Remembering the World Cup 2011: India's victory
Updated - Feb 9, 2015 5:22 pm
Remembering the World Cup 2011: India’s victory: February 19 to April 2 2011, these 43 days of high quality cricket flew like a peregrine for the Indian cricket team and its fervent fans, the players displayed their sorcery with the willow in their hand and fans inspired the team by shrilling at the top of their voices in the jam packed stadiums across the length and the breadth of the country. The theme song ‘Jiyo Khiladi Wahe Wahe’ resonated in the minds of the followers throughout the 43 days itinerary and the whole nation erupted in the party mode as soon as Ravi Shastri roared “India lifts the World Cup” on air . Those one and a half month were nothing less than a fairytale for any Indian cricket team fan. Let’s relive those sumptuous moments.
Cast your mind to the opening match of the tournament, when India’s journey to the glory started.
Vs Bangladesh – This was build up as a revenge match as India’s loss to Bangladesh in 2007 World Cup opened the exit door for the Indian team. There was a bit of nervousness among the Indian fans prior to the match but blazing Virendar Sehwag(175 off 140) cleared all that anxiety and powered India to a comprehensive 370, Bangladesh did show some fight but 370 was always out of their reach .
Vs England – India was scheduled to play its first match on home soil against the England at Bangalore and the entire city was buzzing with excitement, The Chinnaswamy stadium was packed with aficionados of the game and the atmosphere was utterly fanatic. Match lived up to its expectation as after 100 overs and 676 runs match ended in a tie, this was only the fourth tied match in the World cup history.
Vs South Africa – After the wins against the Ireland and Netherland, India suffered a hiccup against the mighty South Africans, Men in blue lost their way miserably after a tremendous start from Sachin and Sehwag . From 267-2 India were bundled out for 296, losing last 8 wickets for just 29 runs and Proteas chased the total down in the last over to hand India its first defeat in the tournament.
India finished the group stage as the second best team in the group and it was deemed to play the third best team of the other group which were four time World Champion Australia.
Quarter – Final – Facing Australia in the knockout match of world Cup had to be one of the most daunting challenges in the last decade in the Gentleman’s game and the memories of 2003 WC final fiasco were still quiet fresh in minds of Indian players, so India Vs Australia Quarter Final was termed as a ‘VENGEANCE MATCH’ though Australian team did not look the most sturdy team on paper but they knew how to win the crucial matches, On the big day their captain Ricky Ponting lead from the front by hitting a sumptuous ton to guide Australia to a total of 260 which looked a par score on that tricky Motera Pitch, India were cruising once at 142-2 but soon they lost 3 wickets in quick succession to some reckless shots and preposterous running between wickets, still requiring 74 to win the two southpaw Yuvraj and Raina steered Indian team home from the jaws of defeat to set up a clash with arch rivals Pakistan in the semifinal.
Semi Final – Vs Pakistan – World Cup semi-final against Arch Rivals Pakistan at a venue which is just 250 Miles away from the Wagah border, not even the likes of Javed Akhtar could have written a better script than this, it was kind of a national holiday in both the countries as both nations geared up to witness the ‘father of all clashes’ .The Prime Ministers, bureaucrats, democrats, page 3 people all were present at the ground. It became like a political summit but that did not take any sheen off from the on field action.
More than the adroitness the match was about nerves, Wahab Riaz’s splendid spell bundled Indian team out for 260, Target by no means was mammoth but the pressure of a tense game played its part the Pakistan batsman looked a bundle of nerves and the alacrity showed by the Indian fielders was just remarkable, Pakistan were all out for 231 and India advanced to the final.
This match witnessed an earth shattering TRP and the highest ever in the cricket World Cup thus far.
The Final – “Tomorrow’s final is similar to a movie in which if each one of you play its role team will become the World Champions”, these were the words of Indian Mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton one day prior to the final and these words proved to be instrumental for Indian team .
Sri Lanka batting first posted 274 on board powered by Mahela Jayawardane and Thisara Perera, Chasing total India lost the two big guns Sehwag and Sachin early there was pin drop silence in the otherwise deafening Wankede Stadium, it seemed India will lose its way at the most crucial juncture but the captain fantastic MS Dhoni had different ideas, When Gambhir and Virat were batting in the middle a thumping noise in the dressing room came it was the determined, passionate voice of MS Dhoni telling Garry Kirsten that he wants go in next, Coming ahead of man of the tournament Yuvraj raised some eyebrows but in the end it turned out to be a masterstroke as Dhoni’s 91 of 79 balls steered Indian team home.
India was crowned the WORLD CHAMPION after 28 years the fans witnessed superlative joy, an unprecedented feeling of happiness. People gathered in numbers at every major street of the country and rejoiced like never before, be it Marine Drive of Mumbai, Connaught place in Delhi, Brigade road of Bangalore vor Hazratganj in Lucknow people cued up in thousands of numbers waiving flag, hugging each other and shrilling the patriotic clichés at the top of their voices, The whole nation celebrated it with the team.
In about a week time MS Dhoni will lead Indian team to defend its crown; it will be a mammoth task to replicate 2011 performance but this team in spite of its lousy performance in recent past will be a tough nut to crack for any opposition.
All the best mates don’t give the cup back.