05 April 2011
Dhoni played innings of his life in World Cup final: Yuvraj
Dhoni is only the second captain after Kapil Dev to lead India to the game's showpiece trophy
India's cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"It was a dream come true. As MS (Dhoni) said (earlier) I did not know what to do. I wanted to jump on MS and keep jumping on him. He had just played the innings of his life," the flamboyant batsman said about the Indian skipper's masterly innings, in the latter's presence.
The Ranchi-born wicketkeeper-batsman had promoted himself to number 5 above in-form Yuvraj and simply took away the game from Sri Lanka by slamming two sixes and eight fours in his 79-ball masterpiece at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Dhoni, only the second captain after Kapil Dev to lead India to the game's showpiece trophy, put on 109 runs for the fourth wicket with Gautam Gambhir (97) and an unfinished 5th stand of 46 with Yuvraj, who remained unbeaten on 21.
"It was the highlight of my career. To win the World Cup after 28 years, was very special. Can't explain the feelings," said Yuvraj who scored 362 runs in 9 matches averaging 90-plus and also grabbed 15 wickets with his left arm slow bowling.
Dhoni, for his part, conceded he had gone blank after hitting the winning shot, a six.
"I was quite blank at that point of time. I didn't know how to celebrate. Then I saw Yuvraj's 6-foot, 2-inch (frame) coming towards me. I thought, he's not going anywhere; let me get to the stumps (souvenirs) first," said Dhoni at the event organised by Reebok to felicitate the triumphant team members.
Yuvraj said he worked hard to make a memorable comeback into the Indian squad after being dropped from both the Test and ODI teams last year.
"Last year was not a great one. I suffered a lot of injuries, but I received a lot of support from my teammates and people close to me. I kept on working hard and performed at the right time," he said.
Dhoni also talked about the importance of fielding and fitness.
"Of course we have to put in a 100 per cent effort (to keep fit). Fielding is an integral part. Twenty overs (games) are said to be demanding but in 50 overs (games) you have to maintain intensity throughout," he said.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said for him the team always came first.
"Whenever there is a time to celebrate I celebrate. That's the way I have always been. I am there always for the team, the team comes first," he said.
Leg spinner Piyush Chawla and big-hitting all-rounder Yusuf Pathan also shared their memorable World Cup moments.
"I felt very good to take the World Cup in my hand. We played well," said Pathan.
"I don't have words to describe those feelings. It was a dream come true for me. For me it was a special feeling as it was my first home series. That (triumph) is something I will cherish all my life," he said.
All the players were given gold-plated bats as mementos.
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