More than 8 years after that fateful day in the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, former India opener Gautam Gambhir finally revealed why he couldn’t get those remaining 3 runs to complete his century in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka in 2011. Gambhir’s 97 off 122 balls in the final of the 2011 World Cup helped India chase down Sri Lanka’s 275-run to win the coveted trophy for the first time since 1983 but the left-hander missed out on a century. Gambhir stated that it was then captain MS Dhoni’s reminder about his three-figure mark that led to a rush of blood and resulted in his dismissal.
“I have been asked this question many times, as to what happened when I was on 97. I tell everyone that before getting to 97, I never thought about my individual score, but only looked at the target set by Sri Lanka,” Gambhir said in an interview with Lallantop.
“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’,” he said.
Gambhir said that after those words from the skipper, he started to think about his individual score.
“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, who was bowled by Thisara Perera for 97 while attempting a slog.
“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.
India were in a spot of bother at 114/3 when Gambhir was joined by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and the two added 109 runs for the fourth wicket to pave the way for a famous victory.
Gambhir’s knock drew as much intrigue as admiration due to the fact that he fell just three runs short of a century in a World Cup final.