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WATCH: Dhoni on the 2 BIG moments of his career

Last updated on: November 28, 2019 09:53 IST

'There are a lot of uncertainties when it comes to cricket.'
Harish Kotian/Rediff.com listens in.
Photograph and Videos: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has given India countless memories to savour on the cricketing field. But for the legend, two special moments will always be in his heart.

Dhoni became the darling of the nation when he led India to the inaugural T20 World Cup title in 2007 in his first tournament as India's captain.

And he hit legendary status when he led India to the ODI World Cup at home in 2011 to end India's long wait of 28 years for the 50-overs World title.

 

For Dhoni, the emotional celebrations that followed and the immense love that was showered on the Indian team by the cricket-crazy fans after both the victories is something he will cherish all his life.

After that famous win in the T20 World Cup in South Africa, Dhoni's young brigade returned to a huge reception in Mumbai, when practically the whole city poured out on the streets to welcome the champions.

"Coming to India after winning the T20 World Cup in 2007, we had the open bus ride and were at Marine Drive (in Mumbai), and it was packed with people on both sides who came out of their cars. And it felt good to see the smiles on their faces because there were so many people who missed their flights, some who wanted to reach their office for some important work."

"The kind of reception we got (was special), the whole Marine Drive was packed with people on both sides," he said in Mumbai on Wednesday on the sidelines of the event where he was named as the brand ambassador for famous Italian watch brand Panerai.

Two special edition Panerai watches were launched on the occasion engraved with Dhoni's signature, his cricketing image and the number 183 -- symbolizing his highest score in One-Day Internationals as a tribute to the Indian cricket icon.

The World Cup at Wankhede stadium in 2011 is another big moment in Indian cricket's history.

"The second moment I would say the 2011 World Cup final when we needed just 15-20 runs for victory and the whole Wankhede stadium started chanting Vande Mataram. These were the two moments that are close to my heart and will be difficult to replicate," said the former captain.

Dhoni also explained why cricket has such a huge fan following in India.

"There are a lot of uncertainties when it comes to cricket, that's why I feel it is one of the most important sport in India because every delivery the game changes. We have three formats, the longer format (Tests), the shorter (ODIs) and the shortest (T20s). In the T20 format, in every delivery, the game changes."

Just like watches keep evolving themselves to keep in tune with the times, Dhoni stated that even cricket needs to constantly evolve.

"In cricket we keep innovating ourselves, we keep coming up with new things. Some things like a reverse sweep was not part of the armoury if you take 15 years back but now you see batsmen turning around and playing the reverse sweep," he said.

Talking about his love for watches, Dhoni revealed: "Watches is something, the passion started around 2005. Before that it used to be an instrument that tells you time, but after that it became more of a passion and more I started to know about watches and also the information that I got from some of the senior cricketers. Then you realise, that it is like a piece of jewellery, not only for the lady but also for the man. That is how the passion started and over the years it kept growing on me."

VIDEO: ANI

And as watchful and tactful as ever, Dhoni walked away smiling without taking any questions on cricket, fully aware that he would have had a lot to answer on his current sabbatical or on his retirement plans.

When asked to comment on the recent developments vis-a-vis his career, Dhoni replied instantly: "January tak koi nahi dikhega (Nothing till January)," as he walked away, leaving everyone with more questions than answers.

HARISH KOTIAN