Dhoni stunned himself with six

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Old 04-Apr-2011
Dhoni stunned himself with six

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Mumbai: As the cliche goes, Mahendra Singh Dhoni led from the front to bag the man-of-the-match award in the final.

But this man rarely laughs. He usually confines his emotions to a smile.

After the victory that grin was broad. He suddenly forget the answers to the questions he was being asked. More than once he asked: "What was your question?"

The whole team wanted to win the World Cup for Sachin Tendulkar. How does it feel now that you have done it and what is the secret behind this triumph?

M.S. DHONI: There's no secret about it. It was there for everyone to see.

Whatever secret plans we have, we'll do it once we are back in the hotel. All of us are excited and we will enjoy this night.

What was the feeling like after hitting the winning run?

Emotionally I was a bit confused. My first reaction was to grab a wicket. I took one at the end I was batting because I knew Yuvraj would pick one at the non-striker's end.

By then Yuvraj had come to me and held me in an embrace. I think I was a bit confused at that moment and just didn't know what to do.

Why did you promote yourself up the batting order?

It was difficult because Yuvraj was in brilliant form.

I knew if I promoted myself it would have meant two left-handers coming after me.

It was an honest decision. If we could rotate the strike, it would be good.

Having played with Muralitharan a lot, I knew his doosra well and so wanted to put him under pressure.

Gautam and myself, we also run very fast and that helped. We backed each other and knew that if we could get close to the target, Yuvi and Raina could finish the game off.

So what do you have to say about Yuvraj Singh's form?

I don't know if you remember, I had said after the first match that we want Yuvraj to get going, and once he does that, he will start contributing regularly.

You have won all the big tournaments for India. What is the secret behind your success?

I am lucky. Frankly I am lucky to have very good players who have responded well.

In Tests, we have seniors who have been around for long and contributed regularly.

The youngsters are also contributing. Raina and Kohli have been covering a lot of ground on the field and putting in more than actually needed.

I have also stressed in having a good dressing room atmosphere.

India hasn't had many big victories in sports. How is it to win the biggest trophy in cricket?

If you look at the last three or four years, our sportsmen have done well in shooting, tennis and hockey. In football too we've won.

Cricket is special in this country because of the infrastructure.

We had a big change in our set up after we won the World Cup in 1983. Sachin and Anil Kumble made their debut a few years later. Then we had Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

We are trying to pass it on to the next generation.

The expectations grows. There's been lot of pressure right through the tournament. A few of the players haven't been eating well because of the anxiety.

Even Yuvraj Singh was being sick at times due to anxiety.

Can you tell what brought about the transformation in the team after the quarter-finals?

We all knew it was going to be tough ahead.

What was needed was to show character and know each and every individual.

Considering the amount of cricket we play, it's tough to give 100 per cent in each and every match.

But in big tournaments like this, all players are tuned up for the challenge.

How did you enjoy the support from the Wankhede crowd?

The support we got was great. Whenever Gautam, Virat or myself hit runs, we were all applauded.

In short, what do you attribute as the main factors behind the success?

Our preparations. A little more than one-and-a-half years back, we had set our sights on the World Cup. It was then a long-term goal. We stressed on the need to prepare well.

It was important to have all the players in good form and fit.

We peaked at the right time and carried that momentum into the final.

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