Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is on the threshold of creating World Cup history but former captain Kapil Dev, who has been there and done that, hopes that the maverick cricketer is not judged by the result of just one final.
"I will never doubt Dhoni's credentials as a captain
irrespective of the result of World Cup final. Lot of people believe that it's the ultimate result which will count but I believe otherwise," the skipper of India's victorious 1983 team, said at a promotional event on Thursday.
"Look at Ricky Ponting. He has won two World Cups and after one bad World up he is out. That's not the way to judge a captain. So I would like that Dhoni shouldn't be judged by a win or loss. Instead, let's all wish him the very best for Saturday's final."
About his take on Dhoni's x-factor, the legendary all-rounder said, "Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a bit of a gambler. He takes his decisions and backs them. Everyone was talking about why was Ravichandran Ashwin left out. But in the end, Dhoni was vindicated as Ashish Nehra bowled well. I believe India will play to their potential against Sri Lanka unlike yesterday."
Most of the World Cup winning former captains, barring Allan Border, feel that India have a slight edge over Sri Lanka in the World Cup final at the Wankhede on Saturday.
"I know people here won't like it but I believe that Sri Lanka will go into the final as favourites," former Australian captain Border said.
When live Clive Lloyd was asked to take his pick, he answered, "I have always believed that the side that takes catches have an edge. Although there isn't much to choose between the teams but I believe India will have a slight edge over Sri Lanka."
Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga feels that both teams are on even keel going into the final.
"It will be a 50-50 game. I am slightly worried about our middle-order. The batsmen from No. 5 to No. 7 (Angelo Mathews, Thilan Samarweera and Chamara Silva) haven't performed upto the mark. Also Mahela's (Jayawardene) form is a bit of worry for us," Ranatunga said.
Talking about pressure, the burly former skipper said, "Those who believe that there won't be pressure are wrong. I myself have played a final and I know how it feels out there in the middle. Also I wouldn't like to give any advice to the players. As it is the President of the country is advising players!" he said in a sarcastic tone.
Imran Khan feels that Dhoni's greatest quality is to remain calm and also learn from his mistakes.
"I was impressed in the manner he admitted that he misread the pitch," Imran said.