#CricketDiaries Ep 5 | Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, R Ashwin | 2011 Wankhede | ViuIndia


As every run was ticking over Piyush was talking about the bonus money
that we were to get. [laughter] “The four that was hit just now
is worth Rs. 15 lakh.” The way he was counting,
I found it very funny. Thanks to Piyush Chawla. It’s because
of him, we got the bonus of Rs. 2 crore. If he hadn’t counted,
we wouldn’t have got it. We wouldn’t have reached that amount. [rock music] Aparshakti: When the Indian cricket team
wins a match on a home ground it is a different feeling all together. And if that match is a World Cup final,
then the feel turns into a feeling and it lives with you forever. After a long wait of 28 years,
our cricket crazy nation saw MS Dhoni hit the winning ball
straight to the World Cup trophy and into the hearts of billions of fans. Viru Paaji (Virender Sehwag),
Zak (Zaheer Khan), Ashwin and Yuvi Paaji (Yuvraj Singh)
lifted their dream trophy at the Wankhede Stadium for the country. This 2011 World Cup win against Sri Lanka
wasn’t just about cricket. It was about hard work, team work,
perseverance and passion. Let’s meet the stars of this dream team. With me are the three heroes
of the 2011 World Cup. Ashwin, Zak and Viru Paaji, welcome.
How are you? We are fine. But it looks like you were given
an electric shock. The name is “Aparshakti”.
He is speaking with immense powers. Have to justify my name.
“Aparshakti” with “immense powers”. So, Ashwin, I think that a cricketer’s career goes by thinking
“When will I win a World Cup?” It was your first ever World Cup
and you were a part of the team. Of the winning team.
How was the feeling while lifting the trophy? These guys were in the 2007 World Cup team… They had come with the memories
of all the criticism they had received from
the previous tournament. But I didn’t feel that
because I hadn’t experienced it. So when I went into the World Cup squad it was about “Wow, what a feeling”
or “What a moment”. As the World Cup tournament started, as the momentum started building up
and the expectations from outside… That momentum really sucked me into
the competition and I was in a daze. Like people say… I still can’t believe
how that World Cup happened. All the luxury cars in the world
were parked near Marine Drive and, on that day, it had turned
into a dance floor. The entire Marine Drive
had turned into a big parking space. Everyone had parked their cars
right there at Marine Drive and were celebrating the victory. – Ashwin: I’ve never seen…
– Wow! Never seen such a big community
actually enjoy a victory like that. Like the 1983 World Cup.
It was the stage that set India alight and people started taking up to the sport. But I think 2011 made sure – it was “the party”, you know.
– Aparshakti: True… India celebrated cricket like a party
and it just took off from there on. That moment from the year 2011 when we boarded the bus
after winning the World Cup was like a wedding procession
in which all the players were grooms! We never took so long to reach
Trident Hotel from Wankhede. – Wow!
– Many kept dancing outside the bus. There were a few who were dancing
inside the bus too. One was Harbhajan Singh.
The other was Yuvraj Singh. Sachin Tendulkar also, sitting on his place,
raised his hands and danced. But the atmosphere was such
that we felt like we really are… the grooms and a wedding procession
was going on. As I spoke to Ashwin,
it was his first World Cup and he won it. On the contrary, you were about
to win a World Cup in 2003 but didn’t win the final match. So how was the situation?
Was there any pressure? There’s pressure in every
World Cup tournament. There’s no doubt about that. Because World Cup is a tournament
that happens once in every four years. Four years is a long time for any cricketer. There’s added pressure
when you are playing the World Cup Final match
in the home country. – Definitely.
– Because wherever you go… Be it the room service guy in your hotel or the newspaper guy,
everyone reminds you about it. You can’t escape that pressure. When we talk about the 2003 World Cup everyone reaped the benefits
of the 2003 World Cup in 2011. When we started fielding soon
after the national anthem we were charged up with emotions upon hearing the country’s
national anthem. I played out of character due to
those emotions in the first few overs. And that was a big lesson for me to prepare for the 2011 World Cup finals. That is to keep my emotions in check. I would like to add one small thing
to Zaheer Khan’s lengthy reply. Whoever came to our rooms,
did ask for free passes. [laughter] For the semi-final or quarter-final or
final match of the World Cup tournament. “Sir, can we get a couple of passes?” – So imagine its worth…
– So the pressure was about the passes. Yes, the pressure was on getting
more passes and not on batting. We would get only three passes. – Six passes, I think.
– Yeah. We were supposed to get six
but got only three passes. We got three passes and there are 30 people.
How do we accommodate them? So we go and ask others. Like Ashwin was new to the team. [laughter] No one would travel from Tamil Nadu
to Chandigarh to watch the match. “So give the passes to me.” I was in the team for two years. Whenever I used to get into the bus it used to be normal.
Everyone used to sit at the front. They would be listening to music
and I’d just walk across, go and sit behind. Nobody would actually pay any attention.
But… I didn’t understand, the moment
the World Cup tournament started… Everybody, as I walked in, would call me “Hey, Ash”.
I used to think “Maybe I’m playing today”. – Aparshakti: Yeah.
– So people wanted to talk about it. Then I realized it was for the tickets. [laughter] Everybody had a unique way
of asking for tickets. Yuvi Paaji would actually come and say “Ash, do you have anyone in Chandigarh
that you know?” So I thought maybe he is
calling me for dinner because there’s nobody I know. I thought he would say “Come have dinner
at my place” or “There’s a restaurant here”. So I said no obviously… He said, “Then give me the tickets”. [laughter] I would say “Okay”.
Viru Paaji used to come to me and say “Give me those three tickets.” “Yeah, sure”. I mean how can you say no
when somebody of that stature is asking you. I’d say “Yeah, but I already
gave one to him”. Then they will have a tussle over it. “Hey, you took two there…”
and they will sort it amongst themselves. Virender Sehwag’s worry wasn’t about which bowler he will have to face
in the World Cup matches. Or how Dale Steyn will bowl. For so many years,
we’ve been playing with them so we know how to handle Dale Steyn,
Morne Morkel or the others. For many years,
we haven’t been getting the tickets. That was the right moment. I had to grab the opportunity saying we wouldn’t play
if we don’t get our tickets. Viru is talking about taking the passes. Later you need to distribute
the passes too. That is another thing to worry about. – Whom to place where?
– Yeah. I think Ashish Nehra helped me
a lot with that. – Oh, is it?
– Zaheer: Yes. Ashish Nehra got injured in the semi-finals. So he couldn’t play the finals. – He took all the stress on himself.
– Aparshakti: Okay. He said, “You won’t distribute the passes.
I’ll handle everything”. – And he made a proper system…
– Aparshakti: Okay. Wow! – …on how the passes would be distributed.
– Wow! – He tells me…
– Was there an excel sheet? …”You just focus on the match”. A huge contribution by him
even after being injured. Yeah, a huge contribution. I want to know if there was any pressure… …on Sachin Paaji, to win. It might have
been his last World Cup tournament. We thought the 2003 World Cup
tournament would be his last. Then we thought it’d
be the one in 2007. Then we thought it would
be the one in 2011. But at the end of the day,
he retired after Zaheer Khan and I retired. [laughter] He started playing before us. In 1989. And he used to say “I’ll take a few along
with me when I go. I won’t go alone.” Sehwag: “I won’t go alone.” We had almost won in 2003. That’s when I felt we have
to win the World Cup. Because India had won the first World Cup
in 1983 and never after that. So maybe it was more important for us to win
for the country, for fans and people. And maybe we won it for them. When the 2011 World Cup
tournament started.. …the entire thing changed. It looked like people were fiercely focussed.
They were on a mission. Even Sachin Paaji was unlike himself
during the World Cup. The national anthem was played
before the match against Australia and my hands were shivering.
And as we were chasing that score and were under pressure… The first time I was padded up, waiting…
I don’t know, I can only remember that. And Sachin Paaji came up to me and said “You know, you got this”. I thought “Oh yeah, he actually trusts me”. “Okay, let’s do it”.
That is the first time I felt from inside “Yes, I’ve to win
the match for Sachin Paaji”. Wow! So, Zak, I wanted to know… A team is
a team. Only a team can win a World Cup. But in every team there is a pair
that is jocular. So which is the pair
in the team that used to do such mischievous pranks
in the dressing room? You already know one. [laughter] And who was his partner? – Who was my partner?
– No… – Viru Paaji was…
– Partner… – Aparshakti: You alone were enough.
– Actually the team was such that everyone preferred to be together. If you see the 2011 World Cup tournament most of the players had already played
together and that too for years. So they had a strong connection.
Like Viru, Yuvi Bhajji and I, we were all
of the same age group. – Nehra.
– And Nehra… – He would get upset.
– …were No, why would he get upset? So, the players of the same batch have a unique tuning.
When you play together for a long time you can see that bonding.
You can see that in the team… …or on the ground. So, it was the same with our team. So our dressing room environment… …was quite fun-filled. The problem was that Sachin Paaji played
a lot of English songs in the dressing room. [laughter] – I know Ashwin understands them…
– No… …as he is from South India. – But we are from North India…
– Actually on the contrary, I don’t listen – to English music at all.
– Aparshakti: Yeah? – But your reputation…
– Tamil? I mean Tamil and Hindi.
I listen to Hindi songs a lot more… – Aparshakti: I love Tamil.
– His reputation is such… – “Reputation”…
– He is an engineer… And the last English song I’ve listened to
was by Colonial Cousins. – Aparshakti: Oh, wow!
– That’s it. That’s how old I am.
I’m pretty old school. So we had to tell him that it’s just him while the rest are interested
in Bollywood songs. Back then, the in-form batsmen
would listen to Bollywood songs while the others would
listen to devotional songs to seek help from God. – “Give me wickets”.
– Yeah, to take wickets. – Either that or depend on Harbhajan.
– Right. [laughter] The toss happened before
the match started. But the toss happened twice
in the history of cricket. Why did that happen? – First of all, I didn’t know that.
– Aparshakti: Really? – Yeah.
– So you didn’t know the toss happened twice? No. Whoever were playing
in that match didn’t know because they were getting
ready for the match in the dressing room and I wasn’t playing that match. Piyush and I were clearing
the practice balls and other items. Mahi (MS Dhoni) flipped the coin. We saw that and left the place.
We thought the toss is done. But, then, he tossed it again.
I asked Mahi “What happened?” Then he said, “Sangakkara called for Hails
in the first toss”. He mixed up Heads and Tails
and called Hails. Something like that. So they had to do the toss again. But we didn’t give much importance to it. I think that was important.
Because if you are playing the finals and you play the match thinking
“We should’ve opted for batting” or whatever then that won’t help you much in the match. You had a target of 276 runs. You bowled three maiden overs
in your first spell. and the catch by Viru at the first slip.
What a deadly catch that was! – Really?
– Yeah. – Mine?
– Went straight and then… – I know.
– “Won’t let go”… I have seen two overs of Zaheer Khan. One was in the 2003 World
Cup finals and then in 2011. He conceded 18 runs in one over in 2003
and 18 runs in three overs in 2011. – Aparshakti: Wow!
– But it was a great start. We didn’t expect that Sri Lanka
would reach a score of 275. And when I was watching the wickets
from the side, I still remember I was standing in the 30 yard circle
and Sachin Tendulkar was standing behind me. I looked at the wicket
and then looked at him. He did this… “That was awesome.” [laughter] But that awesomeness wasn’t for us,
it was for someone else. So when you got onto the pitch… We’ve heard that you didn’t give Gauti (Gautam Gambhir)
time to get ready and get to the field. [laughter] I played two balls.
What more time can I give? [laughter] – I received DRS for both the balls.
– Yeah, DRS too. And this is not T20. You get 40 minutes. It’s a different thing if he thought
he’d get a chance to bat after 10 overs. If that’s the reason he didn’t get ready
then it’s different. But, otherwise, I gave him all the time. After that when you reached the dressing room I’ve heard that you didn’t get out at all. Sachin and you watched the entire match
from the dressing room. Firstly, I was mourning my dismissal. By the time I consoled myself – Sachin Tendulkar came.
– Aparshakti: Yeah. Then I had to mourn his dismissal too. He sat there and didn’t let me leave. – He has a… cricketer’s coffin. – Aparshakti: Oh, coffin.
– When opened there were many idols of gods, a flag and a note saying “All the best
for the World Cup” by his kids. So, he was sitting in front
of it with his hands folded. I was sitting beside him
and he made me sit like that too. We kept sitting there like that
after we were dismissed. – Aparshakti: For the entire innings?
– For the entire innings. – Aparshaki: Wow!
– “We have done our part.” “We have done our part, God,
now it’s your turn.” [laughter] “Now you will help us win.” So we were praying… Discussing about
what should or shouldn’t happen. So the gods of cricket were sitting
in front of gods. All the gods together were chilling. Of course. I wasn’t a god.
I was still a devotee. He was the god
and he was chilling with other gods. [laughter] MS Dhoni came around that time. He told me to tell Dhoni
that “If a righty gets dismissed then send a righty in,
otherwise send a lefty”. I said, “Now that he is here,
you can speak to him directly. Why pass the message through me?
Tell him directly.” So when MS (MS Dhoni) came
out of the washroom he told him “MS, send a righty in if a righty
gets out otherwise, a lefty”. – That’s the reason…
– Yes. – MS came up the order.
– Then he looked at him and… After that he went out,
spoke to Gary, came back changed, padded up
and by then Virat Kohli got dismissed. – And he went to play.
– That’s why he went in before Yuvi. Yeah, so he went before Yuvi. He also said that Dhoni knows
Muralitharan and Suraj Randiv’s game as they were a part
of the Chennai team… – Aparshakti: Yeah.
– …in the IPL. So it would be easier for MS
to face them. And especially when Yuvi
had a great World Cup. – Yeah.
– Still he went before Yuvi. And, I mean… Yuvi performing so well
and winning the “Man of the Series” award and immediately after that,
being detected with cancer. When you guys got to know and I’m sure
you didn’t know during the World Cup… During the World Cup, he complained about
a lot of headache and used to cough a lot. So that… We knew his health is not good. But no one had any idea
it was that worse. Maybe he didn’t want to
face it at that stage and that’s why he was
just delaying that fact and maybe for after the World Cup… I remember him calling me and saying,
“I have gone through the scans” and he said possibly he’s got cancer. And he was very serious. Firstly, I couldn’t believe that fact. But then, you know,
things started making sense. He’s been having those symptoms
possibly for six to eight months. I called Yuvraj and asked him about it.
He said he is going to America for better treatment
and it offers better environment. Then he went to America.
And when he came back I went to his house to meet him
and from what I saw there I prayed that may God
never give anyone such a disease. Whatever I saw, I felt it was very tough. I never thought he would be able to
get back to playing cricket. That he would get back on to the pitch.
But hats off to Yuvraj Singh… – Aparshakti: Definitely.
– …for all the hard work he put in. All that he did for cricket.
He not only played good cricket but also scored many runs
in International cricket. So the “Man of the Series”
of 2011 was Yuvi Paaji. Now let’s talk about
the “Man of the Match”. The last winning six by Dhoni,
I guess is an iconic moment. So what was happening in the dressing room? I don’t think anybody moved
from their places. No chance. Because I still remember. Piyush and I were
sitting downstairs when two wickets fell. Piyush said, “This is not going well. Let’s go upstairs and see
what’s the situation there.” I went in and saw everybody
was rooted to corners. Everybody was looking for their emotional
touch and connect amongst each other, so.. We thought we shouldn’t disturb them,
so we sat together. We just stepped out and MS was walking in. And we thought of giving some space
for him to pass by. We were on the steps,
we just moved aside and MS walked past. Piyush said, “Let’s sit here and watch”. We both sat on the steps and were watching
the match and it was going nice. And… This has to be one of the most
hilarious moments in my book because I wouldn’t think
about all these things. A wicket fell again and I think it was Gauti.
He got dismissed and Yuvi Paaji was just walking out. As he walked out,
he was putting his gloves on and we stood up again and he said,
“No, you both sit. Sit right there.” We sat there and we sat there
for the rest of the game. And as every run was ticking over Piyush was talking about the bonus money
that we were to get. [laughter] “The four that was hit just now
is worth Rs. 15 lakh.” The way he was counting,
I found it very funny but… That’s how Piyush was counting
and we just sat there. And the moment everything broke out,
it felt like everything had come to a halt. Thanks to Piyush Chawla. It’s because of
him that we got the bonus of Rs. 2 crore. If he hadn’t counted,
we wouldn’t have got it. We wouldn’t have reached that amount. But I watched the entire innings
from the dressing room and whoever came to the dressing room,
Sachin would drive him away. Yeah, they weren’t allowed. We saw that everyone celebrated from their
chairs because no one was moving anywhere. – Wow!
– When we were taking the victory lap all were discussing
to carry Sachin Tendulkar. So, we backed off saying
“We can’t carry someone so heavy”. We backed off… Gary Kirsten, MS and I. We gave the chance to the young boys. There was Yusuf Pathan, Virat Kohli…
They carried him. Later, they complained
saying he was too heavy. I mean his weight might not be too much
but the weight of his performance… – Aparshakti: That’s always heavy.
– …was too heavy. Maybe that is why he seemed heavy. So what’s the environment in the dressing
room when you are going to bat and then on your return after dismissal? The environment is same
when you are going and coming back. There’s no difference in that. You go happily to bat but come back
feeling sad. That’s the only difference. The rest who are sitting
have an understanding. They clap for you if you have made runs even if you haven’t,
they still clap for you as a formality. “Okay, never mind. Well tried.” – I think…
– His mindset is difficult to replicate. I’ve said this to a lot of people. I’ve never seen a person like him or will ever see one in future because his mindset to actually, go out
there, play a shot and get out. Come back, go there and
repeat the whole thing again, it requires enormous amounts of
self-confidence and guts. I think it’s his mindset
that gets him to play that sort of an exciting
brand of cricket and… It is very hard for another person to get it.
It’s impossible. Ash, carry on. I’m enjoying. [laughter] The next segment is full of
mischievous conversations. It’s called LBW. “Let’s Be Wicked”. I’m going to give you these foam fingers. I’ll ask you questions
whether it has happened in your life or not. If the answer for the question is a “yes”,
raise these foam fingers. If the answer is a “no”,
then don’t raise it. But you won’t question our response. That depends on the situation, Paaji. [laughter] – Okay.
– Okay then. The captain has asked you to
do something but you haven’t done it. Ash is raising his hand after looking at us.
This is wrong. I forgot what is to be done. I think this happens with every bowler. Dada (Sourav Ganguly) still complains “I used to tell Zak to bowl a bouncer
but he used to bowl a yorker.” He still says that. Has it ever happened that a senior player
approached you and you think you would impress him by saying something good
but that backfired? I’ve been doing that from a long time. [laughter] Zaheer Khan just does small talks. With whom did it happen, Viru? – I told you don’t ask that…
– Not to ask that. Do not ask. Next question is, have you ever sneaked out
of the team room? – You mean from the team meetings and all?
– Aparshakti: Yeah. No, that hasn’t happened. I’ll answer the “why” for this question. Because Gary Kirsten once said there
would be a team meeting. I told him if it exceeds 30 minutes,
I will walk out. And I used to set a timer. And exactly after 30 minutes,
I would say, “Gary, 30 minutes are over”. – Aparshakti: Wow!
– The meeting would end there. Have you ever stolen anything
from your teammate’s kit? [laughter] From a teammate or from a team kit? Two bowlers are sitting here
and the umpire is raising his finger. – Ashwin is also there.
– I’ve stolen from the team kit. – Yeah, a lot.
– What did you steal? Balls, obviously. [laughter] – I used to steal the grip.
– You used to steal the grip? Because if you ask them,
they would say they don’t have one. So, I would go check their kits
and if I found it, I would take it. – Aparshakti: Wow!
– So no one noticed. – Did you…
– It’s not like I stole wallets. [laughter] Have you ever missed the bus to practice? – That keeps happening.
– Okay. It must have happened. I don’t remember
but must have happened. Never happened, Viru? Wow. That’s the only thing I learnt from Sachin.
To come and leave on time. Wow! Pranked someone in the dressing room? I must have. [laughter] “I must have done it.” Have you ever purposefully
hit a ball in a direction where a beautiful girl is sitting? Or maybe your wife or your girlfriend
was seated. If you guys were married. – The only person who could do is…
– There’s an all-rounder and a batsman. This isn’t a question for you? Zaheer Khan has hit three sixes. No, if I had so much control,
I would have become a batsman. My wife used to come. If I knew where to hit… My wife used to attend the matches.
I’ve hit shots in her direction. I mean, I know where the family
sits in the Bangalore ground. I’ve hit a lot
of Pakistani bowlers for sixes. Wow! Okay.
So in the 2019 World Cup tournament which two teams do you think,
will play the finals? You have to write the name
of those two teams. India vs. England. India vs. England. England vs. India. Great. All three of you chose India and England,
I mean… – It’s a prediction.
– It’s a prediction. England has to pay up for what
they did to us in the movie Lagaan. [laughter] It’s a prediction and also we are sitting
on the same couch. Wow! Thank you so much
for sharing all the lovely stories. Stories of the dressing room
and your partnership in life. I’m sure all these things help
win a World Cup. When the team is together,
it is like a family only then can we bring a World Cup home. And looking forward to the same
this year as well. Thank you. Had a lot of fun in the show
and best wishes to the Indian team. – Thank you.
– Viru: Thank you, Apar. This is the first show where Zaheer
has spoken so much. Right? This compliment that I just received
from Virender Sehwag… – Yeah, you’ll remember it for life.
– Of course. [laughter]

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