April 2, 2011! Memories of that historic moment still resonate among every cricket lover, when India defeated Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium. Wow! India emerged world champions after 28 years! Under a charismatic MS Dhoni, a relatively young Indian side played their hearts out to create a cherishing memory for a lifetime. What made this win possible? Let’s find out.
A balanced team of youth and experience
The presence of Sachin Tendulkar with the experience of six World Cups was a big boost. Seasoned campaigners like Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh ensured that the team had the right dose of experience. Youngsters (then) like Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina played their part to perfection in addition to their fielding skills.
Bowling to their strengths
The Indian pace attack led by Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel did a commendable job during 2011 World Cup. Off spinner Harbhajan Singh too bowled according to the pitch conditions. The opposition scored a total of over 300 only once in the whole tournament which signifies the quality in bowling.
Yuvraj the X factor
362 runs with the bat and 15 wickets with the ball! It was Yuvraj Singh’s stunning show which turned out to be the X factor in many close matches. Before the start of the tournament, his place was not certain. But what a tournament he had!
India did not have the best of starts in the tournament. They narrowly lost to South Africa after the tied match against England. However, they never looked back and skipper Dhoni himself had acknowledged the role of the fans in India’s comeback. Their support was like fielding a 12th man in the ground.
The incredible coach-captain duo, (Dhoni-Kirsten) deserves credit. They knew the requirement of the team and made several plans which worked wonders. One example was including R Ashwin and Suresh Raina against Australia in the quarterfinals which proved to be a masterstroke. When there were questions on the selection of Yuvraj and Sehwag, the captain and coach backed them both. It proved to be right in the end. Dhoni’s decision to bat ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh in the World Cup final was also a tactical brilliance since two left handers at the crease would have given more chances to Muralidharan.
What are your favourite memories from the World Cup? Let us know it in the comments section.