It goes without saying that the World Cup is the highest stage available for any cricketer to turn himself into a super-hero, and a darling among fans. As the build-up to the 2015 ICC World Cup gets intense, we look back at some fantastic performances which took place in World Cup finals. In our final part, we rewind to the World Cup final in 2011 in which India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Watch Cricket Video Highlights of India vs Sri.Lanka – Highlights of ICC World Cup 2011 – Final
Above photo: MUMBAI, INDIA – APRIL 02: M.S Dhoni, captain of India hits the winning runs watched by Kumar Sangakkara captain of Sri Lanka to secure victory during the 2011 ICC World Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka played at Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Graham Crouch/Getty Images)
MS Dhoni: The Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was having a poor World Cup, but on the day that mattered most, he stood tall. Considering his lack of runs, MS Dhoni surprised many by coming in ahead of the man of the tournament in the final, Yuvraj Singh. But, he proved his critics wrong in the best possible manner. Coming in at number five, and with India still a fair way away from the target, MS Dhoni smashed a remarkable unbeaten 91 from 79 balls with eight fours and two sixes. He featured in the match changing partnership with Gautam Gambhir and hit the now legendary six, off Nuwan Kulasekara, to seal the Cup for India.
Above photo: Indian batsman Gautum Gambhir (L) cuts a ball away as Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara (R) looks on during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 between India and Sri Lanka at The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011. AFP PHOTO/William WEST/Getty Images
Gautam Gambhir: While MS Dhoni rollicked his way to a match-winning performance, Gautam Gambhir did all the slog work. India had lost their big guns Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag early to Lasith Malinga. They desperately needed to steady the ship, and Gambhir did the same, in the company of the relatively inexperienced Virat Kohli. Occupying the crease for 122 balls, Gautam Gambhir made a stoic 97 with the help of nine fours. He deserved a hundred, but only we had himself to blame as he played a poor slog. He had done enough to take India out of trouble though.
Above photo: MUMBAI, INDIA – APRIL 02: Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka celebrates his century during the 2011 ICC World Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Mahela Jayawardene: He was the captain when Sri Lanka lost to Australia in the 2007 final. Four years later, Mahela Jayawardene was the senior most member of the squad, and thus would have been keen to win the title. Mahela Jayawardene batted with that intention, and produced glorious results. In one of the finest displays of deft stroke making, Jayawardene pierced the Indian attack en route to a quite brilliant 103 not out from 88 balls, an innings decorated with 13 hits to the fence. This, after Sri Lanka had got off to a poor start. Jayawardene’s hundred wasn’t enough for Lanka to win the title, but it was a glorious effort nonetheless.
Above photo: (FILES) In this photograph taken on April 2, 2011, Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar is carried on his teammates’ shoulders after India defeated Sri Lanka in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final played at The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. India’s record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar on December 23, 2012 announced his retirement from one-day cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said. AFP PHOTO/William WEST/FILES/GETTY IMAGES
Other notable contributions: Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh claimed two wickets apiece for India. With the bat, Kohli contributed a crucial 35 and Yuvraj was unbeaten on 21. For Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara made 48, Tillakaratne Dilshan 33 and Nuwan Kulasekara 32. Lasith Malinga finished with 2 for 42 with the ball.