India news October 12, 2013

'Tendulkar was at the top for 23 years' - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff
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India captain MS Dhoni knew Sachin Tendulkar's retirement "was coming" and has lauded the batsman for delivering in the face of huge expectations for more than two decades. Tendulkar, 40, will play his farewell series against West Indies at home next month, with his last and 200th Test likely to be staged in his hometown Mumbai.

"I knew it (retirement) was coming," Dhoni said in Pune, ahead of the first ODI against Australia. "I am quite happy for him, for the kind of illustrious career he has had, for the time he was at the top throughout his career. For 23 years or so he was always at the top.

"When you are the top batsman for your side for a considerable period of time, everyone scrutinises your performance when you score or don't score runs. He had to carry the expectations of so many Indians. At times the Indian fans set very high level of expectations. To bear with all of that and to come up with the performances that he came up with is fantastic."

Stadium attendances for Test matches in India aren't exactly healthy and Dhoni said in the unlikely case there weren't full houses for Tendulkar's last series, one could forget filling grounds for a long time to come. "I think at the moment we would rather enjoy the two Test matches to the fullest. It will give me an opportunity to see a house-full Test match. I have seen big crowds coming in, but it's one chance I will see a house-full crowd hopefully in both the venues. If I am not able to then in the next 25-30 years I don't think I will see a house-full Test match."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on October 16, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    @Clint Nelson, Dhoni is captioning india for last 5 years, Tendulkar's average in them are 63.36, 78.1, 47.25, 23.8, 32.0. So no mid 20s for last 3 years and only one mid 20s in 5 years. Dravid has better average in 2 years than Sachin and Sachin better than Dravid for 2 years. Laxman and Sehwag are having averages better than Sachin only once in last 5 years that too in 2012 where there averages are also mediocre 25 and 31 to pass Sachin's worst 23.8. Just check the stats before coming to any conclusion. Tendulkar is having lean patch since 2011 but all Indian Batsmen suffered in 2011 & 2012 except Dravid in England and Pujara in India.

  • dummy4fb on October 14, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    Deepan Balakrishnan, Dhoni became test captain at the end of 2008 - just 4+ years now. Since Jan, 2011, SRT scored a 100 under Dhoni's captaincy. And since that time, SRT is now deep into his 3rd consecutive year, not being able to compile a single good innings for Dhonis team - averaging in the mid 20s! But, even though for 3 out of Dhoni's 4+ years, Tendulkar has been averaging in the mid 20s, while the other batsmen have been working hard, to make him the reputable captain that he is, Mr Dhoni has been unfairly and ungratefully telling us that "Tendulkar was his top batsman"! What an ungrateful world! I thought that Dhoni played to win. But I'm surprised to know now, that he too is just a Sachin worshiper - on what grounds, tell me! It is my view, based on what I know about SRT, if he had lived in another country, he might just have played 100 matches. Because no where else he was going to be allowed to fail so often and for so long! Neither could he choose whom to play against!

  • SL-USA-Lions on October 14, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    @Perl57... Yes I have the right to talk... It's called "freedom of speech"... Oh wait... Maybe you're someone who don't really know anything other than what you want to believe...

    I gave Sachin his respects... I didn't bad mouth him... If you can read please read everything I wrote. I applauded him and gave him credentials for all he had done... As I said earlier I really didn't like him at all but I respect him as a great Cricketer and his accomplishments... So reserve your critical outburst to people with blind hatred as yourself...

    I was kind enough not to mention '03 World Cup and other instances when he failed... And Dhoni carried you guys to the promised land in '11 World Cup...

    So I did a Dhoni here and gave the Legend his due respects...

    So Perl57 next time come to an argument prepared...

    No matter what you think the truth will prevail. Sachin, we respect you and we will miss you... Lara was a Viv... Sachin was a Gavaskar... CASE CLOSED. WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!!!

  • dummy4fb on October 14, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    as a club cricketer for the past 40 years in England I must say hes has been an absolute gentleman for world cricket and will be talked about for years to come. A TRUE PRO

  • SamRoy on October 14, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    @Clint Nelson Since Dhoni became captain Laxman was definitely his number uno batsman because that guy single handedly won India at least six to seven test matches when India were under real pressure. It was Laxman who helped India remain No. 1 Team more than anyone else. Sehwag was No. 2 as he helped to win a few matches singlehandedly (though only in sub-continent). I cannot recall a single match which Dravid helped India win singlehandedly. Can you? I always thought you are remembered by the number of games you win for the team. Look, I am a bigger fan of Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble compared to Laxman and I consider Dravid a great batsman and Laxman world-class but not great batsman but during Dhoni's captaincy Laxman was by far India's best batsman just like between 2007 to 2008 Sourav Ganguly was India's best batsman.

  • SL-USA-Lions on October 14, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    @ EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED HERE AND WHO MAY COMMENT...

    Let's not walk on egg shells and let's be honest to ourselves about cricket just onetime please...

    Bradman was a legend. No question about it. None of has seen him play maybe other than the old folks.

    But He played in a different era before Bouncers were real bouncers... Bodyline series... He played against few countries: Eng, In, SA and WI... He played in uncovered pitches... He played mostly against England... And he scored runs at an average no one ever might be able to catch... So for the sake of the argument let's leave him out of this...

    But honestly... We all know deep inside...

    Lara was a modern day Viv... And Sachin was a Gavaskar...

    Look at the stats and what they really did on the field... People who can agree with me please do. Others you have a right to believe what you want to as well. So after they retired who do we miss more Viv or Gavaskar?!!

    Let's salute Sachin. If we debate THE TRUTH COMES OUT. I'M DONE!

  • SL-USA-Lions on October 14, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Thank You Sachin for the memories... We will miss you.. Truly one of the best two batsmen of the Cricketing world since 1990 (The other being Lara) When I say the best two batsmen it's purely based on the natural gift and spark bestowed on both of them by a Higher Power...

    If you consider the hard work aspect in rating a Cricketer all the other great batsmen since 1990 would fall into that category...

    Both had the ability to destroy any bowling attack in the world any given day. In terms of retirement it was and will be a sad occasion on both players careers... Nothing lasts forever...

    Lara entertained, took risks and won games. Sachin too entertained, won games and accumulated a boatload of International runs which may never be surpassed.

    Who timed it better? People will say anything now. But we all know we all have a short memory... To me Lara retired MAKING US WANTING HIM MORE... There is no question about it. Sachin has NO CHOICE… FATHER TIME CATCHES UPTO EVERYONE. PERIOD.

  • wantsachinback on October 14, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    MY top captain of world M.S.D....you are saying word which are valuable for media..but those already said by common man /fan of sachin tendulkar,,when he declared about his decision...you are rising star of India cricket so definately will hear you and think on this too. SRT ..only who inspired to ask you to play only natural game..attack opponent as usual..which gives birth to your HELICOPTER SHOT ..(such shot SRT already played in RANJI game,,frequently.) We are common fan of SRT only want to say that..rather than our ROUTINE life,struggle, bad/good moments..there are some beautiful dashing scene in our life which choreographed by SRT on TV..that give us real JOY..we dont have to deal with SENSEX,OBAMA,OSAMA,CONG,BJP.or...anything.beacuse when he played..even we get lost from our personal issue. SO SALUTE OUR MUMBAI...INDIAN HERO..MASTER OF MASTER ALWAYS ON TOP!!

  • dummy4fb on October 14, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    @Clint Nelson, Have you ever followed Indian cricket? Sachin's will be no.4 or 5 in the world (not in India) since Dhoni started leading India. Here are the stats Sachin scored 3685 @ 52.64, most runs for India under Dhoni's captaincy and also having the best average who played at least 15 tests. World wide, Since Nov 2008 Tendulkar is having 6th best average (for batsmen who scored more than 3000 runs) and comes 7th for most runs scored. Refer the below links for clarification.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;spanmin1=01+Nov+2008;spanval1=span;team=6;template=results;type=batting.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=runs;qualmin2=3000;qualval2=runs;spanmin1=01+Nov+2008;spanval1=span;template=results;type=batting

  • dummy4fb on October 14, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    MS 'The Finisher' Dhoni, I have the greatest respect for you as one of India's best cricketers ever, and currently the world's best captain! And because of this, I wish to advise you to be more tactful when you're speaking about stalwarts such as Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag. I don't think you need to repeat this old exaggerated and over played cliche about, '[Tendulkar] had to carry the expectations of so many Indians", and he was under all this pressure! So whose expectations did Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag and yourself carry? And even worse, you're telling us, when we know better, that "For 23 years or so SRT was the top batsman for [India]". Fans may be allowed to make this HUGE mistake, but not the captain under whom he and the others played! In fact, since you became captain, judging by performance, Tendulkar would be No. 4 or 5 among your top batsmen! Dravid was No.1; Laxman No.2 and Sehwag No.3. Check the records. Respect him, but please don't disrespect the others!