Legendary Indian cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar led the Indian team brilliantly while also achieving several milestones in his international career. After representing the country for more than two decades, Tendulkar called time on his career but he still remains to be the highest run-scorer, with 34,357 runs to his name from T20Is, ODIs, and Tests.
Sachin Tendulkar’s contributions to the development of the team, as a skipper and as a player overall, are immense. Since his retirement, the team has seen several captains but no one has been able to match the caliber of former India skipper MS Dhoni. Tendulkar, who played for India under the leadership of Dhoni, revealed why he suggested the wicketkeeper-batter’s name for the leadership role.
MS Dhoni first led India in the year 2007, when the team featured stalwarts like Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, and Virender Sehwag, to name a few. But, ahead of the inaugural T20 World Cup, the seniors took a call to give the juniors an opportunity. When the Indian board (BCCI) asked Tendulkar for his choice of captain back then, he had put in Dhoni’s name.
During a chat in an Infosys event, Sachin Tendulkar said, “This was in England when I was offered captaincy. I said we have a very good leader in the team who was still a junior, and he is someone you should look at closely. I have had a lot of conversations with him, more so on the field where I would field at first slip and ask him, what do you think? Though Rahul was the captain, I would ask him (Dhoni) and the feedback I received was very balanced, calm, yet very much matured.”
In 2008, when MS Dhoni was appointed as the Test captain, the Indian team’s senior cricketers included Tendulkar, Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and Zaheer Khan. Tendulkar was in the Indian squad when they won the 2011 World Cup. Dhoni was also the team’s captain when Tendulkar played his last international Test match in Mumbai in 2013.
Sachin Tendulkar explained, “Good captaincy is about being a step ahead of the opposition. If one is smart enough to do that, as we say, josh se nahi, hosh se khelo (play sensibly). It doesn’t happen instantly, you won’t get 10 wickets in 10 balls. You have to plan it. At the end of the day, the scoreboard matters. And I saw those qualities in him. Hence, I recommended his name.”