Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni picked the rousing reception his team received after its triumph in the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup as the moments close to his heart.
Under Dhoni’s leadership, India won the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa before winning the 2011 ODI World Cup as hosts at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Dhoni, recollected the best moments of his career.
“There are two incidents I would like to mention over here. So after the 2007 (T20) World Cup, we came back to India and had an open bus ride and we were standing at the Marine Drive (in Mumbai). It was jam-packed all around and people had come out of their cars,” said Dhoni.
“So, I felt good after seeing the smile on everyone’s face. Because, there could have been so many people in the crowd, who might have missed their flights, perhaps they were going for important work. The kind of reception, we got, the entire Marine Drive was full from one end to other.”
The other moment which he listed was the chants of “Vande Mataram” by the fans when India was close to victory in the 2011 World Cup final here. Dhoni had remained unbeaten on 91 in the all-important game.
“And the second instance I would say the 2011 World Cup final, in that match when 15-20 runs were required, the way all the spectators started chanting Vande Mataram’ at the Wankhede Stadium.
“These are two moments, I think, it will be very difficult to replicate them. Those are the two moments that are very close to my heart,” added Dhoni, whose future is an intense subject of speculation as he is not played since India’s World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand in July.
Dhoni said that the uncertainties of cricket made it the most followed sport in the country.
“There are lot of uncertainties when it comes to cricket, and that’s why I feel it is one of the most followed sport in India. Every delivery and every time the bowler comes, it changes the game. I feel, in the T20 every delivery actually changes the game,” said Dhoni from the stage.
“In cricket, we keep innovating ourself, we keep coming up with new things, something like a reverse-sweep was not part of the armoury if you talk about 15 years back, but now you see the batsmen turning around and playing the reverse-sweep. And the same thing I can say is that the Indian cricket team is successful because of the fans.”
Dhoni also spoke about his early career, saying there were ups and downs.
“I came from a small state (Jharkhand), from a small city (Ranchi), so it was not always up for me. It was those small ups and downs throughout till I went for my 2003 India A tour and from that point I have got steady success.
“Whether it is a brand or an individual, you have to be confident about your strength, your weakness, how you want to improve, the kind of effort you want to put in. I have always said result is a by-product, if you follow the process, take care of the smallest of things, you will get the desired result,” he said.