From the moment Virender Sehwag eased the opening ball through the covers for four in Dhaka to Mahendra Singh Dhoni's spectacular six to win the final in Mumbai, India seemed destined to win the World Cup.
India tied with England in an enthralling group stage match which set the tournament alight and lost to a South Africa team determined to exorcise the ghosts of past World Cups.
Dropping three points meant second place in Group B and a quarter-final against defending champions Australia in a match described by Australian coach Tim Nielsen as a "mini-grand final".
Ricky Ponting at his grittiest scored a century but Yuvraj Singh, whose left-arm slow bowling proved an unexpected bonus throughout the tournament, responded with a match-winning innings of 57 not out as India passed their first trial by fire.
Image: India's cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni poses with the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy near the Gateway of India during a photo call at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai on April 3, 2011. India won the Cricket World Cup for the first time since 1983 with a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on April