5 December 2022

The wait has ended and a new legend has been born . Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his intrepid warriors now stand atop a pedestal hitherto occupied only by Kapil’s Devils , and India has become only the third country after Australia and the West Indies to win the World Cup more than once .

The glorious images of this magical evening at Mumbai are destined to be replayed millions of times on TV and the Net , and no matter what happens in Dhoni’s remark able career from here , his place in the Indian cricketing pantheon is assured . Mean while , all of India exulted lustily on Saturday night , and the celebrations are going to continue for a long , long time This , after all , is a party that was 28 years in the making .

India Are No 1 In ODIs , Tests
India Are No 1 In ODIs , Tests

After three successive damp squibs ( in 1999 , 2003 and 2007 ) , Saturday finally produced a match worthy of a Cup final , in its 10th edition . Team India created history by not once but bucking it thrice over . No team had ever won a World Cup on home ground , no side had ever successfully chased a target in excess of 250 in a World Cupflnal , and no squad had ever won after a player in the opposite side had hit a century in a final . But there’s some thing about this squad – where previous teams would have crumbled , they soak up pressure and keep on scrap ping , which explains why India are now ranked No 1 in both Tests and ODIS .

Set 275 to win after Mahela Jayawardene scored a sub lime 103 , India stumbled as Sehwag was trapped LBW by Malinga off the very second ball of the innings . Sachini Tendulkar looked in superb touch , racing to 18 , but he then edged Malinga and Sangakkara came up with a peach of a catch . Tendulkar walked off to a standing ovation . A few hours later , he would be carried around all teary – eyed , to a rapturous reception , but at that moment few would have bet on it .

Gambhir and Kohli set about rebuilding the innings , while ensuring the asking rate never got out of hand . But the match still hung in the balance when Kohli fell to a superb re turn catch by Dilshan , with the score 114/3 . Another quick wicket could have sent the innings into a death spiral .

Enter Dhoni . The skipper had struggled through the tournament . But when the chips were down , he made a statement of intent that re sounded around the world.

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