(Last Updated on : 20-05-2013)
As the host nation for the 2011 World Cup, India were expected to perform well, and were considered pre-tournament favourites by the media and press. Like in 2007, India came into the World Cup on a string of strong performances, both at home and abroad. The team was considered as a strong batting side with the likes of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar
anchored a star-studded batting line-up, followed by the talented Gautam Gambhir, rising star Virat Kohli
, and the explosive Yuvraj Singh, Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
and all-rounder Suresh Raina
batted in at the No. 5 and 6 spots, respectively. While the bowling attack was considered more suspect, two veterans in paceman Zaheer Khan
and Ashish Nehra, and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh
were joined by newcomers Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla
, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Shantakumaran Sreesanth.
Indian Team started the World Cup campaign with an emphatic win over Bangladesh. Behind centuries from Virender Sehwag
(175 from 140 balls, 14 fours, 5 sixes) and Virat Kohli (100 not out. from 83 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) India scored 4/370. Munaf Patel
(4-48) took 4 wickets during the Bangladesh reply, including that of opener Tamim Iqbal (70 from 86 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) as Bangladesh scored 9/283 in 50 overs to fall short.
India's next match was against England at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium
, which ended on a draw. In the rest of the matches in the group India defeated minnows Ireland and Netherlands at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium and Feroz Shah Kotla
respectively, to advance into the next round.
For the next round India played South Africa in Nagpur
. The match did not go India's way and it was India's first loss in their World Cup campaign.
The next match was against West Indies which India won and advanced the quarterfinals and finished second in Group B.
The quarterfinals were held in Ahmedabad
against defending champions Australia. Captain Ricky Ponting (104 from 118 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) and Brad Haddin (53 from 62 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) scored fluently, but Ravichandran Ashwin
, Zaheer Khan, and Yuvraj Singh
took wickets at regular intervals to restrict Australia to 6/250 in 50 overs. Tendulkar (53 from 68 balls, 7 fours) Gautam Gambhir
(50 from 64 balls, 2 fours) and Yuvraj Singh (57 n.o. from 65 balls, 8 fours) all scored half-centuries in the reply. The match went all the down to the wire and India clinched on to it till the end and ended winning it at last, with 14 deliveries to spare.
The semi finals were against Pakistan. India batted first after winning the toss. Sehwag gave India a brilliant start and Tendulkar (85 from 115 balls, 11 fours) top-scored for India despite being dropped four times in the field. India scored 260/9 in 50 overs. Pakistan fell short of the target and was all out for 231 runs.
The final encounter was against Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium
. Sri Lanka, having won the toss batted first and made 274/6 after 50 overs. India began the chase rather shakily as Sachin was out cheap, bowled cheaply by Lasith Malinga (2-42) to leave India at 2/31 from 6.1 overs. But Gautam Gambhir helped India rebuilt the innings and the 83 runs partnership with Virat turned out to be crucial. After Kohli was caught and bowled to leave India at 3/114, Gambhir (97 from 122 balls, 9 fours) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91 not out from 79 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) scored 109 runs for the fourth wicket, in a vicious attack on the tiring Sri Lankan bowlers. Yuvraj Singh joined him once Gambhir got out. Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni carried India to the required total, with Dhoni blasting a massive six off the final delivery. India would win the match by six wickets. Dhoni was named Man of the Match for his assault on the Sri Lankan bowling attack. With the win, India secured their first World Cup finals victory since 1983.
There were a huge number of positives for the Indian side in the tournament. Sachin Tendulkar scored 482 runs, and was the second-highest run scorer in the tournament after Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan. Zaheer Khan took 21 wickets, and was the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup along with Shahid Afridi. Yuvraj Singh
, who scored 362 runs and took 15 wickets, was named Man of the Tournament.