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Monday, April 4, 2011

‘The whole team still revolves around Sachin Tendulkar’

Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the present chairman of the selection committee, hit a quickfire 36 in the 1983 World Cup final, experienced Cup glory for the second time in his life on Saturday, as Mahendra Singh Dhoni & Co thrashed Sri Lanka by six wickets in Mumbai. On Sunday, Srikkanth spoke to Devendra Pandey, about the success of the team, skipper MS Dhoni and the stars of the World Cup.

You have seen the boys lift the trophy again now. How special is this win?

I’m lucky to see this happening during my tenure. I feel God has fulfilled not only my wishes but those of a billion people around the country, who kept praying for the team’s success.

What has been so special about this team?

It has been an extraordinary team effort, and everybody has contributed in some way or the other. This team doesn’t rely on few individuals, and every player has put his hand up when the team has demanded a performance from him. They know how to fight back.

Do you think Dhoni is a lucky captain?

He is, there is no doubt about it. But he is also a smart captain. When you come from smaller towns, you know how to survive. By the time you reach the big stage, you have done all the hard work. One also has to give credit to his decision-making. He also has a good bunch with him. Sachin (Tendulkar) and (Virender) Sehwag, continued to deliver at the top of the order. Youngsters like Raina and Kohli contributed well, while Gautam stood tall. Yuvraj was just outstanding.

Before the tournament started, did you ever imagine Yuvraj playing such a big role?

He is a crucial member of the team and we all know what he is capable of. We had faith in his batting. We also knew that his left-arm spin would be a handful. And he has reposed that faith and turned himself into a great all-rounder.

How big a win do you think this is for Tendulkar?

The whole team and the entire nation wanted this for him. Even Sachin was desperate to get a World Cup win under his belt. The whole team still revolves around him. He has been a great strength for the side and the role he has played is extraordinary. It was really a touching moment when we saw him holding the World Cup trophy.

How much do you think the Indian team will miss Gary Kirsten at the helm?

They will miss him and it will take some time for things to settle down. He has been a great man behind the scenes. The way he guided the team has been remarkable, and the hard work he has put in during his time has been outstanding.

Your views on Zaheer Khan once again proving to be the trump card for Team India?

He has played the most crucial role for the Indian team. Whenever the team required a breakthrough, he was the man. And he also delivered every time the team wanted to put pressure on the opposition. He has been the trump-card for Dhoni during this World Cup.

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