New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: After the long wait of 28 years, India lifted the Cricket World Cup ten years ago on this day. The World Cup 2011 victory marked the beginning of a new era for the Indian cricket team with players reaching at peak of the careers and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who led India to the World Cup victory became the most successful captain of Indian cricket. 

Each year, on April 2, cricket fans across the country celebrate the victory of the 2011 World Cup. However, this year, the celebrations will be different as the country will observe the 10th anniversary of the 2011 World Cup win.

The 2011 World Cup tournament was held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with Men in Blue starting as favourites. However, Indian cricket had to face a stiff challenge from other teams, especially from Graeme Smith's South Africa and Ricky Ponting's Australia.

The Men in Blue's campaign started with their inaugural match against Bangladesh in Dhaka. The Indian team, which were still recovering from the loss in 2007, defeated Bangladesh by 87 runs, starting their campaign on a winning note.

After Bangladesh, India faced England in Bangalore. The game in Bangalore left fans to stick to their seats till the last ball as it ended in a nail-biting tie. Following the England match, India comfortably defeated Ireland and Netherlands in their group stage game.

However, the big challenge came from Graeme Smith's South Africa which stunned MS Dhoni's India and defeated them by three wickets to put a pause on their winning note. However, the loss against South Africa didn't affect MS Dhoni and his men much as they bounced back strongly to win their sixth and final league game against West Indies by 80 runs.

By winning four of their six league games, India sealed a playoffs berth. Their next match was against Ricky Ponting's Australia. A tough challenge was expected from the Australians but Yuvraj Singh, along with support from Suresh Raina and Sachin Tendulkar, helped India win a difficult quarter-finals game.

After a morale-boosting win over Australians, India faced their arch-rivals Pakistan, led by Shahid Afridi, in the semi-finals. Thanks to a classy 85 from Sachin Tendulkar, India managed to beat Pakistan by 29 runs to reach their third World Cup final.

After beating Pakistan, India was only one step behind from winning their second World Cup. The final was played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai with Sri Lanka batting. Thanks to a brilliant hundred from Mahela Jayawardena, Sri Lanka were able to put a good total of 274 in their 50 overs.

A lot was expected from Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag in the finals but the two failed to deliver at the big stage. However, Gautam Gambhir (97) emerged as a saviour for India as he staged a match-winning partnership with Dhoni (91 not out) to help India win their second 50-over World Cup.

Dhoni, who scored his first World Cup fifty in the final, was awarded the man of the match award for his 91 not out. The Indian skipper's 91 surely inspired the team and helped the Men in Blue win their second ODI World Cup.

On the 10th anniversary of the World Cup win, we congratulate all the members of the 2011 squad who fulfilled the dreams of 125 crore Indians.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma