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It's not just another neighbourhood brawl

Sunday, 6 April 2014 - 12:30pm IST | Place: DHAKA | Agency: dna

Will Dhoni become the only captain to hold all three ICC trophies? Or will Jayawardene, Sangakkara go out on a high?
  • Dhoni

Just before Yuvraj Singh began his knocking session at the Sher-e-Bangla on Saturday, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni borrowed his bat and displayed their left-handed batting skills. Truth be told, the skipper and his deputy were impressive. Later, they played some football.

This team believes in enjoying in whatever it does. They know no fear. They know no pressure. On the eve of a major final, Dhoni and his players were just normal. There was fun, laughter and what not.

It's not that India don't know the importance of Sunday's final against Sri Lanka. After all, victory will ensure Dhoni becomes the only captain to win all ICC trophies — World Cup, Champions Trophy and World Twenty20 — simultaneously. That's a big deal. But Dhoni is not really bothered.

"For us, what is important is doing well in the final. The other factors we don't really focus on because it is more important to win a World Cup for your country than focus on stats," was his reply.

That is how Dhoni has played his cricket all these years. Ever since he burst onto the scene as a youngster with flowing mane (even former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was a fan of his hairdo) to an older-looking statesman sporting a grey stubble and short crop, Dhoni the player has remained the same.

Under Dhoni, this young team has tasted success and failure in equal measure. But the best part is that they have stuck together and supported each other through thick and thin. And that is the reason why the team looks one and happy.

It's been smooth sailing for India thus far. The bowlers have shouldered bulk of the responsibility. In fact, prior to Friday's semifinal against South Africa, the batsmen didn't quite break a sweat. That tense 173-run chase will hold the team in good stead on Sunday. India look stronger and will have the upper hand — psychologically and otherwise — over Sri Lanka. Not that such things matter in a game of Twenty20.

Led by Malinga, Sri Lanka will be keen to end their jinx of losing one final after another, none less important than the 2011 World Cup final at the Wankhede. That apart, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, playing their last Twenty20 International, will look to finish on a high.

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