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We had set our sights on WCup two years ago: Dhoni

Last updated on: April 3, 2011 02:32 IST

Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni hits the winning runs
Photographs: Getty Images

Triumphant Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that they had set their eyes on the coveted goal a couple of years ago and wanted to keep key players fit and in form.

"We have achieved something great. A couple of years back, about one and a half years ago, we had set our eyes on the World Cup. (Despite) whatever we were doing on the field, we (always) had a long-time goal to do well in the World Cup. We wanted to keep the individuals fit," Dhoni said at the post-match press conference.

"We wanted our best players in form and did not want to lose our best players to injury. It was a big challenge. We were able to give more than 100 per cent on the field. We peaked at the right time and carried that momentum into the final. We wanted to win the trophy for each one of us," said the wicket-keeper batsman after playing a match-winning unbeaten knock of 91.

'No time to realize we have won the World Cup'

Image: India's Yuvraj Singh hugs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni after they beat Sri Lanka to win the World Cup final
Photographs: Reuters

Asked why there wasn't any sign of emotion in his body language after hitting the winning six, he said, "I was emotionally confused. I wanted a stump and was standing in the middle (of the pitch) and Yuvraj was at the other side. I thought hugging can be done later. But he came and jumped on me," he said pointing to Yuvraj who was sitting beside him.

Dhoni conceded that the enormous achievement of the Indian team had really not sunk in yet and there was very little time to savour the triumph because of the Indian Premier League which is to start on April 8.

"I don't think (we are) getting enough time. I am off to Delhi tomorrow. After that we have the IPL. No time to realize we have won the World Cup with a lot of pressure being there as part of the IPL side."

'The pressure had got to me in the previous games'

Image: MS Dhoni (centre) celebrates victory with teammates Suresh Raina (left) and Harbhajan Singh
Photographs: Getty Images

Dhoni refused to reveal what secret plans they had for winning the Cup.

"Whatever we did on the field, there's no secret about it. Whatever secret plans we have, we will have them at the hotel. We are waiting to get back," he commented.

Asked what winning the World Cup meant to the nation which was starved of sporting success, Dhoni said the country had begun to emerge as a frontrunner in sports recently, while adding cricket was big in the country.

Dhoni said coach Gary Kirsten and senior players backed him on his decision to promote himself ahead of Yuvraj.

"The pressure had got to me in the previous games. In this game, I wanted to bat up the order and Gary and the senior players backed me," said Dhoni, who was declared man of the match for his 91 not out from 79 balls.

'A WCup hundred would have been huge for Gautam'

Image: Gautam Gambhir of India is bowled by Thisara Perera
Photographs: Getty Images

He praised Gautam Gambhir (97) and Virat Kohli (35) for keeping the team on track after the early dismissal of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.

"Virat and Gautam batted brilliantly. They ran lots of singles. Then with the help of bit of dew, we were able to put pressure on the spinners. I would have liked Gautam to go on and get that big hundred. A World Cup hundred would have been huge. Credit to him for taking the team closer to victory," he said before lifting the World Cup after the trophy was handed to him by ICC chief Sharad Pawar.

'Very proud of everyone, especially Jayawardene'

Image: Mahela Jayawardena celebrates on completing his century
Photographs: Getty Images

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara conceded that the Indians were the deserved winners.

"When you look at this Indian team anything less than 350 looks less. They deserved this title, the way they played in front of a great crowd. Both Sri Lanka and India will be proud with the way they have played. Congrats India, you were the better side today," he said.

"The only way to stop India is to get at least seven wickets quickly and that did not happen. Gautam was outstanding and Dhoni stepped up when it was required," said Sangakkara.

"Very proud of everyone, especially Mahela Jayawardene who rose up to the occasion and put up a great hundred. Of course, we are disappointed but I think we would take the positives from this World Cup. Thanks to Sri Lankan fans at home and here, to the president and the support staff," he said.

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