Sydney, Mar 20: Mahendra Singh Dhoni was blissfully unaware that he has now led Indian team to 100 victories in ODIs after the World Cup quarterfinal win against Bangladesh and he feels that the roller-coaster ride that he witnessed in all these years makes cricket a "great leveller".(Special 100 for Dhoni)
Asked to sum-up his journey as an ODI captain in the last eight years, Dhoni philosophically said, "I have seen ups and downs. Cricket is a great leveller and life is like a circle.
You come back to the same place where it all started. And then you start respecting things even more when you return to that same place which perhaps you didn't do earlier." The skipper said that Indian captaincy taught him not to crib and adjust to the resources he was given.
"We have had a lot of struggle also in the middle. We didn't have good death bowlers. We didn't have good fast bowlers. Even if we had someone exceptionally quick, he wouldn't bowl in right areas and those who did bowl in right areas never had the pace.
"The search for all-rounder has been there for last five years and we are still in search of one. So I decided whatever I don't have, I won't crib and what I have, I will make do with it," said Dhoni, who has always been lauded for his practical approach.
The lowest phase for the Men in Blue according to Dhoni was the exit from the 2007 edition of the 50-over showpiece in West Indies. "There has been a low phase like the 2007 World Cup where we lost in the first round.
I was not captain but it was nevertheless it was depressing. The best part about ODI is that you get a chance of a recovery. Suppose you play a bilateral series, you would win three games and lose two.
Graph will go up and down," he said. With another two matches to win in order to defend the Cup, Dhoni said the biggest challenge is to play good cricket.
"Challenge is to play good cricket as it will only help us come back to MCG on March 29. Next game is in Sydney and that has its own set of challenges and we need to do well over there in order to qualify for the next stage."
'All the three pacers have done well'
The best part about his team's stupendous performance in the mega-event is about lot of individuals raising their hands and performing at key junctures.
"If you go to a team meeting of batsmen, you would see that most of them talking about capitalising on the starts. What we have done is that we have had good partnerships so that batsmen coming down the order didn't feel the pressure. Whoever has got start has converted and lessened the pressure on next batsmen.
"Even fast bowlers did the same and everyone got wickets. Spinners also created pressure even though they might not have got that many wickets," he explained.
Dhoni had often been critical about Umesh Yadav's inconsistency but during the post-match conference, the skipper picked up the Vidarbha pacer for special praise.
"All three pacers have done well. Umesh is the fastest of the lot and is in a phase where he is taking wickets as well as being economical. Over the years, he has played a lot of matches but now has become a regular because his consistency has increased.
"He always had the pace. He used to bowl in 140 kmph range and now has gone upto 145 kmph. He has gained a lot playing in IPL and is being rewarded for his consistency," he further added.