After the 2011 World Cup triumph, MS Dhoni-led Team India had now set their sight on the next big event, the 2013 Champions Trophy. Dhoni had been carrying a squad much younger than the 2011 World Cup but he was confident about the players capacity and over his strategies.
With the likes of Sachin, Sehwag and Yuvraj no longer with the team, it wasn’t really going to be all rain and rainbows for the men in blue.
Dhoni’s captaincy gave India a strong pair of opening batsmen as he promoted Rohit Sharma to the top of the order. A move, that in future, would change the career trajectory of the young man.
Indian started their campaign against South Africa, and did it in some style as they beat the Proteas by 26 runs after putting on a magnanimous total of 331.Later in the next match, it was Ravindra Jadeja who scalped five wickets against the West Indies and Shikhar Dhawan who had by now set a mark much higher for himself by scoring two consecutive centuries in two group matches.
Indian finished on top of the table after the group stage. India met Sri Lanka in the semifinals, and led by Virat Kohli and Dhawan’s half-centuries, India beat the island nation by eight wickets. After dominating till the semi-finals it was 23rd June 2013, the final, India vs England at Edgbaston.
Thanks to the infamous English weather, the match got reduced to a 20-over affair. England won the toss and put India to bat first. The first innings ended with a total score of 129. Ravi Bopara was the pick among the English bowlers, clinching 3 crucial wickets.
The Indian bowlers sent Trott, Cook, Bell and Root packing in no time and England were reeling at 46 for 4. It was Bopara and Morgan who gave England some hope by maintaining a strong partnership. But in the 18th over of the game, it was Ishant Sharma who got both Morgan and Bopara packing. After that, Ashwin’s quick wickets led England to a score of 115 for 8.
The game came down to the last over, with England needing 14 off six deliveries to lift the Champions Trophy. If that wasn’t enough, the game went down to the last ball. The fate of the game depended on the contest of two players. It was Ashwin vs Treadwell. A maximum is what England required. Ashwin held his nerve, Treadwell missed, and India won.
Dhoni became the only skipper in cricket history to win all the three formats of the game for a country and marked his name in the hall of fame of world cricket history, which would be remembered for years.