Ajit Wadekar is delighted with India’s ICC Champions Trophy win, M.S. Dhoni’s captaincy and the steely determination exhibited by the Indian team that defeated England in the final.
“I was awake, how could I have slept last night (Sunday). It was a truncated final which I don’t appreciate, but nonetheless it was amazing the way the Indian team batted, bowled and fielded till the very end.
“The fielding was excellent, the best ever I have seen,” said Wadekar, who led India to historic first Test series wins in the West Indies and England.
Wadekar said the time had come for everyone to acknowledge the 32-year-old Dhoni as India’s best-ever captain.
“Dhoni has done a great job for India and his team. He has significant victories against most teams and across all formats of the game.
Motivate and encourage
“Also, he managed to deal with his former captains such as Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid and then when they left the team, he was able to motivate and encourage the youngsters.
“He has been calm and cool right through and done a wonderful job.”
Summing up India’s display in the Champions Trophy, Wadekar said: “It’s truly amazing India did not lose a single match starting with the warm-up games.
“The law of averages did not affect India, sometimes over-confidence brings a team down. But this simply did not happen in England and I think that was because of Dhoni and the drive shown by each member of the team.”
Wadekar picked Ravindra Jadeja as the wonder boy of the tournament.
“It’s good to have an all-rounder like him. He batted, bowled and fielded well and fitted into the team nicely. Ashwin demonstrated superb skills in turning the ball on any track.
“He took a superb catch at slip (Alastair Cook) and these two (Jadeja and Ashwin) have proved to be good replacements for Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.
“In short they were all determined to win the final; their body language showed it.
“Expectations will rise, but I suppose, there is no off-season in cricket now and the Indian team has learnt to handle the pressure well. It was an amazing win,” said Wadekar.