After 2011 World Cup triumph, India did not play with same playing 11 ever again

The Indian cricket team that won the 2011 World Cup title did not play with the same playing 11 ever again due to MS Dhoni's rotation policy.

MS Dhoni file photo, Image credit: Facebook/MS Dhoni
By Siddharth vishwanathan | Apr 2, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The Indian cricket team won the ICC Cricket World Cup on April 2, 2011 by beating Sri Lanka in the final. The six-wicket win helped India eliminate 28 years of heartbreak, having last won the 1983 World Cup campaign. The squad included the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli at the top. MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh formed a formidable lower middle order.  Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth and Ashish Nehra were the bowlers, with R Ashwin as the back-up.

The 11 players who were on the field at the Wankhede on April 2 gave 1.3 billion Indians reasons to cheer. 10 years on, people still are looking back at it fondly. However, there was one negative impact from the win. India did not play the same playing 11 in any of the future games after the World Cup win. MS Dhoni’s rotational policy of resting senior players and bringing in new people was heavily criticized.

Dhoni, Raina and Kohli would form the new core. Tendulkar would rest, Sehwag was injured while Gambhir would lose form. Zaheer was injured while Munaf also had a combination of injuries and poor form. Harbhajan’s form also waned while Nehra also fell out of favour.

Not a super-power

Gambhir, who had starred with 97 in the final against Sri Lanka, has said looking back at the World Cup win was not a good sign. “More we look backwards, we would never able to move ahead. I simply don’t understand, why people just keep going back and get that high of 1983 or 2011. Yes, it’s nice to talk about it and it’s ok. We won the World Cup, but its always good to look ahead instead of looking back,” Gambhir told PTI in an interaction.

Gambhir said that unless India do not win a World Cup in the next couple of years, they cannot call themselves a super power. “India would have been considered super power in world cricket if we had won the 2015 or the 2019 World Cup. It’s 10 years and we haven’t won another World Cup. That’s why I never go too overboard with things that ‘oh this is a special achievement’.