Saw his acumen standing in slips and told BCCI that he is the next captain: Tendulkar

back icon
19 Aug 2020 | 06:56 AM

Saw his acumen standing in slips and told BCCI that he is the next captain: Tendulkar

Tendulkar said he was impressed by Dhoni's ability to convince anyone of his decisions



Standing at first slip and observing Mahendra Singh Dhoni's match-reading skills convinced Sachin Tendulkar that he was ready for India captaincy, something he told the BCCI when he was asked for his suggestion back in 2007.

Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid had decided to give juniors a chance in the inaugural ICC World T20 that year and BCCI had asked the maestro about who would be his choice for captaincy.

"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 recollected during an interview to PTI on the just-retired former India captain.

"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," India's greatest batsman recollected what transpired 13 summers back.

Tendulkar said he was impressed by Dhoni's ability to convince anyone of his decisions.

"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."

Dhoni's promotion to Test captaincy in 2008 happened at a time when the Indian dressing room still had Tendulkar himself, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan as senior cricketers.

Asked how he rated Dhoni's handling of senior players, Tendulkar said: "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 per cent 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."

For Tendulkar, it was his duty to give multiple suggestions to Dhoni and let him enjoy the freedom of taking the final call.

"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."

So did he ever come to Tendulkar with what he expected of him? Tendulkar said that it was like a bridge. Both persons traverse a distance and meet at a common point.

"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."

World's highest run-scorer in Tests and ODIs feels that one of Dhoni's biggest contribution was to give confidence to the players he believed in.

Rohit Sharma's emergence as a world-class white-ball opener and Ravindra Jadeja's elevation as the team's premier all format allrounder are a case in point.

"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."

Another aspect that a young captain can find challenging is friendships with contemporaries in the team.

But Dhoni, according to Tendulkar, set the bar quite high as far as compartmentalising personal and professional equations was concerned.

"I firmly believe that friendship and cricket can be two separate things. You can be friends but that should not affect your ability to take decisions as a captain you want to take. Friendship shouldn't be dependant on that.

"Friendship should otherwise only be friendship whether the captain takes decision in your favour or someone else's favour. Friendship should still last. It has got nothing to do with whether you are getting a chance to play or not."

shareGray Share
IndiaMahendra Singh DhoniSachin Ramesh Tendulkar

Related Articles

Australia's batting line-up doesn't look settled, full marks to Indian bowlers: Tendulkar
Tendulkar spoke to PTI about Australian batsmanship, Ajinkya Rahane's captaincy, the performance of debutants Mohammed Siraj and Shubman Gill
30 Dec 2020
Tendulkar, Dravid swat Kenya away
On this day in 1999, India kept themselves alive in the World Cup thanks to a record-breaking partnership
userPramod Ananth
23 May 2020
Dhoni was an unbiased captain: RP Singh recalls selection controversy of 2008
A media report in 2008 had claimed that Dhoni wanted RP Singh instead of Pathan for a part of the home ODI series against England
12 May 2020
The eternal ambassador of cricket
Not a lot is unknown about the life and achievements of Sachin Tendulkar. Yet, his journey is like a bottle of wine that ages well.
userSomesh Agarwal
24 Apr 2020
When even a desert storm couldn’t stop Tendulkar
On this day in 1998, the batting great played one of the most memorable innings in ODIs
userPramod Ananth
22 Apr 2020
IPL HALL OF FAME IPL Hall of Fame – Sachin Tendulkar
Marking the 12th anniversary of the decorated league, we celebrate and honour the legends of the IPL
userHardik Worah
18 Apr 2020
Tendulkar dazzles with the ball
On this day in 1998, Sachin Tendulkar registered his best bowling figures in ODIs
userPramod Ananth
01 Apr 2020
The arrival of Sachin Tendulkar – the opener
On this day, in 1994, Sachin Tendulkar walked out to open the innings in ODIs for India for the very first time
userAshish Pant
27 Mar 2020
Sachin Tendulkar wins best Laureus sporting moment
The Indian legend was carried on the shoulders of his teammates after India won the 2011 World Cup
18 Feb 2020
What you bring to the table matters: Tendulkar on opening slot
Security and a sense of belonging is something that also brings the best out of any player according to Tendulkar
02 Oct 2019
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
@ 2020 | All rights reserved