Mahendra Singh Dhoni expects Sachin Tendulkar’s final two Tests to be a box-office hit.
Reacting to the latter’s decision to bid adieu to international cricket, Dhoni said: “I am happy he retired on his own terms. We have seen big crowds, but this is one chance personally for me to see a full house at both venues. If I don’t, I don’t think I will be able to do so for the next 25-30 years.
“It (Tendulkar’s retirement) will be the end of an era. When Sachin started playing for India, I was around eight years old.
“I cannot remember what happened in ’83 (India’s World Cup win), but close to the ’90s is where we are generally able to recall what happened,” added Dhoni
After the second Test against England in Mumbai in 2012, Dhoni was not ready to comment on when Tendulkar would retire, but after the team’s optional net session at the Gahunje Stadium here on Saturday, the India skipper said: “I knew it was coming. I am happy about the illustrious career he has had, the time he was at the top throughout his 24-year career and for carrying the expectations of so many Indians…
“At times, Indian fans have had very high expectations; so to bear all that and at the same time come up with such performances was fantastic.
“When you are the leading batsman for your team and country for a considerable period of time, where everybody scrutinises each and everything, you have to deal with many things.
“Cricket was Sachin’s passion, but he had to deal with other things that go around Indian cricket; so if you take all that into account, he has had a fantastic career.
“We also shouldn’t forget that he had had a few injuries and, talking to him, I felt the rehabilitation was even more painful than the injury,” said Dhoni.
Dhoni added that he would be disappointed when Tendulkar finally hangs up his boots, and that he would like to enjoy his last two Tests.
“I am a bit disappointed on that count (retirement) and would rather enjoy the remaining two Tests to the fullest (with Tendulkar). There are plenty of things I have learnt from him and a press conference will not be enough to go into all of them.
“I think I learnt how to read the game, especially in ODIs, the time to target a bowler...”
Dhoni also felt there would be enough time for the players to deal with the emotional aspect of Tendulkar’s retirement.
“We will take care of it. It is very important that we be in the present. The players understand that they have got enough time to figure it out.’’