Video - MS Dhoni Lauds 'Star' Sachin Tendulkar
Watch as India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni pays tribute to Sachin Tendulkar, who will retire following the second and final Test against the West Indies in Mumbai.
His 200th Test will be his final act as an international cricketer and the whole country is gearing up to bid him farewell.
Asked about Tendulkar during his pre-match press conference, Dhoni talked about the way Tendulkar had managed to handle the off-field pressure during his time as a cricketer as being as impressive as his list of on-field accomplishments.
Few cricketers have ever had to deal with the sort of weight of expectation that Tendulkar has been burdened with each time he walks to the crease yet he has managed to cope with it and still deliver match-winning performances.
"It's not only the cricketing aspect, but I think what is difficult to handle in India is how you handle the success, the expectation level of the people," Dhoni began.
"We are expected to win each and every game which is not possible. So they ask about the other greats but the one thing they didn't have to deal with and that was the expectation level.
"When you are doing well that exerts a bit of pressure, puts a bit of pressure on you. But imagine when you are going through a lean patch and the expectation only goes in one direction - it only goes up it never comes down.
He (Sachin) had to handle all those things. I have seen some of the other quality cricketers and they handle the cricketing pressure quite well but when it comes to handling the pressures that are not directly related to cricket they buckle down.
"So I think in that way he has been fantastic and there is plenty to learn from him, right from '89 he became a big star and now for nearly a quarter of a century he has played for India and he has always been the star."
When Tendulkar made his debut as a fresh-faced teenager in 1989, most of his current team-mates were very young children, including Mohammad Shami, who Dhoni said turned the first Test decisively in India's favour.
The home side went on to win by an innings and 51 runs with Shami taking nine wickets on debut.
"It didn't look like a wicket where the teams should have ended in three days, but in cricket I think we have seen irrespective of the wicket bowlers bowling excellent spells and taking wickets and I think that is what really happened in the last game," Dhoni said.
"I think (Mohammad) Shami bowled really well and he was bowling the right length which was the key factor on the Indian wicket. When we got reverse swing he became much more effective, so I think it was because of the bowler more than anything else."
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