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MS Dhoni, India stand on the cusp of record treble

Saturday, 5 April 2014 - 6:52pm IST | Agency: Reuters

Under a charismatic Mahendra Singh Dhoni, world champions India could seal an unprecedented limited-overs treble with victory against neighbours Sri Lanka in Sunday's World Twenty20 final.

After sealing victory in the 2011 50-over World Cup final in Mumbai, Dhoni led India to Champions Trophy glory in England two years later. They now stand just one match away from becoming the first country to hold three major one-day titles at the same time.

India may not have won a single test abroad since prevailing in West Indies in June 2011 but they have flexed their limited over muscles to reach the final of the 20-over world event they won in 2007 under Dhoni.

Asked for his view on the rare honour beckoning him and the team, the Indian captain, however, did not want to get drawn into the debate ahead of Sunday's clash against Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

"The only important thing now is to do well in the final. We should not think about anything else," Dhoni said as he got ready for a repeat of the 2011 50-over World Cup final.

"It's more important to win the World Cup for your country than think about stats.

"That (treble) will be very good for the side, but that's something we can always think about after we've done well in the final tomorrow."

Dhoni would not say he feels extra motivated in International Cricket Council (ICC) events which seem to bring out the best in him.

"If you talk about this tournament, the spinners have got a bit of purchase of the wicket and they made sure they capitalised on that," he said.

"Overall it's a perfect team environment where when somebody needs to do a job, there have been individuals who rose to the occasion and said 'Ok I'll be the person who will take the responsibility'."

Dhoni probably has contemporary cricket's most daunting task, leading the national team of 1.2 billion-plus unforgiving cricket-crazy fans but the 32-year-old, sporting grey sideburns, said he had learnt to live with it.

"Over the years, as the captain, I think I have seen everything," Dhoni said.

"There's nothing really in Indian cricket that I have not seen. I've seen Indian cricket at its best and also when we went through a lean phase.

"Controversies are big part of Indian cricket and I've been through it all. There is hardly any good or bad thing in Indian cricket without my name (being attached).

"You've got to concentrate on the process more. I know certain things are under my control, I look to move into that direction rather than to give a thought about something beyond my control.

"It has been an interesting time, up and down. That's what international sport is all about, doesn't matter which game you are playing.

"It has taught me a lot and it's still a learning curve for me. Hopefully it will teach me many more and help me in the life after cricket." (Editing by Pritha Sarkar)




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