‘Sachin Tendulkar didn’t have a strong team but he wasn’t the most motivational captain either’
Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, an ardent cricket follower, has said that he was never convinced of Sachin Tendulkar’s skills as a captain. Tharoor felt he thought Tendulkar was the best choice to captain India in the mid-1990s but his perception changed when he was given the responsibility and didn’t return the best results.
“I thought Tendulkar was the best possible captain of India before he became captain. Because when he was not captain, he was so active - he was fielding in the slips, running up to the captain of the day, giving advice and encouragement,” Tharoor told SportsKeeda in an interview.
Tendulkar was made captain in the year 1996, and in the 73 ODIs he led India in, the team won 23 matches, while losing 43 – his win percentage was an underwhelming 35.07. In Tests, Tendulkar’s record as captain was even worse, with India winning just four and losing nine of the 25 matches he captained the team. Win percentage: an abysmal 16.
“I said let’s make this guy captain because he really is there in every way. When he became captain, it didn’t work out. He had a not terribly strong Indian team in his days of captaincy, but he himself would admit that was not the most inspirational, motivational captain,” Tharoor added.
“This was partially because he had his own batting to think about. And in the end, he happily gave up captaincy and refused to take it when it was offered again later.”
Under Tendulkar, India had one of their worse overseas tours ever in the year 1999 when the team went to Australia. India were blanked 0-3 in the Test series and won just one out of the 14 matches in the ODI tri-series involving Pakistan as the third team. Tendulkar would captain India in another couple of Test matches back home before he was replaced by Sourav Ganguly in the year 2000.