New Delhi: India's World Cup winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said in jest that he had to perform Saturday night to justify some of the decisions he took in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka.
If he had failed to come good, Dhoni said, a lot questions would have been asked of him as to why Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was preferred to Ravichandran Ashwin and why he came up the order ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh.
India beat Sri Lanka to win cricket World Cup
"I am really happy to have won. It was very important for me to be on the winning side as people would have begun to question a few decisions I took for the final. Firstly they would have asked why I brought Sreesanth in place of Ashwin, why an in-form Yuvraj Singh came at lower down and why I promoted myself up the order. I think that's what pushed and motivated me to do well today," an ecstatic Dhoni said after his side's six-wicket victory.
"On a more serious note, I think we have done really well in the last one month. It has been memorable 35-odd days we spent together. Each player gave his 100 percent."
Dhoni, who failed to come up with big scores in the tournament before this game, said he wanted to come up the order, with with Sri Lanka playing with two off-spinners, and had the backing of coach Gary Kirsten and seniors in the team.
"In the earlier games, I let the youngsters come up the order so that they can get an opportunity to bat and also I wanted to be around when the pressure was maximum. But I guess pressure got to me more often than not," Dhoni said.
"In this game I wanted to bat up the order and Gary backed me and so did the senior players. I had a point to prove to myself and to no one else.''
World Cup 2011
India, chasing 275-run target, lost their openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar for 31 before Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli steadied the innings. Gambhir was unfortunate to miss the century by three runs.
"The 275-run target was tough and when we lost the two players in Viru and Sachin a lot of people would have questioned whether we will be able to complete the chase.''
"Against fast bowlers it is important to take a lot of ones and twos, a wicket then would have put pressure on our middle order. But Virat and Gautam batted brilliantly and we could put pressure on the spinners with the help of a bit of dew," Dhoni said.
"I would have liked Gautam to go on and get that big hundred. But he missed it because of his own mistake. But he played an important innings and took us close."