Bangalore: There are a thousand things to learn from Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketer. But India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has learnt a thing or two about life from The Master.
The Indian winter is gradually warming up to the much-awaited India-Pakistan contest, but the Sachin retirement-issue is perhaps being talked about more.
As a consequence, the pre-match media conference on Monday was preceded by Dhoni’s statement on Sachin. Recollecting his early days in Team India, Dhoni said: “As youngsters, when we came into the side, it was important to see how Sachin prepared himself for each and every game… For him, every game was a big game… At the same time, he showed us how to be humble in life and how to digest success, which I feel is one of most difficult things to do. All the way he guided each one of us.”
With the experience of 463 ODIs to his name, there’s obviously no better person to learn the tricks of the one-day game from than Sachin. Dhoni echoed that though as he said: “Personally, I learnt a lot from him… Whenever I got a chance to bat with him in the ODI format, I learnt how he calculated the innings.”
“He told us which bowlers we can target and what should be the target in next four or five overs and things like that... That helped me learn a lot… About I should be looking at when I’m batting with a another batsman,” he added.
Like Sunil Gavaskar, Dhoni was also rued the fact that he would not be able to witness Sachin’s half-century of ODI centuries. “We are a bit disappointed that we won’t see the 50th century in the coloured clothing, or the 100th half-century… That’s something we will definitely miss.
“But I think he has been an inspiration, encouraging thousands and millions of people. Sachin’s contribution is immense and we will definitely miss him,” the captain said.
He also chose to look at Sachin’s absence from one-dayers from an optimistic point of view. “If you see, it is an opportunity for the youngsters to get exposure in international cricket. But Sachin is irreplaceable, because of the kind of batting he does and the kind of experience he has got… Also because of the amount of suggestions he can come up with. So, from that point of view, we will definitely miss him,” Dhoni said.
However, that Sachin will still be available for Test cricket is something that Dhoni is counting upon. “The good thing is that he is playing in one of the formats… So, there will be plenty for the youngsters to learn from him,” he said.