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Dhoni is the best captain I have played under: Sachin

Mumbai: Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar on Monday said that winning the World Cup was the biggest moment of his life and that it was the team’s self belief that had helped them lift the coveted trophy after a gap of 28 years.

Talking to reporters a couple of days after India’s historic triumph against Sri Lanka in the 2011 cricket World Cup final, an emotionally charged Tendulkar said that the Indian team had displayed tremendous maturity even in times of crisis.

“We were charged up and focused just when the big moment arrived. The team did not feel too much pressure and kept calm at crucial junctures. We were just thinking about giving it our best,” he said.

Recalling another unforgettable moment of his cricketing journey, Tendulkar said:

“During the 1987 World Cup when I was a ball boy, (Sunil) Gavaskar took me to the players’ dressing room. It was a big moment in my life but Wankede was an even bigger occasion.”

On being asked about the secret behind their success, Tendulkar said that the current set of players was extremely talented and played with a lot of determination.

“The players are talented and have a lot of self belief. Every member of the team has contributed and that is how you win such a big tournament. We just wanted to do it for the country.”

Sachin was all praise for coach Gary Kirsten, who was in his last tournament as the coach of Team India.

“I would say that Gary should continue but he has family commitments. He has taken the decision after a lot of thought and I respect his decision. It has been a pleasure to work with him and as a team we will miss him. He has worked really hard for this victory.”

When queried about his reaction after winning the trophy, Sachin said that it was an extremely emotional moment.

“I became extremely emotional. They were happy tears… it has never happened in my life before. To do a lap like that was extremely emotional. I thank the teammates for that gesture. What a way to end the World Cup.”

Tendulkar has played six World Cups in his career but it was under Dhoni that the iconic batsman realised his dream of becoming a part of a winning team

“He (Dhoni) is the best captain I have played under. 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,” said Tendulkar.

“One good thing is 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,” he added.

Tendulkar feels the team peaked at the right time at the knockout stage after playing some close matches in the league stages of the tournament.

“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. Results no one can guarantee but efforts can be,” he said.

Asked about the finals, Tendulkar said, “We planned a lot of things ahead of the final, we discussed a lot of things, but nobody was thinking about lifting the trophy. Obviously they were at the back of our minds but we wanted to go through the process and finish the game.”

“We wanted to restrict them at the minimal total and chase the total. We were focusing on the process,” he said.

To a question as how did the team prepared for the World Cup, Tendulkar said the real preparation started after the South Africa series and the Bangalore camp helped the team to gel well.

“Preparation started some time ago but the real preparation was after the South Africa series when we spent 50-55 days together in the Bangalore camp, that really helped us,” he said.

“We had various meeting, sharing experience, thinking what we should be doing and what to avoid, it was a package which was a successful one, it helped us to bond and understand each other better.”

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