian team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni made 1.25 billion Indians emotional and proved that there is no substitute for hard work and dreams do come true.
The very day of final didn’t start on an auspicious note as there was some confusion at the toss and it had to be redone and Sri Lanka led by Kumar Sangakkara won the toss. The SL team was very tense and started very cautiously against Zaheer Khan and co. Indian team was also playing this tournament knowing that great Sachin Tendulkar would be playing his last World Cup and everyone from Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh to Harbhajan wanted to win the cup for little master.
Rewinding the clock! MS Dhoni scoring 91* and hitting the winning six
Sri Lanka riding on Mahela Jayawardene’s masterful hundred put 274/6 on the board and asked India to create a world record as no team had chased this kind of total in the finals. Indian team controlled the game pretty well, but leaked runs at the death and now it was the turn of India’s much-famed batting line up to live up to their billing.
India got off to the worst possible start and lost both Sehwag and Tendulkar cheaply. When the Little Master got out, there was a pin drop silence at the Wankhede and many people were having self-doubts about India’s win. The great one had come into the match with 99 international hundreds and, like a fairy tale, everyone was expecting that Sachin would score the 100th century and hit the winning runs. But, this was Dhoni’s team and even after Tendulkar’s departure, Gautam Gambhir and captain Dhoni, who had promoted himself ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh, turned the game completely.
Mahi played a blinder of a knock and hit that momentous six to clinch the title for India and then the entire country went berserk and looked like Diwali had come early. The entire Indian team got teary-eyed and that man Sachin Tendulkar, who had given his entire life to cricket finally got a World Cup winner’s medal. The celebration lasted for the entire night and when 22-year-old Virat Kohli said that Sachin had carried Indian batting for more than 22 years and now it’s our time to carry the master blaster on our shoulders, it completely summed up the situation.
Even after seven years, it looks like it happened yesterday and that moment will forever be etched in everyone’s memory. India winning that coveted title after the wait of 28 years made it extra special.
Twitterati getting nostalgic and sharing their memories: