Tendulkar was almost dropped: selector

23 September 2016

Tendulkar announced his ODI retirement in 2012 // Getty Images

Former selector says Tendulkar's retirement saved him from being dropped, discusses Dhoni's Test retirement

Recently retired India selector Sandeep Patil has revealed Sachin Tendulkar would have "definitely" been dropped from the ODI side had The Little Master not announced his retirement in late 2012.

And Patil, a 1983 World Cup winner, says selectors also seriously considered the future of captain MS Dhoni just months before the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Patil, whose four-year stint as India's chief selector ended this month, said selectors met with Tendulkar in the middle of December almost four years ago to discuss the star batsman's future in the game.

According to Patil, Tendulkar had no plans to retire at the time but less than two weeks later, amid media speculation that his playing future was on the line, he announced the end of his ODI career.

"On December 12, 2012, we met Sachin and asked him about his future plans," Patil told ABP Majha.

Tendulkar in 2012 celebrating his 100th international 100 // Getty
Tendulkar in 2012 celebrating his 100th international 100 // Getty

"He said he did not have retirement on his mind. But the selection committee had reached a consensus on Sachin ... and had informed the board too about it.

"Perhaps Sachin understood what was coming because at the time of the next meeting, Sachin called and said he was retiring (from ODIs).

"If he had not announced his decision to quit then, we would have definitely dropped him."

Tendulkar ended his ODI career after 463 matches and 49 centuries, including the first-ever score of 200 in a men's one-day international.

Patil also revealed selectors had considered sacking Dhoni as ODI captain following his "shocking" decision to retire from Test cricket following the 2014 Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

Dhoni walks from the MCG during his final Test match // Getty
Dhoni walks from the MCG during his final Test match // Getty

But with just six weeks between Dhoni's Test retirement and the start of India's World Cup title defence, Patil says selectors stuck with the incumbent skipper.

"Things didn't move in our favour, and in that backdrop one of your senior players decided to hang his gloves," Patil said of Dhoni's Test retirement.

"That was shocking, but in the end, it was his decision.

"We, of course, had a brief discussion about (Dhoni's ODI captaincy) on few occasions.

"We wanted to experiment by shifting the baton but we thought the time was not right as the World Cup was fast approaching.

Patil with India's current Test skipper Virat Kohli // Getty
Patil with India's current Test skipper Virat Kohli // Getty

"New captain should be given some time to set things right. Keeping in mind the World Cup, we chose to go with Dhoni."

Dhoni handed the Test captaincy over to Virat Kohli following his Test retirement, but he remains India's ODI and T20 captain.

Patil said the end of Dhoni's limited-overs career will be determined by the new selection panel.

"I believe Virat got the Test captaincy at the right time and he can lead the team in shorter formats as well," he said.

"The decision rests with the new selection committee."

Meg Lanning Steve Smith

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