Paddy Upton revealed that he had a gut-feeling that MS Dhoni will guide India to the World Cup trophy in 2011 as the Indian captain stepped out of the pavilion to bat alongside Gautam Gambhir. Upton also spoke about the difference in batting styles between India captain Virat Kohli and Dhoni.
The Indian cricket team are gearing up for a tough challenge that awaits them in the UK as they enter the ICC World Cup 2019 as favorites along with hosts’ England. Former Indian support staff member and current Rajasthan Royals coach, Paddy Upton, was reminiscing India’s fairytale run to the 2011 World Cup trophy on home soil.
"We knew we would probably qualify for the quarter-finals. And in that match, since we’d already played Australia so many times before that, we knew exactly what we needed to do. There was no motivation required in playing the semi-final against Pakistan, but there was the additional pressure that had we lost to them, they would have to go and play in Mumbai, which they hadn’t done for a number of years. So that added political pressure to the match.
"I guess the real key moment was in the final, when Tendulkar and Sehwag got out. That ramped up the pressure. And the key moment was when Dhoni made the decision to bat ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh, despite not having made a significant contribution with the bat in the tournament. But he is the kind of player and leader who steps up when it matters most. When Dhoni was walking down the stairs, I remember turning to Gary and telling him that MS is going out to fetch us the trophy," Upton said in a recent interview with Scroll.in.
Dhoni scored a fast-paced 91* off 79 balls and hit the match-winning six in the 49th over to hand India their second WC trophy in 2011. Upton added that while Dhoni takes his own time to settle down in the middle, India captain Virat Kohli takes on bowlers right from the very first ball he faces.
"They have very different approaches to batting, but the similarities are that they are absolutely focused on the job at hand and they understand exactly how to pace their innings. Both of them have very different ways of pacing their innings. Kohli gets to the run-rate and stays there from the first over, without accelerating or falling behind. Dhoni starts slowly and times his acceleration almost perfectly. So they have very different ways of seeing their team through to victory, they go about it in their own unique ways, but they are both equally effective," Upton added.
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