Off The Field

I declined captaincy and recommended MS Dhoni to BCCI in 2007, says Tendulkar

Written by Abhishek Patil

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar on Friday talked about his role in persuading the then BCCI president Sharad Pawar to make Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the India captain in white-ball cricket in 2007.

On Thursday, Dhoni, one of India’s most successful captains in all formats of the game, handed over the captaincy of Chennai Super Kings, the IPL franchise he represented since the inaugural year in 2008, to Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the 2024 edition of the T20 league.

Speaking exclusively on Match Centre on JioCinema, Tendulkar spoke about how he declined captaincy and instead recommended Dhoni for the same, in 2007,

“Actually, it was the President of BCCI in 2007, Mr Sharad Pawar, he asked me to lead India. I said, ‘My body is in terrible shape, I don’t think a captain who will every now and then go to the dressing room and have his ankle strapped or some treatment on his shoulder and all that, it’s not the right thing to happen to our team.’

“My observation of MS Dhoni has been very good because I’ve been fielding in slips, I’ve had multiple conversations with him. Invariably, I’d ask him, ‘What would you have done right now?’ And the answers were balanced. He’s very intuitive, he’s instinctive, and the awareness of that given moment is remarkable,” Tendulkar told Match Centre on JioCinema.

Tendulkar added, “His mind is very stable, he’s calm, he’s instinctive, and takes the right decisions. At that time, I recommended him to the BCCI President and said, ‘I see leadership qualities in him, so you should consider him.”

And the rest, as they say, is history as Dhoni eventually ended his career as one of the most successful captains in Indian cricket and a legend in IPL, leading Chennai Super Kings to five titles.

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Abhishek Patil