'He taught us how to be humble'

'He taught  us how to be humble'

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni paid rich tributes to Sachin Tendulkar, who announced his retirement from one-day cricket on Sunday, terming the master batsman as an inspiration to millions who wanted to take up cricket.

“Paaji has announced his retirement from ODIs, as all you know. I want to say a few words about him. We’re disappointed we won’t see his 50th century in coloured clothing or the 100th half-century – he was four short of that. That’s something we’ll definitely miss. He’s been an inspiration to thousands and millions of people who want to take up the sport,” Dhoni told reporters here on Monday.

Dhoni said Tendulkar was a model cricketer and human being, whom they looked up to learn about life and sport.

“He made us learn a lot of things. As youngsters when we came into the side, it was important to see how he prepared himself for each and every game. For him, every game was a big game. At the same time, he showed us how to be humble in life, how to digest success – which is one of the most difficult things to do. I personally learnt a lot from him.
Whenever I got a chance to bat in the ODI format -- how he calculated the innings, how he told us which bowlers we could target and what the target in the next four or five overs should be, whom we may bowl – all those things.”

“His contribution is immense; we’ll definitely miss him. But the good thing is that he’ll play in one of the formats.” Dhoni, however, said they have a good set of youngsters and experienced players to take the side to the future. “He’s not played all the series for quite some time now. It gave an opportunity to youngsters to get exposed to international cricket. We still had experienced cricketers  - Gautam, Sehwag, and Yuvraj – in his absence. Tendulkar is difficult to replace, he’s irreplaceable.”

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