Gautam Gambhir on 97 in 2011 WC final: Those 3 runs will trouble me for the rest of my life!

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Image Courtesy: The Indian Express
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MS Dhoni’s match winning knock of 91* in the 2011 World Cup Final will forever be etched in every Indian’s heart. But the chase would not have been possible if not for Gautam Gambhir’s pivotal 97.

Image Courtesy: The Indian Express

The Delhi opener came into the crease with India reeling at 31-2 and both Sehwag and Tendulkar back in the pavilion. Gambhir then put on two crucial partnerships, first with Virat Kohli and then with MS Dhoni before being dismissed by Thisara Perera in the 42nd over, going for a glory shot in pursuit of his 100.

As the question of why he chose to play such a shot rather than taking a single arose in an interview with Lallantop, Gambhir said that he hadn’t known that he was on 97 until Dhoni told him, which eventually led to his dismissal.

“I have been asked this question many times, on what happened when I was on 97. I tell every youngster and every person that before getting to 97, I never thought about my own individual score but looked at the target set by Sri Lanka.

“I remember that after the completion of one over, Dhoni told me that ‘three runs are remaining, get these three runs and your hundred would be completed’.

“When your mind suddenly turns to your individual performance, individual score, then somewhere you have a rush of blood. Before that moment, my target was only to chase Sri Lanka’s target. If only that target remained in my mind, maybe, I would have easily scored my hundred,” said Gambhir.

India needed just 52 runs after Gambhir’s dismissal and they went on to achieve it easily with both Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni at the crease. However, Gambhir felt that his personal desire to score a century took over him and made him play the slog shot.

“Till I was on 97, I was in the present. But as soon as I thought that I am just three runs away from getting a hundred, the rush of blood caused by the desire to get to a hundred took over.

“That’s why it’s important to remain in the present… When I was walking back to the dressing room after being dismissed, I said to myself that these three runs would trouble me for the rest of my life and that is true. Even to this day, people ask me why I couldn’t get those three runs,” Gambhir said.