Dhaka  : India’s captain Mahendra Dhoni, right, and Virat Kohli celebrate after winning the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket final match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, March 6, 2016. AP/PTI(AP3_7_2016_000014B)
Dhaka : India’s captain Mahendra Dhoni, right, and Virat Kohli celebrate after winning the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket final match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, March 6, 2016. AP/PTI(AP3_7_2016_000014B)

Mirpur : Exactly eight months after his cricketing epitaph was written by all and sundry following a series loss to Bangladesh,Mahendra Singh Dhoni took a jibe at his detractors saying that “Freedom of Expression” in India is used liberally by people when it comes to having an opinion on cricket.

“I believe, in India, everyone has an opinion on issues and especially on cricket. There is freedom of expression and everyone is entitled to an opinion. Play like this, play like that, do like this, do like that. The problem is cricket looks a bit easier on television than when we play it at the ground,” Dhoni said after India were crowned Asia Cup champs.

“Well there will be a lot of criticism. If anyone asks me that what would you have liked to do, I would have said: ‘Playing cricket for India will be my first choice. I will never play for any other country’.” But he also said that an individual should take a middle path when he is cornered, something which enables him to maintain a fine balance.

“Best for an individual is to take the middle part. Don’t get too bogged down by criticism and also don’t take yourself too seriously when you are praised. The media also balances it. If they take you up they will also bring you down. If you are up on a parachute, you can delay your coming down, but eventually you will come down. And then they will again throw you up.” The Bangladeshi crowd and the media has been very hostile to the Indian cricket team in the recent past after their World Cup quarter-final loss.

“It would be putting a lot at stake, when you win nothing really. It’s like when you lose to Bangladesh, people would  , say like ‘You lost to Bangladesh’ and if you win they would say ‘It’s okay, you are supposed to win’. It’s just that there is a lot at stake but when you win you don’t take anything home,” Dhoni in his own inimitable manner put across a point in-front of the Bangladeshi media.

But knowing fully well how he can be misunderstood in this part of the world, Dhoni did his own ‘balancing act’ praising the opposition. “But things have changed. It’s not a Bangladesh team of 2004. They have a fantastic squad, they have improved a lot and that’s showing in their performance.” He agreed that any defeat hurts but staying in present is paramount.

He is the best finisher: Kohli

New Delhi : Virat Kohli termed Mahendra Singh Dhoni the “best finisher in the world” after the India skipper made short work of Bangladesh with a flurry of sixes.

“I think Shikhar (Dhawan) played himself in really nicely. My only aim was to keep going at the other end so that the run-rate doesn’t stop. I had to understand my role. Once Shikhar got towards the end of his innings, I hit two or three boundaries which released pressure for us. Then MS Dhoni came in and did what he does best. He is the best finisher in the world. All in all, it was a wonderful game,” Kohli told BCCI.

Cricketing greats back Team India

New Delhi : Cricketing greats such as Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Wasim Akram and Inzamam ul Haq today picked India as the overwhelming favourites to win the WT20.

“Final is far away but India have a very good chance with the way they have played of late (including Asia Cup). Things were looking a lot different not so long ago (when the team lost to Bangladesh and South Africa in ODIs). What they have done in the last 8-9 matches, if they show the same intensity India have a very good chance. India are going into the tournament in very good form,” said Ganguly.

Wasim Akram, sharing the dais with Ganguly, Kapil, Inzamam and Mohammad Azharuddin, too backed the hosts to win. “India are the favourites and the other top contenders will be South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Pakistan will be unpredictable as usual.”

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