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Cricket World Cup 2011:Team India Are Champions of the World

MUMBAI, INDIA - APRIL 02:  Sachin Tendulkar of India is lifted by his team mates on a lap of honour after their six wicket victory during the 2011 ICC World Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Mumbai, India.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Linus FernandesAnalyst IIApril 2, 2011

“We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions of the World”

Freddie Mercury’s lyrics may seem trite and overused. Yet, they never fail to send out the right message.

Team India are champions of the world.

Nothing and no one can take that away from Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys.

India’s last World Cup victory in 1983 had more than an element of serendipity to it. It was as though a bunch of extremely gifted all-rounders gathered together to have a ball of a time and they did.

There is very little amateurism in this Indian side.

This win came from a great deal of planning; a solid commitment after the debacle of 2007.

These men in blue are professionals; they know how to win and are ruthless about it.

Full credit to Gary Kirsten for giving this Indian side that edge—instilling the self-belief that the answer lies not elsewhere but within themselves.

MS injected that vital ingredient of enjoyment by reminding his teammates that cricket is ultimately a game, and games are fun. Yes, play hard but have fun.

Every member of this team participated in at least two games, even the luckless Sreesanth.

The 2011 edition will go down as being Yuvraj Singh’s tourney. The Punjabi is one of the greatest ODI cricketers of his generation.

MS Dhoni is the best Indian captain ever.

It helps that he is skipper of a side that boasts the experience of Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh.

He has won everything that counts except a series Down Under.

Dhoni’s leadership is exemplary, and more importantly, selfless. He preferred to come down the order where he knew he would not have the opportunity to score too many runs.

Come the finale and he strode the stadium like a colossus. To take centre stage in the pressure cooker atmosphere of a World Cup final took guts and immense self-belief. Especially when your form has been scratchy—at best.

A lot of Indian fans would like to believe that Dhoni is Captain Cool personified. The greying sideburns and the strained expression (during the final) hint at the burden he bears—stoically.

Experts praised him for being candid enough by admitting his mistake in playing Ashish Nehra in the semis. He misread the pitch.

Similarly, after the final, he threw the myriad questions the media could have posed back in their faces. “Why Sreesanth? Why the change in the batting order?”

However, a triumphant captain can afford to be a little churlish. It is sometimes a method of deflecting criticism and releasing pressurised build-up. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has matured well—like old wine.

The Cup is India’s.Uncork the champagne.

Chak De India!

Team India did ‘De Ghooma Ke’.

Quote of the day:
My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what's really going on to be scared. - P. J. Plauger

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