Game Set Match….. India
………..Yuvraj dabs a single to backward point to bring captain Dhoni on strike with four needed. And the skipper smashes a six into the stand over long-on –India has won the ICC 2011 World cup
28 years after that a quiet English summer day, when a garage band changed the destiny of Indian cricket; by snatching victory from a cricketing Goliath of yestereen, a determined band of brothers made tryst with the destiny of 1.2 billion people; by lifting the 2011 ICC world cup on the 2 day day of April, 2011.Unlike the last time, it was not the story of the hare and tortoise, it was more a death match in a gladiator arena, and they fought like champions, with a dream to win and a need to survive, and that they did, and with a bit of style, a six by the captain to end the tournament.
The final six by Dhoni and him watching it cross the fence, will be the most lasting memory that I am going to have, for a long time to come. Watch the video closely and you will see the stone cold determination of a man, with a huge burden and a single goal, to deliver a smile to a billion people. In that split second he sent a country into euphoria and madness, which still prevails 3 days after of the event.
The difference between the 83 world cup win and this. is one of expectation. Last time we were the underdogs, who had nothing to loose and each win was a an achievement in itself, but this time we were the famed Indian team the favorites to win and there were a billion people glued to the TV and every possible media that was broadcasting the match. Waiting for it to happen. It is a pressure that we have never experienced and I pray we never experience for us mortals do not have the strength to withstand it. That explains why we see them cry on the field on the day when entire India was rejoicing.
“The pressure you go through is a lot; we felt it throughout the tournament, If you ask the players, they were not eating well because of anxiety. Not pressure, but anxiety. There would be food in front of you but you wouldn’t feel like eating it
…Dhoni at a press conference after winning the world cup
“The kind of extra responsibility that each and everybody had was enormous. This is what we had wanted to achieve; we had set our eyes on it one-and-a-half years ago.”
I can never experience that and maybe I really do not want to but I wanted to understand how they felt after the match and I found this from a Cricinfo article
“Emotionally, I was confused; I wanted a wicket [stump]”. But he found himself at the center of the pitch with Yuvraj at the other end. “I thought hug-vug we will do later, first take the wicket.” He then ran over to his own end to pull out the stump, after which Yuvraj jumped on him, pulling him into a bear hug. “It was an emotional moment,” Dhoni said. “I was confused, I didn’t know what to do at the time, how to show my emotions.”
Yuvraj told ESPNcricinfo, as he crossed the Wankhede to return to his dressing room, that he had been physically ill several times during the tournament.
“Anxiety, anxiety,” he explained. “This was the World Cup and that anxiety can really be heavy.”
Harbhajan candidly admitted that for the first time in his career he was tense, almost scared, before the match against arch rivals Pakistan.
“Everyone from a doorman to a billionaire, was urging us on. The pressure had begun to get to me”
About the final this is what he said in a Time of India interview
As Dhoni hit that six, we fell into each others arms. We were crying, shouting, laughing. I have no idea what I did. Tears flowed freely. “The unbearable pressure of six weeks was finally off our chest”
Not only did the team carry the burden of expectation of the country it seems they had their own personal agenda, for a peer who had been carrying the burden to win the world cup for the last 20 years, they wanted to win the world cup for the little master Sachin. It was clear from everything that they said and did on that day. Here is a what some of them had to say
“This is unbelievable. The Under-19 World Cup, then the World Twenty20 but this is the most special. For Sachin, for everyone else.”
Yuvraj Singh, the Player of the Tournament, sums it up
“All credit goes to Sachin Tendulkar. We played for him. Beating Australia and Pakistan and now this, its a dream come true.”
Gautam Gambhir, who gave India the upper hand in the final with his 97
“This goes out to all the people of India. This is my first World Cup; I can’t ask for more. Tendulkar has carried the burden of nation for 21 years; It was time we carried him. Chak de India!”
Virat Kohli leads the Tendulkar tributes
While I bask in the glory of my country winning the world cup, and wake up with a smile everyday I wish all these guys the very best in life and the ability to continue playing like champions for many more years to come.
(This is a compilation of comments of the team from the internet, the photographs are public domain images. If someone with a copyright has an objection with these images please revert back I will remove them)