Image courtesy of: The Sydney Morning Herald
Dhoni’s iconic six will forever be remembered
Former India captain and all-rounder Kapil Dev believes his World Cup triumph in 1983 was nothing compared to the gruelling task current skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had to endure to lead India to victory in the 2011 World Cup.
India were crowned World Cup champions on April 2 2011, which ended a 28-year drought, when Dhoni struck his iconic six against Sri Lanka in the finals to give the men in blue a six-wicket win.
“Obviously this win is bigger because life is becoming tough,” Dev said. “When next generation comes, it will be harder for them.”
Dev also lavished praise on the Dhoni and the rest of the team for winning the last ever Champions Trophy.
“I was at the Champions Trophy and saw the young guys perform in the absence of experienced players like Sachin, Yuvraj, Gambhir and Sehwag,” he said. “Despite these big players not being there, we didn’t miss them. The next generation has arrived, they have played so well.”
Dev added that Dhoni was by far India’s most successful captain and critics should stop doubting his ability.
“I don’t have to say that he is the best, everybody knows that,” he said. “He has done a wonderful job. He is one of the best captains and we have to respect that. If you are asking me a question, you have a doubt, but I don’t.”
However, on the subject of India coach Duncan Fletcher, Dev took a more neutral approach as he did not want to stir up any controversy.
“When India didn’t do well, I was not harsh nor do I want to praise him,” Dev said. “I didn’t say he did a horrible job when we lost to England and Australia. Now also I won’t say he has done extremely well.”
The 54-year-old noted that the opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, both of whom were recently dropped, should work hard to regain their spots in the national team, otherwise they may as well accept that their international careers are all but over.
“If they don’t make a come back, then they should sit at home,” he said. “Every cricketer should feel they can make a comeback. If not, then they are not a fighter, they should take up the challenge.”
Dev also praised all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja for the huge impact he has had ever since being selected to represent India.
“He is the most valued cricketer, he has made a difference after he came in,” Dev added. “He is a great fielder. He has raised the standards where fielding is concerned, he has also set the fielding standards. Hats off to him, great to have someone like him.”