MS Dhoni won the Player of the Final award in 2011. Photo: BCCI/BCCL
- India won the 2011 World Cup with a win over Sri Lanka in the final
- MS Dhoni was bestowed with the Player of the Final award for his unbeaten 91
- Gautam Gambhir scored a crucial 97
MS Dhoni-led Team India ended the country’s 28-year wait to win the ODI World Cup. The Men in Blue lifted the elusive trophy with a win over Sri Lanka in the final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The home team chased down the target of 275 in 48.2 overs. Dhoni’s winning six in the final is probably the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind whenever talking about that final.
The India captain remained unbeaten on 91 in the chase and was bestowed with the Player of the Match award. However, according to Gautam Gambhir, another player deserves the award. Gambhir, who played a crucial knock of 97, believes Zaheer Khan should have been named the Man of the Final.
Gambhir made this statement while commentating during the Bangladesh-New Zealand 2023 World Cup game. Zaheer Khan bowled superbly in the final and his early spell kept Sri Lanka’s score in check.
Zaheer Khan did not concede any runs in his first three overs and dismissed Upul Tharanga on the first delivery of the seventh over. He only gave away six runs in his first spell of five overs. Despite conceding 60 runs in the end, Zaheer’s initial spell played a significant role in India’s victory. With 21 wickets, Zaheer finished as the joint-highest wicket-taker of the World Cup.
Chasing a target of 275, India lost the wicket of Virender Sehwag in the very first over. Sachin Tendulkar also departed early, scoring 18. Gautam Gambhir, along with a young Virat Kohli, stabilized India’s innings with an 83-run partnership for the third wicket.
After Kohli’s dismissal, MS Dhoni joined Gambhir in the middle, and together they added 109 runs for the fourth wicket. Gambhir fell short of a century, getting out for 97 with India on the verge of a historic win. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 91 while Yuvraj Singh scored 21. Dhoni’s match-winning knock earned him the Player of the Match award.
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