India v Sri Lanka, tri-series final, Port-of-Spain July 12, 2013

'Dhoni has done it over and over for us' - Rohit

ESPNcricinfo staff

India batsman Rohit Sharma has said his team's victory in the tri-series final against Sri Lanka came as no surprise to the dressing room, despite the pressure of the last over, as it always had confidence in captain MS Dhoni, who has "done it over and over for us". Dhoni said that he wasn't panicking either, using his "good cricketing sense" to deal with the situation.

"I think I am blessed with a bit of good cricketing sense. I thought 15 runs was something that I could look for [in the final over], the reason being the opposition's bowler was not someone who is very experienced," Dhoni said after the match. "So I thought, rather than taking on a Malinga or a Mathews, I'd take it to the end, and it really worked in our favour."

India were on course in their chase of 202 while on 139 for 3 in the 32nd over. But Sri Lanka fought back with a flurry of wickets, mainly through Rangana Herath, leaving India tottering at 167 for 8. Dhoni, returning from a hamstring injury for this match, turned down a few singles, and was content to play out Mathews and Malinga. That left India needing 15 runs off Shaminda Eranga's final over and Dhoni, after a change of bat, won it with two balls to spare.

Dhoni said he was looking for a heavier bat to get those final hits away. "That was a 2kg bat, a very heavy bat, it was needed at that point of time. Apart from it being a very good bat, I think the weight of the bat was perfect also."

Rohit, who set up the innings with a battling 58, said the pitch was quite tricky: "The wicket was not easy to play shots on, so I just wanted to delay my shots [and] bat till the end, but unfortunately it didn't happen. But it came out really well in the end.

"Dhoni has done it over and over for us, so we were all positive in the dressing room. We've seen him doing it for many years now. This wasn't any surprise."

Sri Lanka's captain, Angelo Mathews, said his team did well to stretch India as much as they did. "Our bowlers showed a lot of character, especially Herath. He brought us back into the game [and] almost helped us defend 200."

Herath had dealt India a double-blow in the 38th over, trapping Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin lbw off consecutive deliveries. But, in the end, it was another loss for Sri Lanka in a one-day tournament final. Mathews said his batsmen should have done better, after being 171 for 2. "To get to the finals, once again we showed heart, played positive cricket, but once again we couldn't cross the line.

"After Sangakkara and Thirimanne got out, we just panicked and kept losing wickets. We didn't have the momentum to go at the end. We kept taking wrong options. If we had batted through the 50 overs, we would have got to 230-240."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • victoria on July 16, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    jango_moh, True to form, you watched all these games and let your emotions and love for one player fool you! Let me give you one example of SRT's figures before Ganguly and Dravid joined him in 1996 - his test match record. And once again, please do your own research: " Up to 1996 when Dravid and Ganguly joined the team, SRT had already played 46 matches; batted in 70 innings and had an average of 43.83 - just an ordinary player. When Dravid retired after playing his entire career with SRT, SRT's average jumped to 56! Note: Before SRT, team India with Gavascar and Kapil Dev was a force to be reckoned with in world cricket and fans focused on the exploits of Gavascar, Dev along with the team. Then came SRT and the whole focus was now diverted to him for every little thing he did, which was not much (as the stats shows); and India cricket became just SRT winning nothing! It was only when Ganguly and Dravid joined the team, India became competitive again - though SRT reaps the credit!

  • moginraj on July 16, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    @IPSY... ur funny!!!! ive been watching almost every match of india (tests, odis and t20s), since 1996 when i got hooked onto cricket.... and you would never have made the comments u made if you had too!!!! enough said!!!

  • beverly on July 15, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    Chandrasekaran Vijayaraghavan, you are so right, Michael Holding played his last international match in February 1987, but I guess when you saw SRT playing against him in that "said test match, SRT really dominated his bowling"! You guys are just writing and unfortunately thinking things based on your emotions. I agree that you all need to read a bit more, then you all would start to be more respectful and receptive of the plain truth that are embedded in the cricket records! Read - don't depend on those commentators who analyse cricket based on their emotions! I hope you realise also that when SRT was failing for all of 6 to 7 years, not able to cope with these high quality bowlers, in one of the best eras of bowling in history, there were other batters in the world hammering these said bowlers! You see the reason why, though I respect SRT very highly, I can't rate him among some of these names that used to perform so "Dhoniesque" against the best, while Sachin waited on the minnows!

  • Android on July 14, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    dhoni is a gr8 captain

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    @IPSY: Mind you , SRT was an opener facing Wasim, Waqar, McGrath, Warne, Murli, Hadlee, Holding, Walsh, Ambrose, Saqi, Vaas, Heath Streak (forgot him?), Pollock, Donals etc... and on lively pitches as well. They would have made someone like MSD dance for their tune. Am not taking any thing away form MSD though, am a huge fan of him but to compare him and infact rate him higher than MSD you should be wither a soccer fan or an alien.

  • Harish on July 13, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    @ Gc Sekhar, MS himself said in the post-match presentation "The opposition bowler in that last over was not experienced, so I thought I would take my chances". So, it is not about the last over. It is about not doing against Malinga and Mathews. And Dhoni himself wasn't 'so sure' of making it. He had took his chances.

  • victoria on July 13, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Continued: I am bold enough to say that even though MSD has not played for even half of SRT's time, comparing SRT to MSD is like chalk and cheese as far as VALUABLE INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES are concerned! In fact, MSD in his short stint has already SINGLE HANDEDLY won more matches for India than SRT has done in his overly long and extended career!

  • victoria on July 13, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    nellaiseemai, I don't know where you got the idea that sometime ago, SRT "was playing the role of Rohit and Dhoni together for many matches"! This has never happened in Indian cricket! And I'm encouraging some of you to do a little research before you write your opinions. You may remember that I wrote sometime ago, that the performance of SRT was rather poor, and it was only when Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly joined the Indian team and began to perform really well that SRT himself started to show some improvement. I usually like to qualify what I write with facts and figures - you may be stunned by them: For the 7 year period1989 to 1995, just before Dravid and Ganguly made the Indian team, SRT averaged a paltry 29.99 after playing in 102 matches in 7 long years! In fact, he had played for 6 years 1989 to 1994 before he scored a single 100. And it was only the EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITIES that were given to him which no other player in the world gets, why he has his overhyped records.

  • Venkat on July 13, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @Gc Sekhar, Dhoni is counting on the nerves of the bowler defending in the last over and making mistakes. He is also counting on himself staying calm in those moments. Also, it gives him more time to get his eye in and assess the bowlers and balls to pick and to hit eventually. Also, it gives him time to use less risky shots and accumulate runs. If he gets the target by just accumulating with singles and doubles, he users the last heave for 6 for the very last run for victory. In this game it is very clear that they were not able to rotate well and get singles and doubles as needed, as Srilanka did well to stop those and the pitch was bad.

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Brilliant from MSD. And Cool etc- - Absolutely. Just one Query- if MSD was so sure of making it in the 50th Over- why was he not doing it in the 46th over? After all there as only 1 wicket left both times..

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