ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India crowned world champions

Dhoni acknowledges role of quartet

Sharda Ugra in Mumbai

April 3, 2011

Comments: 163 | Text size: A | A

Anil Kumble, who was part of four unsuccessful World Cup campaigns, is given a chance to hold the trophy, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
MS Dhoni: "This was the chain of players because of whom we are in this position right now." © Getty Images

Before he led India to a World Cup victory, MS Dhoni's earliest identity as a cricketer had been attached to the Twenty20 format. It was India's victory in the World Twenty20 under Dhoni that was one of the factors that led to the speedy launch of the Indian Premier League. Dhoni then led his team, the Chennai Super Kings, to a double last year, winning the IPL and the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa.

Yet, more than once during this World Cup, Dhoni has demonstrated that he is conscious of the course taken by Indian cricket in the last three decades and where Saturday's victory now stands.

At the media conference following India's six-wicket victory, Dhoni was asked by an English reporter to explain what the World Cup victory actually meant to Indians who, Dhoni was told, did not enjoy much success in other world-level sport. Yuvraj Singh, the World Cup's Player of the Tournament sitting next to Dhoni, raised his eyebrow, and his captain took the opportunity to say that India had been growing as a nation that supports sport, citing the examples from shooting, badminton, hockey and football.

But cricket, Dhoni said, "was special" to Indians because of the change that the 1983 victory achieved for Indian cricket. "People started loving the sport and you then saw two individuals making their debut, Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar." He then said that the successful careers of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, which began in 1996, marked the next step. "This was the chain of players because of whom we are in this position right now. We earn a lot of money, we get a lot respect and what we are trying to do is to pass it onto the next generation."

Three of the players mentioned by Dhoni were at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday night; Tendulkar a part of Dhoni's team, Kumble in the audience and new commentator-columnist Ganguly, who stood at the boundary on the far side of dressing room from where he watched the Indian team go past on its lap of honour with Tendulkar sitting on Yusuf Pathan's shoulders. Ganguly, who led India to the final of the 2003 World Cup and who still responds to India's performance as if he were a part of the team, was beaming. "What a win," he said, "what a performance."

Dhoni was asked to compare his two biggest victories as India captain and said, that while every format was "special" in its own way, "I have always loved the ODI format. Because I always think you see a lot of variety in one-day cricket." The final he said had been the best example. "In this game, we lost a couple of early wickets and then you have two batsmen struggling to get runs." He said that the one-day game showed "a glimpse" of what may not be Test cricket but was a shortened version of its demands.

"Two batsmen looking for survival and looking to get runs at the same time. At the end you saw a slog, from Yuvraj and me. And at the end of it," Dhoni said, "you see a result." It is a summary that would please the ICC enormously which, after the unfortunate 2007 event in the Caribbean, has needed a successful World Cup to prove to its community that the three formats of the sport could survive. Between that World Cup and this one, there has been a mushrooming of the Twenty20 leagues, and was seen as a threat to the 50-over format. Now with the captain of the 2011 World Cup winners, and the biggest audience and market in the sport, enthusiastically endorsing the format, the ICC has further proof of what it has always maintained: that the 50-over game can play a few more innings.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 163 
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Posted by Ranganadh on (April 5, 2011, 17:42 GMT)

So surprised to see that there is no mention of VVS. He has always been sidelined. True cricket lover never forgets him

Posted by Vijay on (April 5, 2011, 8:51 GMT)

Well said Dhoni. You won my heart again. Big four changed the course of Indian cricket along with VVS also. They are the Best

Posted by pramathesh on (April 5, 2011, 7:25 GMT)

He should first acknowledge the role of Indian cricket team that won the 1983 WC in England.Kapil Dev and his team defeated 1975 and 1979WC winners West Indies even after asking WEst Indies to chase a target of 183 runs. That made Indians and other Asian teams realize that they can win many such titles and what we see today is because of that seed. India has no coach in that 1983 WC event. That 1983 WC winning team has become a legend-Kapil, Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, Sandhu, Srikant(who is now selector), Kirmani, Yashpal Sharma, Madanlal, Binny, Sandip Patil, Shastri, Vengsarkar-all are great people. What they did has inspired us to win 2011WC.

Posted by bobby on (April 5, 2011, 6:54 GMT)

Well done, MSD played innings of his life. To me when he promote himself in batting it was the real master-peace. Sachin had his dream fulfilled. MSD rose to the challenge despite knowing his attack was not best in the world.

Also, well done to Lankan team and to Sanghakara, Mahela who played an effortless and flawless inning. Sangakkara is always true Ambassador of the cricket, I really impressed by his speech at final. His Acknowledgments for the winning team was a nice gesture I was expected the same from MSD by Sangakkara and Afridi.

Posted by jai on (April 5, 2011, 5:31 GMT)

No doubt the influence of Anil, Sourav and Dravid is immense on this team but its unfortunate people forget the very very special person, Laxman. Can any body deny his influence and inspiration to everybody especially in tense situations. In pressure situations he is next to none, even Sachin or Mahi

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 5, 2011, 1:04 GMT)

The contribution of VVS Laxman and J Srinath needs to be added here. They have always been low profile, but their contributions are enormous.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 21:39 GMT)

Congratulations india . Dhoni shows the charaacter in the final

Posted by Dev Alok on (April 4, 2011, 21:10 GMT)

I am so glad that MS credited ex-players. I think MS chose them correctly for ODI. Going some more back I would have picked Kapil and Gavaskar. Impact of Azhar is little debatable. India won a lot of games at home but lost when they went out of country.

Posted by Harry on (April 4, 2011, 19:34 GMT)

Congratulations Team!!... Finally we did it!...I still remember those two semis and finals of 1996 and 2003 when I wanted India to win badly but only frustrated that we squandered away wonderful opportunities to win!....But this team really deserved to win than any of the previous ones with the sheer fact of soaking pressure match after match and performing way beyond expectations...What astonished me was the sudden peaking in the fielding and bowling after the league stages and excellent performances with the bat when it mattered...Wonderful team effort!...

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 19:19 GMT)

Dont forget VVS He is the back bone of Indian never say die character

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