I told boys to prove that we were world champions, says Dhoni
Birmingham: With just 129 runs to play with in the rain-curtailed final of the ICC Champions Trophy against England here, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni spurred his teammates by telling them to play like world champions and defend a sub-par score.
"Before going in I said, let`s first of all get rid of the feeling that it`s a 50-over game. It`s a 20-over game, and we have seen in IPL and in T20 formats, 130 runs can be a difficult target to achieve," Dhoni said.
"I told them not to look at the sky or the opposition. I told them that God helps those who help themselves. I said God is not coming to save us. If you want to win this trophy, we`ll have to fight it out," he said while addressing the media in the post-match press conference here on Sunday.
"We are the number-one ranked ODI side, so let`s make sure that they have to fight for these 130-odd runs. Don`t look for any outside help."
India defended a modest score of 129 to outwit England by five runs in thrilling final of the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston in a rain-hit match that was ultimately decided by a T20 game.
"It is unfair to call it the final of the Champions Trophy. When the final of a 50-over game is decided by a T20 game, then some shine is lost but this win means a lot. We played against the best teams in the world and to beat England in England is always good," Dhoni said.
Dhoni singled out praise for Man-of-the-Match Ravindra Jadeja and highest scorer of the tournament, Shikhar Dhawan.
"Jadeja is someone who keeps it very simple. He bowls a good line and lets the ball do the talking. The good part was he contributed with the bat, which I feel is very important because he`s someone who will have to bat at number seven," the Indian captain said.
On Dhawan, Dhoni said: "He has taken forward his form in the Test series against Australia - Dhawan scored a century on debut - and after an injury, did well in the IPL. I am happy that he has contributed as an opener and that`s another good sign for us.
"He`ll gain a lot of confidence out of the innings that he has played, especially over here. And that will really help the team more often than not get off to a good start."
Dhoni refused to criticise Rohit Sharma for failing to convert good starts into bigger scores.
"Rohit is talented and proved himself. He`s proven he`s batted really well in difficult conditions," said Dhoni.
On personal front, Dhoni said he was lucky that India won the T20 World Cup, the 50-over World Cup and the Champions Trophy under his captaincy.
"I don`t turn up in the ground to achieve anything special as a captain. For me, winning the game is very important, and that is of utmost importance for us as a team," he said.
The skipper also refused to think about defending the title in the 2015 World Cup to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
"Well, it`s very difficult to answer as of now. People, especially players get injured very often. Most of these players, they end up going into the 2015 World Cup, but it`s too far ahead. We`ll have plenty of tournaments before that and plenty of important series, ICC event, Asia Cup and all of those series. So I don`t think we`re looking too much ahead," Dhoni said.
"We`ve got a series against West Indies where we`re going from here, and then Zimbabwe and after that we have some fair time off to get also going, recharge ourselves so we can avoid injuries," he added.