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Self-belief the key for Dhoni

Nothing succeeds like success. And Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a great example of that. Dhoni looks comfortable in every skin he's thrust into-be it the dashing batsman, a leader of men or the assured face of today's generation of Indian cricketers. Deepti Patwardhan reports.

cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2011 01:27 IST
Deepti Patwardhan

Nothing succeeds like success. And Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a great example of that. Dhoni looks comfortable in every skin he's thrust into-be it the dashing batsman, a leader of men or the assured face of today's generation of Indian cricketers.

The Indian captain put on his best media face during a promotional event in Mumbai on Monday as he tackled questions over India's chances at the World Cup, which begins this month.

"For a change we won't be considered underdogs," he said, confidently acknowledging his team's recent success. Hosts India will start as one of the favourites.

"What we have done in the last three years is that we have changed the meaning of pressure to responsibility. Everybody wants us to do well and we also take it in a positive way. We just stick to the basics, prepare well for the game and at the end of the day we know we have got the potential to do well on the field."

The potential has blossomed into results in the past few years. And expectations will soar come the World Cup. Win or lose, the country will be only one game away from over-reaction. And Dhoni and his teammates will be looking to block out the two extremes.

"I am ready to prepare well for the World Cup and that is what is in my hands right now," he said. "We are not thinking about what may happen if we achieve or what may happen if we don't succeed because those two things are beyond our control."

India will begin their campaign on February 19 against Bangladesh, like they did at the 2007 edition. Dhoni didn't like being reminded of the result then (India lost by five wickets and were eventually made a first round exit).

"I am certainly thinking about the match more positively than you," he said. "You are thinking about something that happened in 2007. There are plenty of positives that we can look for, like the 2003 World Cup and the entire tournament we played."

For the last few years, Dhoni and his men have been able to turn many cricket cynics into believers. But it remains to be seen whether the captain's positive mindset can mould the team into world champions.