The 2011 World Cup is etched in the hearts and minds of a billion Indians as it ended with the Men in Blue lifting the coveted title after 28 years.
Former skipper MS Dhoni was one of the architects of India’s victory as he slammed 91* off 79 balls in the final while chasing Sri Lanka’s stiff target of 275.
April 2, 2023 marks the 12th anniversary of India's World Cup triumph. On this occasion, Dhoni recalled getting emotional when the team was on the brink of sealing the chase.
“The best feeling was 15-20 minutes (before the winning moment). We didn’t need a lot of runs, the partnership was well-placed, there was a lot of dew,” said Dhoni in a conversation with host Sanjana Ganesan and former Australia batter Mike Hussey.
“And the stadium started to sing Vande Mataram. That atmosphere I feel is very difficult to recreate – maybe in this [upcoming 2023] World Cup, there is a similar scenario, once the stadium, the fans start contributing.
“You know, it’s a very difficult (atmosphere) one to replicate. But it can only be replicated if the occasion is similar to that (in 2011) and there are like 40, 50 or 60,000 people who are singing.
“To me, it was not the winning moment, it was 15-20 minutes ago when emotionally I was very high. And at the same time, I wanted to get done with it. We knew that we will win this from here, and it was very difficult for us to lose.
“So yes, you know it was more of a sense of satisfaction, job done, let’s move on from here.”
It was a special day for Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who lifted the World Cup in sixth attempt.
“It never gets bigger than that. What I always firmly believe in is keep your eyes on the target, as simple as possible,” said Dhoni. “Once you have achieved it, that’s the time when you can enjoy it to the fullest.
“And the moment you start thinking a lot about why you want to win it, you start focusing more on the result. That’s the time you start mounting undue pressure on yourself.”
Dhoni revealed there were times when he wondered if Tendulkar would get a chance to lift the coveted trophy.
“Yes, we all knew that it was paaji’s (Tendulkar) last World Cup and throughout the tournament we had the feeling that we want to do it for him.
“But at the same time, often you have something going in your mind where you say, God has given him everything. And God keeps one thing away from every individual. Is it that 50-over World Cup that God has decided that he will keep with himself?
“We said we will try our best, we will make sure that we are giving a 100% when it comes to the cricket matches and we will accept the results. At the end, very happy to be on the winning side, but it took a lot from the full team and the support staff.”
(With ICC Inputs)