Sachin-less India still dominant in world cricket with Dhoni at the helm
Wellington: The India squad to play New Zealand in a five-ODI, two-Test tour is as dominant a force in world cricket as at any stage when retired batting great Sachin Tendulkar donned the pads, according to a report.
The absence of Tendulkar, who holds cricket records unlikely to ever be broken - 200 Test matches and 100 international hundreds, would cast a shadow on the touring squad, which would open their month-long visit in Napier on Sunday as the top-ranked ODI team, with the World Cup and Champions Trophy in the cabinet.
However, Stuff.co.nz reports that even though captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni does not quite carry the god-like status of Tendulkar, his influence on Indian cricket is arguably greater as he became the first player to captain India in 50 tests and has almost broken the mould of `longevity and Indian cricket`.
The report mentioned that Dhoni, who is seemingly unaffected by media demands and expectation, has led India in 26 of their 34 ODIs last year, of which they won 22, along with eight Tests and has also not wearied by the pressure of crouching behind the stumps.
Although India does not have the big batting names of past visits, but the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Dhoni would not need a second chance to threaten 400 if the pitches are docile and the bowling a touch wayward, the report added.