July 6, 2012

Indian cricket

Tendulkar's choices may not match India needs

Abhishek Mukherjee

AR Hemant, writing for Yahoo Cricket, wonders whether Sachin Tendulkar's self-imposed periods of rest have done India any good, and if he is justifying the comment he made after scoring his hundredth hundred.

There are two points to be made here. One: normally, it’s the selectors who pick, drop or rest players. Tendulkar must be the only player in international cricket who decides when he will condescend to play, and when he will not. After the World Cup, he appeared in the IPL for Mumbai Indians, but skipped national duty in the West Indies. The selectors, who clearly need to grow a pair, obliged him and his whims every single time. To them, or to Tendulkar’s countless cheerleaders, he has earned the right to rest when he wants.

Two: let’s nitpick his 'patriotic' comments for a bit. If he’s fit, and when he clearly believes he is on top of his game, why hasn’t Tendulkar now agreed to tour Sri Lanka? Shouldn’t he be serving the country this moment? Is it because no apparent records are at stake? Is it because he knows he has the Board (and his legions of fans) by their family jewels? Or has unprecedented, incomparable success blinded the great man into believing that he can do no wrong? Another aspect that begs discussion is Tendulkar’s unwillingness to compromise on his batting positions.

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