Sunday, April 3, 2011

Indian World Cup Win - 10 Moments Of Immortality

Hello All,

CONGRATULATIONS on a magnificent Indian Victory that quenched our thirst for a win after 28 LONG years ! It was worth the wait, worth the investment ( in the TV :) ) and above all a winner's medal for the game's greatest of all time !

Indian Team Win - Made Us Proud !!!

I picked up my 10 Moments of this great Indian Team's Journey in this World Cup and want to share them with you all.
Sehwag gets India off in style

1. Sehwag's First Ball Four Against Bangladesh : -  India's opener against Bangladesh was a possible "banana skinner", India arrived in Bangladesh with every one baying for Revenge and Sehwag himself endorsing the same after what happened in 2007. In that context, Sehwag hitting the first ball to a four to settle the nerves and making 175 went a long way in making this team start in the right fashion. India perhaps is the only country to start with a boundary and end with a six ( courtesy Sehwag and Dhoni ) .

Zaheer - a true performer
 2. Strauss's Dismissal Off Zaheer :- India makes a massive score of 338 courtesy a Master Class from Sachin. But England shocks every one with a classy Strauss leading the way and sleep walk the high octane chase. Less than run a ball needed for the last 9 overs and enters Zaheer. Zaheer turns in a superlative performance after first taking Bell and then yorking Strauss. England and India put up a great show giving us the first and only tie of the WC 2011. But Zaheer gives us the first glimpses of what he can do when the team needs him the most.

Can Yuvraj bowl? Yes, he can !

3. Five Wickets for Yuvraj Against Ireland :- India after playing an under-par game with England clash with Ireland that humbled England in Bangalore. Ireland makes a steady start and Yuvraj makes an entry as a Bowler. He claims his first Five Wicket haul and then stays undefeated with a 50 in an unsteady chase guiding India home and picks up his first of many MoM trophies.

Yuvraj in purple patch
4. Yuvraj Part 2 :-  India restricts Netherlands for a paltry 189 courtesy some good bowling and fielding. Yuvraj takes on the Mantle of the Lead Spinner and delivers. India stumbles big time and loses the Top 5 and that's when India's favorite rescuers come into act. Yuvraj and Dhoni take India past the total with plenty to spare and spare us the blushes of losing. Yuvraj picks up his second MoM for his all round performance.

Sachin triggers a collapse

5. Dramatic Collapse In Nagpur :- India makes it's best start ever in the World Cup and reaches 267/1 in 38 overs against South Africa. Sachin shows us why he is the best ever and  the top 3 score at more than run a ball. India call for the "dreaded" Batting Power Play and lose wickets in a heap and end up with a total less than 300. Nehra then turns out to be the bowler to hand the victory to SA in a tense final over. But Team India learns the lessons of aiming for sky and not reaching anywhere in this traumatic loss. 

Zak does it again !
6. Zaheer plots another collapse against WI :- India meets WI in what was a crucial match for both the teams. Yuvraj comes to the party again by scoring his first WC century and India makes a decent score of 280. WI without Gayle and Chanderpaul actually do very well and Devon Smith shepherds the chase and India gets back remarkably after a great spell of incisive bowling the man of crisis Zaheer.

Raina takes India Home

7. Raina clears his "sins" against short balls :- India vs Australia - QF in Motera. Ricky makes a flawless century and never shows his domination and takes Australia to a decent total. India chases well but lose wickets in a clutter towards the end. Raina walks in with 74 needed in exactly 74 balls. Lee and Tait waste little time in bowling short to him. He pulls the first Lee delivery of 40th over to a boundary that starts the tide in India's favour. Slowly first and later furiously, Raina and Yuvraj dump the World Champions and give India the Dream Semi Final slot against Pakistan in Mohali.

Bhajji strikes when needed !
8. Harbhajan takes out Umar Akmal :- India takes on Pakistan and Sachin with the help of a "charity driven" Pak fielders misses out on a century but gets India to a decent 260. Pak openers play well before madness strikes Hafeez and the middle order makes it more muddled. In comes Umar Akmal with a positive intent and approach and strikes Yuvraj for 2 sixes and threatens to take the match away. Dhoni tosses the ball to Harbhajan who strikes the first ball - the ball skids through and takes out the off stump of Umar Akmal. A Decisive blow from the Sardar and the rest of Pakistan batsmen give up and India makes the final.

Dhoni - The Finisher !
9. Captain Courageous :- Dhoni "wins" and "loses" the toss and sees Jayawardena make a magical century to get SL to take a formidable total in a Final. India start poorly and lose the Great Man very early. But the generation next chips in and takes India to a comfortable position before a smart catch claims Kohli. In comes Dhoni, the cool and collected captain whose highest score in the WC was 34 and was struggling for timing and runs. He takes it upon himself to face the pressure, situation and also decides to take India home come what may. Amidst various factors of severe cramps, dehydration, side muscle pull, he conjures up an Innings of Life Time and gets India Home. India WINS thereby resting a lot of doubts about this team's ability and skill and more importantly the mental fortitude.

Sachin carried by the team mates !
10. Finally, the Winner's Medal for Some One "Special " :-  Sachin finally ends up on the Winning side after many fits and starts. The Master gets his due after many many years of near misses. After 21 years of International Cricket, He gets part of  the World Cup winning squad and the whole nation loves to see his infectious smile and rejoiced with Him. All in all, a perfect finale for a perfect career.....let's celebrate like no tomorrow and may the joy continue....


  1. Hey Pavan couple of other things ... team work, we celebrating humble captain ... (media actually took notice and appreciated) and young guns openly appreciating contribution of Sachin !! all these things are positive signs for us as nation, I hope these gains don't get lost in announcement of crores !!!

  2. Nice write-up. Though I would like to add one more very important but highly undermined point.
    When Raina joined the team for that all-important tie against Aussies, he brought with him, not only his good sensible batting skills but also the fielding skills thats second to none. And this had a cascading effect on the team. Suddenly Virat had company, and they were competing and complementing each other.

    Enter the finals, and you see a 38 year Sachin diving at the boundry line. Zak also made a full-length dive to his wrong side after just completing an over.
    Yuvi who has been battling injuries and extra-weight for a quite a long time was back at backward point - his erstwhile fort. And when was the last time you saw him make a fierce dive. We saved quite a few runs in each of those games. And good fielding encourages bowlers to bowl better and even experiment.

    And for all this we need to hand it to Raina for lifting the fielding and team spirits.

  3. he.y..y.. .lets also not forget the loyal indian fan : ) most importantly including

    -the generous host who for this Worldcup, courageously forayed into the previously unknown, but rewarding world of LED tvs & HD coverage,

    -the quiz enthusiast who turned up inspite of the challenge to maintain his daughters perfect attendance record for her kuchipudi classes,

    -the great spirit who was willing to forego the pleasure of watching his own recently acquired 46" wall decoration in the cool comfort of his own nearby castle

    -and last but not least the intrepid traveler who braved the scorching summer heat on his trusty samurai to not miss a shared viewing experience that was as crucial to the world cup win as the multitide of lucky charms hanging from Sreesanth's neck - or hands.

    -It would also be remiss of us, if we did not mention our friends from R1, the Tendulkar acolyte and crickets ultimate statistician who have made this journey far more colorful by their timely and effervescent contributions !

  4. Well summed up article, Pavan!!I know you track each and every moment of whats happening on the field and the above "Immortal" piece is a result of that.
    Over last 1 year, I have begun to never lose hope on Indian Team even when things are not going our way. Someone or the other seems to stand up and get us home. Something that the world conquering Australian Team did so well.
    Am confident this win will enable a new generation of Confident Indian Cricketers ready to take on the world.
    Again, Thank You for a wonderful piece that allowed to re-live those heady 42 days of 2011 Indian World Cup campaign!!

  5. Very nice blog. Love the first picture. I enjoyed reading all of it. Must say, it is a very spectacular win by India. I am super excited that we finally brought the world cup. :)

  6. Great post Pavan !!!

    This victory was awesome, I stopped watching once Tendulkar left but Dhoni and his champs proved me wrong. The Indian team showed GREAT character as they did not collapse under pressure. It was stressful no doubt, but that only made the victory even sweeter

    1. As Pankaj said, we have a very Humble how many such people do we see in our everyday life, very rare I must say. The captain was even missing in most of the celebration photos or even the victory lap, letting the team have all the fun.

    2. Celebrating success: Pictures speak a thousand words and when I see the first photo, I feel so thrilled, so happy, so positive...question to ask ourselves how many such breath taking moments/celebrations have we had with our families or colleagues ?. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away, so get out and celebrate your salary hikes (however small) !!!


  7. Nicely put. it was truly an amazing team work led by a smart and humble captain.A great opening and a great finish by India.

    what made this a great experience from my point of view are

    - Watching on HD without any Ads breaking the game flow (Thanks to both Pavan and my father)

    - Watching it regularly with cricket buffs like Pavan,Renzy,Raghav,Sasi and dissecting various plays.

    - India actually winning in the end and thereby erasing painful memories of 2003 and 2007 campaigns.

    Special thanks to Pavan and family for being great host and making it a truly memorable experience.