Mumbai: As the hype surrounding Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement reaches a crescendo, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the senior batsman should simply “enjoy his last Test match to the fullest” as there are “no guarantees” of a fairytale hundred that all his fans are hoping for.
As India get set to take on the West Indies in the second and final Test, Dhoni found himself questioned relentlessly on just one man — Tendulkar, who would be retiring at the end of it. “I would like him (Tendulkar) to enjoy his last Test match. As much as you want him to score hundred, double hundred or triple hundred, you can’t guarantee performance,” Dhoni said in a very practical reply to one of the innumerable questions he answered about the retiring legend in the pre-match press conference today.
But Dhoni certainly wants Tendulkar, the ‘Man with Golden Arm’ to get a few breakthroughs. “Since this is his last Test match, I would like him to enjoy to the fullest and may be get a few wickets for us. That will be fun as one expects some turn and bounce from the wicket,” Dhoni said.
It was inevitable that all questions were directly or indirectly related to Tendulkar but Dhoni again stressed that “focus was on the match” as there was “no point talking about the distractions”. “It will be one of the greatest matches in cricketing history but as it is his last game, we need to keep it as normal as possible. There are plenty of things going around. We have done our best to keep focus at the right place. For us, enjoying the moment is the key,” the skipper said.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma.
Darren Sammy (capt), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sheldon Cotterrell, Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Chris Gayle, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Shannon Gabriel, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford and Chadwick Walton.
Match starts: 9:30 am