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'Sachin changes dressing room atmosphere completely'

cricket Updated: Mar 02, 2009 20:31 IST
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On the back foot after twin Twenty20 losses to New Zealand, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday said Sachin Tendulkar's return to the side has boosted the team's morale ahead of the one-day series.

"He is a great player. Not only from a batting or bowling point of view, if you see the amount of contribution he can make to the side from his experience is amazing. He changes the dressing room atmosphere completely," said Dhoni ahead of the day-night ODI series opener.

Dhoni said he cannot quantify Tendulkar's influence on the team and the opponents.

"That is very difficult for me to answer. But when he was playing against us (Chennai Super Kings) for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, it played on your mind. The amount of ideas he has got apart from being a very talented and aggressive cricketer is phenomenal.

"And there are lots of things you have to be careful about him. You have to be careful about each and everything you do out on the field," said Dhoni.

India, the pre-series favourites, have been pulled back by defeats in the Twenty20 matches, which were given a miss by Tendulkar.