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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Want Sachin to enjoy thoroughly: MS Dhoni

As much as MS Dhoni stressed on focusing on the cricket, he was continuously bombarded with Sachin Tendulkar questions on the eve of the Mumbai Test. Soon, the Indian captain realized the futility of his efforts to “keep things normal” and spoke fondly about the man he idolized growing up. (Also Read: STR 200th Test Match Preview: India vs West Indies, 2nd Test, 2013)
“It will be one of the greatest matches in cricketing history,” Dhoni said. “But although it is his last Test, we need to keep it as normal as possible. There are plenty of things going around. We have done our best to keep focus at the right place. For us, enjoying the moment is the key,” the skipper said.
Reiterating the enjoyment factor, Dhoni said he wants Tendulkar to have fun as he sets foot into the Test cricket arena for one final time.
“I would like him to enjoy his last Test match. As much as you want him to score a hundred, a double hundred or a triple hundred, you can’t guaranty performance.
“I would like him to enjoy to the fullest and may be get a few wickets for us. That will be fun as one expects some turn and bounce from the wicket,” Dhoni said.
Celebrating Tendulkar’s mammoth career, Dhoni said his ability to handle success and adulation separated him from the other greats of the game.
“With due respect to the greats of earlier generation, they didn’t have to face the kind of pressure Tendulkar faced. It was not only about his success but how he handled it in all these years. I have seen a lot of foreign players who can handle on-field success but when it came to handling the off-field pressure, they buckled down. That’s what makes Tendulkar special.”
Tendulkar is the last link to an entire era of Indian cricket. His exit will mark the official passing of the baton to the next generation. Dhoni said it is important that the new players are not put under the pressure of living up to the retired greats’ personalities.
“You can’t have a replacement for Sachin Tendulkar or a Rahul Dravid. You have to accept these youngsters the way they are. They will have their own characters. A Virat Kohli should play like Virat Kohli. A Cheteshwar Pujara, irrespective of how he bats would bring a different character to the team. 
“It’s not that cricket won’t remain colourful. New players will bring new colours. You can’t expect the new generation to bring the same colour that Tendulkar, Ganguly or VVS Laxman brought. These youngsters will also bring a lot of colour to the side,” the captain said.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Dhoni shared some of the emotional and joyful moments he has spent with Tendulkar.
"I played for eight to 10 years with him. He guided the youngsters and showed us how to perform under pressure. The most emotional moment with him was winning the World Cup. The boys found it difficult to control their emotions. I have spent quite a number of Diwalis with him on various tours. We burst crackers together,” he added.


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