I was pretty clear about players I wanted: Dhoni

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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DhoniNew Delhi: Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says the tri-series victory in Australia has justified his decision to leave out old horses Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid from the ODI squad.

Dhoni-led young brigade plus the ageless Tendulkar beat world champions Australia 2-0 in the finals earlier this month after the selectors pitched for youth at Dhoni's behest and controversially dropped former captain Ganguly despite the left-hander's consistency at Test level.

Ganguly and Dravid, who was the first to feel the heat of the one-day shake-up late last year, are two of just three Indians to score over 10,000 runs in one-day cricket.

"I was pretty clear about the players I wanted in the side," Dhoni told Cricinfo."That's what I said to the selectors as well. You can see the kind of team I got."

The axing of Ganguly and Dravid set off a nation-wide debate in cricket-mad India given the challenge of playing in Australia.

"It's very important because the process and the timing were criticised a lot," Dhoni said. "But sometimes it is very important to send the message across, because sometimes people neglect the answer."

Dhoni, 26, was made one-day captain after Dravid quit following the England tour in September last year and guided a young team to a surprise triumph at the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup.

Dhoni said he had asked his players in Australia to stand up with questions being raised about his team selection.

"What now? Why are people not asking the same questions now? Because if the result was not in our favour, what would have happened?" he said.

"Would the people have been really behind this side or behind individuals?"

The 'Rambo of Ranchi' warned his teammates not to get carried away with this victory and urged his players to cultivate the winning habit.

''Of course you can't live by it,'' he said. ''You need to perform consistently and if you're raising the standard you have to stand by it. You have to keep on doing well.''


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