“Dhoni finishes off in style, a magnificent strike into the crowd, India lifts the world cup after 28 years.”
These words of Ravi Shastri and that sixer by Dhoni are still fresh in my memories. It seems like it happened just yesterday that India won the ODI Cricket World Cup.
It has been an year and today,the 2nd of April is the first anniversary of that joy, happiness and one of the proudest moment of my life. I still remember when India lost badly in 2007 world cup. My father and uncle who saw India lifting the ODI Cricket World Cup in 1983 are a huge fan of that ‘83 winning team and they always criticize the new team’s players and compare these players with the players of that team. They say that the 83 team was much stronger than this current team.
I always wished to God that even I want to see India winning the ODI Cricket World cup. My wish came true on 2 April 2011.
India started superbly in this tournament and they performed as one of the favorites’ of this tournament when they beat Bangladesh (because of whom they got out of world cup 2007) by 87 runs.
India showed their strength of batting in the first game when they scored 370-4 in 50 overs. Sehwag (175) and Kohli (100* which is his first century in world cup) scored their brilliant hundred.
India had very strong batting line up but they had an average bowling line up. This weakness of India came to notice in almost every match and it affected them a lot in the 2nd match against England , when England score 338 in their 50 overs in reply to India’s 338 in 50 overs.
India’s one more weakness came to scene in this match and that was not using the batting powerplay properly and therefore collapsing in the batting powerplay.
India won their next two matches against Ireland and Netherlands.
Their next match was against South Africa and India’s weakness of not being able to perform well in batting powerplay led to their downfall, from 267- 1 in 39.3 overs they were bowled out on 296 in 48.4 overs.
Though this too was not an easy total to chase, India’s average bowling was not able to stop South Africa from chasing this 296.
In the next match against West Indies, Yuvraj Singh who was in top form of his life in this tournament scored a brilliant hundred. Against a weak batting line up as compared to other teams India’s average bowling performed better than previous matches.
Even in this match India got bowled out in less than 50 overs. That was the third time that they were not able to play all the 50 overs.
After this league match India entered into the quarterfinal. This was a lot bigger than the final, as it was against Australia. In this critical match India’s bowling performed much better and restricted the mighty Australians on 260. In its defence, India started good towards this total but they lost somewhere in the middle of their inning, but Yuvraj Singh again came like a bollywood hero and started hitting Australian bowlers all around the park and took India into the semis where they had to meet Pakistan.
Naturally, the semifinal between India and Pakistan was the match more important than the final. Most of the Indians and Pakistani fans wanted their team to win this game at any cost.
India batted first in this game and with the help of Sachin’s 85 and Raina’s 36 in the end, India managed to score 260 in the 50 overs.
260 was not at all a huge total for Pakistan and they started very well. They were at 70-1 in 15.2 and then Hafeez played a foolish undefined shot on munaf’s bowl and got caught out by Dhoni. Ravi Shastri said at that time” Now this opens up the contest” and it certainly did.
After that wicket India tightened the screws which made the run rate climb up and then India’s top performer of the tournament came for bowl that helped India grab two wickets in two overs.This put Pakistan back in yard from where they never came back and India won the semifinal by 29 runs.They entered for the third time into the world cup FINAL.
In the final, Srilanka batted first and Mahela scored a brilliant century. In the end India again did not bowl well and in batting power play gave Srilanka to score 275 in their 50 overs.
When India came for reply they were shattered by Malinga at start. He removed both Sachin and Sehwag and left India with 31-2 in 6.1 overs. After that, Kohli and Gambhir played reasonably well and maintained the required run rate. It appeared like they would take this game away from Srilanka but Dilshan removed Kohli by taking a brilliant return catch on his own bowling.
Dhoni surprised everyone and came to bat before Yuvraj who was performing superbly in that tournament.
After that it was Dhoni and Gambhir show. Gambhir with his quality shots which went most of the time in gaps and Dhoni with his strong bottom hand took India to the victory. Sadly, Gambhir was not able to make it to his 100 and got bowled out on 97.
Inspite of that, Dhoni was very determined and took India to the 2nd world cup title.
It was a match no one will ever forget, a tournament that still brings joy and is a proud moment for all the Indians.
On this first anniversary of world cup 2011 win, I want to THANK all the team members and staff members and coach “Gary Kristen” for bringing such a proud moment for us.
Chak dia India.