After realising India’s dream to lift its second World Cup trophy, an emotionally charged up Team India spoke their heart out after beating Sri Lanka here on Saturday. One thing that stayed common among every players’ thoughts was that they wanted to win it for Sachin Tendulkar and for the country.
World Cup’s leading wicket-taker with 21 wickets and the spearhead of India’s bowling attack Zaheer Khan said the team “wanted it too badly.”
“We wanted it too badly. I’m glad we achieved it. Obviously, it was for the special man here (Sachin Tendulkar) standing next to me. We’re all very happy for him,” said a beaming Zaheer, pulling Yuvraj Singh to his side. “And this man here (Yuvraj), I told him long time back when he was going through a rough phase that he’s gonna win the Cup for us.
And the man to whom the team dedicated the cup was his humble-self, stating that it was a team effort.
“Thanks to our support staff. Everyone worked very hard, especially Mike Horn who joined us before the World Cup started. And also in the last couple of games worked on our mental side to deal with expectations and pressure. So I think that has really helped,” said Tendulkar.
“Obviously the team stuck together through ups and downs; there were a few rough phases in the team. We proved most of the people wrong, who were doubting our ability,” the master batsman added.
When quizzed about the evident self-belief in Team India, Tendulkar said it was “always there.”
“It has always been there, a little more in the last two years when we have been consistent. It has been an honour to be part of this team. A special thanks to Gary and the whole staff. I think their contribution has been immense.”
Virender Sehwag, who missed out in the final after a first-over dismissal while chasing 275 to win, said the team always dreamt of playing the final in Mumbai.
“We discussed one year before when we were playing in Dambulla. We discussed that and imagined we were playing the final of the World Cup in Mumbai, 2nd of April. We prepared well. Actually we discussed in the team meeting that we will play the final and we will win the final,” said Sehwag.
Man of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh dedicated the award to his Guru ji and parents.
“I want do dedicate this award to my Guru Ji, Guru Ram Singh and Guru Ajit Singh; my mother; my parents, and our fans. Thank you very much. It won’t we possible without their support.”
On the pressure of chasing in a World Cup final, Yuvraj was quick to point out India’s failure in Johannesburg eight years back.
“The last time we were in a World Cup final, we were chasing 358… Batting second is a lot of pressure. I think MS (Dhoni) and Gauti batted well… we batted like champions.”
He also had a special world for Narendra Hirwani who has been helping him with his bowling.
“I have been working hard on my bowling. Narender Hirwani has been helping me a lot with my bowling and it has been coming nice and taking two or three wickets really helps the team.”
An emotional Gautam Gambhir, who missed a World Cup century but made the most notable contribution of 97, said that the World Cup win is for Tendulkar.
“We wanted to win it for Sachin Tendulkar. This World Cup is for him. It’s yet to sink in and I don’t know when it will sink in,” Gambhir said shortly after the match.
When asked about Yuvraj and Harbhajan Singh who were in tears, Gambhir said, “They have seen nightmare of 2007, so they know how it feels to win World Cup. This is a dream come true.”
Virat Kohli, who carried Tendulkar on his shoulder during a lap of honour, said it was fitting to carry Sachin Tendulkar on their shoulders.
“Sachin Tendulkar has carried Indian cricket on his shoulders for 21 years. So it was fitting that we carried him on our shoulders after this win,” said the promising youngster.
Harbhajan Singh, who shed tears after the historic win, said, “This means the World to me. This is for the people of our nation.”
Last but not the least, India’s captain cool MS Dhoni, who turned it around with a Man-of-the Match performance of 91 not out in 79 balls, was quick to point out the team’s critics.
“A few decisions I have taken today, including why I brought in S Sreesanth instead of Ravichandran Ashwin and why I promoted myself in the batting order ahead of Yuvraj who has been in great form. It could have been that the decisions cost the match,” he said at the post-match presentation after India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets to lift the trophy.
“We have been hearing a lot of things during this tournament and so it feels great to win the World Cup,” he said.
“I always wanted to give chance to give chance to younger players by sending them up the order. Today, I thought I would take the responsibility myself. It was more like proving myself and not to others,” he said.
“We spent the last 30-35 days together in the field and the dressing room thinking of this victory only and we have achieved that now,” he added.

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