2011 will be cherished by every Indian for a long long time to come, thanks to Dhoni and his men in blue… India not only co-hosted the Cricket World Cup but also made the record of being the host nation to win it for the first time. India had earlier won Cricket world cup way back in 1983..
In 2003, India managed to put up a brilliant show and reach the finals only to be thrashed by Australia badly and lose the world cup.
19th February 2011 saw the opening match between two host nations India & Bangladesh where India put up a great show with batting and getting a good total on scoreboard. What should have been an easy victory soon became a struggle for Indians as they struggled to contain Bangladesh and somehow win the match. Then on India managed to win each and every game except for the unexpected tie with England (who were beaten by not one but two minnows – Bangladesh and Ireland) and a loss to South Africa (who in turn was beaten by England). India reached Quarter Finals to face the defending world champions Australia. Some lost all hope when Australian Captain suddenly came to form to hit a century against India and put up a fighting total. But Men in Blue for once did a marvelous job on the field, in bowling and batting and entered the semis in style…The 2003 final loss was avenged in style and splendor..!
Semi Final match made more headlines and news than anything else as it was between the arch rivals India & Pakistan. Indians went crazy, the entire nation came to a standstill as the match began, it was not just a match it was a war where both teams were under immense pressure. What else could justify four dropped catches by Pakistan team of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar who went on to make 85 runs before his good luck ran out. Indians put up a decent total and did an amazing job on the field and in bowling in-line to restrict Pakistan and win the world cup semi-final against the arch rivals to enter Finals. For many Indians that was the moment World Cup was already home and some didn’t bother about whatever happened in Finals, all that mattered to them was already taken care of.
Then came the D-day of 2nd April, when India came face to face with Sri-Lanka, third host country for the Finals. A match that many said was fixed, many said Indians would crumble in the pressure and looked like lost when Sehwag & Sachin got out in quick succession. But Gambhir & Dhoni played a wonderful innings to ensure India won the World Cup finals in style and brought home the much awaited cup. The wait was finally over after 28 years!
India saw its most spectacular celebrations ever on the night of 2nd April when every Indian was out on the roads, dancing, shouting, drinking, and bursting crackers to show the world that Cricket is indeed a religion in India and for most Sachin is the God! Hats off to the Indian Team for bringing such happiness to our lives…