The World Cup final in 2011 was undoubtedly the most important match in the history of Indian cricket. It was all set for a fitting grand finale clash between India and Sri Lanka as both the sides were looking for their second ODI WC title. After Sri Lanka set up a target of 275 for the home side, it was never going to be an easy task for India in the humid conditions. But Gautam Gambhir (97 off 122) and MS Dhoni (91* off 79) played innings of their lives to guide the Men in Blue to a historic title at the iconic Wankhede Stadium.
However, things would have been completely different had a few things gone slightly other way during the course of the match. While everyone often speaks about the Dhoni-Gambhir partnership, double-toss debacle, Jayawardene’s century, Zaheer’s opening spell and MSD’s batting position, there were a few game-changing moments in that match which went completely unnoticed. Let us have a look at 5 of those moments during the historic match that was played 10 years ago on April 2, 2011.
1. Harbhajan’s unorthodox ploy to dismiss dangerous Dilshan
Sri Lanka’s opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan was in the form of his life during the 2011 World Cup. The right-handed batsman had provided some explosive starts at the top of the order and was going to be a key player for them in the grand finale. When Dhoni introduced Harbhajan Singh into the attack, Dilshan had already gone off to a steady start.
However, the Indian off-spinner came up with an unorthodox ploy and started to bowl round the wicket. Sunil Gavaskar wasn’t really impressed with negative mindset of India’s leading spinner. But the plan reaped benefits in as early as Bhajji’s second over as Dilshan, soon after reaching the 500-run mark in the tournament, tried to play a sweep shot and was bowled round his legs. It was probably the most important moment of the final because had the explosive opener played a big knock, Sri Lanka would have crossed the 300-run mark.