Wed, 08 Jun 2011 09:15:33 GMT

Dhoni was a 'bomb about to explode' before final: Yuvraj

Indian skipper MS Dhoni is a picture of serenity in the heat of the battle. No matter how much he would be churning in the inside, Dhoni seldom looks flustered on the field. Dhoni's unbeaten knock of 91 runs in the final not only guided India to the World Cup it also helped the skipper get over a lean patch in the biggest tournament of world cricket. Yuvraj Singh, who was there with MSD when the captain blasted a six and sparked a frenzy in the stadium and all across the country, revealed the mindset of a ‘short-of-runs’ Dhoni just before the big final.

Dhoni was a 'bomb about to explode' before final: Yuvraj

After failing to score big in the run-up to the World Cup summit clash against Sri Lanka here, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni resembled a ''bomb about to explode'' ahead of the final, teammate and Man of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh said.

"He (Dhoni) was not getting big scores in the tournament, but he kept working hard, and did not miss a single practice session. Watching him in the nets gave one the impression that he was a 'bomb about to explode'," Yuvraj wrote in the Cricket Board's latest quarterly newsletter dedicated to India's World Cup triumph.

"Looking back, I am glad he 'exploded' in the final, and not earlier! He went in ahead of me in that game, but that was purely to keep the left-right combination going in the middle. He had a point to prove and he played an innings of a lifetime," the left-handed big-hitter said.

Dhoni went in ahead of man-in-form Yuvraj when the final was on a knife-edge at the Wankhede Stadium with India at 114 for 3 in the 22nd over chasing a target of 275. The Indian skipper, in the company of left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir (96) first and then Yuvraj (21 not out), smashed an unconquered 91 off only 79 balls with eight fours and two sixes - including the winning hit off Nuwan Kulasekara - to power India to victory.

Yuvraj wrote in the article that the Ranchi-born captain takes to "pressure like a fish to water" and that he was lucky to "have the best view of the captain's winning hit". Yuvraj, who excelled with both the bat (362 runs from nine games) and ball (15 wickets) recalled that the defeat to South Africa in the league stage at Nagpur was the turning point of the Indian team's triumphant run which fetched the country its World Cup title after 28 years.

"The defeat against South Africa was the turning point of our campaign. Our batting and fielding was disappointing in that game, and we worked hard on both areas over the next few days. A top priority was to build partnerships in the middle," he wrote.