India's 2011 World Cup winners: Where are they now?

It’s been nine years since India won its second World Cup title. Sportstar takes a look at what the members of that squad are up to these days.

The Indian team lift the 2011 World Cup in Mumbai.   -  K.R. Deepak

 

It’s been nine years since India won its second World Cup. Under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the men in blue beat Sri Lanka in the final in Mumbai to clinch the title after 28 years.

At a time when people are stuck at home due to the 21-day coronavirus lockdown, Sportstar takes a look at what the members of the World Cup-winning team are up to these days.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Captain Cool led from the front and guided India to yet another World Cup title. Being a leader, Dhoni ensured that the team battled past all the odds. Nine years since his feat at the Wankhede Stadium, Dhoni finds himself at the crossroads. He hasn’t donned the India colours after World Cup 2019, and there is no clarity on his future either. He made himself unavailable for selection and the selectors are looking to groom 22-year-old Rishabh Pant as his replacement. He, however, was looking forward to the IPL — which was being considered as a possible return ticket to the Indian team — but with uncertainty looming over the tournament, Dhoni’s future, too, hangs in balance.

Virender Sehwag: The vice-captain of the team, Sehwag had amassed 380 runs in the 2011 World Cup, and played a key role in guiding the team to its title win. The swashbuckling opener had scored a maiden ODI double hundred in the same year but was on the wane thereafter, eventually quitting the game in 2015. Ever since hanging up his boots, Sehwag has made a name for himself as a commentator and is immensely popular on social media platforms for his wit. He was recently part of the India Legends team and played a couple of matches in the UnAcademy Road Safety World Series.

Sachin Tendulkar: It was Tendulkar’s last World Cup campaign and he bowed out in style. He scored 482 runs, crafted with two half-centuries and a couple of tons. Even though he had a disappointing final, Tendulkar anchored the ship in most of the group league matches, and also in the semifinal against Pakistan.

He didn’t feature a lot in ODIs after the World Cup, though he became the first player in history to notch up 100 international centuries at the 2012 Asia Cup. He retired after the Test series against the West Indies in 2013.

Sachin Tendulkar being carried on the shoulders of his teammates after the final. - K.R. Deepak

 

Tendulkar was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha and he recently started his academy — Sachin Tendulkar Middlesex Academy — to nurture young talents. He also played in the Bush Fire Charity game in Australia and also captained India Legends in the UnAcademy Road Safety World Series.

Virat Kohli: When India won the World Cup title in 2011, Kohli was a 22-year-old talent, waiting to make things count. But over the last nine years, he has had a phenomenal journey — from being another talented batsman to becoming India captain. Under his leadership, India reached the final of the Champions Trophy in 2017, and made it to the World Cup semifinals in 2019. With Kohli leading from the front, India also won a Test series in Australia in 2018.

Yuvraj Singh: The World Cup 2011 was a tournament to remember for Yuvraj. The all-rounder scalped 15 wickets and scored 362 runs to be adjudged the Player of the tournament.

However, months after the historic title win, Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer, before staging a comeback in 2012. While he put in his best efforts, Yuvraj lacked consistency and he played for India for the last time in 2017.

He played the IPL till 2019, before quitting the game in June. Post retirement, Yuvraj has participated in numerous T20 leagues across the globe. He also runs a foundation to raise awareness about cancer — YouWeCan.

Dhoni hasn't played international cricket since the 2019 World Cup, while Kohli is among the top batsmen in international cricket and is the captain of the Indian team across formats. - K.R. Deepak

 

Suresh Raina: One of the batting mainstays of the Indian team, Raina last played for India in 2018. The cricket fans remember him as one of the game-changers, including his performances against Australia and Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal and semifinal respectively. Thereon, he remained an integral part of the team till 2016-2017. However, he was left out of the national side in 2017, and even though, he played against England in 2018, it was not an impressive outing.

The left-hander has continued performing in the IPL for CSK but has been out of action since undergoing a knee surgery last year.

Gautam Gambhir: In the final of the World Cup, Gautam Gambhir’s gritty knock of 97 helped India chase down Sri Lanka’s total. But in the following years, the seasoned batsman failed to cement his spot and featured in the ODIs for the last time in 2013. Even though he played Tests till 2016, Gambhir was left out of the limited-overs set up. He continued to play for Delhi and also in the IPL, where he guided Kolkata Knight Riders to two titles. He retired from all forms of cricket in 2018 and won from the East Delhi constituency in the Lok Sabha elections last year. He is now a member of the Parliament.

Ravichandran Ashwin: The spin ace from Chennai still remains one of India’s leading tweakers in the longest format of the game. However, with the youngsters -- Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal -- proving their mettle, Ashwin hasn’t featured in the limited-overs set up for a while. He still plays regularly for the Tamil Nadu team and had joined Delhi Capitals this season for the Indian Premier League.

Piyush Chawla: The spinner was part of India’s squad for the World Cup, but soon after the tournament, he lost out on opportunities and hasn’t played for India since 2012. However, he still plays Ranji Trophy for Gujarat and was picked by Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2020 auction for a whopping Rs 6.75 crore. With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing back the tournament, Chawla will have to wait to don the CSK colours.

Harbhajan Singh: It’s been almost four years since the spin ace donned the India colours for the last time. But then, Harbhajan remains an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. He is also a television commentator.

Zaheer Khan: The speedster quit the game in 2015 and is now the director of cricket at Mumbai Indians, and plays a key role in nurturing talents. He was an integral part of the Indian team in the 2011 World Cup, but frequent injuries saw him sidelined for long spells -- he last played in an ODI for India in 2012, while his last Test assignment was in January 2014.

Ashish Nehra: The seasoned pace ace retired in 2017 -- after a long and illustrious career. A few years after the 2011 World Cup, Nehra had a fascinating outing with the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and that earned him a place in the 2016 World T20 squad. He continued playing the T20Is for India till 2017, and after quitting the sport, he was roped in by Royal Challengers Bangalore as its bowling coach.

Sreesanth, who was a surprise pick in the final, was arrested on spot fixing charges and was banned from the game for seven years. Zaheer is now the director of cricket at Mumbai Indians. - REUTERS

 

Yusuf Pathan: The all-rounder had a rather mediocre performance in the tournament, and he last played a game for India in 2012 in a T20I against South Africa. On the domestic front, he has been a regular member of the Baroda Ranji Trophy team and in February this year, he played his 100th first-class game. In the IPL, he has played for Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Munaf Patel: In the tournament, Patel scalped 11 wickets, and the then bowling coach, referred to him as the unsung hero. However, some poor form and injuries saw him run out of favour. He played his last match for India against England at Cardiff in September 2011.

Even though he played domestic circuit, Patel wasn’t quite effective. In November, 2018, he retired from all forms of cricket and played the T10 League in UAE.

S. Sreesanth: It came as a surprise for many as India captain Dhoni picked Sreesanth in the final-XI for the final. And it turned out to be a disappointing show for the Kerala pacer as he went wicketless and conceded 52 runs. However, for Sreesanth things took a turn after he was arrested in Mumbai in 2013 on the charges of spot-fixing in the IPL. The BCCI handed him a life ban. However, last year, the Supreme Court set aside the BCCI disciplinary committee’s order, reducing his sentence to seven years, thereby paving the way for him to return to cricket in August 2020.

During his absence from the game, Sreesanth participated in reality television shows and also featured in a few regional films.

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Gary Kirsten: The former South Africa batsman was the head coach of the Indian team, which won the World Cup. It was expected that he will continue his association with the Indian team. However, he parted ways soon after the tournament and joined South Africa. Under his coaching, South Africa attained the numero uno status in the longer format of the game. After parting ways with South Africa, Kirsten took charge of Indian Premier League franchises — Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, those moves weren’t that successful. In 2018, he was shortlisted for the head coach job of India’s women’s cricket team, but he chose to stay at RCB. He has been part of different T20 league sides and has recently launched online coaching programme.

Gary Kirsten went on to coach South Africa before coaching Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. - PTI

 

Eric Simmons: The former South Africa cricketer played a key role in bringing the best out of the Indian bowlers. Although soon after the World Cup, he parted ways with the Indian team and Joe Dawes took over as the bowling coach. Simmons has been associated with various IPL teams since and also in overseas leagues.

Paddy Upton: A noted mental fitness coach, Upton played a key role in changing the Indian team’s mindset. After parting ways with the Indian team, he was associated with the South African team and also took charge as the head coach of Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils. However, he did not enjoy as much success. He was also a head coach in the Big Bash League.

Nitin Patel: The seasoned physio, Nitin Patel, took charge of the Indian team three days before the World Cup 2011 and played a key role in keeping the players fit. He is still associated with the team.

Ramji Srinivasan: He was the strength and conditioning coach of the Indian team for the 2011 World Cup. A seasoned professional, Srinivasan is now a high-performance coach and the founder-director of Sports Dynamix.

Mike Horn: Ahead of the World Cup, Mike Horn joined the Indian team as a motivational coach and he made sure that he kept the camp rejuvenated and also got the best out of the players. Later, he was associated with the German football team during the 2014 World Cup and also with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. 

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