‘I realised that I couldn’t play like him.’ But in my heart…’: Dhoni’s million-dollar remark about his ‘idol’ wins praise

MS Dhoni may have become one of the world’s most famous sports figures during his glittering career, but he was part of the generation that grew up watching Sachin Tendulkar at the pinnacle of his powers. Over the course of his illustrious career, former India captain MS Dhoni may have become one of the biggest names in world cricket and, indeed, sports in general. However, he was one of many youngsters in the country in the late 1990s who got to see the best of Sachin Tendulkar and idolised the batting legend. 
In a recent interaction with students at the MS Dhoni Global School, Dhoni stated that as a child, he looked up to Sachin Tendulkar. “Sachin Tendulkar has always been my cricketing role model.” I was exactly like you guys; I used to watch Sachin Tendulkar play and fantasise about playing like him. Later on, I realised that I couldn’t play like him, but in my heart, I always wanted to. “He was my cricketing idol growing up,” Dhoni said. 
Dhoni made his international debut in 2004, becoming Tendulkar’s teammate for nearly the final ten years of the latter’s remarkable career. The pair had a number of notable partnerships across formats, with Dhoni being on the receiving end when Tendulkar became the first male player to score a double century in ODI cricket. In that match, Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 68 in just 35 balls, scoring the majority of the runs as he and Tendulkar put up 101 runs for the fourth wicket off just 54 balls. 
Dhoni also led India to victory in the 2011 World Cup, which Tendulkar also played in. Tendulkar would say a few days after India won the World Cup that Dhoni was the best captain he had ever played for. Tendulkar said in Mumbai, “He [Dhoni] is the best captain I have ever played under.” “He is very sharp and always on the lookout. He has a good sense of the situation and is open to new ideas. He always has separate discussions with bowlers, batsmen, and senior players. He is always composed and never shows signs of frustration. These are some of the human qualities that have contributed to his success as a captain. He is an excellent captain. “

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