Gautam Gambhir’s contribution to India’s 2011 World Cup triumph is often overlooked for MS Dhoni’s innings. While the then Indian captain did play a knock for the ages, Gautam Gambhir’s 97 off 122 deliveries was what set India on the path to victory. Speaking to the official website of his Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders, said that everyone in the Indian dressing room believed that they could win the World Cup.
“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,” he added.
“We were chasing 275 and I was not even ready when Viru (Virender Sehwag) got out (leg before wicket) LBW on the second delivery. I was still padding up. Because the decision was a referral, I got the time to get ready,” said Gambhir. Sehwag’s opening partner Sachin Tenndulkar was also dismissed without making too much of an impact on the scoreboard and India suddenly found themselves 31/2 inside the first seven overs.
India then got back into the match after Gambhir stitched an 83-run partnership with Virat Kohli. But the most important knock of the match was his 109-run stand for the fourth wicket with skipper MS Dhoni. “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,” recalled Gambhir.