India news March 20, 2013

My honesty helped earn Tendulkar's captaincy recommendation - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff
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MS Dhoni believes his forthrightness helped him earn a captaincy recommendation from Sachin Tendulkar. He said he received Tendulkar's backing in the matter, which was a "huge thing".

"On the field, I always give my honest inputs about team strategy," Dhoni said at the launch of Sachin - The Cricketer of the Century, a book that celebrates his stellar innings. "Tendulkar and I used to discuss team strategy on the field. If I was convinced [about something], I would even disagree with him and it happened quite often.

"I think my honesty has paid dividends when he recommended me for captaincy. He might [have been] thinking that I had learnt in quick time [about] different aspects of the game and team strategy. Even if I was not made the captain, it was a huge thing that Tendulkar had recommended my name for captaincy."

Dhoni, who debuted for India in 2004, took over the limited-overs captaincy from Rahul Dravid after India's tour of England in 2007. He had a smashing start to his captaincy, leading India to victory in the World Twenty20 2007 in his first series in charge. Soon after, he lost his maiden ODI series as captain, at home to Australia, but followed up with victory in the tri-series in Australia that also included Sri Lanka. He took over the Test captaincy full-time from Anil Kumble in November 2008 in the Nagpur Test against Australia, and has now become India's most successful Test captain with 23 wins from 46 Tests.

Dhoni, who labelled Tendulkar his "sporting hero", also spoke about the first time he met him. "I think that was in a Duleep Trophy match in Pune in 2000-01 or 2001-02 season. I was in East Zone squad and was carrying drinks. Tendulkar made 199 in that match and he was batting when I went onto the field to serve drinks to my team-mates in the drinks break.

"Suddenly, he asked me, 'Can I have a drink also?' That was my first meeting with Tendulkar, my idol. I did not speak a word to him and ended up serving a drink to him."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Temuzin on March 22, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    Dhoni is undoubtedly greatest captain India ever had. His selections have now started blossoming up. In a year or two they will become battle hardened warriors and will win more matches. The 8-0 loss of India in Eng and Australia in past was due to the passengers in the team. They were Sachin,Sehwag,Gambhir,Dravid,Laxman ,Harbhajan and Zaheer. Good riddence by Dhoni who forced them out of team and once last duo of Gambhir and Sehwag was kicked out of the team, team has started winning. Dhoni is going to rebuild a team of world beaters. Check out in a year or two.

  • spinkingKK on March 22, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    I still don't agree with Tendulkar about recommending Dhoni as the captain. That was total disregard for the achievement and abilities of Kumble. Kumble was the right person for the job and I was very much surprised when Tendulkar recommended Dhoni's name. Luckily, the selectors ignored his comments.

  • bolju on March 22, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Mr. Mukund,u r saying that Tendulkar is the 2nd most consistent run getter in the AUS series after Vijay. Just fyi, all the Indian batsmen dint get an opportunity to bat 2 times in every match. Also, in the 2nd and the 3rd test match, when Dhoni came out to bat in the 2nd innings, runs were already on the board. So dhoni just had to accelerate and score more runs. He did that in the 2nd test match, with a quick 44...3rd he wud have done tht but got out on the 3rd ball. So u cannot compare the runs scored. no one is taking the credit from Tendulkar.

  • ABLcric on March 22, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Despite a Pakistan cricket fan, I have great respect for Dhoni and appreciate his actions, reactions, comments, and analysis. He probably has the toughest job in India, being captain of cricket team. And he has done a great job.

  • Al_Bundy1 on March 21, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    Dhoni is leadership personified, while Tendulkar has negative leadership skills. Dhoni is India's most successful captain, while Tendulkar was worst captain ever!! It's time to get rid of this white elephant and give a chance to youngsters like Rayudu or Tiwary. We are winning against Oz due to performance of our youngsters - Dhawan, Murli, Pujara, Kohli, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Jadeja and off course Dhoni. Can you imagine if Sehwag and Gambhir - 2 biggest non-performers of last 2 years were still opening for India??

  • Temuzin on March 21, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    Posted by cricexpt on (March 21, 2013, 16:37 GMT) Dhoni got a ready made team of brilliant players,(Sachin,Sehwag,Gambhir,Dravid,Laxman and Ganguly)(Kumble,Harbhajan and Zaheer) they were all in their prime then, that is why he was successfull. But now recieving battering everywhere even on home ground.(Australian team is nothing but below standard).

    Buddy just wait for a year when Dhoni groomed players will be world champ. The bad results were due to failing of those who you have mentioned in your post.

  • dummy4fb on March 21, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    Hi Ramachandra, No place for sachin..are u kiddng...He is the 2nd most consistent run getter in the AUS series after Murali vijay..not Mr.Captain cool...He rescued India in Hyd & Chennai @ critical times...So its better u dont put such statements..If u dont knw facts..

  • cricexpt on March 21, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    Dhoni got a ready made team of brilliant players,(Sachin,Sehwag,Gambhir,Dravid,Laxman and Ganguly)(Kumble,Harbhajan and Zaheer) they were all in their prime then, that is why he was successfull. But now recieving battering everywhere even on home ground.(Australian team is nothing but below standard).

  • Ruban_Varathan on March 21, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    I'm not a Big fan of Dhoni but this article shows the down to earth speech by dhoni....such a kind speech from him about sachin...Eventhough people try to corner dhoni on several disasters but no one can tell him as untalented....He may not be a good captain like people say but he is brilliant in getting out coordination among the team players for sure...Everyone can tell that dhoni is the reason for the retirement of ganguly,dravid,laxman but he is the guy who jelled up senior players with young players during the time of 2008 and 2009.He is a gifted player to team "INDIA"....Cheers.......