I was not even born when Kapil Dev marshaled his troops to a famous victory against the flamboyant West Indian team in the finals of the 1983 World Cup finals. No one gave India a chance to win against the West Indian side that included Sir Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Joel Garner, Malcom Marshall, Micheal Holding, Gordon Greenidge etc.
2011 World Cup: Reliving the Dream
People in the previous generation were really lucky to see the Indian triumph. Nearly two decades went by. In the mean time Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Srikanth all hanged their boots and a wonder kid from Mumbai started to own almost all the batting records. Fab Four started to rule the cricket world and the West Indian team has lost its sheen. Exactly after 20 long years in 2003, India faced Australia in the Finals of the 2003 world cup in Johannesburg. Billions of Hearts were praying for an Indian Victory but one man dashed them single-handedly by scoring a Brutal 140. Ricky Ponting led Australia to their second consecutive World Cup Victory after beating India comprehensively by 125 runs. India were humbled in the very first round in the 2007 World Cup in the Carribean after losing to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Soon the Fab 4 made themselves unavailable for the inaugural edition of Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.
India went in to the tournament as underdogs under a new skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni surprised everyone with his captaincy and led India to a World Cup victory by beating Arch-Rivals Pakistan in the Finals. He conquered everything and the countdown for the 2011 World Cup in the Sub Continent started.
2011 World Cup: Reliving the Dream
4 years later, the stage was set for Dhoni’s men to conquer the world. Australia were aiming to win their fourth World Cup in a row and the Lankans were looking to break their Finals jinx. India nad Australia were the pre-tournament favouites. India came in second in their group behind South Africa and qualified for the Knock outs with Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar humbled the opposition with their commanding form.
India were to take on the Mighty Aussies who were beaten in just 1 World Cup match since the 1996 world Cup finals. India restricted them to a decent total of 260. Sachin Provided the start needed and it was left to Yuvraj Singh for the final flourish and India thrashed the three time defending champions by 5 wickets. The celebration of Yuvraj Singh after scoring the winning runs cant be forgotten by the Indian fans. The semi-finals was made in heaven with India and Pakistan cross swords with each other for a place in the finals.All roads led to the PCA Sadium, Mohali and the Stage is set for the ultimate showdown. Sachin scored a fighting 85 under pressure to set a target of 261 for the Pakistanis. In 4 hours time, The moment arrived. India thrashed Pakistan and were set to face Sri Lanka in their own backyard to win the coveted prize in Cricket. April 2, 2:30 PM, the field was set and Zaheer Khan was ready to start his run up at the Wankhade Stadium, Mumbai. The Indian team especially Sachin Tendulkar was carrying billions of hopes. At the end of the first innings, the people of India were firmly believing in Sachin Tendulkar to achieve the target of 275 in fifty overs. But Sachin failed when it mattered the most. His 22 years long wait has been almost dashed until one man took charge. MS Dhoni who had a below par tournament with the bat promoted himself above Yuvraj Singh in the batting order. It proved to be a wise decision as Dhoni sent the Lankan bowlers in a leather hunt. With just 4 needed of 11 balls, Dhoni Finished off things in style by Launching the ball over the long-on fence. The party began in the entire country.
Sachin Tendulkar came out running with that lovely smile like a kid. Dhoni was lifted by his teammates. The fire works are in display. Players started screaming and there were tears of joy from Yuvraj. 28 long years of wait came to an end along with Sachin’s 22 year old dream. The entire team played the World Cup for Sachin and were Ecstatic after winning the World Cup. Billions of Indians were hemmed in for room on top of the Mount Everest. And a billion hearts beat in consonance.
“Tendulkar has carried the burden of nation for 21 years; It was time we carried him.” – Virat Kohli
Two years have passed, but it feels as if it was just yesterday that this triumph transpired. The butterflies are still there, unscathed. The breath is still dyspenic, and the eyes are still sodden.