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Dhoni will miss celebrating Diwali with Tendulkar

Last updated on: November 13, 2013 19:14 IST

Dhoni will miss celebrating Diwali with Tendulkar

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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni paid rich tribute to the retiring Sachin Tendulkar, saying the way he has handled pressure and expectation over the last 25 years is exemplary.

"Yes, there are other greats, but there was one thing they didn’t have to deal with, and that is the level of expectations. When you are doing well that itself puts pressure on you, but imagine when you are going through a lean patch, the expectations go up, they never come down. So you have to handle all those things," Dhoni said, on the eve of the second Test against the West Indies, in Mumbai, after which Tendulkar will retire from cricket.

Farewell Sachin... write a postcard to the batting icon

"I have seen some of the foreign cricketers, they handle the cricketing pressures well. But when it comes to handling the pressures that are not really related to cricket, they buckle under. So he has been fantastic, and there is plenty to learn from him," he added.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni
Photographs: Getty Images

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'We have burst many crackers together'

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Dhoni pointed out that cricket has undergone a vast change in the last two decades, but Tendulkar remained the constant.

"As far as Sachin is concerned, I would consider him as great because when it comes to Indian cricket, you are under the microscope throughout. He has seen the format change, right from start in 1989. From that time, Test cricket has changed significantly. ODI cricket, there have been a plenty of changes. The introduction of T20 has come, and, overall, it had an impact on each and every thing.

"It is not only the cricketing aspect; I think what’s difficult is difficult to handle in India more is how to handle the success, the expectations of the people. We’re expected to win each and every game, which is not possible. Right from 1989 he became big star, for a quarter of century he has played for India and he has always been a star," he said.

Talking of his memorable off-the-field moments with Tendulkar, Dhoni said he will always cherish celebrating Diwali with the batting maestro.

"I have never played Holi together, but yes we have celebrated Diwali a lot together, because there is cricket around that time, in Ahmedabad, Mohali, and Delhi. We have burst many crackers together, but quite safely. As for Indian cricket being colourful, I think the new players are characters in their own way, they will make it colourful in their own way. If we want the same, like how Sachin paaji was, or Sourav Ganguly, or Anil Kumble or Rahul Dravid or VVS Laxman, if you want the same colours, it will be difficult. But there will be new colours," he said.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni
Photographs: Getty Images

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'I would like him to enjoy'

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Dhoni said he observed that there is no change in Tendulkar’s body language ahead of his farewell match.

"Sachin, his body language has been exactly the same as it was in the last match." 

He also gave a hint that Tendulkar might get a few overs to bowl in the Mumbai Test, with the wicket expected to help the spinners. The veteran had bowled five overs in both the innings of the first Test match in Kolkata, picking the wicket of Shane Shillingford in the process.

"I would like him to enjoy, because you can't guarantee performance. Of course, you can you can say [he should score] a hundred, a double hundred, a triple hundred or 500…whatever. But at the end of the day the most important moment is that it is his last Test match. It is important that he enjoys this and hopefully get us a few wickets... You can get a bit of turn and bounce on this Mumbai wicket," he said.

 


Image: MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Getty Images

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