It is a known fact that it was Sachin Tendulkar, who convinced the BCCI selectors to go for MS Dhoni as the next captain of the Indian team at the first-ever T20 World Cup in 2007. With the seniors opting out of the event in South Africa, Dhoni was given command of a young Indian team, which eventually scripted history in South Africa.
Tendulkar revealed how he had observed Dhoni’s tremendous potential of reading the game, which acted as a catalyst in him recommending Dhoni’s name for being the next leader of the Indian cricket team.
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“I wouldn’t get into details how it happened but yes I did say when I was asked (by the senior BCCI people) as to what do I think,” Tendulkar told PTI. “I had mentioned that I won’t be going to SA as I was carrying a few injuries… But back then, I used to stand in the slip cordon and I used to interact with MS and understand what he was thinking, the field setting and I would discuss all those aspects. I observed his match reading and I came to a conclusion that he had a good cricketing brain so I suggested to the board that this is what I feel. MS should be the next one to take charge.
“Whatever I was thinking and whatever he thought, we were more or less on the same page. If I have to convince you about something, I have to be on your page and that is exactly what happened with MS. We both were thinking alike and that’s why I suggested he should be the one.”
Shortly after leading India to a win at the T20 World Cup, Dhoni was appointed captain of the ODI team ahead of the Pakistan series at home. A year later, following the retirement of Anil Kumble at the conclusion of the 2008 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Dhoni was given command of all three formats. Following India’s dismal World Cup campaign in the West Indies, India were looking for answers. Tendulkar himself was a strong choice to captain the team but he revealed how he was far from the mindset of becoming the captain again.
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“I can only speak for myself that I didn’t have any aspirations to become captain. I can tell you that I was not wanting to become captain and what I wanted was to go out and win every match for the team. For that whoever the captain was, I was going to give 100 percent all the time and whatever I feel are the right things to do, I was going to tell that person. Then the decision becomes captain’s but it becomes our duty to take the load off him,” Tendulkar said.
“If each person contributes in different capacities, then there is less load on captain… That’s what good teams do. The moot idea is to help each other.”
With Tendulkar having completed almost two decades of playing international cricket, the batsman said he understood his responsibilities towards the team as the senior most player. Tendulkar felt he was lucky to have shared a flexible relation with the guys, the set of players that went on to win the 2011 World Cup. It was after the triumph that Tendulkar famously said that this Indian team is the best he’s ever been part of.
“When MS became the Test captain in 2008, I had completed almost 19 years in international cricket. After having played that long, I also understood my responsibility. They looked up to me as an elder brother and it was my duty to guide them and tell them what I feel and also tell them equally. It could not be one-way traffic that I tell them and they listen to me. We should have kind of relationship that they should also be able to tell you what they feel and I believed in that,” he said.
“I think for any player to have the captain’s faith in your abilities makes a huge difference. It’s not just this generation but all generations, players have needed support. It surely helps. MS having confidence in a number of players in the team has surely helped us without any doubt.”
Article by HINDUSTAN TIMES. The most credible source of cricket news.