A suitable captain: Dhoni's meteoric rise

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/d/dhoni1.jpg' class='caption'> As with everything else meteoric in MS Dhoni's cricketing career, his success as a Captain has been almost instant.

Updated: November 06, 2007 15:51 IST
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New Delhi:

As with everything else meteoric in MS Dhoni's cricketing career, his success as a Captain has been almost instant.

"Before I start Ravi, yesterday I read an article on Cricinfo. It says according to you if we go with me, Aussies are the favourites. I think me and my boys proved you wrong and I think you are happier than us," said M S Dhoni, Captain, Indian Twenty20 Team.

That was Dhoni being his usual astute self. It wasn't just Ravi Shastri though, a billion people back in India were also sharing in Dhoni's moment of joy after the 15 run win over Australia at the World Cup.

And while there's no denying that the victory was a team effort, the captain led from the front in more ways than one.

"I think what he has managed to do is to get this 15 guys to express themselves. I don't think they are playing any better cricket or they are bowling any better deliveries or playing better shots, they have to have the capabilities.

"But I think he has just made them believe in themselves and they are expressing themselves. I don't know how it has happened, but it looks like a big role he has played," said Ajay Jadeja, 15 Tests and 196 ODIs for India.

No doubt Dhoni has managed to get the best out of each of his teammates according to many, his decision to use the slow bowlers in the bowl out vs. Pakistan speaks of his shrewd cricketing brain.

Of course there were those that backfired at times, like when he got Virender Sehwag to bowl against the Australian's on Saturday.

But then some others like getting Joginder Sharma to bowl the match out with 22 runs needed eventually came good.

In all this the pressure of leading one of the most talented young sides in the World doesn't seem to have affected his own performance.

With 148 run from 6 innings to his name, Monday could be the best opportunity to add a half-century at this World Cup, the only thing missing from his Twenty20 CV.

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