If World Cup finals would be talked anywhere in India, two names would be talked about the most for sure: Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni. The two have done tremendously well in both the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ICC ODI World Cup as well.
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir was the unsung hero of the Indian team’s victory in the final of the 2011 World Cup against Sri Lanka, despite MS Dhoni getting all the glory for his innings of 91* and the match-winning six.
Gambhir had given India the stability in the chase of 275-run target set by Sri Lanka, for whom Mahela Jayawardena had scored a brilliant 103*. Lasith Malinga hurt India early on by removing Virender Sehwag for a duck and then dismissed Sachin Tendulkar for 18 runs.
Then Gambhir added 83 runs for the third wicket with Virat Kohli (35) and then added perhaps the match-winning 109 runs with MS Dhoni. Gambhir was then dismissed 3 runs short of his century on 97 by Thisara Perera, leaving MS Dhoni to finish the match with that glorious six off Kusal Parera.
Gambhir has often expressed his anger when the match winning six by MS Dhoni gets more attention and praise that it deserves.
“There were 13 or probably 14 unsung heroes in that win! Munaf, I, Harbhajan Singh, Virat Kohli, who got a hundred in the first game, Suresh Raina, who played a crucial knock against Pakistan – all these players’ contributions were unbelievable. For that matter, when I look back today after ten years, I feel Yuvraj was an unsung hero as well, despite being the ‘Man of the Tournament.’ You won’t talk about him, but people do talk about that one six (MS Dhoni’s winning runs) for sure,” Gautam Gambhir told Times of India.
“If I got 97, I was supposed to get those runs. Zaheer Khan’s job was to pick wickets. We were supposed to do our jobs. What we did on April 2, we didn’t do anyone any favours,” added Gambhir.