Monday, April 4, 2011

Dhoni's best captain I have played for: Sachin

Mumbai: The entire Indian team said as a man that it had won that biggest prize of all - the World Cup - for Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin expressed gratitude on Monday to his teammates for that gesture, to God for the win and said MS Dhoni was the best captain he had played for.

Big words of praise. "He stayed calm, very alert. Situational awareness has been his biggest strength. He reads the situation well, is open to ideas, and above all he stays calm doesn't show frustration…To know the likes and dislikes of every individual is very important. And he's been at it throughout the tournament," Sachin said about the man now universally known as Captain Cool.

Sachin also talked at the press conference about the pressure of expectations - his own more than any other. And said the team went into the final not thinking about lifting the Cup, but thinking of the process. We're thinking of limiting them to the smallest total possible. In the knockout stage, we peaked at the right time…clicked together at right time. We batted, fielded and bowled well. You see effort from all players. From senior-most to junior-most. Performance no one can guarantee, but effort you can guarantee," he said.

And after winning, the arguably greatest batsman said they "had to pinch ourselves to be sure this was real." The victory was sweeter as came at Wankhede stadium, where, in 1987, Sunil Gavaskar took ball boy Sachin Tendulkar to the dressing room and introduced him to other players. "That was a big day but this was a bigger day," Sachin reminisced.

And more memories. When India won the World Cup last, in 1983, Sachin was 10 years old. He remembers the semi-final knock that Sandeep Patil played against England.

The master blaster had a word for Guru Gary - Gary Kirsten who has announced that he will not be continuing as the Indian cricket team's coach. "Personally, I would say Gary (Kirsten) should continue but he has family commitments.  I respect his decision. We will miss him a lot.  It's been a pleasure to work with him. He's probably worked harder than anyone else. He worked like a machine."

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