New Delhi: Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday helped India record their highest successful run chase in a World Cup match. He stitched an unbeaten 196-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Man of the Match Suresh Raina to bail out Men in Blue against a spirited Zimbabwean side at Auckland.
India, who have already qualified for the quarter-finals after winning five successive matches ahead of today's clash, will now play Bangladesh in their knock-out match on March 19. In an enterprising show of run-chase, the Chennai Super Kings duo paced the Indian innings to perfection after losing four wickets, including that of Virat Kohli, with the scoreboard reading mere 92 runs after the end of 22nd over.
The six-wicket win at Eden Park also helped Dhoni become third most successful ODI captain after the World Cup winning Australians Ricky Ponting (165) and Allan Border (107). The most successful Indian captain is sitting pretty now on 99, having recorded 10 successive wins in World Cup campaigns, spanning two editions.
In this spell, India have defeated West Indies (2), Australia (1), Pakistan (2), Sri Lanka (1), South Africa (1), United Arab Emirates (1), Ireland (1) and Zimbabwe (1). If record matters, at all, then India under Dhoni's leadership have beaten all the Test playing nations in cricket's flagship tournament, except Bangladesh.
In the last 31 ICC sanctioned matches, which also include Champions Trophy and world Twenty20, India have won 27 times losing three and one match tied. In fact, India have won all these titles, helping Dhoni become a demi-god amongst legion of Indian cricket fans.
Interestingly, the 33-year-old's 40 not outs in while chasing resulted in a record 38 wins for India. A tie against Sri Lanka and a loss to Pakistan made up the remaining two.