Kolkata: “Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd! India lift the World Cup after 28 years!” commentator Ravi Shastri screamed with joy. And the entire nation was ecstatic. The then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, tweaking the elbow in his signature style earned us what Indian fans craved for. History was made at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai against Sri Lanka in the World Cup final. The date April 2, 2011 since then has been etched as a golden memory in the hearts of the billions of fans in the country. The men in blue won their second World Cup after a long and eager wait of 28 years.
Arguably, one of the best skippers India has ever produced, Dhoni’s smashing 91 not out off 79 deliveries on this day six years ago, secured the World Cup for us. He helped Sachin Tendulkar earn probably the only trophy the master craved for.
A lot has changed in these six years. The person who promoted himself up the batting order ahead of an in-form Yuvraj Singh in the final, the person who handed the Cup straight to the team after receiving it, and the person who gave us a memory to cherish forever has stepped down as the skipper of the Indian national cricket team. Whether or not we will be able to see the helicopter shot in the 2019 World Cup is a million-dollar question.
Ever since Dhoni took the charge of the team in 2007, he not only gave us very few scopes of complaints but gave us tons of memories to enjoy. Be it the 2007 T20 World Cup or the 2011 World Cup title or the Champions Trophy in 2013, there was no looking back for the team. Yes, it all started with a big controversy when Dhoni was dead against the presence of some senior players for the shorter formats of the game, but standing here today we realise that it was a blessing in disguise.
Before Dhoni stepped in, can you remember when was the last time India’s fielding was considered as threatening as that of the Aussies or the South Africans? Under his leadership, Team India has shown a remarkable improvement in the outfield. Stealing a single or two is really a tough job for the batsmen now, especially when the ball goes the hands of players like Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and others.
The first captain to win all the three ICC limited-overs trophies, under Dhoni’s leadership, Team India for the first time reached the Numero Uno spot in Test cricket rankings. Under his guidance, India became the first team in 40 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. So, today on the sixth anniversary of India’s historic triumph, we at SportsCrunch take a bow and salute the efforts of Captain Cool, the man who changed the fortunes of Indian cricket. Your contributions are unparalleled.