India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni defied logic when he said that Piyush Chawla needed to play crucial World Cup fixtures ahead of the 'mentally strong' Ravichandran Ashwin.
That he would be satisfied if part-timers went for over six an over, as long as they did their job. That he didn't want to place a square leg fearing injuries. The mystery that is Mahendra Singh Dhoni continues to grow. On Saturday, those missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle were brought together by his instinctive moves. MiD DAY draws out five points in an attempt to crack the 'MSD Code'.
"I don't know. I can't remember how I felt during the final of the CB Series or the Tri-Series at Dambulla," he said when Ravi Shastri asked him at the toss if the Indo-Pak semi-final was the biggest match of his life. Dhoni continued to insist the World Cup was just another event. When the euphoria exposed its finest colours on Saturday, he shed a few tears, proving that he's just human.
He went out to collect the trophy in a sleeveless shirt, just as he had done during the 2007 WT20. At that time, he drew criticism. But, did it again. Was it just to prove a point?
Afterwards, he didn't want to compare the two triumphs. Again, he showed signs of a man who lives in the moment.
At the post-World Cup briefing, he was physically and emotionally drained. For the last 12 months, he had been harping on the process that began in October 2008. The drained expression on his face yelled out just two words: Mission Accomplished.
There was cheekiness in the way he responded to a foreign journalist's claim that this was a rare moment of glory in India's otherwise poor sporting history.
He responded by reminding the reporter, not of the cricket team's achievements in the last 18 months, but of other sports such as shooting, hockey, archery and boxing. A deep sense of nationalistic spirit was highly evident. So, what are the odds of Dhoni not entering politics after his career, and change the game like he did with cricket?
The pair of Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni fashioned the 17 successful run-chases in 2005-06. Fittingly, the pair were in the middle on Saturday.
After Rahul Dravid relinquished captaincy, there were murmurs of Yuvraj and Dhoni not seeing eye-to-eye because the former was keen on leading the side. Last year, Dhoni made a bold call in dropping Yuvraj for the Asia Cup.
But, he knew all along that Yuvraj was a big match player and kept backing him all the way through the five-match ODI series in South Africa. To ensure Yuvraj hits top form at the World Cup, he threw the ball to the left-armer frequently in South Africa.