On April 2, 10 years ago, Team India won the 2011 World Cup under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership. Skipper Dhoni with unbeaten 91 and opener Gautam Gambhir with magnificent 97 guided the ‘Men in Blue’ to victory against Sri Lanka in the final at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Dhoni’s memorable six over the long-on created history as India became the first team to win a World Cup on home soil.
Recalling the famous event, Gambhir said there were numerous unsung heroes of that victory, with the main person being all-rounder Yuvraj Singh. The former India international asserted that despite Yuvi bagging the ‘Man of the Tournament’, he would remain the biggest unsung hero of the 2011 World Cup.
Gambhir said that Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina all played their part and helped India win the World Cup.
“There were 13, or probably 14 unsung heroes of that World Cup win! Munaf, me, Harbhajan Singh, Virat Kohli, who got a hundred in the first game, Suresh Raina, who played a very crucial knock against Pakistan – all these players’ contributions were unbelievable,” said Gambhir as quoted by Times of India.
“For that matter, when I look back at it today after ten years, I feel Yuvraj is an unsung hero as well, despite being ‘man of the tournament.’ You won’t talk about him, but people do talk about that one six for sure. All those contributions made India win the World Cup.”
“People say that I’m the unsung hero of that victory, but for me, he’s the biggest unsung hero of both the World Cup wins for India. I’m sure that without his contribution, India wouldn’t have won the 2011 World Cup. For me, he was the biggest player in both the World Cups,” he added.
The cricketer-turned-politician also questioned the absence of many superstars from the 2011 World Cup team, who couldn’t find the place in the next showpiece event in 2015.
“Obviously, you feel sad that you could not go on to defend the World Cup. How many people (from the 2011 team) got a chance to defend the World Cup (in 2015)…very few, two or three, I think. It must have hurt Yuvraj, Harbhajan, all of those who were a part of the 2011 team, not to defend the World Cup. That’s life. You can’t look back,” Gambhir added further.