Twenty-eight years on from the match that transformed the history of world cricket, India recaptured the crown that Kapil Dev and his men first lifted at Lord’s in 1983, and this time they did so in their very own back yard. An iron-willed 97 from Gautam Gambhir was matched for intensity by the finest captain’s innings since Ricky Ponting in Johannesburg eight years ago, as MS Dhoni trumped a poetic century from Mahela Jayawardene to pull off the highest run-chase ever achieved in a World Cup final.
Just before the Indians left their hotel for the Wankhede Stadium and the World Cup final, six men spoke to the team. They were players from the Class of 2003. Each of them told their team-mates his own story about what had happened at the Wanderers that day, about the mistakes of eight years ago that should not be repeated. They had tried too hard, they had been too eager, they had allowed the situation to overwhelm them. It was a cautionary tale. Their words were few, short, and plain and they gave the younger, newer, less-scarred group in front of them a simple instruction.