‘Don’t take tension, give tension’ - Lalchand Rajput on how MS Dhoni motivated India during 2007 T20 World Cup

‘Don’t take tension, give tension’ – Lalchand Rajput on how MS Dhoni motivated India during 2007 T20 World Cup

Rajput said that Dhoni wanted the players to focus on their strengths.

MS Dhoni
Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates with the WT20 trophy. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Lalchand Rajput, the former Indian coach, has revealed how MS Dhoni guided India to glory in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa. In the final, the Men in Blue beat Pakistan to lift the trophy at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. It also happened to be Dhoni’s maiden assignment as the skipper of national team after India’s disastrous show in the 2007 World Cup in West Indies.

Dhoni, who was not even three years into international cricket, injected a positive mindset into the players. Rajput, who was India’s team manager during the mega event, said how Dhoni wanted his team to make the oppositions run for their money. As per Rajput, Dhoni was oblivious of people’s opinions and wanted his team to focus on its strong points.

MS Dhoni wanted his team to focus on strengths, says Rajput

“As a team, in a dressing room, the atmosphere should be very good. You should motivate players, and the players should not feel the pressure,” Rajput was quoted as saying in Sportskeeda.

“Our theme during the World Cup was ‘don’t take tension, give tension’. Dhoni really believed in the motto that people will talk things, but we need to focus on our strengths, and don’t have to worry about what others are saying,” he added.

India started the tournament with a washed off game against Scotland. In their very next Group game, Pakistan made them sweat, but India came out trumps in the bowl-out, winning it 3-0. In the next round, New Zealand got the better of them. However, Dhoni and Co decimated hosts South Africa and England to make their way into the semis.

In the semi-final, Australia posed a massive threat, but India managed to survive it courtesy some stupendous bowling at the death. The final against Pakistan went right down to the wire. In the end, a miscued shot from Misbah-ul-Haq gave India the victory by five runs.

After the triumph, Dhoni was also appointed as the Test and ODI skipper. Thereafter, he went on to win every other ICC tournament and also took India to the top in the Test rankings.