India are the champions of ICC Cricket World Cup, 2011
History was so much against India at the beginning of the chase. No nation which had hosted the final had ever won, all the centuries made in a world cup final came from the winning team, every time Jayawardene scored a 100, Sri Lanka won, no team had chased 250+ runs to win a WC, add to that minimum of three nations – Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan were praying for a Lankan win but then this was India’ time, it’s not just the people even gods wanted us to win. This script was written for India, we were destined for glory.
Eight weeks ago when I made my first Vlog, I said, “it’s all about batting for team India “. It was bang on target. And, not to forget my mom, she predicted the victor several weeks ago based on zero cricketing knowledge but she got it 100% right
Going back to match, it started off on a slightly controversial note, toss came under the scanner. Sri Lanka eventually won the toss and elected to bat. At that point I felt the match was 70-30 in Lanka’s favour. However, after first 15 overs game Indian bowlers pulled back the Lankan advantage. Zaheer bowled an unbelievable first spell, runs were hard to come and Tharanga was gone.
Sri Lanka were expected to bounce back, they did. Thanks to some inconsistent bowling by Sreesanth [ pleasantly surprised to see him play the finals ] and Jaya & Sanga’s guile, Lanka slowly and steadily clawed back. Run rate steadily moved up. India did strike at vital junctures, removing Sanga and Samaraweera but failed to get past Jayawardena, he was playing a typical death-by-cut innings. His delicates shots and placements were slicing India’s hope of restricting Lanka for a below par score. Indian bowlers were clearly short of ideas eventually Jaya, along with the lower middle order hammered the Indian bowlers during the batting powerplay to take their team to fantastic 274. In that process Jayawardene scored a brilliant 100, denting India’s chances big time.
During the break, my good friend Arvinth had called. I said the same thing as in my Vlog. It’s all about batting, Team India has always boasted of having the best batting line-up, here’s their chance to prove themselves right. However, I felt India had a mere 40% chance of making it.
When Sehwag and Sachin were trapped early, I felt our chances dipped to 20%. But, Sangakara took it little easy and brought in part time bowlers and allowed the Indian batsmen to consolidate. At 100 for 2, game was back to 50-50. But, soon Virat fell and in walked Dhoni to everyone’s surprise. It made me anxious because he wasn’t in good form and another wicket at that stage of the game would have jeopardized India’s chances. Sangakara made the right moves, he had a slip in place for a long time, he pursued with slip but none of his bowlers were in good rhythm. Murali was struggling, his deliveries were hardly turning. Randhiv was playing for fun, Malinga for some strange reason looked nervous, he didn’t bowl a single yorker. With the bowlers hardly troubling Dhoni and Gambhir, both batsmen gathered runs at will. Required run rate was always under control, it looked like the entire match was on auto pilot mode. However, Gambhir’s sudden rage cost him his wicket, he was out on 97, India needed 50 odd runs to win. Yuraj who was on a high after a series of match winning performances partnered Captain Dhoni to dismantle the Lankan attack, no more twists, no drama, no hiccups. A trademark Dhoni six set of wild celebrations across the nation. At the end India had out classed Lanka with ridiculous ease, they were hardly a threat to India’s strong batting line-up.
The joy and happiness is hard for me to capture in words, that’s the very reason I didn’t know what to write, I still don’t know how to express myself. Big Thanks to Team India for giving us this day, a day which will forever remain in our memories. Thank you, Team India.