Team India had won its second ODI World Cup in 2011 under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. Skipper Dhoni who played a crucial knock in the finals, was adjudged man of the match. It was Gautam Gambhir who set the platform in the winning race but Dhoni stole the show with his blisterous innings.
India was 31/2 in just 6.1 overs with both openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar went back to the pavilion. However, it did not affect the mighty Gambhir and he played a fearless knock of 97 runs and stitched a valuable partnership with MS Dhoni.
After 11 years of winning ODI World Cup, Paddy Upton who was strengthing and mental conditioning coach at that time of team India, has revealed that the team’s former head coach Garry Kristen named ‘Gautam Gambhir’ as ‘THE ROCK’.
“Gary Kristen named Gautam Gambhir ‘The Rock’ and his name in the team was ‘The Rock’. Because he was the stability the backbone of that Indian batting line-up. Gambhir allowed Sehwag to play that amazing game that he played. He allowed Sachin to come in and express himself. He allowed Yuvraj with that beautiful swing of his to come in and just be so destructive the way he did. And he set up (things) for Dhoni to be able to come in and finish things off.” Upton was quoted by the Times of India.
“So many times the rock, the foundation, and the roots of that batting performance were provided by Gambhir ‘The Rock’. No greater example than that 97 that he scored in that world cup final. It is not spoken about much, because it wasn’t the guy who his that six over long-on.’ He added.
Talking about India’s victory against Srilanka in the World Cup finals came after 28 years. Team India had won its last ODI World Cup in 1983 under Kapil Dev’s captaincy.