Dhoni: 'Greatest' Tendulkar must enjoy finale

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has lauded Sachin Tendulkar as the 'greatest' cricketer, not only for his runs and records, but because of the way he has handled the pressure over the past 24 years.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has lauded Sachin Tendulkar as the 'greatest' cricketer, not only for his runs and records, but because of the way he has handled the pressure over the past 24 years.

Tendulkar will play his 200th and final Test at the Wankhede Stadium, starting on Thursday against the West Indies, and is the only batsman to score 100 first class centuries. He is also the top Test run-scorer, closing in on 16 000 runs.

The skipper said on the eve of 40-year-old Tendulkar's swansong in Mumbai: "As far as Sachin is concerned, I will consider him as the greatest.

"When it comes to Indian cricket, you are under the microscope and he has been under it from the start. Test cricket has changed significantly since he started in 1989, so have ODIs and then there was the introduction of the T20 format.

"But it's not only the cricketing aspect. I think what's difficult in India is how you handle the success and the expectation level of the people. We are expected to win each and every game which is not possible.

"So there are other greats but there's one thing that they didn't have to deal with like Sachin and that was the incredible expectation. In that way, Sachin has been fantastic and there's plenty to learn from him.

"As long as he has played for India, he has always been a star."

When asked what he hoped Tendulkar took away from the match, Dhoni added: "What I'd like most is for him to enjoy it because you can't really guarantee anything.

"You can say it's 100, double hundred, triple hundred, 400, 500, whatever, but at the end of the day, what's most important is that it's his last Test match and it's really important that he enjoys it."