Gautam Gambhir vs MS Dhoni: Who was the MVP in the 2011 World Cup Final?

Photo Credit 1- Hindustan Times

2nd April 2011 is the date that is the most special and will be forever remembered by all Indian cricket fans. It was on this day that the Indian cricket team won the ODI World Cup after twenty-eight years. India had won the last world cup in 1983 under the captain Kapil Dev. The team led by MS Dhoni created history by proving victorious in 2011. The World Cup final was the most exciting match of the tournament. We got to witness some amazing cricket by several players of both the team. However, the two names that often come up whenever it is talked about the final are Gautam Gambhir and the former captain of Team India MS Dhoni.

The toss of the final match was won by Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara and he elected to bat first. Mahela Jayawardene contributed by playing an important inning of 103 not out which helped in the scoreboard of Sri Lanka. With the help of Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera, Sri Lanka scored 91 runs in the last 10 overs which led to an overall score of 274/6 

Photo Credit 2- India Today

India had a very rough start while chasing the target given by Sri Lanka. The openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar were dismissed early and India was at 32 for two. However, the next batsmen Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli were able to recover and acted as a strong shield which led to their 83-run partnership before Kohli was dismissed. It came as a shock for all when MS Dhoni walked at the number five position instead of Yuvraj Singh. This became the turning point for team India. Both Dhoni and Gambhir are a combination of right and left-handed batsmen respectively hence it became difficult for the Sri Lankan bowlers to dismiss them between continuous changing of fielding positions and the good running between the wickets of these batsmen which turned into the favor of India. With the help of exceptional boundaries, Dhoni and Gambhir scored 109 runs for the fourth wicket bringing the score of Gambhir to 97. Gambhir was bowled by Thisara Perera falling short of 3 runs for his well-deserved century. With 52 runs needed from 52 balls, Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh were successful in chasing the target and winning the trophy for the country. 

Photo Credit 3- espncricinfo

Even after ten years of winning the historic world cup, the comparison between Gambhir and Dhoni is still made and many people have different opinions. For the average cricket fan, both Gambhir and Dhoni played outstanding innings in the most important match of Indian cricket. Gautam Gambhir played an amazing knock of 93 runs and he did not let the pressure affect his game after the early dismissals of Indian openers. He was calm and composed throughout the game which also reflected in his batting which resulted in his crucial contribution on the scoreboard. MS Dhoni, on the other hand took a smart decision of coming at number five in the batting line-up. His idea of the combination of one right and one left-hand batsman playing on the pitch worked for India which also proved his good captaincy. Even after Gambhir was dismissed, Dhoni did not let his guard down and played an outstanding inning along with Yuvraj Singh by contributing 91 runs on the scoreboard. The partnership of Dhoni and Gambhir played the most important role in the Indian innings. Their partnership is one of the reasons why India was successful in lifting the World Cup and not their individual scores and certainly not the six by Dhoni. After all, cricket is a team sport and every player plays an important and equal role in a game. When a team is victorious, it is because of the contribution of every member who is a part of the team. It will be unfair to give credits to a single player for the victory. What do you think?

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