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OTD in 2011: India win ODI World Cup after 28 years

OTD in 2011: India win ODI World Cup after 28 years

Team India celebrating with 2011 WC trophy (Photo Source: Twitter)

April 2 is going to be remembered fondly by every Indian cricket fan as the Men in Blue won their second ODI World Cup title on this date in 2011. As the momentous occasion turns 13 years old, here’s a look back at India’s road to the coveted trophy and their win in the finals against Sri Lanka in front of a packed Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Several things changed in Indian cricket after the 2007 ODI World Cup debacle. Rahul Dravid was replaced by MS Dhoni and under his captaincy, India won the T20 World Cup in South Africa and the CB series in Australia in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Slowly but steadily, the Asian giants once again established themselves as a dominant force, especially in home conditions.

Just ahead of the ODI World Cup in 2011, India went to South Africa and lost a five-match series 2-3. However, this didn’t deter their spirits as their campaign in the showpiece event started with a thumping 87-run win against Bangladesh after scoring a mammoth 370/4. The Indian team had a great mixture of youth and experience in their squad and this was accentuated when the 32-year-old Virender Sehwag and the 22-year-old Virat Kohli scored centuries against the Bangla Tigers.

India tied their next encounter against England before picking up back-to-back wins against Ireland and Netherlands. However, the co-hosts suffered a setback when they lost to South Africa. But once again, India bounced back and won their last group match against the West Indies to set up a date with defending champions Australia, who had won the last three editions of the tournament.

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Intense knockouts and a thrilling final, India end 28-year wait for World Cup

India defeated the Aussies by five wickets as Yuvraj Singh contributed with both bat and ball. Dhoni and Co. took confidence from this monumental win and defeated Pakistan in a high-voltage semifinal in Mohali. Sachin Tendulkar won the Player of the Match award in this encounter for his 115-ball 85. The stage was set for the summit clash on April 2, 2011, as the iconic Wankhede Stadium hosted India and Sri Lanka with the World Cup trophy being on the line.

Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and opted to bat first. Zaheer Khan bowled a scintillating spell with the new ball as the Island Nation found it very difficult to score their runs. However, Mahela Jayawardene anchored the innings as he remained unbeaten on 103 off 88 balls. Thisara Perera also hit a flurry of boundaries in the death overs as Sri Lanka set a challenging target of 275.

Lasith Malinga gave Sri Lanka a dream start as he dismissed Sehwag off the second ball of the Indian innings. A lot of Indian fans switched off their TVs after Tendulkar was dismissed by Malinga in the seventh over. However, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli didn’t lose hope as they stitched a precious 83-run stand to give India a solid platform.

After Tillakaratne Dilshan took a spectacular catch off his own bowling to dismiss Kohli for 35, Dhoni promoted himself above Yuvraj in the batting order and came out to bat at No. 5. Gambhir and Dhoni mixed caution with aggression and thwarted the Sri Lankan bowlers during their unforgettable 109-run partnership. The former got out for 97 as India required another 52 runs from as many deliveries.

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Yuvraj (21) and Dhoni joined forces and they took India home with 10 balls and six wickets in the bank. The former won the Player of the Tournament award for his all-round display, while the latter was awarded the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 79-ball 91.

The Indian players were in tears after the sensational victory as their childhood dream became a reality. They took turns and carried the legendary Tendulkar on their shoulders. The Little Master and the Indian cricket faithful had to wait 28 years to win the World Cup. The moment continues to be as special as it was on April 2, 2011.

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