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Playing a 20-over final was unfair: Dhoni

Published Jun 24, 2013 09:10am


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MS Dhoni. -Photo by AFP
MS Dhoni. -Photo by AFP

BIRMINGHAM: India captain MS Dhoni called on his team to prove they were the top-ranked side in the world before sealing a dramatic five-run win over England in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday.

Hosts England needed 130 to win, in a match reduced to 20 overs a side because of more bad weather, and they fell short in the face of inspired Indian spin bowling.

"We are the number-one ranked side, let's make it show," Dhoni told a news conference. "Let's make them fight for 130 runs and not look for outside help."

Dhoni said he told his players to forget this was supposed to be a 50-over game.

"It was a 20-over game and we have seen at the IPL and in Twenty20s that 130 can be a very difficult target to achieve," he said.

"Also I said nobody could look to the left side of the pitch where the rain was coming from.

"I said 'God is not coming to save us, if you want to win the trophy we have to fight it out'."

In a tournament where his world champions won five matches out of five, Dhoni said he thought it was a slightly unsatisfactory end to a major tournament.

"I think it is a bit unfair in the ICC Champions Trophy that we had to play a 20-over game to find a winner of the 50-over format," Dhoni said.

"Still, they (the ICC) needed a result. This means a lot because we are playing here against some of the best sides in the world and to beat England in a 130-run game is very difficult."

Dhoni then paid tribute to opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, the top-scorer in the tournament, and man-of-the-match Ravindra Jadeja.

"Shikhar is a slightly different character," Dhoni said.

"A fun-loving guy but he backs himself to play big strokes. That has helped him in this tournament and he'll gain a lot from the way he has played over here.

"And Jadeja is someone who keeps it very simple. He looks to hit the right area and the ball does the talking."

England captain Alastair Cook said it was his lowest moment since taking charge of the team last year.

"It's a tough pill to swallow at the moment," he said.

"We had high hopes coming in today of achieving something special.

"Clearly from there you would back yourself to win more times than you would lose in that situation, but it shows how quickly games can change in Twenty20 when you lose a couple of wickets.

"We got close. I'm proud of the way the lads have fought from being under a fair bit of pressure in this tournament.

"Quite a lot of criticism and flak has been thrown our way and yet we got to the final and played some good cricket. We just couldn't quite get over the line."

Comments (40) Closed

a.k.lal Jun 24, 2013 09:32am

only Dhoni would give crucial over to Ishant, a bowler who had under performed in final. And that over changed the game with morgan and pujara wicket falling

jai Jun 24, 2013 10:50am

East or west india is the best very well played well done once again Dhoni is the best captain

shreekant vader Jun 24, 2013 11:36am

Well Done India !!! Cent percent marks to Dhoni who showed to the world, How its done, Proud to be an Indian (You made us proud!!! Dhoni)

Ali Jun 24, 2013 11:44am

Cingrats to India and MS for the cup they deserved this victory! Hopefully our team (Pakistan) could finally learn something from indian selectors and coaches from this tournament. They made brave decisions and dropped superstar players sehwag, gambir, yuvi, zaheer, bajji, for the future and interest of Indian cricket. Yet we keep stacking out of date arsenal in our team, which never fired at crunch times. It is the perfect time to blood young players before the WC!

Awad Jun 24, 2013 12:26pm

In fact he is honest in his opinion

Rohit Jun 24, 2013 12:53pm

I remember people comparing Afridi to Dhoni a few years back....I believe Dhoni has risen to a status where all those comparisons look like a joke now..

Ravi Ingale from University of Pune Jun 24, 2013 01:08pm

Whether it is 20 or 50 over in both the case India's Victory was definite.

fida sayani Jun 24, 2013 02:42pm

'God is not coming to save us, if you want to win the trophy we have to fight it out'. Pakistan cricket team should learn from the above quote of Dhoni. Have faith in yourself, this what Jinnah emphasis in his UNITY FAITH DISCIPLENE.

Mustafa Jun 24, 2013 02:53pm

@Rohit: Comparison of Afridi & Dhoni was a big joke even a couple of years back!

Guest63 Jun 24, 2013 03:06pm

@Rohit: Compairing Dhoni with Afridi (an Indian perspective ) or Afridi with Dhoni (a Pakistani perspective ) , is absurd from any angle . A calm and calculated mind showing No emotions even if he is burning hell within himself vis a Brash and Brainless explosive brat who will spill his own milk in order to gain the smallest attention . No Comparison . One's moves and shakes brought multiple dividends to his employers , joy to his country and honor for his colleagues (senior junior alike ) to be playing with or under his guiding glances and effortless gesture WHILE the other set in motions fights , belittling of the teammates and the country itself , a self centered YoYo , who would have never been made captain let alone be in the team for a long ago ..... No comparison , I am writing this , not as an Indian but as a true patriotic Pakistani who wanted to enjoy the game alonebut not a patriotic fever as such

Chinna Jun 24, 2013 03:06pm

@a.k.lal: its not pujara its bopara

Rashid Sultan Jun 24, 2013 03:15pm

Could we hire the services of Shikar Dhawan, Kohli & Jadeja for a season or two to bolster our team please? We could lend them Saeed, Irfan and Wahab.

Fahad Jun 24, 2013 03:21pm

Whether it was the good luck of indian team or indian team is best among all the teams. That was a very good tournment to watch. we did enjoy that!. Really indian team deserved the victory, being a Pakistani supporter we are very much disappointed by the performance of the Pakistani team. We should learn from the indian team how this team absorbs the pressure and changed the game on his side. Hats off to the captaincy of MS Dhoni!!

Atlast our management should throw the old and "Parchi" player from the team there must not be any room for inform old player. Team donot want Malik, Farhat to be the part of national team.

Congrats to Indian Team :)

Usman Jun 24, 2013 03:58pm

ya ALLAH kaas Dhoni Indian tean ki jagah Pakistan team ka captain hota. Dhoni rockssssssssssssssssssssss.

Indian Jun 24, 2013 04:12pm

@a.k.lal: mere lal wo Pujara nahi bopara tha :)

Usman Jun 24, 2013 04:11pm

India rockssssssssss

SubhSubhBol Jun 24, 2013 04:24pm

@a.k.lal: oh paaji....pujara nahi bopara....mana dono desi khoon hai par ek desi hai aur doosra desi angrez.......

Indian Jun 24, 2013 04:45pm

@Ali : Dear Ali bhai,

I don't blame Pakistani is a difficult situation for them. If they had selected some new players in place of Shoib Malik and Kamran Akmal) and Pakistan performance would have been the same. What would have been your reaction? Be would have still cursed the selectors. Lets both Indian and Pakistanis take the game in right sprit its India and tomorrow it may be Pakistan.

ABL Jun 24, 2013 05:06pm

Well done India from a Pakistani fan! Dhoni has done tremendous service for Indian cricket. He has managed to bring up a new strong team without breaking down during the transition. He is way far beyond a wicket keeper and batsmen. He is truly a leader, who believes in developing a powerful team Good Job. In future, he will be a great coach too. Indian batting was always good. It is the bowling strength coupled with super fielding, which has made them unbeaten champion. What is there for Pakistan to learn? Bring in good leadership at all levels.

mukhtar Jun 24, 2013 07:10pm

Well done India. We Pakistanis just love you guys!

Shai Jun 24, 2013 07:27pm

congrats india.........

Owais U Jun 24, 2013 08:22pm

@fida sayani: Please come back from 1947 dream to 2013 reality: there is no unity among anyone in the country (let alone be it the batsmen), the faith is lost among all, and discipline never returned after the PCB and the team got hijacked by family members of the ruling chairman and his Board rather be selective via merit.

rohan Jun 24, 2013 08:52pm

@Fahad: thank you buddy..

Ram Jun 24, 2013 09:10pm

@Rashid Sultan:

We want no less than WASIM dude....The Sultan of Swing . You can have the service of Yuvaraj, traded for him !!... YOu are yet to produce equivalent of Dhoni yet :-)

Ram Jun 24, 2013 09:12pm

I am overwhelmed by the best wishes....Thank you Pakistanis ....And you must know, we did Support you guys in the 2nd T20-20 world cup final, which you eventually won ..... You must know my dear friends !!

SujitSK Jun 24, 2013 09:55pm

@Rashid Sultan: I think Pakistan has no dearth of talent; you just need to get your act together

SujitSK Jun 24, 2013 09:57pm

I think Pakistan has no dearth of talent; just needs to get its act together!

rajanrivonkar Jun 24, 2013 10:37pm

@Usman: My dear usman let me wish that dhoni would coach pakistani cricket team down the line.

(Dr.) B.N. Anand Jun 24, 2013 10:42pm

Dhoni in the end proved his point in the final match. Ishant was shot for a six and England inched closer to the target. Even then Dhoni again gave the ball to Ishant after the next over was bowled. This over from Ishant changed the game when in two successive balls he dismissed two well set batsmen. Soon two more wickets fell very cheaply and then it was too much asking from tailenders to hit a six in the last ball for winning. Only Javed Miandad could have done that. So Dhoni showed courage to persist with Ishant to provide a vital breakthrough. That exhibition of taking risk and courage can only define a true leader. Dhoni only proved that point. BNA

Sree Jun 25, 2013 12:38am

I have personally played with some pakistani friends and have admired the talent and guts and wondered why they're having trouble. There's management issues across all sub continent nations including India, and it's just we're fortunate to have had 2 leaders of the quality of Ganguly and Dhoni in a decade span, that has brought some respectability. I know lot of pakistanis bitch about imran, but trust me growing up, we were all in awe of that man's talent and leadership quality as a cricketing captain. Besides i think the biggest issue facing pakistan is not able to play cricket inside the country. If that can happen, i'm sure they can re-group and play well as the olden days.

Saud Khan Jun 25, 2013 02:34am

Salute to this great Indian man Dhoni.. I remember the days when Indian team losses a couple of series back to back from Australia, England and Pakistan. The way Indian media was criticizing him and demanding a removal of Dhoni as a captain. On that occasion he never made any excuses of his loss and always applause the opponent team's great effort. Now it is the time for Dhoni to reply back to all of those critics, but still I see no pride on his face. Seriously I have to end my talk from where I started "Salute to this great Indian man Dhoni".

irfan pathan Jun 25, 2013 02:22pm

@usman; agar dhoni india ki jagah pakistan me hota to select hi nahi huaa hota abtak,sad raha hota kahi aur may be bus conductor

karan Jun 25, 2013 03:08pm

@ABL: For Pakistan needs: PCB needs to increase its spending on beefing up its security and assure the ICC that its safe to play cricket in Pakistan. It needs to do so by taking one or two venues at a time. I dont see a problem if say all the matches of a tournament are played in Lahore. International cricket must return to Pakistan to motivate the Pakistani youth to take up cricket. It was a joke to see even Bangladesh refuse to play a tournament in Pakistan, given the recent riots and lawlessness in the country. I strongly believe that once Int'l cricket returns to Pakistan you will see that the quality of cricket will improve. It will also give the players a lot of confidence. Further, it will even benefit PCB financially. I remember that around 2003-04, PCB was on the verge of bankruptcy but after the revenue it collected from the India's tour to Pakistan, the board was able to pay off all its creditors and had a surplus cash reserve of UDS 6 million. So the extra spending and some tactful actions will allow PCB to reap richer rewards ;)

AJ Jun 25, 2013 09:59pm

@Guest63: Chalbayyyyyyyyyyyy

AJ Jun 25, 2013 10:05pm

@Rohit: bus tum loog poori zindagi comparsion main guzaar dainaa, bus ub cut lay

Kris Jun 26, 2013 09:13am

Before the Final game, Dhoni said the Indian team is top ranked and No.1 team in the world and he proved it. that shows his confidence before going to the final game. Today nobody is talking about Tendulkar, Schewag, Gambir, Youraj singh, Dravid, Laxman, Harbhajan or Zaheer khan, all these star players are replaced by this young Indian team, we Australians should learn from Indians.

Bharat Jun 26, 2013 09:30am

I would like to thank all our Pakistani brothers for the good wishes.

We in India also want to see a strong Pakistan side which we shall see soon in the future

Gaurav Jun 26, 2013 02:42pm

@Usman: India , Pakistan ek hota , to aisa hi hota mere dost

Allii Allee Jun 26, 2013 05:13pm

They doesn't deserve this victory. They have won because of Rain if they have to play 50 overs then for sure they will not be able to win

VikDix Jun 26, 2013 06:56pm

@mukhtar: am I dreaming... thanks anyways