Sachin Tendulkar was at the top of world cricket ‘for 23 years’, says Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Image courtesy of: The Guardian

“He had to carry the expectations of so many Indians”

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the latest cricketer to pay tribute to Sachin Tendulkar, who announced that he would be retiring after his 200th Test, which will come against the West Indies in his hometown of Mumbai next month.

Dhoni noted that the ‘Little Master’ had been “at the top” of world cricket for the past 23 years, while also revealing that he knew Tendulkar’s retirement “was coming”.

“I knew it (retirement) was coming,” Dhoni said. “I am quite happy for him, for the kind of illustrious career he has had, for the time he was at the top throughout his career. For 23 years or so he was always at the top.

“When you are the top batsman for your side for a considerable period of time, everyone scrutinises your performance when you score or don’t score runs. He had to carry the expectations of so many Indians. At times the Indian fans set very high level of expectations. To bear with all of that and to come up with the performances that he came up with is fantastic.”

Both the Test matches against the West Indies next month are highly likely to be sold out, which Dhoni is extremely excited about since “it will give me an opportunity to see a [full-house] Test match”.

“I think at the moment we would rather enjoy the two Test matches to the fullest,” he said. “It will give me an opportunity to see a house-full Test match. I have seen big crowds coming in, but it’s one chance I will see a [full-house] crowd hopefully in both the venues. If I am not able to then in the next 25-30 years I don’t think I will see a house-full Test match.”

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