India are the champions, but Dhoni is the hero

Jun 24, 2013 16:16 IST

#Champions Trophy 2013   #Cricket   #CT13   #England   #India   #India vs England   #Sports  

The cricket fraternity has hailed the Indian team's "tremendous achievement" of winning the ICC Champions Trophy with some former players raising a toast for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's "ability to rise from the ashes" and instill confidence in his young teammates.

Former players spoke highly of the young team's ability to perform under pressure and said it augurs well for the future of Indian cricket despite the recent retirements of many stalwarts.

"It really has been a fantastic team because the way they have played, the way they have won every match, the way they have come out of tough situations, just speaks of a champion's mentality and that's what we have seen throughout this tournament," former skipper Sunil Gavaskar said.

"He (Dhoni) has got this ability of rising from the ashes. It is his temperament where he has treated those two imposters -- fame and failure -- in just the same manner. I think that is the reason why he is able to bounce back after a tough time," Gavaskar said.

Former India captain Gundappa Viswanath also lauded Dhoni who now holds the unique record of being the only captain to win three world titles in the sport: "It's a tremendous win. We expected them to win, especially after the way they started the tournament.

"Full marks to MS Dhoni. Now, he has all the world titles to his name. He is undoubtedly one of the best captains we have ever produced. There has been no change in his captaincy and he has been continuing in the same way with his cool and composed approach to the game and is taking up the challenge up front," Vishwanath said.

AP

Gavaskar said Dhoni has managed to develop the team into a good unit. AP

Another former Indian captain and selector, Krishnamachari Srikkanth said that India has again proved their superiority: "This is an excellent win. Yet again they proved that they are the best team in the world in one-dayers. In 2011 they won the World Cup and again they proved their superiority with solid performances," he said.

Gavaskar said Dhoni has managed to develop the team into a good unit: "You expect a final to be a close thing but before that till the semi-finals they have won quite easily. It just speaks volumes about the way this team has developed into a unit. It speaks volumes of their temperament."

Former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad was of the view that the Champions Trophy triumph would help in restoring the fans faith back in the game which took a beating in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal in IPL 6: "I am extremely happy and proud to be an Indian. They have played all-round cricket. These small targets are always dangerous, but the boys did not wilt under pressure and showed amazing character," he said.

"It's so much important to win the trophy to win the faith of Indian cricket fans back. It's a tremendous achievement from that point of view."

Another former Test skipper Chandu Borde compared the Champions Trophy victory with the 1983 World Cup win of Kapil's Devils: "Under pressure we performed very well and this Indian team also performed very well under pressure. In 1983 in a low-scoring match we won the World Cup. Similarly, under pressure they have performed well here. There is a similarity between 1983 and yesterday's victory," he said.

Former skipper Ajit Wadekar said that the victory has proved that India has lot of talent and the retirements of some of the greats have not affected the team: "It was a superb win. Hats off to Dhoni, I think he is the best captain we have got. Despite not having Sachin ( Tendulkar) Rahul (Dravid), Dhoni could get all the youngsters together and showed the team spirit within this unit. This looks like a complete team and Dhoni is probably the best captain India has ever had," he said.

Gaekwad praised the selection panel headed by Sandeep Patil for their decision to blood youngsters which has paid rich dividends: "Kudos to Sandip Patil and Co. Not many would have taken this chance especially when you're touring England. There was a lot of apprehension, we never thought this young brigade would do so well. So, whatever gamble or thinking they had put behind paid off. I would congratulate the selection committee for their brilliant thought of looking at future of Indian cricket," he said.

Former India skipper Nari Contractor said in the Champions Trophy India has performed "magnificently" in all departments of the game under Dhoni's captaincy.

"It's a fantastic victory. Full credit to the team and of course to the captain, MS Dhoni for the brilliant way he led the side from the front," the 79-year-old former opener said.

"The team has performed magnificently in every department. Our spinners did well, the fielding was superb and the new opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan was a revelation. Looking at the way the present Indian team is performing, the future appears to be good."

Legendary off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna said the Champions Trophy win has proved that India are world beaters: "It's a victory that definitely indicates India are best side in cricketing world. Dhoni's captaincy has been brilliant," he said.

He praised India's spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for their impressive showing in English conditions: "Jadeja is now proving to be a great asset to Indian team with his steady left arm spin. His bowling is also encouraging Ashwin. Ashwin and Jadeja have formed a very good spin combination," Prasanna said.

Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar also congratulated Team India on their recent success: "Eng panicked towards the end & the team with the stronger temperament came through. Well done Dhoni ! Well done India !" he wrote on his twitter page.

Former India wicket-keeper Kiran More said Team India played like world champions in England: "One of the best cricket I've seen from India. They played like the world champions and showed why they are number one. It's a great sign for Indian cricket," he said.

"Everybody has played good enough cricket. They are young but have experience. We are dominating world cricket now.

"Hat's off to Dhoni and the support staff. They have handled the pressure really well. Full credit to Dhoni and the way he showed his character despite the pressure and turmoil Indian cricket had to go through. Undoubtedly he's one of the greatest Indian captains," added More, a former selector.

Former pacer and a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, Madan Lal said India were the deserving winners in the Champions Trophy: "It is a great win under seaming conditions. I have never seen the ball turn so much in England. In all counts, the Indian players stood up to the demands of the game very well. Despite rain interruptions, they proved their abilities in each every game," he said.

"It was a well balanced side and Jadeja's all round display came handy in this tournament. Shikhar (Dhawan) and Dinesh Karthik played confidently."

Former India opener W V Raman said the trophy came just at the right time for Indian cricket which went through turbulent times of late in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal in IPL 6.

"It is a fabulous victory. The timing could not have been better because prior to their departure for London lot of murky things came out which put indian players under cloud of doubt," Raman said.

"The players were obviously were under tremendous pressure. This win is the best way to regain the confidence of millions of fans."

Former India fast bowler TA Sekar said it was a fantastic win for Indian cricket.

Former ICC and BCCI president Sharad Pawar also congratulated Team India for the triumph: "Hearty congratulation to Indian cricket team for winning ICC Champions trophy," Pawar tweeted.

PTI