ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India crowned world champions

World Cup dream began after 2007 exit - Tendulkar

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 5, 2011

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Sachin Tendulkar waves the India flag in triumph, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
The prospect of winning the World Cup in front of his home crowd had motivated Sachin Tendulkar through tough times © AFP

Sachin Tendulkar has revealed that he started nurturing ambitions of winning the 2011 World Cup right after India's crushing first-round exit in the 2007 edition of the tournament. Talking to Mid-Day after India's victory in the World Cup final, Tendulkar said the prospect of lifting the Cup in front of his home crowd had motivated him through tough times.

"That [winning the World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium] was my dream after we lost in 2007," Tendulkar said. "I took up that challenge. I said, the next World Cup is in Mumbai and this is where I would want the trophy. It was a challenge and I started working towards that.

"After the 2007 World Cup when we got to know that the next one is in India and the final would be held in Mumbai. That is when I felt that this is the place where we have to lift the trophy."

Tendulkar admitted the 2007 exit, which came on the back of a patch of poor personal form was the toughest phase of his career. "Yeah, it was really tough," Tendulkar said. "My family and friends really supported me at that stage. It was probably the toughest phase of my career and I was really demoralised. Talking about the World Cup in India at that time was something which motivated me. The final in Mumbai, that was greater motivation because here is where I grew up playing cricket. I wanted to do something really, really special here in India and Mumbai."

Tendulkar said MS Dhoni's winning hit in the final was the most unforgettable moment of the campaign. "The moment the winning runs were scored, I jumped," he said. "Viru [Virender Sehwag] who was next to me, jumped too. We were sitting in the dressing room and praying."

India's win included hard-fought victories against each of the former World Cup champions. Tendulkar scored two centuries in losing causes, but rated his chancy 85 against Pakistan as his most important contribution. Tendulkar recalled a couple of critical moments in that game, which India went on to win and extend their unbeaten record against Pakistan in World Cups.

"We set a 6-3 field against Pakistan at Mohali," Tendulkar said. "Their opening batsman, Mohammad Hafeez tried to play a sweep shot off Munaf Patel and got caught behind. I thought that was the turning point of the match.

"The catch Viru took off Shahid Afridi [was also crucial]. The match was very much alive then because Misbah-ul-Haq and Afridi were batting and we needed two-three big overs at that stage, so that was an important catch. An easy one, but important."


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