The 2011 World Cup triumph will always be etched in the memories of today’s Indian cricketers and fans.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and left-handed opening batsman Gautam Gambhir were the heroes in the final as they scored 91* and 97 respectively while chasing Sri Lanka’s stiff target of 275. Soon after Dhoni hit the winning six off Nuwan Kulasekara, all the Indian players went numb with some of them even shedding tears at the Wankhede.
It was India’s second World Cup victory after 28 years and was also the ultimate crown in the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s illustrious cricketing career. Recently, Tendulkar recalled the historic World Cup victory and termed it as the best moment of his life.
“The best moment of my life, without any doubt. That is what I lived for. That is what I started cricket for,” Sachin described the World Cup win while speaking to Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports.
Tendulkar, who lifted the World Cup at his sixth and final attempt, was lifted on the shoulders of his teammates and paraded around the iconic Wankhede Stadium.
“Please don’t drop me! It was an unbelievable feeling. It was special, for the teammates to do that, it was pleasing,” the batting maestro said.
The levels of jubilation across the country had left Tendulkar astonished. The Master Blaster was in his 22nd season of international cricket in 2011.
“For me, I’ve never experienced anything like that. How many times do you have the entire country celebrating one event? The celebrations were at a different level. Just from Wankhede Stadium to go to the Taj (team hotel) took us an hour-and-a-half and the distance is only 2/3km. It was jam-packed and the bus was not able to move, such was the excitement and people dancing on top of cars and celebrating. I’ve never seen India like that, it was a big moment,” he commented.
While the world knows how important Sachin was to the Indian team in 2011 World Cup, he was always keen to do his job for the side and ignore the hype around him.
“I knew I was one of the important members of the squad but never did I think that if I get out it’s all over,” Tendulkar stated.
“It’s always a team sport. Yes, there are key players and there are key wickets that the bowlers will pick, and I’d like to believe I was one of those batters. Other than that, I felt 2011 was for sure going to be my last World Cup, and being the senior-most player in the squad I had my role to do,” he concluded.