The date was April 2, 2011. The venue was Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. After nearly six hours of cricket, a forlorn Nuwan Kulasekara was running in to bowl to an ever confident MS Dhoni. An attempted yorker fell short of its mark, falling right under the bat of the Indian skipper, who flashed hard to send the ball sailing into the stands for a monumental six.
It may have been just one of MS Dhoni’s 229 career sixes in ODIs, but that maximum sent the whole country into delirium. It had the power to rewrite a nation’s cricketing history after 28 years, reshape their perspective towards the gentleman’s game. That was after all the six that clinched India the World Cup in 2011…
For patrons of the sport in India, that evening’s cricket at the Wankhede Stadium is still etched clearly in their minds. Their memories, their celebrations, their feelings- everything preserved in a sort of virtual embalming fluid that remains intact till date, nearly a decade later.
Such is the story for the current crop of Kings XI Punjab players, who recalled their memories from India’s World Cup triumph in 2011.
Porel’s lucky spot
India’s young pace sensation Ishan Porel was just a teenager when India lifted the World Cup in 2011. Nevertheless, he still remembers that game vividly, as he watched the final from three different locations- from his cricket club, his friend’s house and finally his own house.
“I started watching the game at my club, and then it was not going very well for India. Then I went to my friend’s house and that is when firstly Sehwag (Virender) and Sachin paaji got out early,” recalled Porel.
“Then I decided to get back home and sat in this particular place on my couch, and didn’t move from that place till the game got over. After the game, everyone was out in the streets playing drums and celebrating through the night,” he added.
Tajinder’s family tradition
All-rounder Tajinder Singh grew up in a joint family, so whenever there was a major cricket match, it was customary for all in the household to watch the game together.
“Whenever there was a big match featuring India or even an IPL match, we used to watch it together. Amongst all the games we’ve watched together, the 2011 World Cup final was the most memorable,” said Tajinder.
“When India won that final, it felt as though I was also part of that team and contributed to that win. We danced and celebrated the whole night after India won that final,” he added.
An ardent Sachin Tendulkar fan, that World Cup would have been all the more memorable for Tajinder as he got to see his idol finally lift the trophy in his sixth time of asking.
Hooda’s undying confidence
Even for the most optimistic of Indian fans, there was this period of grave uncertainty when India found themselves 31/2 with both Sehwag and Tendulkar back in the hut for paltry scores. Fearing the worst, many in the nation would have switched off their television sets at that moment with Sri Lanka’s pacers swinging the ball both ways and causing all sorts of problems in India’s chase.
All-rounder Deepak Hooda however says that he was always confident that India would emerge victorious in that game.
“There was this strong feeling in my head that we were going to win this, so I was watching the game ball by ball. I also liked how Gautham (Gambhir) bhai carried the whole innings, and then how MS Dhoni finished it off with a six,” revealed Hooda.
“It was a really special feeling to see your team win the World Cup. It was like a dream come true. We hugged each other, went to the roads and saw how everyone was celebrating. All in all, a pretty special feeling,” he added.
This was how a few of our KXIP players celebrated India’s World Cup trophy of 2011, dancing on the roads and partying through the night.
How did you celebrate India’s World Cup win? Do let us know in the comments below.