batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was convinced of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s ability
to read the game after observing him from the slips and believed the former wicket keeper-batsman
was ready to captain the team.

Tendulkar suggested
Dhoni’s name for the Indian captaincy when he was asked for his opinion by the
BCCI in 2007. Senior players, including Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid
had decided to give others a chance for the inaugural ICC World T20 that year.

“I wouldn’t
get into details how it happened but yes I did say when I was asked (by the
senior BCCI people) as to what do I think,” Tendulkar told PTI.

“I had
mentioned that I won’t be going to SA as I had suffered few injuries. But
back then, I used to stand in the slip cordon and I used to interact with MS
and understand what he was thinking, the field setting and I would discuss all
those aspects.”

observed his match reading and I came to a conclusion that he had a good
cricketing brain so I suggested to the board that this is what I feel. MS
should be the next one to take charge,” Tendulkar recollected.

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“Whatever I
was thinking and whatever he thought, we were more or less on the same page. If
I have to convince you about something, I have to be on your page and that is
exactly what happened with MS. We both were thinking alike and that’s why I
suggested he should be the one.”

Dhoni was
promoted as the captain of the Test squad in 2008, a time when the team already
had senior cricketers like Tendulkar, Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag,
Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.

said that he never had any aspirations to become the captain and that he only
wanted to help the team win every match they played.

“I can only
speak for myself that I didn’t have any aspirations to become captain. I can
tell you that I never wanted to become captain.”

that whoever the captain was, I was going to give 100% all the time,” said the master blaster. 

Mumbai-born batsman said players looked up to him like an elder brother because
of his seniority in the side.

MS became the Test captain in 2008, I had completed almost 19 years in
international cricket. After having played that long, I also understood my
responsibility. They looked up to me as an elder brother and it was my duty to
guide them and tell them what I feel,” he said.

the highest scoring batsman in international cricket, highlighted Dhoni’s role
in the emergence of world-class talents like Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja, saying
he always gave confidence to the players he believed in.

“I think
for any player to have the captain’s faith in your abilities makes a huge
difference. It’s not just this generation but all generations, players have
needed support. It surely helps. MS having confidence in a number of players in
the team has surely helped us without any doubt,” he said.

further lauded Dhoni’s ability to separate his personal and professional equation
with players.

“I firmly believe
that friendship and cricket can be two separate things. You can be friends but
that should not affect your ability to take decisions as a captain you want to
take. Friendship shouldn’t be dependent on that.”