Yuvraj stood at the other end, when Dhoni hit Kulasekara over long-on to seal the win. (Photo Credit: Reuters )
April 2nd is one of the greatest days in Indian cricket history. In 2011, on this day, MS Dhoni and company ended India's 28-year-wait to lift the coveted World Cup trophy again. No true-blue cricket fan can ever forget the moment when Dhoni launched Nuwan Kulasekara for a maximum to seal India's second ODI world cup win.
Team India, playing at home, were the favorites to win the trophy. They had marched into the finals after beating arch-rivals Pakistan in semifinal. They had already defeated Australia- the most feared team in cricket at that time- in the quarter final.
But still they had to win final against Sri Lanka. It was the same team who had embarrassed India back in 1996. No body has forgotten Vinod Kambli's tears.
Sri Lanka batted first and managed to reach 274 in their 50 overs thanks to a century from Mahela Jayawardane.
Chasing 275 in the world cup final was easier said than done. Out of the previous nine finals, only two have been won by team batting second. The history was not with India.
When India lost Virender Sehwag and then Sachin Tendulkar early- the fans were worried. At that time, a young angry man from Delhi took charge. Gautam Gambhir went on anchor the innings and calmed the nerves of thousands at Wankhede and millions at home.
The biggest surprise came when after Virat Kohli's wicket, MS Dhoni promoted himself ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh. The gamble worked. By the time, Gambhir fell for 97, India were back in the driving seat.
Yuvraj Singh had played the best cricket of his life during the world cup. He had coughing and puking blood but pushing himself to greater heights every match. It was fitting that he stood at the other end, when Dhoni hit Kulasekara over long-on to seal the win.
India was ecstatic after the win. People- rich and poor, elite and common - were seen dancing on the streets. The most memorable image of the celebration was of Tendulkar- being carried on Yusuf Pathan's shoulders, waving the Indian flag and trying his best to stop the tears. As a 21-year-old Virat Kohli aptly said, "He has carried the burden of Indian cricket for 21 years. It is time we carried him on our shoulders."