Sachin Tendulkar's reluctance to continue as skipper following the abysmal tour of Australia in 1999-2000 and wish to concentrate solely on his batting paved way for a significant period in Indian cricket where Sourav Ganguly led the national side, recalled former BCCI chairman of selectors, Chandu Borde.
After returning from the disastrous trip down under, where Team India won just one of its fourteen international matches, Tendulkar decided to resign as captain at the end of the two home Test matches against South Africa that followed immediately.
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It isn't that Tendulkar was woefully out of form. He, in fact, scored a great hundred at Melbourne and was India's highest run-scorer in the 3-0 Test series loss to the Aussies. But the Master Blaster felt he is not been able to give his best at his main job of scoring runs with the extra burden of captaincy.
"See, if you remember, Sachin, we had sent him as a captain to Australia, and he led the side there, but when he came back, he didn’t want to continue,” Borde told SportsKeeda.
"He said, ‘No, I want to concentrate on my batting.’ Therefore, I tried to convince him to lead the side for a long time because we were on the lookout for a new captain, a new generation."
Tendulkar's first tenure as captain began in 1996, when apart from the defeats that followed, the stint was marred with talks of rift with Mohammed Azharuddin, whom he had taken over from.
Then the second one, just ahead of the tour of Australia despite having initially told the selectors that he doesn't want to become the captain again, ended in miserable fashion as well.
After the 2-0 whitewash at home to South Africa, the ODIs were approaching. And with Tendulkar having already decided to quit captaincy despite Borde's insistence, the selectors and the management went for Ganguly.
"But he said, ‘I want to concentrate on my batting because I could not get the performance that I wanted to put in for the team.’ And this is what happened," Borde said.
"So, in fact, some of my colleagues were annoyed with me. They said, ‘Why are you insisting him to continue all the time!’ I said we are looking forward to the future, but then in the end we had selected Ganguly."
(Inputs from Sportskeeda)