Gautam Gambhir in the team bus at Chhattrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.
Top batsman Gautam Gambhir on Monday described his knock of 97 in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka as the most important innings of his career though it was not the best.
Gambhir top-scored with a gutsy 97 from 122 balls which set up the historic win for India after openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were out cheaply.
"The 97 in the World Cup final was not the best innings in my career but no doubt the most important one so far," Gambhir told reporters after reaching home.
"It was a special knock for me as it came in a special situation. The whole country was expecting us to win the World Cup and I have contributed my bit in India's triumph. So, it was the most important innings of my career," he said after a grand welcome with people thronging at his home following news of his arrival.
Gambhir and his Delhi team-mate Virat Kohli stitched a crucial 83-run stand for the third wicket to keep India on track in the run chase of 275 after the home side were down 31 for two. He was out three runs short of century.
He said he was not disappointed to have missed a century in the final, saying winning the World Cup was more important than personal milestone.
"Obviously, a century in the final would have been the icing on the cake. But winning was more important for the country. If you had hit a century but your team lost there was no point," he said.
"On the other hand, if you missed a century but helped your team win the World Cup, that I will take," said 29-year-old Gambhir.