After the greatest moments of their lives in April 2 2011 it is an amazing fact that the XI of that final at Mumbai never played an international match together . Careers took different directions . Few like Virat Kohli & Ashwin went from strength to strength in their careers . Sachin and Dhoni remained in limelight till they retired. Sehwag declined rapidly . Gambhir’s international career slowed down but IPL career blossomed and most of the bowlers went into decline.
Let’s briefly look at their careers post World Cup 2011:
MS Dhoni: Dhoni went on to represent India in five more World Cups – three T20 World Cups and two ODI World Cups – and four of them as captain but he could never replicate what he did on the night of April 2 in 2011 . He took India to victory in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. ‘Captain Cool’ announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on August 15, 2020. But he continues to lead Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
Sachin Tendulkar: The legend played only 10 ODIs since India’s World Cup win in 2011 before announcing his retirement from the sport in December 2012 and then finally bidding adieu to all forms of cricket in November 2013. Tendulkar brought up record of 100 international centuries before his retirement. Sachin joined IPL franchise Mumbai Indians as a consultant. The master has been working towards building awareness for various social issues – road safety being one of the primary ones. He even organised a tournament involving top players of yesteryears to join the cause.
Virender Sehwag: Much was expected from Virender Sehwag. He was perhaps one of the frontrunners to take Sachin’s place in the Indian side across formats but surprisingly, his form dipped after the World Cup. Even though he went on to slam an ODI double ton against West Indies in December that year, injuries and competition from youngsters made Sehwag irregular. He finally announced his retirement from cricket in 2015. Sehwag was also part of the Road Safety World Series recently but apart from that, he works as a broadcaster, runs the Sehwag international school and also entertains fans through his social media posts.
Gautam Gambhir: Gambhir’s career took a similar route to that of Sehwag. After playing one of the greatest ODI knocks of all time in the final of the tournament, Gambhir’s form faded away. He kept making brief appearances for India till 2016 before finally retired in 2018. In between, Gambhir, however, became one of the most successful captains in the IPL, leading KKR to two titles in 2012 and 2014. The former opener is now an elected member of the parliament.
Virat Kohli: From being a talented batsman whose aggression knew no bounds to becoming one of the greats of the game, Virat Kohli has come a long way since carrying Sachin Tendulkar on his shoulder after India’s World Cup win in 2011. The right-hander was named India Test captain in 2014-15 when MS Dhoni retired and finally took over the leadership of all three formats in 2017. Under him India has transformed into a global force across formats and has won back to back series in Australia. He recently led India to series wins across all three formats against England at home. However he is still awaiting his 1st IPL title .
Yuvraj Singh: The player of the tournament of India’s World Cup victory, Yuvraj Singh had to wait for more than a year before donning the Indian jersey again as he was down with cancer. He fought his way to claim his spot back in the side and also represented India in the 2014 and 2016 T20 World Cups. The 2017 Champions Trophy was his last big tournament for India. The stylish left-hander announced his retirement in June 2019.
Suresh Raina: The attacking left-hander wasn’t a regular in the Indian side in that World Cup but his important knocks in the quarterfinal against Australia and in the semifinal against Pakistan were pivotal to India’s success. Raina played regularly for India in the shortest format after that before losing his place in the side in 2017-18. He joined MS Dhoni to announce his retirement from international cricket on August 15 2020 but still continues to play well and actively in IPLs
Yusuf Pathan: The hard-hitting all-rounder played only six ODIs after the 2011 World Cup. In domestic cricket and IPL, however, he was a regular figure in sides like Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad and Baroda. Pathan announced his retirement last month and played for the India Legends in the Road Safety World Series.
Harbhajan Singh: India’s lead spinner in the 2011 World Cup, Harbhajan played only 10 ODIs since the tournament in four years before going away from the scheme of things in early 2016. Harbhajan, however, continues to be a force to reckon with in the IPL.
Ravichandran Ashwin: The crafty off-spinner played second-fiddle to Harbhajan Singh in the 2011 edition of the World Cup and was not even regular in India’s XI. But his career took off after the World Cup. Ashwin was India’s lead spinner in all three formats till the 2017 Champions Trophy. He lost his place in the Indian limited-overs sides in late 2017 but continues to be one of India’s biggest match-winners in red-ball cricket. Ashwin will play for Delhi Capitals in IPL and is in line to make a comeback in white ball cricket .
Piyush Chawla: The group stage match against Ireland in the 2011 World Cup was Piyush Chawla’s last ODI for India. The leg-spinner did play a few T20Is after that but his international career came to an abrupt end in 2012. Chawla was picked up by defending champions Mumbai Indians in the IPL auctions this year. He was an integral member the strong KKR side under Gambhir.
Zaheer Khan: The joint highest wicket-taker of 2011 World Cup, Zaheer Khan was past his glory days when India lifted the silverware. The left-arm seamer played only six ODIs after the big tournament. He announced his retirement in 2015. After brief commentary stints with various broadcasters, Zaheer then joined Mumbai Indians support staff as director of cricket operations.
Ashish Nehra: The left-arm seamer missed the final against Sri Lanka due to a finger injury but before that, he was a regular in the side and shared the new ball with Zaheer. Despite his share of multiple injuries, Nehra kept on representing India in limited-overs cricket before announcing his retirement in 2018 . After retirement, Nehra joined the RCB support staff but currently, he is a successful commentator in international and domestic cricket.
Munaf Patel: The right-arm seamer played only six matches after the World Cup 2011 final against Sri Lanka before fading away completely. He returned to professional cricket for the Gujarat Lions in IPL 2016 before hanging his boots in 2018. Munaf represented India Legends in the recently concluded Road Safety World Series.
S Sreesanth: The right-arm seamer never played an ODI after India’s World Cup on April 2, 2011. His career went on a downward spiral when he was banned for involvement in spot-fixing in IPL 2013. Sreesanth, however, returned to domestic cricket last year after BCCI revoked his ban. He represented Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s and also in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.