On the 10th anniversary of India’s second 50-over World Cup triumph, Man of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh fondly looked back on his all-round efforts in the campaign. India beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the final to win the coveted prize for the first time since Kapil’s Devils bagged the Prudential Cup in 1983.
Yuvraj Singh is one of the few cricketers to have tasted three different World Cup successes – U-19 World Cup in 2000, T20 World Cup in 2007 and the 50-over World Cup in 2011. The 39-year-old thanked the almighty while remembering his cherished journey.
“God has indeed been very kind to me. I’ve been part of two World Cup triumphs and each one gives me an added reason to feel good about contributing to the team,” Yuvraj Singh told The Hindu.
The contributions were not just to Team India but to world cricket in general. After all, hitting Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over in the 2007 event and earning the biggest individual honour on the biggest of stages four years later are no mean feats.
The 36-run over created such an impact that, as Yuvraj Singh himself admitted, people still recall that Durban night. And contributing with both the bat and ball across 9 outings at the 2011 World Cup was another performance for the ages.
“In 2007, those six sixes in an over brought a different kind of joy to the people, especially the young cricket fans. I still get lots of people coming to me and recalling how it was for them to watch the ball sail over the boundary, ball after ball,” Yuvraj Singh said.
“Again in 2011, I think I could play a hand in most of the games. When I did not contribute with the bat, like against Pakistan [in the semi-finals], I took two top-order wickets [Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan] and again two against Lanka, including Sangakkara’s [and Thilan Samaraweera’s],” Yuvraj Singh added.
The middle-order mainstay finished the tournament with 362 runs at an average of 90.50 and 15 wickets at 25.13.
“Winning matters but winning in style matters a little more” – Yuvraj Singh
After picking two crucial wickets in the first innings of the final, Yuvraj Singh was again the point of discussion in the second essay. Or to be precise, his batting position was. This was after captain MS Dhoni walked out to bat at Yuvi’s usual No. 5 slot.
What followed was carnage and counter-attack of the highest order. So much so that Gautam Gambhir, who scored a 122-ball 97 and was the fulcrum of the innings ressurection, saw Dhoni being awarded the Man of the Match for his unbeaten 91 off 79 balls.
Yuvraj Singh was particularly effusive in praise for MSD’s winning six.
“Winning matters but winning in style matters a little more. That’s the difference between taking a winning single and sending the ball into the stands. It was indeed a job well done,” Yuvraj Singh exclaimed.
MS Dhoni deposited seamer Nuwan Kulasekara over long-on to complete the highest successful run-chase in a World Cup final with 10 balls remaining.