Dhoni Led India To The World Cup Victory In The ICC Cricket Final at Wankhede Stadium Mumbai.
Usually the major finals have been a disappointment. But the final between India and Sri Lanka was worth every penny spent. The match was dramatic from the word Go ! M S Dhoni won the first toss but Sangakkara claimed that there was confusion. The re-toss was won by Sangakkara and Sri Lanka decided to bat.
India had the early victories but Mahela Jaywardane stayed at the crease, as instructed by his beautiful wife, and scored the century in the final. Sreesanth could not rise to the occasion and the ever-tidy Zaheer was also sent packing by Lankans in his second spell. From a difficult start to 275, Sri Lanka had made a fighting score. As expected, Dhoni gave Tendulkar a bowling spell. Dhoni is a master charmer and he knew this was Tendulkar’s special match in his home ground and he just gave Tendulkar the chance.
Sri Lanka had the perfect start with Sehwag out in the second ball. Tendulkar could not achieve his dream of ‘Century of Centuries’ at home ground. When Tendulkar got out and India were 31-2, a strange silence and fear engulfed the entire India. Will India collapse again? Oh My God !
Thankfully Gautam rose to the occasion and Virat Kohli and he played the most sensible cricket. They dealt in 1s and 2s and marched towards the target milestone by milestone. First reached the 100, then 150 etc. Dhoni came in at the fall of Kohli. He came ahead of Yuvraj, the in form champion.
Dhoni’s master stroke was the X Factor of the match. He knew Murali and Sri Lankans very well – thank to IPL. He could take the pressure and wanted to lead from the front. He wanted to win. He showed his determination from the very first ball. He batted like a champion and his best knock of the tournament proved the cup-winning knock.
Dhoni has been a hallmark leader. Though he did not score runs, he has been a master strategist and a great reader of the game. He ensured that India was on target. He did not take any risk. He kept the score board ticking. He ensured that they treated Murali and Malinga with respect. He rotated the strike. He did not try to become a hero. He inched towards the target with strong determination.
Cheers to Kumar Sangakkara as well – Great speech by him. Extreme humility. Dhoni’s speech was good too – nice humour about proving a point.
Dhoni has a great midas touch. After T20 World Cup, No. 1 Test Ranking , he now has the World Cup for India. The 1.2 Billion Indians will love it. The celebrations have started in India. The positive effect of this will be felt all around. The overall confidence and optimism will help India as a country. The self-belief will be on rise.
Kapil Dev and Dhoni share many similarities. Kapil Dev’s 1983 world cup inspired a generation of cricketers. Dhoni’s 2011 world cup will inspire the next Indian achievers. India Shining ! Go India Go !
Jai Ho !