Friday 14 February 2014 

Dhoni Hopeful India Can Emulate Australia, West Indies

MS Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni with the World Cup trophy following the 2011 event
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

The 2015 World Cup gets underway in one year from today and Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes his side can emulate Australia and the West Indies and retain their title.

Dhoni hit the winning runs when India beat Sri Lanka to win the 2011 World Cup in front of their home crowd in Mumbai.

WORLD CUP WINNERS

1975: West Indies
1979: West Indies
1983: India
1987: Australia
1992: Pakistan
1996: Sri Lanka
1999: Australia
2003: Australia
2007: Australia
2011: India

Now, three years on, he has set his sights on India emulating the West Indies team that won the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979 and the Australians who won three titles in between 1999 and 2007.

"It is amazing to think that it is just one year until we defend our ICC Cricket World Cup title as that means it is almost three years since we won the trophy on that amazing night in Mumbai," Dhoni said at an event marking the one-year countdown.

"The memories of that night and of the whole tournament are as fresh and as special as ever.

"We know that defending the ICC Cricket World Cup is something that only the West Indies and Australia have done over the whole history of the tournament but with the quality we have in and around our squad we believe we can become the third side to do it.
 
"We have a group of players who are experienced at playing in high-pressure situations and we have already shown we are capable of dealing with the dual pressures of being world champions and coping in overseas conditions at a major ICC event by winning the ICC Champions Trophy in the UK last year," he added.

And he says that despite a heavy defeat, his side have learnt a lot from their recent ODI series in New Zealand, which will co-host the 2015 event with Australia.

"Although we did not win our latest ODI series in New Zealand, it has given us valuable experience of what we can expect in 12 months' time.
 
"The next year is now all about getting our plans in place and remaining confident, and, if we can do that, then we will be in a good place by the time the action starts next February.

"I remember the joy that us winning the ICC Cricket World Cup brought to all Indians all over the world in 2011 and we want to do the same again by playing to the best of our ability in 2015."

India will play Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe in Pool B.

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