Sachin’s biopic has helped resurface the emotion of the 2011 World Cup, arguably the greatest night in Indian Cricket. In a jam packed Wankhede stadium, the crowd was stunned to silence when the duo of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar returned to the pavilion for meagre scores. The onus was now on the middle order to get India through, and Gambhir led the charge scoring a gritty 97, falling just short of what would have been one of the best World Cup Final hundreds.
Widely celebrated for Dhoni’s masterstroke of promoting himself up the order, the night was Gambhir’s as well, as he anchored the innings all through, keeping one end secure and helping Dhoni tee off at the other.
During the recently concluded IPL, Gambhir was reminiscent of that special night in Mumbai, recalling dressing room stories, and how he felt when he was walking into the middle, having to chase that daunting score of 275.
“The first ball that Lasith Malinga bowled, I hit it for a boundary. At such times your nerves get settled as well. Whatever nerve was there, it was due to the fact that it was an international game, not because it was a World Cup final,” Gambhir said.
“It was not just about one or two individuals, but it was about everyone in the dressing room who believed that we could win the World Cup. There couldn’t have been a bigger stage set when you are chasing in the World Cup final that also at home. You never know whether you will get that opportunity ever again. You got to cherish the moment,” Gambhir added.
Gambhir also said that he wasn’t even ready when Viru got adjudged LBW in the first over, and only because of the referral did he get time to pad up.
“We were chasing 275 and I was not even ready when Viru (Virender Sehwag) got out LBW on the second delivery. I was still padding up. Because the decision was a referral, I got the time to get ready,”
Kohli and Gambhir had steadied the ship after Sehwag and Tendulkar were dismissed, and it was Dhoni, who on the night of the final, played a scintillating finisher’s knock.
“The good thing that happened was there was nothing in my mind. If I had to wait for my opportunity, then there would have been a lot of things that would have gone on in my mind since it was a World Cup final and we were chasing 275,”