The epic stories of how India won the 2011 50-over World Cup at home after defeating Sri Lanka in the final have been recounted and repeated several times now. Earlier this week, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir revealed how team India captain MS Dhoni had pushed him to hit a century in the championship final game.
Talking about that match, Mahela Jayawardene’s magnificent century helped Sri Lanka set a target of 275 runs. Gambhir came in to bat with India not having a great start as they lost their aggressive opener Virender Sehwag, with the main batter Sachin Tendulkar departing shortly afterwards. Both the wickets were taken by the talismanic Sri Lankan pacer, Lasith Malinga.
Then, with the help of Virat Kohli and Gambhir, India were able to stop the flow of wickets. Before Kohli was dismissed, the two shared an 83-run third-wicket stand due to a superb Tilakaratne Dilshan catch and bowl. Gambhir and Dhoni afterward formed a 109-run partnership, which was crucial to the outcome.
He wanted me to get a hundred: Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir reached 97 runs, falling three runs short of becoming the ninth Indian player overall and the first to reach a century in an ODI World Cup final. While attempting to play a shot against the medium-pacer Thisara Perera, he got bowled. Meanwhile, During the first ODI match between India and Sri Lanka on January 10, Gambhir talked about how Dhoni inspired him to hit a century in the final.
“MS Dhoni was very supportive because he wanted me to get a 100. He always wanted me to get a hundred. He told me between overs as well that ‘get your hundred, take your time, and don’t rush into it. I can accelerate if there is any need to,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
Gambhir was finally bowled out for 97 runs, Yuvraj Singh provided the finishing touches, and Dhoni hit the match-winning six over the long-on fence in his unbeaten 91 as India defeated Pakistan by six wickets to claim the second ODI World Cup trophy.
Thanks to Dhoni, India’s wait for their second World Cup title finally came to an end following their six-wicket win over Sri Lanka. Dhoni was adjudged the Man of the Match, while Yuvraj, who was later diagnosed with cancer, was ruled the Man of the Series.
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