"Sab kuch normal rakhne ka
(keep everything normal)" -- skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni told his ecstatic teammates on as they savoured their World Cup triumph over Pakistan.
"Just live in the present, keep your feet on the ground, enjoy your success but don't get carried away by
success," he told them the morning after the team lifted the Twenty20 trophy.
Dhoni's advice is in keeping with his reputation of being calm and cool which he has earned within days of being anointed India's ODI captain. Commentators have marvelled at his composure under pressure.
After humbling Pakistan, the Indian players had celebrations at the ground and then in the dressing room followed by a team dinner. Dhoni as well as Sreesanth retired early and slept well.
But other players broke into groups and partied all night. Many could not sleep because they were thinking about the final. However, Dhoni was probably more realistic looking back on the final game.
"It was the biggest India-Pakistan match ever. It was the big stage. A special game. And we got the perfect result in a World Cup final against Pakistan!"
When told that back home, the celebrations were on an all time high, he said, "I spoke to my parents and my friends. They told me the whole of Ranchi was celebrating Diwali. Actually it (the victory) is yet to sink in. Maybe, when we get back tommorrow, we will get a better idea."
RP Singh, whose telling strikes in every game proved handy for the team, said "When I called home, my mother told me that there were people dancing on the streets and bursting firecrackers. In between the game there was a power failure too that upset people but luckily it was restored quickly. Winning World Cup is like a dream.
"So it's important to dream. More so when they start coming true," he said. In the same spirit, Irfan Pathan too had a weary look on his face having partied all night.
"We just went crazy. This is young team. Unlike, some of the other Indian teams, this team celebrates in style. If you ask me, we were more exhausted celebrating our victory than by playing."
Like Pathan, Ajit Agarkar was amongst those who partied till late hours. And he acknowledged that Sachin Tendulkar had sent his congratulations to the entire team. Ditto for Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.
India's Cricket Manager Lalchand Rajput lauded the effort of his young team in dishing out a performance that he would never forget in his life. "We are world champions," he said with a great sense of satisfaction.
"The body language and the intensity displayed by the boys showed that they were hungry for success. "We had just two days to prepare ourselves for this World Cup. We had a definite gameplan and every player was given a specific role. The man-management was excellent and Dhoni's capaincy skills were pretty amazing for someone leading for the first time. He was cool under pressure and got the best out of his boys.
"Yuvraj Sigh's six sixes, each a great cricketing shot to every corner of the field, was awesome. Then we beat a strong Australian team that is a dream for any team and then a nerve-wrecking final. Credit to team.
"I will never forget this all my life!" And finally S Sreesanth, who conceded 21 runs in is first over, took a wicket off his last ball of the final and gave India the dream victory by taking that catch off Misbah-ul-Haq, was an overjoyed soul too.
"It is unbelievable. It is yet to sink in. I spoke to my father and he was like speechless for a while. "When that catch came to me, I told God, 'Oh God, make sure I take this catch comfortably' and he obliged."
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