A regular saviour under tough circumstances for the Indian cricket team, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni says he also feels the pressure like others but manages the rescue acts as he knows how to get out of potentially dangerous situations.
Dhoni’s unbeaten 45 was the cornerstone of India’s patchy four-wicket win against the West Indies in a World Cup pool match at the WACA yesterday.
“Everyone thinks, I don’t feel any pressure. I feel the same pressure as anyone else. It’s just that I have been in those situations a lot, so I know how to get out of that situation. But it’s not that I will always succeed. But when you know ways to wriggle out, it becomes easier,” the skipper was at his pragmatic best as he spoke to the media in what was his longest interaction in recent times.
For someone who announced his arrival at the big stage as a ‘Slam Bang Dasher’, Dhoni has improvised his game a lot in the last decade and is now an acclaimed finisher in limited overs cricket.
“My batting, I have tuned it up a lot after the 2006 tour of Pakistan. I have consistently batted lower down after that. My slot was after 30 overs. I had to improvise according to the demands. There were times when we were batting first and I went for the big shots. Again while chasing, I had the job to hit out or stabilise.
“I have never batted with a rigid mindset. I have always batted according to the demands of the team and the corresponding situations. Because of that, I have benefitted. Very satisfying, so long as the team wins, it is all good.”
Dhoni, after a long time, at length dissected his own game and explained the tricky situation that the team was in yesterday once the top-order flopped in totality.
“It was good for us that the lower middle-order got a chance to bat because you want to keep scoring runs. Whatever be the opportunities, you always feel a few more runs are better. It was a good opportunity as there was a bit of pressure.
“The number at which I bat, obviously, there is pressure. Either that of last 5-7 overs while batting first or like today, a pressure of chasing. It was a realistic scenario, I had to have partnerships with the lower-order,” Dhoni said.
“I had a partnership with Ashwin today. The result was good. The good thing is at Nos 6 and 7 – they are basically two specific roles. Either just get-out and start swinging your bat as the top-order has given you a good platform or else the top-order is out, so play a holding game.