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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014
World T20 Final: Can Dhoni win an unprecedented third world title?
Nilankur Das , Hindustan Times
Mirpur, April 06, 2014
First Published: 00:11 IST(6/4/2014)
Last Updated: 18:47 IST(6/4/2014)
India's captain M.S Dhoni (L) and Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga pose with the trophy of ICC Twenty20 World Cup at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. (Reuters Photo)

The Sher-e Bangla National stadium holds some very fond memories for India. They began their 2011 World Cup campaign here with a thumping win over Bangladesh, with Virender Sehwag hitting 175 and Virat Kohli 100 not out.

Sachin Tendulkar got his 100th international century during the 2012 Asia Cup here and now India are on the verge of becoming undisputed kings of limited-over cricket with Sri Lanka, their 2011 World Cup final opponents, the only remaining hurdle.

If India go on to win the World T20 title here on Sunday, they will become the first to hold the 50-over World Cup, the Champions Trophy and the World T20 cup, the three ICC trophies in limited overs, at the same time.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni will become the only skipper to achieve the feat and will have a third World Cup in his trophy cabinet (having won the inaugural WT20 in 2007), also a first by any captain. Clive Lloyd and Ricky Ponting held two World Cups each. 

In the present

"That's something that will be very good for the side," Dhoni told an overflowing media turnout on the eve of the final. "But that's something we can think about once we have done well in the final. As of now, we shouldn't really think about things we can achieve."

So, how has been the journey as skipper over the seven years?

"Over the years that I have been captain, I have seen almost everything. We have had India perform at their best and at the same time we had gone through a lean patch where we had really tough times.  Controversies are a big part of Indian cricket and I have been through it all. There's hardly anything good or bad in Indian cricket that happens without my name (being dragged into it)… It has taught me a lot and it's still a learning curve for me, and hopefully it will teach me for my life after cricket," he said.

Redemption time

This time, Indian cricket is again at the crossroads. The IPL fixing scandal is still under investigation. The Supreme Court has asked  N Srinivasan to step aside and the BCCI is being run by an ad hoc president. The team was thrashed in South Africa and New Zealand and that has led to questions being asked about coach Duncan Fletcher's role and the skipper getting too big for his boots.  All that can change on Sunday if India win. More importantly, Dhoni can regain his Captain Cool image.

"I take captaincy as a job responsibility and I try to fulfill it to my best potential. As an individual, you will make mistakes, and as a captain I feel it is very important that if you commit a mistake you go out there and admit it. Almost 98% of the time, a captain decides on something but it is somebody else who has to fulfill the job.

"Ultimately, it depends on the person and how he responds to the situation. You try to be honest to yourself, you read the game, and decide something. If it doesn't work, you stand up and take responsibility because that's what your job needs you to do," was how Dhoni explained his role.

Come Sunday night, a billion voices could chant his name and place Indian cricket back on the altar.

Even if India do not win, there will be more broken hearts than criticising voices.


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