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My honesty helped earn Tendulkar's captaincy recommendation - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 20, 2013

Comments: 48 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar have a chat during India's training session, World Cup, Ahmedabad, March 22, 2011
'I would even disagree with Tendulkar' © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni | Sachin Tendulkar
Teams: India

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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??

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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..

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).

Posted by 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.......

Posted by Top-Spinner on (March 21, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

Well, being honest and being a great captain are two different things. Dhoni is like a secret service agent, dark glasses, expressionless and rarely chats with his players around him. He became a captain at the right time with mercurial players like Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman Kumble, Sehwag and Srinath. I would venture to say that Dravid, Laxman and Kumble truly played for the country with less showmanship and not for records.Now that all of those quality players retired, the same "captain cool" who believes in impulses rather than scientific reasoning got the biggest drubbing at the hands of England and Australia on their grounds and embarassingly shellacked at home by England. Winning against a weak and the inexperienced Australian team somehow restores him as a genius, thanks to the herd mentality of the media and commentators alike we are going to hear this pitch on Dhoni for years to come.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (March 21, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

Sachin is the perfect role model world has ever seen in modern cricket on the field and off the field.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (March 21, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

I have a feeling that SRT is about to be 'rested' for the final test of the current series or the near future - Dhoni is probably trying to divert attention towards the selectors and cushion the rage that will follow! It's funny, Indian fans tend to brand all experienced cricketers as selfish and all youngsters as team-players - If anything, should it not be the other way around???

Posted by himohan007 on (March 21, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

@Alexk400 You say Dhoni has no skill , talent & dishonest. And u itself say that he manages people very well. Don't you think that it is every thing about SKILL/TALENT and more importantly about being HONEST. Pls don't bash Dhoni because he is very successfull(by no means of luck) Read: The no.of toss he lost in the match he won as captain

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (March 21, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

There are certain responsibilities and expectations that fall on your shoulder when you are playing for the country so long. Seeing the leadership qualities in Dhoni shouldn't have been that difficult. A Parthiv Patel would have seen it as well as a Sachin. However, nobody is going to ask Parthiv for his opinion whereas Sachin is in a position where you have to consult him. So it is nothing great that Sachin recommended Dhoni for the captaincy. He, possibly, wanted to ensure it doesn't come back to him ever again. So don't make Sachin a bigger God than he already is.

Posted by waheed1233 on (March 21, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

MSD, thats what is expected from any cricket captain and not something that you are the only in this world to do it. SRT is just a normal cricketer and disagreement with his opinions is not the sole indicator of being honest.

Posted by Cric_god_Sachin on (March 21, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

SRT is the real GOD of this game

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

my opinion is india team player list 1. dhoni 2, yuvaraj 3, raina 4. ravindra jadeja 5,murali-vijay 6, virat kohlij, 7.ashwin.8. prgyan oza bowler 10. fast bowler 11. fast bowler

and no place for Sachin and Sehwag and Gautam gambir & harbajan singh.

Posted by VEGHA on (March 21, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

Sachin is calm and no head weight at all. Every one will respect him for his humble nature. With so many records with him , he can talk with proud but I never seen him to talk in such a way

Really a good human and he is respecting other player and that is the reason everyone respecting him. Of the field , a person has to learn how to behave and even of the field he is master

Keep it up Sachin and you will be remembered for years to come even if you retire from test cricket

Some old macthes if you see , how was his shots and what is the dedicated player and India is proud to have such a cricketer.

Posted by IndianSRTfan on (March 21, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

@Posted by SamRoy on (March 21, 2013, 4:24 GMT): " I dislike Tendulkar because often his selfishness has cost India games as a result slowing down after reaching 85-90 almost everytime in ODIs (which made India lose momentum in the innings)" Really? India won 32 matches out of 49 ODIs in which SRT made centuries. His overall strike rate is 86.23 after 463 matches. Get real mate. Don't throw out imaginative stats. This whole selfishness argument is plain humbug. You have, although unwittingly, highlighted the reason Tendulkar still plays, "can anybody ever question his devotion and enthusiasm for the game (unless of course he has malice towards him)?" Thats precisely the reason he's still playing. And Lara? A brilliant batsman, sure. But greatest batsman?? Not really. Bradman, Viv Richards, Sobers, and Lara himself, all great minds rated Sachin more than Lara.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

Dhoni always thinks about team not for personal desire or record that makes him greater than sachin....

Posted by beggars on (March 21, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

MSD first met his idol while serving drinks on field. Now they have a drink together. MSD has come up through the ranks along with a genius cricketing brain. Otherwise sachin would not have recommended his name for captaincy.... Real test awaits team India on overseas tours. Sachin must lead the pack and with tests being abroad these young talented players will gain a lot from maestro. These four overseas tours will help these 6 players to sustain in the big league. (Virat- Ajinkya- Vijay- Pujara Jadeja and raina if picked)

Posted by shrastogi on (March 21, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

Dhoni has done very well despite the fact that he wasnt one like Tendulkar who was spotted early. He has won everything for India from T20 world cup to 50 overs world cup to Test mace and now one day shield apart from IPL & CLt20 titles for CSK. He has done very well with young teams also be it t20 world cup or Commonwealth series or recent series against aussies. He is ideally suited to groom this young side. I think Tendulkar's non retirement from one day after world cup had jinxed the Inidan side so much that every senior except to an extant Dravid went short of runs. It is that after Tendulkar has announced his retirement from one dayers that things are beginning to happen again. Tendulkar has such a rich experience and success that sometimes it becomes difficult and impossible for him to judge himself but he can judge others as is the case with Dhoni.Tendulkar on his current run in tests needs an outside view desperately.Two years is a very long time for him not to get big runs.

Posted by ARad on (March 21, 2013, 4:40 GMT)

HONESTY is more important than HERO WORSHIP and DEFERENCE?! Indeed. This is true in sports as much as business and politics.

Posted by RAVINDRAS.202030 on (March 21, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

two greats of indian cricket.this shows the the example how other should be hats off dhoni and sachin paji

Posted by SamRoy on (March 21, 2013, 4:24 GMT)

Tendulkar was never arrogant, always humble and polite. I dislike Tendulkar because often his selfishness has cost India games as a result slowing down after reaching 85-90 almost everytime in ODIs (which made India lose momentum in the innings) and also his selfishness to carry on since 2011 despite being a shadow of the batsman he used to be. I still think he is the greatest batsman after Lara in the last 20 years. But can anybody ever question his devotion and enthusiasm for the game (unless of course he has malice towards him)?

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

@ MSDhoni123

This team under Dhoni has to be the laziest ever. They never practise and shy away from all kinds of match preparation. You clearly do not follow cricket.

Posted by Arrow011 on (March 21, 2013, 3:28 GMT)

After Sachin it is only MSD in cricket.

Posted by satishchandar on (March 21, 2013, 3:19 GMT)

In this regard, i would praise both the parties.. Dhoni for the courage to disagree with Sachin who is some 15 years senior to him.. And, Sachin even better to agree with a guy who is more than a decade junior to him.. Dhoni sometimes does things that would be very kiddish.. But there is always one single factor.. He goes by what his mind says and he is ready to face it if it goes wrong..

The best thing i would rate on Dhoni is, when he was made the captain, there was no NS backup which most people say as the thing that Dhoni lives on and i seriously disagree with it. He handled a team which is almost entirely senior to him and lead them without much spat until the one with Viru-Gauti combo which i think both parties didn't handle well.. He had a good rapport with Yuvi who had great captaincy ambitions which is good thing for the team.. Gave Bhajji, Viru and Gauti full opportunities till they went bankrupt on form..

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 3:16 GMT)

Look sachin tendulkar would have been consultated before mnsd job the job of captaining the indian team .

Posted by venkateswarlu84 on (March 21, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

Honesty!!!? Mr. Dhoni .. Can you explain the team selection basis also with the same honesty ???? Everyone can hit cover page with sort of honesty .. Try with real honesty :)

Posted by Shrescs on (March 21, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

But, as of today, Dhoni is bigger than Tendulkar and his achievements are bigger than that of Tendulkar! That's just what I think and I know that what I think means nothing in 'REAL' cricketing world! :) I am also a great fan of Sachin!

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 21, 2013, 0:58 GMT)

Dhoni is not honest at all. He is just damn lucky. Nothing else. He wins. Thats bottom line. Even if he loses he is not getting fired. What can i say. Just damn lucky fellow. No Skill , No talent. He manages people very well.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

sachin is always a team man and if sachin is just in a team and not scoring still it helps the team in many ways but he will always be scoring runs

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

@InsideHedge @ PT03 couldn't agree with you more bros......SAchin is a legend n incomparable and a unique player/person.....

@msdhoni123 r u sleeping mate?? hw cn u say tht SRT is not a multi-dimensional....He can bat right/left, he cn bowl legspin/offspin/meidumpace and he's just a fantastic fielder(i've seen him chasing a ball like cheetah in the 2011 world eng match in the stadium).

I agree tht dhoni had guts(not anymore) to que sachin n you guys failed to understand the humility of the greatest sporting icon India ever produced.......wake up mate...

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 23:18 GMT)

Dhoni is great but Sachin is double great...

Posted by Amarjitmadan on (March 20, 2013, 21:44 GMT)

I am sure Sachin would have always welcomed such disagreements in the interest of the games and to refresh our memories there have been occasions when Sachin asked the 7 or 8 down batsman for opinion if he played a particular shot correct! Both are great in their own right.

Posted by PT03 on (March 20, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

@ InsideHedge: completely agree with you, being such a great batsman if Sachin is open for disagreement and even recommending his name for the captain's post shows the modesty and humility of Sachin, It is very common for a person of Sachin status to become arrogant but he is quite opposite of that.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

The strength in Dhoni's captaincy is his fearless approach... That's somewhat lacking these days.. But, he is the best to captain the current Indian side..

Posted by InsideHedge on (March 20, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

@msdhoni123: What in heavens are you talking about? SRT is still one of the most energetic and better fielders in the team, that says something about the quality of the others. He's a safe catcher and still chases a ball wholeheartedly. At the age of 40, he puts to shame the likes Ishant Sharma and especially R Ashwin who must be one of the WORST fielders I have ever seen. Nasser Hussain's words come to mind. Dhawan looked ordinary too, and Pujara doesn't look anything special.

When it comes to batting, SRT has always been a terrific runner between the wickets along with a brilliant ability to judge how many to run, his last inns run out was a surprise and an exception. Watch our friend R Ashiwn run between the wickets. As for our tail, Dhoni explained very well the quality of our tail in the recently concluded Test.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 20:16 GMT)

Dhoni is a very fine human being from a humble beginning as a ticket collector for Indian Railways to the captain of Indian Cricket Team, he has remained well grounded to his roots.

Posted by torsha on (March 20, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

'I would even disagree with Tendulkar' - Always classy MSD.

Posted by Harmony111 on (March 20, 2013, 20:01 GMT)

Reminds me of a saying by Howard Schultz, "Hire people smarter than you are and then get out of their way" i.e if you see someone who you think will do a better job than you then give him that job and give him full freedom. When Dravid gave up captaincy in 2007 and India were looking for a replacement, Sachin was offered that role but he saw MSD as a better prospect, he recognized that MSD would do a better job than him and so nominated him for the role and as they say, the rest is history. MSD won us the inaugural WT20 in 2007.

At that time MSD did look like a bit underdone for that huge role and some felt it was a stop-gap arrangement. But he showed his skills in the WT20 SF vs Aus and then vs Pak in the finals that he was tactically a brilliant captain. Strategically, he has faltered at times but strategies rely heavily on suitable resources esp personnel. All in all, MSD has done a great job as a captain.


Posted by Temuzin on (March 20, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

Dhoni has become a legend now. But his honesty and hard work is the reason, he has achieved so much. He still is one of the hardest working Indian player.

Posted by msdhoni123 on (March 20, 2013, 19:39 GMT)

The ways that Indians are brought up we always seems to agree with what older people says. Even if we know for sure they are wrong. This is the culture we were brought up in. And like Andrew Symonds said in an interview few years ago "that indians are lazy". Yes we are lazy we always tend to rely on our skills and talent to get us across everything. This is where Dhoni changed Indian cricket. To disagree with sachin whos a idol in Indian cricket shows Dhoni got guts. I dont think any of the younger generation will have guts dhoni had to say "I dont agree with you" to sachin. Another part of Indian cricket dhoni changed is that we barely have any one dimensial player anymore. After axing of sehwag and barring ojha and sachin. Every single players in the Indian cricket team is energetic fielder. We dont have that lazy approach we did in the ganguly era. We also got batters till number 9. This pretty much shows how much of Indian cricket Dhoni has changed.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

Honesty is the best policy......always be honest......@DHONI@

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