After India's sensational World Cup triumph, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has deemed skipper MS Dhoni the best captain he has played under in his 22-year career in cricket.
That is some compliment coming from a man who has played under the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin, Anil Kumble, Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.
He (Dhoni) is the best captain I have played under. Tendulkar said. He is very sharp and always alert. He reads the situation well and is open to sharing ideas. He always has discussions with bowlers, batsmen and senior players separately. He is always calm and never shows his frustration. These are some of the human qualities which have made him such a good captain. He is a fantastic captain.
After losing the openers early, India rode on the shoulders of Gautham Gambhir and MS Dhoni to beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The progress till the finals was no easy task either as the men in blue had to secure hard-fought wins over Australia and Pakistan in knock-out stages after an under-par group stage performance.
Tendulkar admitted that peaking at the right time helped the team. In the knockout stage we peaked at the right time; it was most important. We knew either the batting was clicking, or bowling, or fielding but everything was not clicking together, but in the last three games. Everybody contributed, right from seniors to the juniors in the team. No one can guarantee results but efforts can be (guaranteed).
One factor guaranteed for the Indian cricket team is pressure, and how well it is handled pressure makes the results. Tendulkar said that the team focused on individual performances to cope with the pressure.
Pressure and expectation are always there, we were thinking that as individuals we should perform our best. We were not thinking that if a bowler fails, others will take wickets like that; we wanted to do our individual best and perform as a team. The responsibility is on all the team members equally. Like me, it was the dream of all the team members to get this World Cup.
Tendulkar then paid tribute to the outgoing coach South Africa's Gary Kirsten saying he respected his decision to leave though admitted that he would like him to continue and that the team would miss him.