January 22, 2022

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The Thrilling world cup of 2011 ; India v Sri Lanka

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To fans who watched it live, MS Dhoni hitting THAT six into the stands feels like a recent event. Indians have relived and rejoiced the moment so much that it feels unreal to comprehend that a decade has passed since Ravi Shastri’s booming voice sent a nation into delirium.
No team that had staged the World Cup before had ever won it till then. However, India had one factor more worrying than this piece of statistical history. The team had no proper all-
rounder in the squad, implying that they either had to play five bowlers or rely on part-time options.

The 2011 World Cup though belonged
An elegant left-hander capable any bowling attack with his bat array of shots contributed with equal with the ball in hand. A left-arm bowler considered a part-time spinner took the mantle of being India’s the fifth bowling option. The man of the tournament, Yuvraj won four manbof the match awards during the dream run where he scored 303 runs and took 8 wickets against teams. He delivered his most impactful against Australia in the quarter-final,
reigning World Champions from three editions. As Dhoni cut a ball backward point, India found themselves five down for 187, still needing 75 off 75 Counter-attacking with a glorious stitched an unbeaten 74-run partnership Raina, who scored a 28-ball 34 himself Australia’s reign of three consecutive World cup wins after hitting 3 boundaries Yuvraj got to his knees and let out a roar an image that has lingered in memory since.

On the stage of the big final, after Sehwag and Tendulkar failed to get going, it was Gambhir with a gritty 97 and the captain himself – choosing to bat higher up the order despite a quiet tournament till then – hit a flamboyant 91* to get India home. Looking to utilize his ability to pick Muttiah Muralitharan better, something that he learnt after keeping to him in the lPL, Dhoni nullified the Lankan spin threat to ensure a win for India that seems comfortable in hindsight. The 35-run knock from then 22- year Virat Kohli was crucial as well, as he had walked into the cauldron after Lasith Malinga chipped-off the openers early. Along with Gambhir, he absorbed the pressure and made Dhoni’s job a little easier.

In what was a perfect team effort throughout the tournament, the captain chose the opportune moment to lead by example and finish it off in style, sparking joyous tears among the players and support staff. While the players were carrying the man who carried the burden of a nation for 22 years on their shoulders, the cricket-crazy population of more than a billion left all inhibitions behind to come out on the streets and celebrate. Even after a decade, the emotions of that night give goosebumps to those who witnessed it.