Gautam Gambhir, who played a vital role in India's 2011 World Cup victory, revealed why he felt three runs short of achieving a personal landmark in the title clash against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Gambhir took the crease when India was reeling at 31 for 2 after losing the crucial wickets of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. The former cricketer then stitched a 109-run partnership with MS Dhoni before being dismissed by Thisara Perera in the 42nd over of the match for 97.
Gambhir admitted that while he was batting strong at 97, Dhoni reminded him about the triple-figure mark and that made him conscious which eventually led to his dismissal.
"I have been asked this question many times, on what happened when I was on 97. I tell every youngster and every person that before getting to 97, I never thought about my own individual score but looked at the target set by Sri Lanka," said Gambhir 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.
"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 required only 52 runs to win off 52 balls after Gambhir's exit. MS Dhoni remained unbeaten on 91 while Yuvraj Singh made a contribution of 21 runs as India defeated Sri Lanka to life the trophy after 28 long years.