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Would’ve dropped Sachin Tendulkar, says Sandeep Patil

NationalWould've dropped Sachin Tendulkar, says Sandeep Patil

MUMBAI: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar would have been dropped from the Indian ODI team in 2012 had he not announced his retirement, former chief selector Sandeep Patil revealed in an interview to Marathi channel ‘ABP Majha’ on Wednesday. It was heavily speculated in the media at the time of Tendulkar’s retirement that he had been nudged by the selectors to leave. “On December 12, 2012, we met Sachin and asked him about his future plans. 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,” Patil made this stunning revelation. In an interview to the same group’s website, though, Patil has come out with a slightly different version of how he ‘managed’ Tendulkar’s ODI retirement. “As long as I remember, it was December 12, 2012, Nagpur. Sachin got out and the selectors decided to meet him and ask him about his wish. I was the one who staged the meet, being the chairman of selectors, and it was purely to understand what was running in his mind. It was apatil good thing to do. It did not happen in one day, one month or one year, it took two long years. Sachin retired in 2013. The meeting in Nagpur was just to ask his plans. Sachin wanted to concentrate more on Test cricket. So, it was decided that he would retire from One-day cricket. He called me and Sanjay Jagdale (then BCCI secretary). Then it was collectively decided that he would retire from ODIs.” Ironically, in his last press conference before he quit as chief selector, Patil had skirted+ the question on whether Tendulkar was told in advance to call it a day before the hurriedly arranged three-Test series against the West Indies in 2013. “There are some matters between the selectors and BCCI which should remain confidential and cannot be revealed,” Patil had then said. Tendulkar had received an emotional farewell at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, his hometown, in November 2013. ‘Dhoni’s decision to quit Tests was shocking’ Patil also felt that MS Dhoni+ ‘s decision to retire from Tests in the middle of a Test series against Australia in December 2014 was “shocking.” “Things didn’t move in our favour, and in that backdrop one of your senior players decided to hang his gloves. That was shocking, but in the end, it was his decision,” the 1983 World Cup winner said. Patil also revealed that his panel did mull sacking Dhoni as a captain, but then decided to stick to the man who led India to their second World Cup triumph in 2011. “We, of course, had a brief discussion about it 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. New captain should be given some time to set things right. Keeping in mind the World Cup, we chose to go with Dhoni. I believe Virat got the captaincy at the right time and he can lead the team in shorter formats as well. The decision rests with the new selection committee,” Patil said. Asked to compare the captaincy of Dhoni and Kohli, the former Mumbai stalwart said that they are poles apart. “North Pole and South Pole. Every captain has a desire to create his own team and knows the ability of his players. Virat is known as the ‘Angry Young Man’ but it’s controlled aggression. Dhoni keep calm but always spoke his mind. I feel disappointed when I read reports about Dhoni’s relation with Gambhir and Yuvraj. Dhoni never opposed their selection,” said Patil.
“It was completely the selectors’ decision to drop them and Dhoni did not have any say in dropping Gambhir and Yuvraj. Both the captains never opposed any player.”

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