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Dhoni: We had to do it for ourselves

Mahendra Singh Dhoni warned his players not to rely on divine intervention before they closed out a dramatic five-run win over England in the Champions Trophy final.

After the game was reduced to a 20-overs-a-side contest following almost six hours of rain, Dhoni's side looked set to disappoint the sizeable Indian following at Edgbaston.

From 66 for five, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja hauled India to the relative respectability of 129 for seven but, at that stage, a washout and a share of the trophy seemed their best prospect.

Yet Dhoni refused to let his players hope for rain and instead gave them the confidence to secure outright success as England fell short on 124 for eight.

"Before going on I said 'let's get rid of the feeling that this is a 50-over game'," he said.

"It was a 20-over game and we have seen at the IPL and in Twenty20s that 130 can be a very difficult target to achieve.

"Also, I said nobody could look to the left side of the pitch where the rain was coming from.

"I said 'God is not coming to save us; if you want to win the trophy we have to fight it out'.

"We are the number-one ranked side; let's make it show. Let's make them fight for 130 runs and not look for outside help."

Dhoni, as magnanimous a leader as India have had, even found time to query the very format that had brought his side success.

"I think it is a bit unfair in the ICC Champions Trophy that we had to play a 20-over game to find a winner of the 50-over format," he said.

"Still, they (the ICC) needed a result. This means a lot because we are playing here against some of the best sides in the world and to beat England in a 130-run game is very difficult."

Dhoni praised the contributions of opener Shikhar Dhawan and spin bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who finished, respectively, as the competition’s leading run-scorer and wicket-taker. Dhawan was also named player of the tournament.

"Shikhar is a slightly different character. He's a fun-loving guy but he backs himself to play big strokes,” explained Dhoni.

“That has helped him in this tournament and he'll gain a lot from the way he has played over here.

"Jadeja is someone who keeps it very simple. He looks to hit the right area and the ball does the talking."

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