Before you read the news, rewind the moment in your mind, which happened 6 years back, on 2nd of April. Follow with us MS Dhoni was on strike. Nuwan Kulasekara was the bowler. It was the second ball of the 49th over. India required four runs from 11. Kulasekara bowls a full ball and Dhoni winds up to deposit the ball into the stands at long on. You celebrated and cheered, history was made as after 28 long years, India finally was bringing the world cup back, back to our motherland.”
This win was very special for many reasons. India became the first team to win a World Cup at home and also they became the only team to win the 60-over World Cup and the 50-over World Cup. For Dhoni, he stamped his brilliance on the big stage and continued his successful run in global tournaments, having won the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007. For Sachin Tendulkar, India’s greatest batsman, it was another major addition to his list of achievements.
India had been riding the wave of success leading into the 2011 World Cup. They had been performing consistently and had tremendous momentum heading into the tournament. In their opening game at world cup against Bangladesh in Dhaka, centuries from Virender Sehwag (175) and Virat Kohli (100) ensured that the team got off to a great start with a 87-run win. But the result would be thus, no one thought of this.
When in 1983, Kapil’s Devils beat the mighty Windies to lift the World Cup. The streets were filled with people and the entire nation celebrated. But this victory (2011) was also not less because we waited for 26 long years.
Though Our captain had been a brilliant leader throughout the tournament. But with the bat, he had been below par. However, an opportunity was high. He knew it was his time. The captain of a ship is 1.2 billion strong. 275 is not an easy target, especially in a World Cup final. Gambhir started it with his 97, but when it comes to finishing, there’s no one in world cricket who can do it better than Dhoni.
When the score read India need 4 runs off 11 balls we were confident that Mahi will not miss this chance, though we all know that in cricket it’s never over till it’s over. Dhoni as always saved his best for the last. A massive six to announce that we were the new world champions!
For those few seconds, when Dhoni hit that ball, the world stopped moving. It was a shot 28 years in the making. We had to drink in the enormity of it all. That calm expression on his face and the ball flying high into the stands. It was like a Beethoven symphony, where every single note fell into place perfectly.
Dhoni’s exclusive performance of the World Cup finished off in his signature style, Ravi Shastri ecstatic with his commentary, Sachin running out like a kid on his home turf, Yuvraj, our pillar of the tournament, in tears, and the ever-so-humble Gary Kirsten with his arms raised in triumph. There was a sense of calm through the pandemonium. An Indian couldn’t have asked for more.
We all knew it was coming, we all knew we deserved to win. In fact, graciously so, our opponents did too.
But when it happened, no words could do justice to it. Beyond comprehension. Everyone yelling, chanting, hugging, running around. For once, all 1.2 billion of us were united as one. It was wondrous to behold. Something we would tell our grand kids. India was on the streets. Finals, semifinals, first-round knockouts, we had been through it all in the past three decades.
But the trophy was finally coming home. It was so romantic. It was destiny. On 2nd April, 2011 at 10:49 PM, we were all Indians. We all bled blue.