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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'Would like Sachin to enjoy his last Test; hopefully, he'll get us a few wkts'

'Would like Sachin to enjoy his last Test; hopefully, he'll get us a few wkts'

Last updated on: November 13, 2013 16:24 IST

'Would like Sachin to enjoy his last Test; hopefully, he'll get us a few wkts'

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The mood is more festive than of Test cricket at the Wankhede stadium, as Mumbai gets ready to bid farewell to its famous son, Sachin Tendulkar.

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

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, on Wednesday, said he never witnessed as much hype leading into a Test match, as Sachin Tendulkar’s final Test of his glorious career, but affirmed that his team is focussed on the job at hand.

India, who lead the two-match series 1-0, take on the West Indies in the second Test, starting Wednesday, but, if one looks back a little, the last few days were all about Tendulkar; the match, only a side story.

“I think it’s in cricketing history this has never happened in the past, let alone the 8-10 years that I've been around,” Dhoni said, on eve of the second Test.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: BCCI

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'Cricket is first and foremost'

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He was quick to add that his team is trying to stay away from the distractions associated with the batting icon’s farewell.

“As I said in the last match also, we are treating it as normal as possible. Of course, there are plenty of things that are going around, so we have kept the focus and drive whatever best we could do. They are enjoying the moment, which I feel is the key; but, at the same time, we’re focussed,” he said.

He explained how his players are trying to put cricket ahead of the off-the-field distractions.

“As far as the team is concerned, we would like to keep it simple. That would be a big thing. Everyone wants to do it something special; if we can keep it simple, that itself would be special. If someone does something simple, when everyone else is trying to be special, that’s good. We have a few things in our mind, but I think the cricket is very important first and foremost. We are going to concentrate on it and enjoy it.”


Image: MS Dhoni
Photographs: BCCI
Tags: 1

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'I would like Sachin to enjoy'

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Dhoni wants Tendulkar to enjoy the last match of his career irrespective of how he performs with the bat.

“I would like him to enjoy, because you can't guarantee performance. Of course, 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, adding it was a dream come true for him to play alongside the legendary batsman.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Philip Brown/Reuters
Tags: Sachin

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'He has guided the youngsters very well'

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“I never thought that I would get to play with him, and if I have played eight-ten years with him, I am very fortunate. He has guided the youngsters very well, showed them how to how to lead life after you become successful and, at the same time, how you are supposed to prepare [for a match]. So, I think, he has been fantastic and we have learnt a lot from him,” he said.


Photographs: BCCI
Tags: 1

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'Emotional moment was winning the World Cup'

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Asked to pick his most emotional moment in cricket involving Tendulkar, Dhoni replied: “I think the emotional moment was winning the World Cup over here in 2011. We have won quite a few series in and out of India, some high-profile series, but that particular game, the final...  most of the players were not able to control their emotions, everyone was crying. That was one of the most emotional moments, not only for me but the whole team,” he said.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images
Tags: Dhoni , India

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No replacement for Sachin

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On the question of Tendulkar’s replacement in the Test team, Dhoni said he would rather have someone play himself in rather than come to fill in for others.

“If you are saying that if we are looking for a replacement for Sachin, then there is no such thing. Neither do we have a replacement for Rahul Dravid or someone else. What is important is that we take the new players on their face value and the character they bring to the team.

“It is not about filling someone else’s shoes. Virat Kohli is Virat Kohli, not someone else, and, in the same way, [Cheteshwar] Pujara. If you start comparing individuals with some great players, it only adds pressure on them; it is important. Pujara has a different character than the players who are gone,” he claimed.


Photographs: BCCI

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