Millennium Post

I have at times disagreed with Sachin: MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni still feels shy to speak to his idol Sachin Tendulkar off the field but says his honest opinions on a cricket field about team strategy, including occasional differences of opinions with the veteran, might have landed him the India captaincy in 2007. Dhoni said he used to have on-field discussion with Tendulkar on team strategy and would not mind disagreeing with his senior colleague even before he was made captain.

‘Tendulkar and I used to discuss team strategy on the field. If I am convinced I would even disagree with him and it happened quiet often. I think my honesty has paid dividends when he recommended me for captaincy. He might be thinking that I have learnt in quick time on different aspects of the game and team strategy,’ he said.

‘Even if I was not made the captain, it was a huge thing that Tendulkar had recommended my name for captaincy,’ the Indian captain said at the launch of a book titled Tendulkar: the Cricketer of the Century, written by New Delhi-based journalist Vimal Kumar. Dhoni revealed that when he met Tendulkar for the first time more than 10 years back, he could not speak to him but ended up serving the veteran batsman drinks on the field.

‘I think that was in a Duleep Trophy match in Pune in 2000-01 or 2001-02 season. I was in East Zone squad and was carrying drinks. Tendulkar made 199 in that match and he was batting when I went into the field to serve drinks to my team-mates at drinks break. Suddenly, he asked me ‘can I have a drink also?’

‘That was my first meeting with Tendulkar, my idol. I did not speak any word to him and ended serving a drink to him,’ Dhoni said during a light-hearted conversation with the audience as Tendulkar left soon after the book was released. Asked about his first interaction with Tendulkar, Dhoni said, ‘That was in 2004 December when India toured Bangladesh. I first spoke to him, he said ‘Hi How are you?’ while welcoming me in the team.

‘That tour ended in five days. There was the whole team, Tendulkar was sitting at the middle portion of a long table, Dada (Sourav Ganguly) and Rahul (Dravid) bhai was also there. I was told to make a speech in front of them, standing up on a chair,’ Dhoni said.
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