Recently, India celebrated the ninth anniversary of their victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. During the final of that tournament, the legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar ordered Virender Sehwag to sit tight next to him.
Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were a long time opening partner in the ODI format. The Indian team management mostly put their fate on this opening combination during the CWC 2011.
On 2nd April 2011, India met Sri Lanka in the final of that tournament at the Wankhede Stadium (Mumbai). After Sri Lanka managed to score 274/6 (50 overs), India lost their both openers at the very early stage of the game. While Sehwag (0) was dismissed on the second delivery of that game without opening his account, Tendulkar lost his wicket in the seventh over after scoring just 18 runs.
We hadn’t moved: Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag sat tightly during the final of the Cricket World Cup 2011
After returning to the dressing room, Tendulkar tried to follow the same pattern of sitting arrangement that happened during the quarter-final of that tournament against Australia at Mohali. It was also a tensed chasing for India where Sehwag (15) departed cheaply, but Tendulkar returned to the pavilion after scoring 53 runs. India finally won that thrilling quarter-final by five wickets with 14 balls remaining. To follow the same pattern of sitting arrangement in the final like their quarter-final, the legendary cricketer ordered Sehwag to sit tightly next to him.
Recently, Tendulkar told TOI, “I came back to the dressing room after I got out and went and sat in my seat. During the quarterfinal, against Australia, after our (Sachin & Viru’s) partnership, I had returned to the dressing room and was lying down on the physio’s table and Viru was next to me.
“We hadn’t moved. Even this time (at Wankhede), coincidentally, Viru happened to be there and I asked him to sit next to me and not move.”
Though Sehwag wanted to watch that final match from the balcony, Tendulkar didn’t allow him to do that.
Tendulkar added, “Yes, I said, ‘nothing doing. Tu yahan se hilega nahi (you won’t move from here). Because even in the quarterfinal, it had worked well for us. We had done the same thing after our partnership in the quarterfinal.”
Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli handled the early situation very well with the 83 runs partnership for the third wicket. After Kohli (35) was dismissed, captain MS Dhoni came to bat ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh. Gambhir and Dhoni’s 109 runs partnership for the fourth wicket helped India to reach closer to the target.
Though Gambhir was bowled on 97 runs, Dhoni (91*) and Yuvraj (21*) guided the team to the victory without losing another wicket. India chased down the target in 48.2 overs after losing four wickets as they won that final by six wickets.