The year 2011 World Cup was hosted by India and as such it was expected to put forward better performances. They were also considered favourites in the pre tournament and hopes were high for them. Hype was created by press and media. On the basis of brilliant performances not only on the home front but also on the foreign soil, India came to the World Cup competition.
India was considered strong in its batting line and an attractive lineup was created by Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag who opened the tournament. Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Captain MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, followed the line up and played brilliantly. All of them had certain unique playing style that helped the Indian team as a whole. There was a little doubt about the bowling line up as the two veterans Harbhajan Singh, off spinner and Zaheer Khan, paceman were assisted by new entrants Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Piyush Chawla and Shantakumaran Sreekanth.
The defending champions Australia was faced by the Indian Team in the quarterfinals at Ahmedabad. The toss was won By Australia and they decided to first bat. A wonderful score was created by Australian captain Ricky Ponting making a score of 104 runs from 118 balls with 1 six and 7 fours and Brad Haddin scored 53 runs from 62 balls with 1 six and 6 fours. At regular pace, wickets were snatched by Zaheer Khan, Ravi Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh forcing Australian team to restrict at 260 runs at the loss of six wickets in 50 overs. Tendulkar chased this score with his gutsy batting. He scored 53 runs with 7 fours and 68 balls. He was assisted in this task by Gautam Gambhir who scored 50 runs that included 2 fours at 64 balls. Yuvraj Singh made 57 runs from 65 balls hitting 8 fours. With 5 wickets in hand, India chased this score. In semi finals, India played against their arch rivals, Pakistan. The toss was won by India and decided to bat first. Sehwag started in his customary fast style but still Indian batsmen were facing the problem of Pakistani attack through ballers. The ball hit by Tendulkar was hit four times in the field but he was able to score 85 runs from 115 balls. India slumped at 5/187 and finally India reached its position at 9/260. Wahab Riaz (5-46) took a 5-wicket haul for Pakistan. Despite not so good show by India, Pakistan lost the game.
At Wankhede Stadium, India played a match against Sri Lanka in the World Cup finals. The toss was won by Sri Lanka and they decided to first bat. This was a batting friendly pitch and Zaheer Khan started bowling giving three maiden overs. At 1/31, Upul Tharanga wicket was taken over by Zaheer Khan after tenth over. The Sri Lanka innings was resurrected by Mahela Jaywardhane when he scored a century. Captain of the team Kumar Sangkarra and Thisara Perera also took their team to a comfortable position.
However, India started its run chasing the score rather on a wrong foot. Lasith Malinga bowled out Tendulkar and Sehwag leaving India at 6.1 overs with 2/31 score. Indian Innings was rebuilt by Gautam Gambhir when in partnership of Virat Kohli, he created a score of 83 runs. 109 runs were scored by MS Dhoni and brought Indian team back to the game. After Gambhir, Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh improved the position of the Indian team. The required total was reached when Dhoni blasted a massive sixer on the final ball helping Indian cricket team by six wickets.
Man of the Tournament was given to Yuvraj Singh who took 15 wickets and 362 runs in the course of tournament.
The 2011 Indian world cup team comprised:
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket keeper and captain)
- Virender Sehwag (vice-captain)
- Gautam Gambhir
- Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar
- Yuvraj Singh
- Suresh Raina
- Virat Kohli
- Yusuf Pathan
- Zaheer Khan
- Harbhajan Singh
- Ashish Nehra
- Munaf Patel
- Shanthakumaran Sreesanth
- Piyush Chawla
- Ravichandran Ashwin