Chennai: He may have scored a Test double hundred and he may be on the verge of becoming India's best captain but MS Dhoni stays modest in admitting that he never thought he will ever represent his country.
India completed the formalities on day five of the Chennai Test to register a facile 9-wicket win over Australia and take 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series - with Dhoni being adjudged the Man of the Match for his 224-run knock in the first innings and leading India to a Test win for the 21st time, equalling Sourav Ganguly's record.
But when asked at the end of the match about his double century, Dhoni said he never expected that he will do this one day as he never thought he will play for India. "I never thought I will play for my country. I try to keep it simple and I'm really happy. The motive was to play a few shots and spread the field," the India skipper said.
He then went on to describe what laid the foundation for India's win, with a special mention for R Ashwin who took a match haul of 12 wickets. "Ashwin bowled in the right areas. In the second innings, Harbhajan [Singh] bowled much better. Ashwin has got the variations but he was consistent and didn't try to experiment too much. He stuck to his offspinners and varied the pace nicely. But it was important that he bowled in the right areas."
India made 572 in reply to Australia's 380 in the first innings and Dhoni said the good work done by Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara made life much easier for the lower order. "The first partnership was very important. Sachin and Pujara batted well [after the openers fell quickly]. But the partnership between Virat and Sachin was very crucial. It provided a good platform for the rest of the batsmen. The [Australian] bowlers were a bit tired after that. The lower order's contribution was very important," Dhoni said.
Dhoni was also very appreciative of the Chennai crowd. "I have spent a lot of time in Chennai, starting with the IPL. Not to mention I made my debut here. It was good to see the crowd coming to watch this match." The second Test begins in Hyderabad from March 2.
Is Dhoni being too modest?