There are a lot of stories about Team India’s infamous 2011 World Cup win after winning the game against Sri Lanka in the final. Yet, in the 12 years since that memorable day, fans have often been served with a ‘never heard’ tale. Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday revealed how Team India skipper MS Dhoni encouraged him to score a century in the final.
After Sri Lanka were set a target of 275 by Mahela Jayawardene’s century, India lost opener Virender Sehwag in the first over itself. Lasith Malinga again dismissed the dangerous Sachin Tendulkar for just 18 runs a few overs later.
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Gambhir then managed to stem the flow of wickets as he got help from young Virat Kohli. The pair put on an impressive 83-run partnership for the third wicket before Kohli was dismissed thanks to a brilliant catch and bowled by Tillakaratne Dilshan. Gambhir then stitched another partnership, this time with Dhoni for a game-changing 109-run partnership.
Along the way, Gautam Gambhir scored 97 and was just three runs short of becoming the first Indian batsman to score a century in an ODI World Cup final and eighth overall. Medium pacer Thisara Perera was clean bowled while coming down the track. Speaking to Star Sports during the first ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Guwahati, Gambhir revealed how much Dhoni supported him during his knock, encouraging him to achieve the record feat.
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Gautam Gambhir recalled, “MS Dhoni was very supportive as he wanted me to score a century. He always wanted me to score a century. He also told me in between overs that ‘get your hundred, take your time and don’t rush it. I can accelerate if need be.
Gambhir was eventually dismissed for 97 and Yuvraj Singh later provided the finishing touches, before Dhoni hit the winning six over the long-on fence during his unbeaten 91 as India won their second ODI by six wickets. Won the World Cup trophy.