The Cricket World Cup is the biggest event in South Asia. South Asia has more cricket fans than the rest of the world. The Cricket World Cup of 2011 was hosted by Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India. Anyone who regularly follows cricket knows how big of a deal it was for the subcontinental cricket fans.
This blog specifically focuses on India’s cricket journey of the 2011 World Cup. India won the World Cup for the second time and became the only Asian nation to win it twice. It was also Sachin Tendulkar’s last World Cup, along with many other legends. This is the World Cup that made us smile, gave us unforgettable moments, and made India a super-elite team.
The Cricket World Cup Comes to the Subcontinent
India hosted the Cricket World Cup of 2011, along with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. A total of 14 countries participated in the WC. 10 full members and 4 associate members. Pakistan was supposed to host the WC along with India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. However, they stopped hosting any matches since 2009.
As a result, India hosted the most, 29 matches, in 8 venues. Sri Lanka hosted 12 matches, and Bangladesh hosted 8 matches.
Indian World Cup squad consisted of the following players:
S. Sreesanth, MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindrachandan Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Virender Sehwag.
Many of the players of this squad have retired. Some are still playing. Sachin Tendulkar is notable among the retired players.
The teams were divided into two groups named Group A and Group B. The groups are as follows-
|Group A||Group B|
|Sri Lanka||West Indies|
|Canada (Associate)||Ireland (Associate)|
|Kenya (Associate)||Netherlands (Associate)|
In group stages, all the teams of each group had to play each other in a round-robin format. That is why, India played against South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland, and Netherlands.
India lost 1 match against South Africa, tied 1 match against England, and won four matches against the rest.
India Played its first match against the co-host Bangladesh. The Indian team scored 370/4 (50 overs) after which Bangladesh’s innings stopped at 283/9 ( 50 overs). This was the first match of the 2011 ICC World Cup. Virender Sehwag scored 175 runs and Virat Kohli also scored a century.
The next match was played against England. India scored 338/10 ( 49.5 overs). England scored 338/8 (50 overs) in reply. Sachin Tendulkar scored a century in this match. Both teams played tremendously well and the result was a draw.
India vs. Ireland was no contest at all. Ireland could only score 207/10, which was chased by India in just 46 overs. Netherlands vs. India was similar as well. Netherlands scored 189 runs which was chased by India in just 36.3 overs.
The only defeat of the Indian team came against the South Africans. The match was played in Nagpur Stadium. India scored 296/10. Sachin Tendulkar had another century in this match. South Africa chased the target in 49.4 overs.
In the group stage, the last match of India was against West Indies. India scored 268 runs and West Indies could only do 188 runs in 43 overs. Yuvraj Singh had a century in this match. The Indian Bowling side was tremendously good in this match.
8 Teams needed to qualify for the quarter-finals or 4 from each group. All the matches from the quarter-finals were knockout matches.
Teams that qualified for quarter-finals and the matches between them are as follows.
|Qualified from Group A||Qualified from Group B|
|New Zealand||West Indies|
India played against Australia in the 2011 WC. Australia had won the previous three editions of the World Cup, which meant, it was almost a certain defeat to play against Australia during those times. Many people were already counting the Indians out.
The India vs. Australia match took place in Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad. Australia Won the toss and decided to bat first. Ricky Ponting had a century in this match. Brad Haddin had a half-century. In total, Australia made 260/6 (50 overs).
In return, India did not need a century to chase the target. Instead, they had three half-centuries. Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, and Yuvraj Singh scored 53, 50, and 57 runs respectively. India scored 261 runs in 47.4 overs. For the first time, after around three world cups, someone could dethrone Australia from the WC so conclusively.
The teams that advanced to the semi-finals were Pakistan, India, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka.
The matches were organized in the following order.
There was a 75% chance that Asia would keep the World Cup, and two of them were even hosts.
The match between India and Pakistan was the definition of hype. Pakistan had no win against India in all the meetings in the World Cup. Pakistan wanted to change that, and India wanted to keep things as it is.
The match was in Mohali. India elected to bat first. Indian Batting was strong and Pakistan’s bowling was deadly. India wanted to tackle the problem head-on with superior batting prowess. India struggled to beat Pakistan’s incessantly deadly bowling.
However, once again, Sachin Tendulkar appeared as the savior of India. He played a knock of 85 runs in 112 runs which helped India to have 260/9 (50 overs) on the scoreboard. 260 runs in Mohali was defendable. Sachin saved the Indian batting that day.
In the next innings, India needed to stop Pakistan’s batting to proceed to the final. All the bowlers performed equally in this match. Every one of them got 2 wickets. Pakistan’s best scorer was Misbah-ul-Haq who could score 56 runs. Apart from him, nobody showed any resolve to beat India. As a result, Pakistan crumbled fully within 231 runs. India won and proceeded to play in the final. Sri Lanka qualified from the other sem-final match.
The final: India vs. Sri Lanka
The two hosts met at the final of the 2011 World Cup. Sri Lanka also played in the final of the 2007 ICC World Cup. A lot of them had assumed that Sri Lanka would win the final simply because of their recent experiences.
The match began on 2nd April, 20111. The stadium was Wankhede, Mumbai. It was also the last match of Sachin Tendulkar in a World Cup. He would not play in 2015. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first.
Sri Lanka scored 274/7 (50 overs). Mahela Jayawardene had a 103 runs innings in just 88 balls. He was very close to making history. Indian bowlers did their very best to contain the Sri Lankan batsmen.
Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni scored 97 and 91 runs. MS Dhoni’s innings was very destructive for Sri Lankan Bowlers as he only took 79 balls. India reached the target with 10 balls in hand. The final score of the match was 277/4 (48.2 overs). India had won another World Cup.
The man of the match was MS Dhoni for his remarkable innings and captaincy. The man of the tournament was Yuvraj Singh. Sachin Tendulkar had made the highest run (482) for India. Zaheer Khan took 21 wickets which was the most wicket for India and the most wicket of the tournament jointly with Shahid Afridi. All in all, it was the team of effort of the Indian team and their consistency, not individual brilliance that won them the World Cup.
The 2011 ICC WC Indian team was something else. It had everything. Youth, experience, drive, passion, everything. India played very tough matches in the knockout stages and came out victorious. India’s matches are a testament to its abilities. India will always look to 2011 as a source of inspiration.