28 November 2023 last updated at 17:26 GMT
Gary asked me bat up the order: Dhoni
Wednesday 19 October 2011

MS Dhoni was the hero of India’s glorious victory in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka, but the skipper revealed on Tuesday that it was coach Gary Kirsten’s idea to promote him in the all important finale.

Dhoni scored an unbeaten 91 and also had hit a six to clinch the coveted title for India during the finals against Sri Lanka in April this year.

"I hadn't planned to promote myself and play earlier. Gary (then coach Kirsten) asked me if I would go early. I thought with two spinners, maybe I should. It worked for me," said Dhoni at an awards function, where the Indian cricket team won the award for India's 'Heroes of the Year' for the World Cup magic and history.

Dhoni said he promoted himself ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh as he felt he would be able to tackle the spinners better, especially Muttiah Muralitharan, with whom he played in the IPL as a part of Chennai Super Kings.

"Gautam (Gambhir)and I do cheeky singles very well. Yuvi and I run the doubles very well," he said.

Asked how he keeps his cool in pressure situations, the 30-year-old Dhoni quipped: "I get influenced by pressure but I have so much gray hair because I don't let expressions on field reveal this."

All his collegues also had many good things to share about their captain.

S Sreesanth, who was picked in the finals, ahead of R Ashwin after Ashish Nehra got injured, said: "He's (Dhoni) like a brother."

"He pushed me down in the order," joked Yuvraj.

Asked about his captain, Virat Kohli said: "He backs his players all the time."

Sehwag reiterated Kohli's sentiments, while Gautam Gambhir called Dhoni "very relaxed". Ashwin too joined the chorus and said his skipper is always aware of the situation.

Gambhir, who cracked a brilliant 97 under pressure to contribute to the win, said he would regret his innings all his life.

"As soon as I got out, I thought I will regret these three runs for the rest of my life (got out at 97). But being part of winning side makes up for everything," he said.

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