Mumbai - Kapil Dev, the only man to captain an Indian World Cup winning side, has said that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's reputation as skipper should not depend on the result of Saturday's final against Sri Lanka.
Dhoni, having steered India past Pakistan in the semi-finals, is expected to complete the job with victory in Mumbai on Saturday, to give the home side a second title to add to Kapil's 1983 breakthrough.
"I will never doubt Dhoni's credentials as a captain irrespective of the result of World Cup final," said Kapil.
"Lots of people believe that it's the ultimate result which will count, but I believe otherwise.
"Look at Ricky Ponting. He has won two World Cups and after one bad World up he is out. That's not the way to judge a captain. So I would like that Dhoni not be judged by a win or loss. Instead, let's all wish him the very best."
Arjuna Ranatunga, who captained Sri Lanka to their only World Cup title in 1996, feels that both teams are evenly-matched.
"It will be a 50-50 game. I am slightly worried about our middle-order. The batsmen from No. 5 to No. 7 (Angelo Mathews, Thilan Samaraweera and Chamara Silva) haven't performed up to the mark. Also Mahela's (Jayawardene) form is a bit of worry for us," Ranatunga said.
"Those who believe that there won't be pressure are wrong. I myself have played a final, and I know how it feels out there in the middle."