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Dhoni, Pathan croon the victory song

Following India's defeat of the Aussies in T20, Dhoni is heard humming Iske aage ki ab dastan mujh se sun...

cricket Updated: Sep 23, 2007 20:23 IST
AV Nayudu

Basking in the glory of their stunning triumph over mighty Australia, Indian cricketers let their hair down and indulged in a long night of celebration that began in the dresssing room and ended with a victory dinner at the team hotel.



Mahendra Singh Dhoni's young squad was over the moon after stunning world champions Australia to seek a date with Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup final. Dhoni himself was heard rehearsing for a sing-song session, while the crooner in Irfan Pathan too found himself in demand.



Right after the win, the team shut itself up from public eye to have their own celebration in the privacy of the dressing room. "The boys were singing and dancing with joy. They cheered each other wildly and hugged every colleague, praising each other's performances on the field. It was quite a sight, a memory to last a lifetime," said India Cricket Manager Lalchand Rajput.



For someone whose voice has been well appreciated by Sachin Tendulkar, Irfan Pathan was all charged up for a long session of singing. "This has been an unbelievable performance. Our first round exit in the World Cup left us with some sad memories but now I can afford to enjoy our success," said Pathan who just couldn't stop singing.



"Today I will sing whatever song my colleagues would request me to sing," he said.



Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni too was in a mood to showcase his passion for singing. He was humming "...Iske aage ki ab dastan mujh se sun, sun ke teri nazar dab daba jayeegi...", a Kishore Kumar number from

Mukaddar Ka Sikandar

and was also very keen to sing it for his teammates at the celebratory dinner that started around midnight.



"This is one of my favourite songs and I'm just rehearsing it," said Dhoni, who added he had a hunch of a great day in offing when Pakistan defeated New Zealand earlier in the day to qualify for the finals.



"Pakistan was very impressive against New Zealand. They played brilliantly and when they won, I said to myself, 'maybe the stage is set for an India-Pakistan final'.



"You guys talked about a dream final but I was focused on taking one match at a time. But, somehow, after Pakistan's win over New Zealand, I felt if we could stay calm and confident and concentrate on playing well, we could surprise Australia. And that we ended up doing!"


And when the team returned to the hotel well past 11 pm, they were pleasently surprised to see every inch of the lobby being occupied by Indian fans armed with their cameras, flags and autograph books.



Once the players trooped in one after the other, they were lustily cheered even as securitymen stood in a straight line to ensure a smooth passage for the players.



With beaming faces, the players obliged as many fans as they could and shook hands before retiring to their rooms.


There was a group of Indians fans who had flown in from England for a week to watch India play while few others had come over from the United States.



"We have no words to express our joy. The team has done us proud. Our money was well spent and we witnesssed some entertaining and memorable cricket," was the common sentiment they expresssed.



The Australian team had arrrived about 45 minutes before their Indian counterparts and were taken aback by the overwhelming presence of Indian supporters inside the hotel.



While most of them were looking grim, Adam Gilchrist and Nathan Bracken were smiling and even obliged some of the autograph-hunters.



Later on, Gilchrist, Bracken, Stuart Clark, Andrew Symonds, Bradd Hogg and Brett Lee were at peace with themselves as they enjoyed their beer at the bar.



The entire Indian team later got together at the 'Jewel of India' restuarant where the celebrations continued till late.