It has been a decade since Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the iconic six to seal the 2011 ICC World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium, thereby making India the first team to lift the World Cup trophy on home soil.
The Indian cricket team has gone from strength to strength in world cricket since then but where are the players now?.
Here’s a look at the current status of the players from the 2011 World Cup-winning Indian team.
2011 World Cup-winning Indian team: Playing XI for final vs Sri Lanka
Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, S Sreesanth
Sachin Tendulkar: The Master Blaster ended the 2011 World Cup as the second-highest run-getter with 482 runs, with two centuries. He played an important role in India clinching the title.
Sachin continued playing until the 2012 Asia Cup, where he reached his 100th international century and retired from ODIs thereafter. Meanwhile, Tendulkar’s Test career continued till November 2013, when he played his 200th Test match and retired from all forms of cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar is now the 'Icon' of Mumbai in the Indian T20 League and also makes occasional appearances on several talk shows.
Virender Sehwag: It was Tendulkar-Sehwag’s opening pair that had propelled India to strong starts at the 2011 World Cup. The explosive Nawab of Najafgarh had ended the ICC tournament with 380 runs including a century to his name.
Virender Sehwag’s form post the ICC World Cup was inconsistent until early 2013. He was eventually dropped. He continued playing domestic tournaments and was a mainstay in the Indian T20 League until 2015. Sehwag announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in January 2016.
Active on social media, Sehwag has also garnered a fan-following due to his quirky Hindi commentary. He also donned the hat for coaching and mentoring, most notably for Punjab in the Indian T20 League.
Gautam Gambhir: The aggressive southpaw was India’s top scorer in the 2011 World Cup final with 97 runs and is widely considered to be one of India’s unsung heroes. Gautam Gambhir ended the tournament as the sixth-highest scorer with 393 runs.
Surprisingly, Gautam Gambhir’s brilliant batting wasn’t acknowledged with national call-ups as he was dropped from both the Test and limited-overs side soon after. Gambhir continued playing in the Indian T20 League and led Kolkata to two titles in 2012 and 2014. His consistency got him brief stints in the Test side in 2014 and 2016 but Gambhir wasn’t effective enough.
The most difficult decisions are often taken with the heaviest of hearts.— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) December 4, 2018
And with one heavy heart, I’ve decided to make an announcement that I’ve dreaded all my life.
Gambhir announced his retirement in December 2018 to foray into politics and won from the East Delhi constituency in the Lok Sabha elections. He is currently a member of the Parliament.
Virat Kohli: If there has been any Indian player from the 2011 World Cup squad who has grown leaps and bounds, it’s Virat Kohli. Since lifting the World Cup as a 22-year-old, Kohli has gone on to become India’s captain across all formats and create unparalleled records.
The Delhi-lad has amassed over 25 centuries in Tests and over 40 tons in ODIs. He was also honoured with the Sir Garfield Sobers award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade and ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Decade at the ICC Awards of the Decade.
After becoming India’s Test captain in 2015 and the ODI and T20I captain in 2017, Virat Kohli led India to the ICC Champions Trophy final in 2017 and the 2019 World Cup semi-final. In the Indian T20 League, Virat Kohli has been piling runs for Bengaluru.
Yuvraj Singh: Amassing 362 runs and scalping 15 wickets in the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh was India's standout player and was even adjudged the Player of the Tournament.
A 29-year-old Yuvraj was in the form of his life and the all-rounder had a bright future. But months after the World Cup win, Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer and by the time he could make a comeback to international cricket, it was 2012.
However, Yuvraj Singh was never the same since and after sporadic stints in Indian colours he eventually announced his retirement in June 2019. He still occasionally plays cricket having done so in the Abu Dhabi T10 and the Road Safety World Series.
MS Dhoni: It was the captain’s unbeaten 91-run knock in the final that helped India lift their first 50-over ICC World Cup in 28 years, and his match-winning six is now the stuff of legends.
With two World Cup trophies in his cabinet, MS Dhoni earned the label of ‘Captain Cool’. He won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.
In 2015, MS Dhoni shockingly decided to retire from Test cricket. He played his last ODI match for India in the 2019 ICC World Cup and eventually announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15, 2020.
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However, MS Dhoni continues to ply his trade in the Indian T20 League. The Chennai captain has led his team to three titles and will look to lead his franchise to another title in the upcoming edition of the league.
Suresh Raina: The Uttar Pradesh-lad played quite a few valuable knocks in the middle-order during the 2011 World Cup and later went on to become one of India’s most reliable batsmen in the subsequent five years.
Runs eventually dried up for the southpaw and Raina was dropped from the ODI side in 2015 and the T20 side in 2016. Despite his comeback in 2018, he wasn’t selected for the 2019 World Cup. Incidentally, Raina announced his retirement from all forms on August 15, 2020, just moments after Dhoni’s retirement.
Though Raina missed the 2020 Indian T20 League owing to the pandemic, ‘Mr IPL’ has been retained for the 2021 edition by Chennai.
Harbhajan Singh: With nine wickets in the 2011 World Cup, Harbhajan Singh was an important member of the side. But his career plummeted rapidly following the historic win. He was dropped from the ODI side after just five months and from the Test side, six months later.
Though his experience fetched him call-ups in the T20I side in 2012 and 2016, the ‘Turbanator’ wasn’t a regular in the team. However, Harbhajan remains a mainstay in the Indian T20 League, having played for Mumbai, Chennai and now Kolkata.
Looking forward to win another 🏆 with purple and gold.. thank you for having me.. all you will get from me is 100 percent commitment at all time.. see you all soon #KKRHaiTaiyaar @KKRiders 🙏 @Eoin16 @iamsrk https://t.co/zVV2h0NZTD— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) February 18, 2021
Zaheer Khan: With a whopping 21 wickets in nine matches, Zaheer Khan was the wrecker-in-chief for India in the 2011 World Cup and the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. However, it could only extend his limited overs career to one more year as the speedster was dropped from the ODI side in 2012
The left-arm pacer remained a mainstay in the Test side though and ended his international career on his terms in 2014
He played in the Indian T20 League until 2017 and after retirement, has become a cricket analyst appearing on several shows. Currently, Zaheer Khan is associated with the Mumbai franchise as the director of cricket, where his primary role is to nurture talents.
Munaf Patel: Taking 11 wickets in eight matches at the 2011 World Cup, Munaf Patel was one of the less revered heroes. Patel’s career saw a downward spiral following the campaign, with injuries and poor form seeing him last play for India in 2011.
He remained a mainstay in the Indian T20 League though and kept trying for a national comeback through Baroda in the domestic circuit, but it didn’t work out. Munaf Patel retired in November 2018 and has featured in the Abu Dhabi T10 League for a few seasons. His most recent exploits were at the 2021 Road Safety World Series.
S Sreesanth: S Sreesanth will be remembered as an expensive bowler for India in the final match, as the Kerala pacer had conceded 52 runs without a wicket in eight overs.
Sreesanth was arrested in 2013 on charges of spot-fixing in the Indian T20 League and BCCI gave him a life ban. The decision was, however, set aside by the Supreme Court in 2019 and his sentence was reduced to seven years.
Sreesanth was always in the public eye as he participated in reality TV shows and a few regional films during that time. He last grabbed headlines during the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he made his comeback.
Thanks a lot for all the support and love ..it’s just the beginning..with all of ur wishes and prayers many many many more to go..❤️🇮🇳🏏lots of respect to u nd family .. #blessed #humbled #cricket #bcci #kerala #love #team #family #india #nevergiveup pic.twitter.com/bMnXbYOrHm— Sreesanth (@sreesanth36) January 11, 2021
Other players from India’s 2011 World Cup squad
Ashish Nehra: Ashish Nehra featured in just two matches in the 2011 World Cup. His career between 2011 and 2016 was afflicted by injuries but a magnificent showing at the Indian T20 League in 2014 and 2015 saw him getting national call-up in 2016. Nehra announced his retirement in 2017.
Ravichandran Ashwin: Having an experienced Harbhajan Singh and in-form Yuvraj Singh as spin bowlers, a young Ravichandran Ashwin could get just two matches in the 2011 World Cup. But, the Chennai tweaker still managed to take four wickets, contributing to the team’s success.
R Ashwin has since gone on to become one of the best spinners in the world and India’s red-ball specialist. He was one of India’s best players during the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy and has become the second quickest bowler to 400 wickets.
Apart from Kohli, R Ashwin was the only Indian cricketer to be named in the ICC Men’s Test Team of the decade. Ravichandran Ashwin has been a mainstay in the Indian T20 League as well.
Piyush Chawla: The leg-spinner had very little role in the 2011 World Cup with many even considering him lucky to be a part of the squad. Chawla was dropped months after the World Cup win and hasn’t played for India since 2012. He is still a regular Ranji Trophy player and has got success in the Indian T20 League with Kolkata.
Yusuf Pathan: Like Chawla, Yusuf Pathan’s contribution in the 2011 World Cup was insignificant. His international career lasted just over a year although he kept churning runs on the domestic front, particularly in the Indian T20 League.
Feature Courtesy Image: AFP/ Manan Vatsyana