England in India 2012-13

Allow Tendulkar his struggle

People want him to retire because they want to live with happier memories. That's selfish. He works hard to be an India player, and is not going to give it away just because we don't find it pretty

Sidharth Monga

November 29, 2012

Comments: 281 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar inspects his bat during training, Champions League T20, Cape Town, October 17, 2012
It is not easy for Sachin Tendulkar to be playing below the level he is used to and to swallow his ego, in order to keep doing something he can't imagine life without © Getty Images
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Old Father Time has consumed another one, after Rahul Dravid, Mark Boucher, VVS Laxman and Andrew Strauss earlier this year. Thursday has had the feel of one long twilight. You would have thought that whoever took Ricky Ponting out would have to drag a kicking and screaming man with his pads on, wanting to play one more hook. However, even he has left in what is seemingly a tame manner. Father Time works quietly. You know he's always there, but in the end he always gives the impression he just crept up. Removing the bails off Ponting's stumps is but a distraction for him, keeping him from moving on to others.

Moving on to other remnants of his era. A stocky allrounder who has defied laws of average by not getting injured, and then coming back within a week when injury finally caught up with him. And others who made their Test debut even before Ponting's, about 17 years ago. A man with a protective gear one size too big and a stance that shouldn't have lasted 18 days but has endured for 18 years.

Only last week, Jacques Kallis had Ponting on the floor with an outswinger. Around the same time, Shivnarine Chanderpaul finished Man of the Series in Bangladesh. So the focus of mortality has been deflected to the only other survivor among those who were playing Test cricket in 1995. Seamlessly, ruthlessly, and out of pure human nature. At least in India, almost everybody has reacted to the news of Ponting's retirement with "what about Sachin Tendulkar?"

By the time he goes out to bat at Eden Gardens, Tendulkar will have gone 23 months without a Test century, the longest such period in his career. When Monty Panesar trapped him lbw at his home ground, he had gone 10 innings without reaching 30, again the longest ever. Without a doubt this has been his leanest phase.

People are struggling to come to terms with his mortality. They want him to retire because they want to live with happier memories. That's selfish. Allow the man his struggle. He works hard to be an India player, and is not going to give it away just because we don't find it pretty.

This is fascinating to follow too. It is not easy for someone like Tendulkar to be playing below the level he is used to, to swallow his ego, to struggle against bowlers he could have dominated without breaking sweat, in order to keep doing something he can't imagine life without. This phase might end up telling us more about Tendulkar than all those years of prosperity.

It is understandable for people to find it painful to watch him misjudge the length of spinners, to get rattled by a Brett Lee bouncer in an ODI in Brisbane and start playing ugly premeditated strokes, to have his place in the side questioned. However, question the form all you want, not his utility to the team. Dravid and Laxman have just retired, you need some experience in that middle order, someone who has played in South Africa before - provided he feels he is fit enough to last until that tour.

As for Tendulkar's place in the side, let's also apply the same yardstick for some others. Gautam Gambhir has struggled for longer, Yuvraj Singh has looked more out of sorts, Zaheer Khan is less fit, and R Ashwin is less athletic than Tendulkar. The elephant that nobody used to speak about is now hiding other people's failures just because he is so big. During a Test that was the biggest failure of Indian spinners - on a designer track, after winning the toss, and with runs on board - all we saw was people telling Tendulkar it's time to go.

It's not that Tendulkar is getting any preferential treatment from the Indian selectors, it's just that Indian cricket is going through a phase weak enough to justify his continued selection. If the cupboard was brimming with such exceptional talent, why would we keep going back to Suresh Raina and Yuvraj?

There is something we can safely agree on, although it is not fair. Tendulkar will not be dropped; he will have to save the selectors that pressure, and take it all upon himself. In a country where it is big news that he has reportedly told selectors it is their call, Tendulkar's retirement is not a standalone decision.

In a perfect world, he would just be dropped when he merited it, and asked to go and score runs in Ranji Trophy if he wanted to come back. That's not going to happen. That's not how Indian cricket works. Even in this non-utopian world, had he seen a fixed No. 6, a proper replacement for Laxman, he would have felt the need to make way for another youngster. There is no one putting that kind of pressure on Tendulkar right now.

On relative performance alone - yes, it has come down to that and why shouldn't it? - we can't ask Tendulkar to retire. It's the age that is not on his side, and it will be wrong if he plays all the home Tests and retires before the South Africa tour, sending a virtual debutant to the vultures. If he feels that barring unforeseen injuries he can make it to South Africa - and he is the best judge of his fitness - he should continue. It is not the ideal situation, but India are hardly the ideal team.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Vikiboy07 on (December 2, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

Like millions it was Sachin who lured me into watching this beautiful game..Since the age of 6 i would switch off d t.v set everytime sachin got out only to switch it back on after a few mins and see India's fate in the contest..Ups and downs came in his form but now i can't watch him bat..it really hurts..the tentativeness d fear of getting out is writ large on his face..Yes he is no Superman at 40 but what really disappoints is his approach..Can't watch wicked english witch take down my hero,Tendulkar d lion Aslan on Dhoni's turning stone table:P..One last time roar and take down d enemy...All we millions wish to c is some decisiveness nd confidence in approach...with greatness assured all we wish is to c dat vintage spark dat boyish charm dat zeal to contribute back on ur face Tendya:)

Posted by SixoverSlips on (December 2, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

All this retirement talk is just sensationalist talk from petty people. Just because a batsman hasn't scored a century for a while, he is in bad form? 73s and 80s don't count? Just the series before last series, he made 73 and 80 in the first and second tests against Australia. 30s, 40s and 50s hint at a batsman in poor form. In fact, Tendulkar looked very fluent and good as the Australia series began. All the experts commentating at that time agreed how Tendulkar has been in such good nick even if those are not getting converted a hundred or double hundred. Just a few bowled dismissals against New Zealand and couple of good deliveries against England, Tendulkar should retire? I haven't seen much from Tendulkar that shows he struggles. He looks to be in good nick, and I hope he shuts you all up like so many times he has done in his career.

Posted by TendulkarDgr8 on (December 2, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

Everyone who is talking so much about Sachin's retirement, can you guys answer one question? It has been 4 yrs since Ganguly's retirement and we are still searching for a good replacement for him... Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina etc are still struggling to cement there place in the side.. You guys are harping continuously about not giving youngster a chance but there is no one to grab the opportunity that is open currently...

Posted by akashchandran on (December 2, 2012, 7:09 GMT)

Some people here have commented that they hate to see Sachin scoring a century in Kolkutta for it would mean that delaying his retirement. Scoring a Test Century is not an easy thing, they must understand. I think they are thinking too much on how we build a team for the future. We are already missing at least one of Dravid and Laxman in this present team with Sachin out of form and except Pujara none of the others showing enough fight. It is in the interest of India team that Sachin gets back in form and plays another year or two of Test cricket.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 2, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

Had Sid ever answered the following - what good is it to anybody, either to Indian Cricket or to the youngster, that instead of giving a chance for a youngster to fail, struggle, duck, get hit, get cleaned up, take it on the chin, soak it in and learn the tricks of the trade and then succeed, the powers that be are hapelessly and hopelessly letting an almost 40 year old player to go on and on with his woeful underperformances - he would have never come up with this article, unarguably his worst piece.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 1, 2012, 23:07 GMT)

Right now Tendulkar is the biggest liability in the Indian team. Patil should show some backbone and drop this biggest non-performer of all time!!!

Posted by diva1234 on (December 1, 2012, 21:23 GMT)

being a tendulkar fan for 20 years and also related to medical field i will advice tendulkar to check his eyes first. faulty vision changes reaction time. please dont mind tendulkar- it is just a sincere advice from a man of same age and you might have played same balls of panesar with a lot of dignity 20 years ago. nothing gives me more pleasure than the resurrection of tendulkar in cricket.

Posted by deepak_sholapurkar on (December 1, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Yes then we need to wait Sachin To come to form(May be against Bangladesh..?) If he struggle for another 5 years then is that acceptable? Is the same treatment given to Rahul/VVS do Board waited for them to score and retire or pushed for retirement?

Posted by BCCI007 on (December 1, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

Somebody has been saying we have not yet got perfect replacement for Sachin, if that is the case he mightl be playing 2017 ODI World Cup also.

Posted by vipravara on (December 1, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

Should people wait and allow SRT to perform and if so, for what? To let him bow out with satisfaction? I don't think he has anything to prove. Even if he performs now, certainly, he is NOT the future of Indian cricket by any means at 39+. Sad but true. SRT is being paid now-a-days for his reputation but NOT for his performance. Take it and don't try to paint the picture any different.

Posted by akpy on (December 1, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

I like and agree with bedi's comment....people should have played 150 tests to be eligible to advise Sachin...yes, he is not scoring as he used to but people like us know better??? Gimme a break

Posted by a1234s on (December 1, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

I see a lot of Sachin haters in here. You have to be born before the 80s or early 80s to really understand the impact Sachin has had on Indian cricket. he was the lone warrior, the guy who filled up stadiums, the guy who stood tall amidst the rubble. give the man his due. Let him decide when he wants to retire. Imagine the devastation he would caused had he been part of the Australian team. Just imagine!!!

Posted by ramli on (December 1, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

What if Sachin scores a 100 in Kolkata? Does it give him the license to go on forever? No. Even Rahul Dravid or Saurav or VVS can score a 100, should they break their retirement and rejoin the team ... SRT retirement is about giving chances to budding youngsters and allow building a good test team ...

Posted by Sanjiyan on (December 1, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

@Sidharth Monga Comparing the SA bowlers to vultures is downright offensive. They are without a doubt the finest bowling lineup in the world. A comparision to a Lion would have been more fitting. As for Sachin, he can retire anytime he wants to, as long as hes not being a liability for the team, which he is right now. I feel sorry for whoever has to take his place, as that person will most likely been sen as the one who put the nail in Tendulkars coffin. Tendulkar has been nothing short of fantastic for cricket, as Ponting has been, but no its time to take an honest look at yourself and say: I cant compete on this level anymore.

Posted by SUNDHUR on (December 1, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

There is no need to get emotional about Sachin. No can deny his supremacy and achievements in cricket which may not be matched for decades by any other cricketer. The issue is also not about Sachin's retirement or form but the way he has been getting out lately which is a cause of conern. Those were the same deliveries he handled with ease and style all along his career. We saw him struggle repeatedly oflate not able to read the bowlers or the pitch(even in his most familiar home ground) and has been getting out clean bowled! It may be better for Sachin to take a time off(like he did when he suffered from theTennis elbow problem a few years ago), get his acts together and come back when he feels confident. In the meantime, capable youngsters could take his place who are available aplenty and keeping their fingers crossed for opportunity to knock at their doors. Sachin is definitely not a cricketer who will hang in there just for the sake of creating more records as some would think!

Posted by Sageleaf on (December 1, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

Please don't be sentimental...it's time for the little master to retire gracefully! He is a class act.

Posted by Gladkick on (December 1, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

@ jb633 : Best comment ever mate. I'm not an Indian. But I still share your thinking. It is sad to see that many others don't think this way...

Posted by freemasons on (December 1, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

its too immature to blame everything on sachin tendulkar.... he started well in aus and eng... but with no support from other end what do we expect him to do??? i'm more worried about the other batsmen... and more so about the bowling department... apart from yadav... and ishant in patches none other bowler has impressed... ojha has had 2 good series... ashwin works well only against the minnows...

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 1, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

Speaking of talent, India has LOADS of talent. The fact is that the country is so corrupt that many of these talented players don't see the light of day. The BCCI is always one sided and one dimensional. To them, it's all about enticing the elite of the country. The whole thing about Tendulkar and the next best of India's test players is a sad episode. And sadly, it's all coming at the wrong time just when India have lost badly in Mumbai. I think Tendulkar should be left alone even though I feel he's well past his prime. I also strongly believe that national pride and interests must take centre stage compared to blind, emotional support from Indian fans. Yes, Tendulkar is a legend, but legends are worthy when they are spoken of, sung about and remembered. It's time to take Indian 'test' cricket forward.

Posted by Gladkick on (December 1, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

@ RandyOZ : "People are struggling to come to terms with his mortality." and you are one of them. Sachin is a flat track bully? When did you start watching cricket mate? Yesterday??? You compare Sachin with any other??? Especially with Hussey and Ponting??? I have no words to describe your knowledge...

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (December 1, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

no offence , but Sachin going to SA in this kind of form will be a complete disaster , steyn and morkel will rip through his defense without breaking a sweat

Posted by Johnny_129 on (December 1, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

What India needs right now is NOT A RETIREMENT from Tendulkar but for him to find some form and luck. Reason being, Tendulkar is one of few in this Indian team who is capable of playing an innings of substance in Tests. There are other batsman in this team inclusive of Yuvraj, Raina and even Kohli who don't seem to be quite there yet (yes, Kohli had a couple of good innings in Australia but he has not developed the required patience for Test cricket yet). Would be worth focusing on Tendulkar when all these other voids have been settled!!!

Posted by 10dulkarIndia on (December 1, 2012, 2:23 GMT)

Come on people Tendulkar got on purpose to show some humility.He can score runs when ever he can. It is time for Dhoni to show the way and youngester to show their skills why pick on Tendulkar. The only way Monty could have gotten those wickets of Tendulkar genuinely would have been a ball he would ball at 12 noon.But that is lunch time. Tendulkar gave away his wicket to boost the flailing career of Monty and Swann just got lucky. Wait and see the exciting centuries he will deliver any time soon. And finally lead us to next world cup.He is self assred and confident and is not haunted by daemons like Ponting and give up game.Tendulkar will rise again as many zillions of time before......

Posted by Biophysicist on (December 1, 2012, 2:12 GMT)

@Kotla245: I believe Rahane and Tiwary have done enough in FC cricket to be selected instead of Tendulkar and Yuvraj. They should be given a commitment that they will get at least 5 or 6 tests (~10 innings) to prove themselves. That will give confidence to them that they are being considered seriously. Atapattu's first 6 test innings had 5 ducks, yet he was continued since the selectors believed he had the talent and determination to do well and he scored 16 centuries including 6 double centuries as an opener for SL in 90 tests. So the key is to select the right talent and give them time to perform. Tendulkar was also selected the same way and supported. Everyone talks about his high average of ~55, but his average crossed 40 only in the 9th test, but dropped again and stabilized above 40 only after 23 tests. So the selectors should pick a group of 3-4 young middle order batsmen and support them. We had a golden opportunity to do that in the home series and are letting it go unused!

Posted by CandidIndian on (December 1, 2012, 1:30 GMT)

I disagree that talent isnt there,its a selection error that Yuvi and Raina keep coming back again and again.Mandeep Singh ,Tiwari, Rahane ,Bisht,Mukund,Chand and many others are talented players but are not getting chance,in bowling Praveen and RP who performed well overseas have been sidelined,upcoming bowlers like Shami Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who have pace and skill are being ignored.In cricinfo there was an article not so long back pointing out bizarre selections and short term thinking by Srikanth and other selectors.If you want to utilize the experience of Sachin ,he can retire and be the batting coach of India or cricket director for that matter ,he is clearly struggling due to his age.You dont want to give chance to new players,there is no accountability either, and then the excuse is that there isnt enough talent to replace.Pujara and Kohli has been performing much better than so called legends,prime example that youngsters will do well if they get the chance.

Posted by RameshRayaprolu on (November 30, 2012, 23:59 GMT)

I think Sachin is mature enough to think about his profession. So was the case when he opts to be out of the team to take "REST".

In my opinion Sachin is always wanting to play his game due to his passion towards it...but his age and mental ability aren't supporting him...I guess that's the phase that he is going through now...

Please mind that he was in such bad phase earlier, but at that age (5 yrs back), his stubborn determination allowed him to concentrate and get back to his original game...but now, getting back on track can be more and more difficult...

Salute to you Sachin - "THE GOD", for all the services you gave to International cricket !! I suspect its now your turn after the GREAT Aussie "Punter"...but its all your decision, none can force or put pressure on you...

Another MIGHTY all-rounder, Jaques can still be in the game for some time, he is still going good for SA :) !

Posted by Pisshead on (November 30, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

It is a fashion these days to criticise Tendulkar.. The bottom line is there is no 'exceptional' talent in India that is pushing for Tendulkar's spot.

When he is in, he looks a lot more assured than Yuvraj Singh and M.S.Dhoni...

LEAVE HIM ALONE guys..

Posted by Vish.Madishetty on (November 30, 2012, 23:01 GMT)

Guys, You need to understand below sentance from Mr. Monga and then comment: (The elephant that nobody used to speak about is now hiding other people's failures just because he is so big)

Instead of talking about Sachin, we need to list out the Worst players in the Team (1 is worst & 5 ok Player) and discuss about top2 to 3 depending the Bench. 1) Harbhajan --- He should be dropped ASAP. 2) Dhoni --- No performance more than 2 years in any format (Good for IPL). 3) Zaheer --- We need bowlers till then he is OK. 4) Sachin --- He is having bad patch, but still we need him (Agreed Kotla245). 5) Gambhir --- He not Bad.

Posted by hhillbumper on (November 30, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

You don't let go off your heroes very easily do you? Maybe you should recall Kapil as the bowling looks a bit fin. What about Bedi?

Posted by Kotla245 on (November 30, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

It is rather easy to say that selectors should build a new Indian Team scrapping all those who aren't performing. Had that been the way selection takes place, probably many great players would be in oblivion before they performed to their potential. Moreover, its not that easy to build a team with entire new guys in.period.

And lets come to terms with Ricky's retirement. He was an exceptional player but he realized that he wasn't good anymore. Sachin, on the other hand, has still the same passion to play for India. He is not in form at the moment, but is there anyone on bench who is capable enough to take his place? Please, dont point out to rahane's and Tiwary's. If they don't push for a vacant spot competing with likes Yuvraj's and Raina's (Talkin wrt Tests) then do you really think they can push for Sachin's spot? He has played the game for enough time to know, when he finally looses the passion, he won't wait for us to take a decision for him. Lets sit back and cherish, the Great!

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 30, 2012, 21:05 GMT)

Only those who've played at least 150 Tests should be analysing Sachin's game - Bishan Bedi. What nonsense - when I buy something I have the right to express my opinion on it same as when I pay to watch this useless bunch of overpaid and ovehyped cricketers. It doesn't matter what Tendulkar does in the last 2 tests his recent performances would not have justified his place. If you want to call this analysis I'm ok with that but please note Mr Bedi I have not played even a single test.

Posted by here2rock on (November 30, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

I do not agree with the writer. Indian selectors have allowed too many inconsistent players to be in the side for too long. It is a professional sport like any other profession where if you do not perform then you are shown the door. Some of the others like Yuvraj, Shewag, Gambhir, Zaheer and Ashwin should not be in the side. If they know that they are not going to be replaced why would they perform? Tendulkar has not perform for the side for so long and it is very unlikely that he will perform on consistent basis. He should retire for the sake of Indian Cricket.

Posted by maddy20 on (November 30, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

I admire your optimism Mr.Monga, but lets face it. The guy is not gonna get any younger. Back in 2005-2007 he was obviously a lot younger and had the reflexes. It was just a matter of confidence. But right now thats not the case. He reflexes have slowed down significantly, he can no longer run like he used to , infact it pains me to see him at the crease these days. This is probably his last series if he does not perform and if he wants to retire with dignity then it would be right time to make the call(if he doesn't perform well in the remaining matches)

Posted by Cricket_fan85 on (November 30, 2012, 20:14 GMT)

Well.. I am wondering if SRT would have thought about retirement at all .. Come on .. Indian cricket needs to move on .. I would be unfit to watch cricket if I say Tendulkar is ordinary.. he is a legend and he proved it beyond doubt to everybody in world cricket .. he has no body left to prove that he is good .. but but , Cricket is bigger than individuals and needs to stay that way .. Ricky Ponting is a better player than lot of the existing players in world cricket and he is also the most successful captain while Sachin is not .. lets accept it .. but some where down the line somebody needs to replace him.. TRUTH OF THE FACT IS NOBODY CAN !!!.. but then we have to live with it .. .. there is nobody to replace him but that's the problem the selectors and the cricket administrators need to deal with .. they failed to select young players in national team and that is telling in the performance of the team .. let's move on from Tendulkar I say!!

Posted by strider23 on (November 30, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

The real question is not whether he should retire or not. He can retire whenever he wants, even never. Nobody cares about it.The question is his place in the team. If he really wants to help the team with his experience, why can't he be a batting consultant and work on the techniques of younger batsmen ? Of course, he isn't to be singled out for criticism. Even the rest of them, except one or two, are a bunch of morons. Dhoni has done nothing to merit a place in the test XI, leave alone captaincy. I can't believe that people would even compare him with someone like Gilchrist at one point ! At this rate, they'll be steamrolled in South Africa next year. Against the pace battery of Steyn, Morkel and Philander. they would stand no chance unless they blood promising youngsters now.

Posted by Harmony111 on (November 30, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

Anyone who says that Ricky quit at the right time needs to know that Ricky has been hopelessly out of form for a long time now at least circa 2009 and managed to survive due to lack of good batsmen in Aus. He got one more year only cos he scored runs vs the awful Indian bowlers AT HOME. I have a lot of respect for Ricky and find it irritating when people needlessly compare his retirement decision with Sachin's. These 2 players tried a lot to find their touch back. Ricky got his back for a brief while but lost it again while Sachin made a World Record barely 2 years back and has hardly played much ODI since then. And all those who are asking when was the last time SRT scored a 100 should not have ever said scoring 100s is not the yardstick of being a good batsman. If you did not respect his 100s then then don't use that logic now to hit back at him. SRT is def struggling but he scored 6 50s in 16 innings in Eng and Aus, below par for his level but not too bad, is it?

Posted by lazymouse on (November 30, 2012, 19:42 GMT)

the problem i see is dravid and vvs rtd because of their age.. but not by their performance... sachins problem is right opposite.. its his performance which is questioned.. i would like to see selections by performance like all other ranked countries..perform or go.... who ever it is............. eg.. lara. ponting.. mark/steve waugh. ranatunga. inzamam. ... alll where the best at their time.. but quit when they knew their time was up....

Posted by JoydeepGupta on (November 30, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

No one was ever so sympathetic for Ganguly, who had to retire when he was in his prime form. Ganguly scored a fantastic 85 even in his last test which set up the base for India's victory in that test. It is surprising to see the author is talking about "same yardstick" in Indian cricket.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (November 30, 2012, 19:28 GMT)

Once upon a time, there was only one elephant in our dressing room. Now, Dhoni can be added to that list. The list of elephants is surely growing. One elephant protecting the other. One elephant leading to the development of the other. Nice camaraderie!!! At the end of the day, looks like winning is the last thing on the mind of this team and many fans here. Looks like winning will be cherished if and only if it comes from the personnel that we like. What's wrong if we win with Rahane in the team instead of Statchin? What's wrong if we lose with Rahane in the team instead of Statchin? After all, aren't Rahane and the likes the future of India? Let the newbies fall, fail, take it on the chin and learn to succeed. What a high-octane melodrama Indian Cricket is! Emotion is paramount. Bollywood emotional script rules Indian minds. Shame!

Posted by Kalyanb85 on (November 30, 2012, 18:48 GMT)

I've seen only a couple of people mention our Indian sports biggest brand Mr. Dhoni.Agreed sachin is not performing and thats why you are asking him to retire, but so aren't the rest. Based on form alone, Dhoni does not deserve to be in the team as a stand alone batsman/stand alone keeper forget being the captain of it. You have to earn your place as a player first, then you can be the captain. Dhoni cant justify his place in the team even in one single role(keeper or batsman). The biggest difference in both their slumps is sachin is atleast trying and when is on the crease in a test match, his willingness to stay there shows. Dhoni comes and goes as if he his visiting his in-laws place.please remind me of one performance of dhoni in a test match less a test series where he was at least the best player in a losing cause(nevermind a draw or win). Sachin will go either the day he helps India restore pride again or when he finally realizes he can't. That man has earned himself the time.

Posted by vasuramanan on (November 30, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

I dont know whether Cricinfo allowed to publish this. Because of their recent colaboration with the BCCI.

IMHO sachin is ready to quit the ODIs after winning the WC in 2011. Its the BCCI that still draging him because of their fear for the loss of revenues and the fan following for the Indian cricket. I m sure there will be some considerable percentage of people less interested in Indian cricket once THE MASTER retires (including myself). That will be a huge blow for the BCCI. In Test matches sachin might have planned to retire when the Aussies come to India. Again the BCCI gonna drag it to another season may be. By this time in tests Indian team needs some 1 like sachin not only as a player but also as a mentor/motivator. Atleast for another year.

Posted by cric_fan123 on (November 30, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

Well Siddarth, this has to be the most mis-constructed write up ever. On one hand you compare him to Gambhi struggling for a longer time. Which is a case of saying just because others are not performing; its perfectly fine if you dont perform too. Thankfully Tendulkar dint think of this mantra in the 90s when Indian team was Tendulkar. On the other hand you say "In a perfect world, he would just be dropped when he merited it". Then why are you surprised over Gambhir's inclusion. Yes, in a perfect world even Gambhir would've been dropped ages ago. Looking at the team, we need an overhaul, not just drop Tendulkar. Dhoni, Gambhir, Yuvraj need to go. These three are bigger burdens than Tendulkar. First get them out, then we can talk merits about ousting Tendulkar. Please publish.

Posted by Juniorklassy on (November 30, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

So tired of hearing that Ponting retired because he think he was not contributing ?? well the same he has been doing for last 2-3 yrs.. then why didnt he think of retiring then ??? this means it was hard for him as welll to take the decision ? then why do everyone is having their hands around Sachin's neck only ??? n one more what is that sachin is a selfish player n others are not ??? how can you distinguish betw that ??? When sachin scores a hundred its selfish n when dravid / laxman / ponting ect scores a hundred its for the team ? please tell me what differentiates that ??? isnt it pathetic ???? I am sure Sachin is matured n smart enuf to know when to call it a day... I wish him luck n would like to See his bat do the talking n critics just keep listening it.. :-) Come On Sachin....

Posted by maxymax on (November 30, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

Dear Mr. Monga, there is no doubt that SRT deserves all that he has got in his cricketing career. The fame, the riches, the accolades, the number of chances etc. etc. But now, this has gone too far. It is nothing but setting a very bad example for the future sports generation. He is now only hanging on for the money (endorsements) and he is being manipulated by his managers and corporation. In turn, he is squandering the chances for more deserving and younger players. By the time he retires, they will be past their prime. Just imagine if Dravid & Laxman had not retired and what would have been the fate of Pujara! I for myself had tremendous respect for him and looked up to him as the perfect role model for every youngster, sports or no sports. But now, even a mere mention of his name is disgusting and in line with the corrupt Indian politicians and corporations that fleecing the country!

Posted by Hkumarus on (November 30, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

The Marketers who has put in Crores of Money on Sachin for Brandd Endorsements might be not allowing him to Retire ...

Posted by kevivnajar on (November 30, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

Sachin is GOD of cricket, agreed. He is surely in the "best all-time players XI" But when he has not crossed 30 in 10 innings (6 of them in India), he needs to think about it.

If we need senior player's guidance, let him travel with squad and motivate them from dressing room.

Good test players develop over a period of time, with all exposures from different conditions. Select the right ones, and give them continuous chance,keeping in mind the slot in which they will play.

With DLT factor almost gone, with newcomers who need time, with talented people struggling with frequent injuries, his real captaincy challenge starts now.. . All his earlier wins were dead easy with a team established by someone else.. Let Eden gardens give us the answer..

Posted by mark2011 on (November 30, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

i think irrespective of india winning or loosing it is better to give SRT more chance bcos he is making the record book, so let him play to reach 20000 ODI runs and few more centuries to complete such rare chance of records in cricket.. its nothing wrong doing it for one man..like him i dont think bcos of him India is loosing.. then what about other 10 players... only 1or 2 players will perform exceptionaly well in any criket match to win and others just make small contribution to it. what ever great top order batsmen you have that does not make all of them scoring 100 one after other in an innings to score total of 400 or 500 runs.. only two batsmen make some big scores...so jsut bcos of one batter fail.. it shouldnt be the cause for loosing. iin that sense SRT can be given chance to play more at leat to have some great records in criket book...

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 30, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

10dulkar is a walking wicket these days. Would you keep any batsman with an average of 15 in your team??? DROP 10dulkar NOW and give a chance to a deserving youngster like Rahane or Tiwary. I am sure either of them can average more than 15 in test matches.

Posted by sujit2104 on (November 30, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

Great said Sid.God is finally God.We Indians have the wrong attitude,when person is playing well means he is very good ,then people start talking he should be the captin.But everyone has some bad days.we always forget that he served our nation for 22 long years.sachin.....................sachin play forever...

Posted by bobmartin on (November 30, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

Just another Tendulkar walks on water article.. The following is just typical of what is wrong with Indian cricket "you need some experience in that middle order,".. You also need someone in the middle order to score runs and if he's not up to it, then pick someone who is. Then there is this beauty "It's not that Tendulkar is getting any preferential treatment from the Indian selectors,". As we say in this part of the world, go tell that to the marines. It's long been known that what Tendulkar wants, Tendulkar gets.. He can pick his tours and even which match he decides to grace with his presence. The good thing is that India's opponents will welcome his inclusion because it's an easy wicket... Sure he might get the odd goodish score, but his average over the last two years means that he is no longer a threat..

Posted by srinideva on (November 30, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

This is probably the worstest article i ever read on Cricinfo... The biggest part of the joke is when the author comparing Ashwin with sachin..one is bowler and other one is batsman..and the good thing is even the bowler-Ashwin scores more runs than this star batsman..

Posted by Raki99 on (November 30, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

Replacement for test Dhoni- wridhmann saha Yuvraj and raina whould be never be selected for another test - Try Rahane at 6 Need to find some good spinners cupboard is really empty, IPL has ruined indian spinners. Tendulkar -No Idea who will take his position. zaheer - Don't select him for one days and 20/20 Harbhajen career should end at 99 Test Done and Dusted.

Posted by shibuvin on (November 30, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

Being a columnist, People started writing craps!!!

Posted by Dhanno on (November 30, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

We cannot compare Ponting and Sachin here. Ponting admitted he was inconsistent for last 12-18 months. And hence he decided to retire. Sachin on other hand has been consistent for last 12-18 months, that is consistently failing in his performances.

Also Sachin had pointed out after his 100th ton that it will be selfish if he retires while he is on the top of his game. We have to just believe in him, that he is indeed waiting to hit rock bottom.

Posted by r1m2 on (November 30, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

Umm what a fanboy article this!!! Tendulkar has been taking up a spot in the batting line up as a non-performing legend...a place better served by trying new cricketers out and testing their mettle at this level.

Posted by jokerbala on (November 30, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

Must say that few comments over here are much more thoughtful and pragmatic than the emotional and one sided article by Mr. Monga

Posted by rappedonthepads on (November 30, 2012, 15:07 GMT)

Read somewhere what Monroe once said of herself " if you can't handle me at my worst, you certainly don't deserve my best". Apply that to Sachin. We don't deserve him. Screw you haters! Go feast yourself on Ravindra Jadeja and Badrinath once he's gone.

Posted by AjitDJ on (November 30, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

I'm getting tired of everybody and their brother speaking in support of a spent force. Let's pray he doesn't score any hundreds in this series. Otherwise, he'll stay fixed for at least 20 more tests.

Posted by ElvisKing on (November 30, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

@Biophysicist Manoj Tiwary has had many opportunities to prove his worth but he has failed miserably, even in Ranji he failed miserably against Punjab so stop talking about him! Rahane is yes yes and then we have plenty to chose from Under 19 players who can be thrown to the vultures to bring the best out of them, like they did with Sachin 22 years back. You have to give youngsters like Unmukt Chand and Vijay Zol and others a chance...so Siddhartha Monga stop talking about dearth of Talent in Indian Cricket. If Sachin fails one more time then what happens to his self belief and that of the team ?

Posted by miyabhaifromhyderabad on (November 30, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

23 months without scoring a century and still he is in team...WOW!!

Posted by indianpunter on (November 30, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

@Dhanno.. wow! i cant put it any better myself. we indians live in a cocoon, in a warped world, with little sense of reality. we should get together and talk cricket, mate !

Posted by mlkt on (November 30, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

one man who will be happy seeing this anti- sachin rheotoric going on....will be mahendra singh dhoni......because all our so called cricket experts/ex cricketers are busy calling for sachin retirement....no one asking dhoni about his contribution...he has failed in batting and captaincy both....his only contribution has been his media utterences.....i mean a captain may no doubt ask for specific pitch when playing home....even ganguly, azhar, steve waugh, ponting would have asked for pitches which suit their team....but this is highly insane if u r demanding spinning wickets in every press conference...as if media is the one who is going to provide u that.....and when u lose on those wickets u come up with ur absurd analysis of loss....

Posted by GangaSagar_P on (November 30, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

Sachin is still the only reason why I watch test cricket on TV or in ground. No other plays so clean and neat like him . I agree that he is not at his best , but come on guys, that man deserves some matches if he wishes. Even with him or without him, India is going to do the same. Nobody talks about Dhoni, Gambhir, Yuvraj. I dont even remember when they had an hundred last time. Nobody talks about Dhoni's captaincy. Nobody talks that how English players are better players of spin Indians. How a tail ender Ashwin scores more run than Dhoni in every single test innings he bats !! Incredible sensible indian fans !

Posted by kai123 on (November 30, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

Kallis is consistent thats why he is in the team,Pointing retires becoz he is not scoring well after VB series against india.Then why should we go easy on sachin tendulkar.That is the problem in india,cricket is not taken professionally.

Posted by aby_prasad on (November 30, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

fed up of all the blahs and arguments,counter arguments,ideas ,suggestions, support,criticisms etc regarding tendulkar and more so 'team India'. In fact any tom dick and harry have started to say that india is too easy, too weak etc etc. Wish something would actually happen than just comments and reports! Something has to give....is it just around the corner.. can india do something to go back to being a test force like they were or should we listen to more comments,more reports on how india is bad or even worst laughable comments that india have never even won even! wont be surprised. Waiting for something to give...something...

Posted by Dr.Vindaloo on (November 30, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

Can't wait to read all the back-tracking when the guy makes a hundred in Kolkata. Even well past his prime he is twice the batsmen that Gambhir, Kohli and Yuvraj are. I remember reading similar stuff about him five years ago and he responded by piling another 3,000 runs onto his test aggregate.

Posted by Pubstar on (November 30, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

see, if sachin has to be removed for not scoring den what will you say about other guys. take dhoni, i dont remember him scoring a 100 and when all other captains are scoring 100s and 200s. take sehwag barring dat ahemadabad 100 he was the worst player in the team. sachin's drought is for 23 months(100 drought) wat about dhoni's? or gambir's. and i hate dis wen ppl say ponting is done, wen will u sachin? omg wat a stupid ppl. we r so lucky dat dis genius is still playing the game. and all u guyz who think sachin has to retire just go see what rahul dravid has said, he wanted sachin to play. do u guys think u r a better judge than rahul the legend of the game who has watched sachin playing closely and mostly than anybody else in the world.

AND FINALLY, IF SACHIN SCORES A 100 IN KOLKATTA, all those bitter mouths who criticised and insulted him will be made to look like fools. it has happened in the past. jus remember dis if sachin gets to form imagine how much runs he'll pile up!!

Posted by Biophysicist on (November 30, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

Dear Sidharth: You say 'They want him to retire because they want to live with happier memories'. That is not true for everyone. Most people want him to retire because he has not been performing for a significantly long time and even if he manages one or two good innings here and there, that is not going to help building a good cricket team for India. He has not played a match winning (or saving) innings since the 146 at Cape Town. If he is an investment for future, or can potentially contribute to the team for a few more years, it is OK to continue with him in the Indian team for a few more tests. But I doubt if he fits either of these. You also say 'had he seen a fixed No. 6, a proper replacement for Laxman, he would have felt the need to make way for another youngster. There is no one putting that kind of pressure on Tendulkar right now.' Aren't Rahane (57 FC matches, avg. 63.84, 19 centuries) and Manoj Tiwary (61 FC matches, avg. 58.98, 17 centuries) putting pressure on him?

Posted by MrMojoRisin on (November 30, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

While I've never been a fan of RT Ponting, I certainly admire the the fact that he had the guts to man up and admit he was failing consistently. This despite the fact that he played well in SL against SL, and murdered the Indians at home earlier this year (which is not too hard, I know), if you look at his last few series. When he couldn't handle Steyn and co. he rightly decided that his time was up. If SR Tendulkar could not handle an inexperienced Australian attack on Oz, an English attack in England, or in India, I do not fancy his chances in SA. I've been a long time fan of the man, but do not think he has much to offer anymore. He is too defensive, and as the Aussies have recently shown, an attacking mindset is required to have any chance against the SA bowlers. As far as providing inspiration and support to his younger team mates, not sure a struggling player can inspire others....my two cents:)

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 30, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

It's the age that is not on his side - no it's the performances which may be due to age. To blame the defeat of the last Test on Indian spinners is ridiculous and ignores the fact that India's spinners are not good as England as many Indian fans think they are and could not play spin bowled at pace. You could argue that India has only won in India due to the failure of the opposition spinners.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 30, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

If the cupboard was brimming with such exceptional talent, why would we keep going back to Suresh Raina and Yuvraj? Ermm, have you heard of the A tours, the purpose of which is to support players bridge the transition from domestic cricket to internationals. Perhaps they one these players could be given a chance otherwise what the purpose of such tours. People are struggling to come to terms with his mortality - which people? We can't ask Tendulkar to retire - why not? I would in other circumstances agree but what option is left particularly when you've said 'Tendulkar will not be dropped'. So he won't retire and won't be dropped means it's irrelevant whether the cupboard is brimming with talent.

Posted by parivel on (November 30, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

I am totally agree the same. He is legend and overcome all his hurdles in the past

Posted by imrankhan76uk on (November 30, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

@vpc80 .... your comments about withdrawal from SA Tour are not shocking or surprising. It just shows that not even Indian team but their fans are also scared of better teams and fair competition. And Indian fans don't want to see good cricket they just want Stats. Yes.. go and play SL again and again and again...you might lose some but most importantly .... improve your averages and become legends.

Posted by Smithie on (November 30, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

If the BCCI ever get their act together and announce the schedule for the Feb 2013 (three months away only - how unprofessional) Aus Test visit to India the Aussies will be delighted to see SRT still in the team !

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 30, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

@Chedchatri (November 30 2012, 03:48 AM GMT) I should have clarified that I was referring to the test matches not the short form. India would have won that match if it hadn't been for a certain Mr Kallis playing a heroic match saving innings. I think you've just proved my point - what's the value of a century in a drawn match. Compare that to Rahul Dravid's 2 in 2006 match-changing half centuries against WI in a low scoring match on a very tricky pitch at Sabina Park resulting in a win and RD was recognised as the difference between the teams. Take Sachin scores out of India's test totals of the last 4-5 years and tell me how the results of those matches would have changed. The fact that after 23 years of international cricket Sachin couldn't reach double figures in the same test where Pieterson makes a century, but can score a century in a Ranji game a format that he hasn't played for consistently for many years tells you the level he's currently at.

Posted by Vendhan-virat on (November 30, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

Sachin should retire immediately to save his face and outrageous image of god of cricket. He is not even close to what many legends have to the "team". No doubt he is a good individual player but he was never a match winner. He plays just like most of the Indian players. Kapil Dev took 40 matches to move from 300 to 400 wickets, G.R.Viswanth failed miserably at the end of the career, the only player retired at the top was Gavaskar. His last 5 centuries was big and retired while he was at knowing well the age would catch him, though he may be selfish player like Tendulkar. The leverage given to Tendulkar is lead to Tendulkar to conduct of unbecoming a cricketer, he should have resigned after the world cup. Waiting to score 100 centuries against Bangladesh is a sham and shame. Please retire and save the game.

Posted by that_yorker on (November 30, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

i don't think sachin is the cause of worry. he is and all ways will be one of the best batsmen to have played cricket. however, i really feel that dhoni should take some time off to think and decide what he wants for the future as he really hasn't been very successful as a captain recently in tests.

Posted by maeneece on (November 30, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

@ramli: you have a short attention span...have you checked dravid's record prior to his retirement? he was at his best only during the england series...he had a four year of a career free fall also...what was that you said again about retiring 'gracefully'??? if you want to run down tendulkar at least come up with facts!!

Posted by hariinahurry on (November 30, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

it is high time people like manoj tiwari and ajinke rahane get a look in, even though we may lose a match or two with them, it is better to lose with inexperienced lot rather than experience ones like sachin tendulkar or harbhajan singh.We need to groom younger players now rather than overseas where they will lose confidence if they fail.

Posted by Lithu on (November 30, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Winning or losing a macth is a record for a team it happens in one day. But records made by sachin is not happened in a day. For it he worked very very hard for last 20 years.Unbreakable Records made by sachin is not only for him it is for our nation.India is proud of him.people talking about his retirement should think of their own achievement for them personally and for nation.Plz allow the Great Legend Little Master to play freely don't put pressure on him.

Posted by rajsabhapathy on (November 30, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

sachin should have retired after scoring 100 centuries.it is very sad that he does not know how to go gracefully,having said that he is not a champion bats man like VIV RICHARDS and LAURA,nor a fighter like Border and Steve Waugh.these people single handedly won/drew tet matches.though exceptionaly talented and precocious,he shines in comfortable zones only.i place VIRU ahead of him as very often his centuries won matches.one admires Deu Plexsis for single handedly drew the 2nd test match against Aussies,such knocks,the debutant played,was never played by him at any point of time.i still remember how he threw in the towel in chennai against PAK when victory is within reach.the same attitude is visible in his delay in calling quits.

Posted by maeneece on (November 30, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

@ jonesy2; so ponting retiring after 4 continuous years of a career free fall is selflessly???

Posted by a_atishay on (November 30, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

It's getting tedious, how we are coming up with a variety of reasons to justify Sachin's place in the team and in the present of Indian cricket.

The master had the perfect opportunity to call it a day and let Indian cricket move on after World Cup 2011, but he probably is finding it very difficult to let go. It doesn't mean it's the correct decision.

Yes he cannot be dropped, it would be hugely disrespectful, but I just hope Sachin himself realizes that he in no way is the future of Indian cricket, not even one year down the line, maybe not even six months. He should have retired, at least from ODIs immediately, so India could build towards WC 2015, and now he should step aside so youngsters can be blooded before tougher away tours.

I remember Dhoni dropping Dravid and Ganguly in the ODI series in Aus in 2007-08, saying he only wanted players who could play in WC 2011.

Surely the same yardstick must be applied here?

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 30, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

how ironic that in ponting retiring selflessly he is going to be remembered as the greater cricketer.

Posted by R.Sankar on (November 30, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

What about the other elephant in the room: M S Dhoni? Why isn't anyone asking for him to go? What has his contribution been in the last 10 test matches? His keeping shoddy and he doesn't make runs consistently. And the less said of his captaincy the better. All he wants are designer pitches. I think there's a stronger case for removing him and Ghambir than there is for SRT

Posted by Sporty-critic on (November 30, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

This is the right time for Sandeep Patil to show his skills as a mentor and create a whole new team. There should be no place which is reserved for any player in the current situation. Even Dhoni has to show some promise if he has to continue as a captain, or else, he should walk out himself and not be block for any youngster waiting in the wings.

Lets try and create a New India by infusing young blood and allow the team to lose a few matches, even series, before they start looking up. There is nothing wrong in grooming a team keeping in mind the future. Or else, whatever we do, would be for the present test match only.

We also have eager players who want to become Steyn, Morkel, Lee and the likes but kill their careers by giving into the captains' wishes.

As regards Sachin, we will allow him to chose one player, groom him and take his place before he walks into the sunset of his cricketing career which is not very far off.

Posted by TheOrestes on (November 30, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

@ramli : I agree with what you say, but Rahane is taken in the team as a replacement for one of the openers, not as two down batsman. But he can play at any position. atleast better than youvaj, kohli, raina & other young brigade. He looks too much ahead with current gen as per technique for test cricket goes.

Posted by Prasanna_sambath on (November 30, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Indian cricket is going through a transitional phase. There is turbulence and the problems are plenty. The absence of the 4 stalwarts of recent times has left an unfulfilled vacuum and we have not yet found suitable replacement for a Ganguly or a Kumble, leave alone Mr. Wall and Mr. VVS. In fact, we have problems with every single position right from #1 in the batting order. We need the experience of ST in both in the field and in the dressing room to tide over the turbulence amicably and facilitate appropriate hand holding to the juniors to walk through the test of times. He is like the captain of a sinking ship; he cannot be expected to run way. ST has played 55 test innings in the last 3 years and has got an average of 51.9 with 2 double hundreds, 9 tons and 12 50s. In the last 2 years, his average has dropped to 37. Even Gambhir, Viru and MSD have got an average of 31, 31 and 32 respectively in the period. The big elephant is indeed covering up those piggy backing it

Posted by timtom on (November 30, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

Not a good article - Sachin can play as long as he wants ... He is still better than 5 other specialist batsman... FOr all the sympathy factor for Yuvi on the cancer episode, blood boils to see him play tests.. He is blocking a potential youngster.... And Gambhir what is his contribution on last 24 TESTS where is averages below 25 (Sachin average in last 27 innining is 32 ) ... Zaheer !!! what is he doing in test cricket... Again if not captain/Wk what is Dhoni doing in a test team......With so many losers around only SACHIN shud retire...

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 30, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

i m disappointed with indian media , everybody is blaming sachin for loss , no body is looking at the real failure of team THE CAPTAIN MS DHONI , what he is doing in this team ? he is not making runs , neither his wktkeeping is good , nor his captaincy tatcis are working .

Posted by vpc80 on (November 30, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

I think the best thing to do now is for BCCI to flex their muscles & withdraw from the SA tour..with people who do not take pride in donning the India shirt,we will be left embarrassed if that tour goes on..steyn,morkel & philander will screw the daylights out of the batsmen & we sill start seeing 2 day Test matches !!

Posted by dork29 on (November 30, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

We need to put things in perspective. It is an erroneous statement that people want him to retire because they want to live with happier memories. I think this is a simplistic assessment. People are questioning his contribution to the Indian team, which has become more poignant, post the retiremnets of VVS and Dravid. Why do we NEED him? Because he is EXPECTED to the be the bulwark around which the other batsmen should revolve. But he has not been doing it. As citizens of the same country, the people have every right to question his place in the side. Only because he is a legend, have we waited this long. It is puerile to cast aspersions after a few failures. But his poor run has now assumed marathon prportions! And the argument that he should not be singled out is a load of crap. Gambhir, Virat and Yuvraj are not in the same "league" as him right? That is known. So he should succeed where they fail! But even when they succeed he is failing! if Mumbai Indians can drop him, we can.

Posted by ramli on (November 30, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

Ashwin is slower than SRT ... so SRT can stay in the team ... what logic? Ashwin is expected to take wickets for India, score some decent runs in need and AT LEAST take all catches that comes ... which he did till 1-2 tests back ... but ... SRT is expected to score AT LEAST his average runs ... if not big centuries .. even that is not forthcoming ... leaving a negative impact on the team and its fortunes ... it is clear that SRT should contribute what is expected of him to the team ... otherwise ... there is only one way to go ... RETIRE and give opportunity to another player to try ...

Posted by Samip16 on (November 30, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

All who are reading this article are definitely doing their job which they are assigned. All, who have successfully justified to their assigned job in past, will never, leave the job with a current failure. Coz they know, they are capable enough for the job, and have confident and attitude to overcome and come up with success. No one left his job in the middle by himself after meeting a failure, when they are confident enough about their skill. If your manager/management knows you are capable enough and have done good jobs earlier, they don't throw you out from the project immediately after a failure. And you also don't ask your management to release you from the task until u proves yourself to the assignment. Same story applies here to SACHIN. He knows his strength, and management also trust his capability. And all great personality knows better than us, when to quit the job.

Posted by CrickFreak2012 on (November 30, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

@thalalara, completely agree with you! People are supportint ST for their benefit in the future.

Posted by ramli on (November 30, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

@TheOrestes ... Rahane looks technically fit but is not in playing in XI ... why? because SRT is holding his place in ODIs and to some extent in tests ... Pujara is an exception and playing in the XI ... why? because Rahul Dravid retired in grace and guaranteed one more place for a younger player ... SRT's retirement is not going to solve all of team's problems immediately ... agreed ... but that will open up avenues for many youngsters who can certainly match SRT of current form ... if SRT should retire only after finding a capable replacement matching SRT of yester years ... then we can as well close shop ... stop playing cricket

Posted by sohaibahmad on (November 30, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

kapil said sachin should play for aniother 10 years, we wih the same but not the way kapil played his last few years.....

Posted by ashankar on (November 30, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

@bhrangi I think you are one those few guys who have been watching cricket for a while and commenting here. others are just follower of new on the internet:(

Posted by Sachinisgr8 on (November 30, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

Come on Sachin

Prove all these youngsters who have not seen this world at all what cricket is all about.!!!

I know Sachin will do it, honestly i will stop watching / following / admiring cricket after he stops playing.

Posted by let_me_explain on (November 30, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

i am also in favour of sachin's retirement but writer has made some valid points...If we take performence in to consideration then other than Pujara every single batsman of this Indian cricket team should be thrown out.Age is a factor but I think Tendulkar at his worst is better than raina and yuvraj in test matches.There is a phrase in hindi for this 'Maraa hua haathi bhi sawaa laakh ka hota hai'(Literal translation- Elephant, even when its dead, costs more than a lakh)'.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (November 30, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

Perfect summary on debate on Sachin's retirement talk :

"The elephant that nobody used to speak about is now hiding other people's failures just because he is so big"

Check record of every player barring Kohli and Pujara and you will know the depper meaning of this summary. Mind you, even pujara hasn't been tested overseas.

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (November 30, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

I think a lot of people are failing to grasp the basics of LOGIC when it comes to Tendulkar. Point number one, just because he is a legend DOES NOT mean he is NOT accountable. "He can play as long as he enjoys the game" is utter drivel that is spouted by many of his fans. Point number two, Sachin was adored because of his performances. He was supported during his lean patches because everyone knew about his class. Right now, his reflexes have become slow which is why he is being asked to retire. Point number three, Sachin's presence WILL NOT and DOES NOT inspire youngsters. How inspired would you be when someone is blocking your place and staying there just because of name. Same applies to Rahane, Tiwari, etc. Right now I am ACTUALLY AFRAID that Sachin might score a century and stay in the team for the next 2 series. Actually I am his huge fan and I want him to go out with respect. Please Sachin, score well and JUST leave after this series. You deserve a respectful exit.

Posted by SmartycricketersinBlue on (November 30, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

He is just distributing candies to kids like Panesar, they will be delighted that they took the wicket of him and they know very well that how shane warne and mcgrath kinda bowlers were afraid of Tendulkar

Its better to quit Cricket for him as this candy distribution to kids , is ruining his hard work of years.

Posted by oneupnowuv on (November 30, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

he will be needed against Australia next year looking at the phenomenal performance of aus... at the end of that series he has to decide whether hes going to SA or not, if he does well or is even amongst the best 4 of indias batsmen he will make it to SA...but if he fails he shld retire in the middle of the series like Kumble did.

and btw hes the best ever to hv played the game,most dedicated team man ...talks of him being selfish,playing for records or fearing kallis are utter rubbish.

kallis is not even in the same league however more runs or tons he scores.

Posted by Mohd123 on (November 30, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

Scahin should retire the position is not for granted, if australian players think like schin then they could have played till 40 of their age and their team would be the best like macgrath, gillchrist others they reired when they were in their good form, they thought of other young players, sachin is a selfish guy doesnt want to give chance to other players, bcoz of him all other players are suffering, pleaseeeeeeeee sachin pls quit, we dont want to see you playing, nowadays when u play we clarly see that u r not comfortable to face any spinner or any fast bowler, if u r so much interested to play then play domestic and try to groom some young players, we are all indians and spectraotrs dont want too see india losing, sachin must see his age he is old now should retire and spend time with family.

Posted by Riderstorm on (November 30, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

Haven't we been through such discussions numerous times already. Yes, he's a legend. Yes, it has to be his decision when to retire. But, the gripe is that although he knows he hasn't been consistent enough to the standard he holds upto, sachin hasn't made a decision as to how it is affecting the team and how is his departure out of the blue might affect the team in the longterm. A lot of his fans might want to see that is no blackmark on his legendary career. I see nothing wrong with that either. If all that he needs is time to sort his issues, he could take a break from Intl' matches and play some domestic cricket. It will give another opportunity for a youngster to show his potential. I don't see the need to stick and struggle for 2 years now with any runs during this period.Honestly, he's being little reluctant as he can't let go of something that has been a major part of his life. I hope he makes up his mind so as to how to go through this lull.

Posted by mukundh1 on (November 30, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

When you want to talk Sachin up, you'll say he contributed in the 90s when no one else did. But whey you want to defend him, you are conveniently using the explanation that no one else is playing well. This is hypocritical.

Posted by bhrangi on (November 30, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

I guess most of the sachin bashers here were kid., or recently started to watch the cricket matches. I am damn sure about that. If sachin is not playing well, he should be dropped or should be rested. Retirement talk should not be there, he know about his physic and stamina. it is irrelevant for us, until he perform he should play.

Posted by LOKESH84 on (November 30, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

I totally agree with Mr Monga.. u shd respect and give the space THE GOD OF CRICKET deserves.. Ppl talk abt sachin not doing well in eng & aus but look at the stats he & kolhli were the only consistent batsman scoring runs.. sachin scored 2 fifties ( highest of 80 ) and consistently 40's when other batsman were going back to pavilion with single digits in aus, he scored total of 287 runs with avg of 36.. Ppl and critics wants him to score hundred in every match he plays..they dont want 70's & 80's .. rubbish.. Sachin is playing cricket for 23 yrs with high standard and he knows when to retire and no one else has right to telll him to retire.. Mind it Critics and those horrible ppl who wants him to retire.. Sachin - The God of cricket , we always love u no matter what .. Hail Sachin.

Posted by Hariharanbharadwaj on (November 30, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

Can We see another great innings from the little master after almost 24 months of not being in form?? Yes.. call the Banglas, let the man, score a century and retire on a high..!! No EMOTIONS IN SPORT... PERFORM, Get rewarded.. else, get the BOOT..!! AS SIMPLE AS THAT.. I do thank Sachin for all the great memories that he has given the cricketing faithful, but one has to understand.. PUT YOUR COuNTRY FIRST cos'

THE NAME ON THE FRONT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE NAME ON THE BACK..

good imaginative article from Monga.. but tries to cover up his failures, which have lasted for 24 months...!! SHEEPISH I MUST SAY..!!

Posted by loveNpeace on (November 30, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

most of the indians are so stupid, they think sachin is a god, god will never fail like sachin, so dont compare humans to god. under the coconut tree.

Posted by Naeem578 on (November 30, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

Seeing sachin waving his country flag after winning world cup 2011 i wonder that was the best time for him to retire like Imran Khan did. But somehow or the other he continued which was a wrong decision and now he is under all sorts of pressures. To go out with the bat and perform with those pressures in mind is very hard.

Posted by Ashish328 on (November 30, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

One of the cricket greatest players has retired this year...!! Will miss Ricky, Dravid, Laxman, Don't know if there any fine technical batsmen are left ?

Posted by GRAMMY_SACHIN on (November 30, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

All AUS supporters wants Tendulkar to retire after the ENG Series because you know they want to win the next series in India without the master. Good strategy adopted by AUS fans so called strategic di-integration !!

Posted by saravanan666 on (November 30, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

It's really heart-warming to hear YOU supporting Tendulkar, Thanks man.

Posted by stalefresh on (November 30, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

Sachin has always been a great one day player. Ponting and Dravid are much more skillful at test matches. He is just wasting his time.

Posted by EagleOne1027 on (November 30, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

A place so full of judgmental n emotionally volatile people, a nation so obsessed to see Sachin Tendulkar play so as to be called 'God' and a team heavily dependent on him such that his lean patch hides all the other's failures, this man who has beaten the 'fame machine' for so long n made contributions which others cant even imagine deserves his time to solve this struggle. He is a fighter, a performer and a righteous one n so he wil do whats right i.e not to just talk like many of us but perform..

Posted by atuljain1969 on (November 30, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

Indian greats have this habbit of playing on and on unless one day they are told indirectly to retire -- Dravid,Ganguly,Kapil, Laxman, and so many others.

Tendulkar is not alone, but considering his whole career, it pains to see that even he fails to judge the reality. His passion for game still intact and his recent ton in a Ranji match must have helped in his judgement on going on. But at international level, he has been found wanting for so long and that too in precarious situations.

It is time he sees inwards and let his mind take the judgement rather then the heart.

Posted by mazii on (November 30, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

In India, SRT is above cricket. I think Indian fans too are begging for his retirement. He has achieved what is called impossible. He won World-cup. After World-cup win, he scored his hunderth hundered- well thats a remarkable thing to achieve. He should have retired with dignity when he scored his hundred century. There are many in Indian dressing room who can perform better than SRT because the age factor has languished his batting skills. He should take a leaf out of Ponting's book. Well, he is a burden on Indian team right now. If he plays even a one good inning out of ten innings then I think it will be enough for the selectors to give him consistent chances. This is pathetic. On the other hand, the writer also fell to his emotions over reasoning. It clearly suggests that it is the classic example of fake resoluteness over gumption and substance. Well, this only happens in India. Dravid still can play better cricket, but he retires with dignity.

Posted by chin-music on (November 30, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

"I left becoz I felt I was'nt contributing enough." said RT Ponting. Somehow I can't picture SRT (or for that matter any Indian player, with the one possible exception of Dravid) ever going out with that much grace & brutal honesty. Maybe cricket teams are just an extension of national cultures !

Posted by maa_veeran on (November 30, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

cricket is a game of concentration and practice i am sure age will not be a major factor,sachin will come across this tough time. Media to make some hot news and debate creates unwanted pressure on him. He seems to be in good touch needs it get going to make tons. No one has moral right to question his place bcoz he has it reserved for him and he will leave it when he wants to take some rest. Critics who dont get somethng to swallow uses him after each game. Entire Team india failed in australia, england and in last mumbai test there is some major fault in the approach thats needs to be corrected.All players are struggling with their form and only sachin. The youngsters who got chance at times have not utilized it. Indian Cricket in 2012 is not as it was in 1979 by tht time at domestic level standard was different from internationl level standard but today the scene has changed a platform is set for youngsters to get coaching at childhood itself. Please allow sachin to take some time.

Posted by kingcobra85 on (November 30, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

This mutual admiration club is irritating. Then media persons like you would criticise a young cricketer who has no experience and call for his throat with just one bad series but wouldnt touch any seniors who go without a decent innings for years and call us the fan selfish. The selfish ones are those protecting these players without their so called unselfish outlook of the world.

Posted by thalalara on (November 30, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

Ha ha ha...to justify Sachin's failure writers creativity has gone way beyond normal human beings imaginations. Let the ball of imagination rollllllll.

Posted by sweetspot on (November 30, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Nothing wrong with giving Tendulkar his time to sort out his batting on his own, but would it be disrespectful to the master if he sits out when we try some youngster at his position, while he regains his touch? Is it so insulting to be dropped when he is not performing? Why shouldn't we show the same respect to some youngster who is doing well like Tendulkar did at his age? What is sheer torture is watching the glee of the opposition when they get an easy wicket. Let's not look at Ashwin, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Sachin in the same light. The former have plenty of cricket left in them - please, this is common sense.

Posted by CricShanghai on (November 30, 2012, 5:34 GMT)

People may be seeing the calm of things around ST, but frankly, I'd challenge any world's best or anyone playing in village cricket attempting his tenth 50s on his next innings would naturally feel the pressure, let alone the man who's brought so much pride to his country, and on his way to yet another, world's first, legendary greatest milestone, imagine the achievement would inspire those young cricketers around the world to play their games with a perfect goal in mind. So let us all, for the love of cricket, share ST's courage and determination, support his greatest effort ever for the good of the game, his country and one last thing that he deserve to do for himself. Let him go at it, let him play until really he feels enough, or someone better to take his place! Just one thing, ST! Cut your hair short, have a clean shave so you will look as though you started 15 years or more ago, walk in on your next innings and get a double!!

Posted by TheOrestes on (November 30, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

"The elephant that nobody used to speak about is now hiding other people's failures just because he is so big"

This line summarizes everything! So called youngsters are not at all par with Test Level! Only Rahane looks technically fit & Pujara the exception! Last test showed how much we missed Dravid & Laxman. We don't want that to happen in SAF next year. We need Sachin. You need to take 20 wickets to win a test match.

Sachin's shear presence in the dressing roomis teaching a lot to youngsters. Not only his batting quality but his manners & dedication from which youngsters can learn a lot. This is game for masters & Sachin is required. Period!

You either die as a hero or grow old to see yourself become a villain. He's the hero India deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight!!!

Posted by CrickFreak2012 on (November 30, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

I am(was) a big fan of Sachin.But I dont like someone being treated like differently from all others, like Dravid, Laxman. Lets stop telling that "Let him play as long as he wants". He is paid for wat he does and he is accountable. If he is not contributing, he must quit. Indian cricket is not run for someone to play as long as he wants, rite!!?

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 30, 2012, 5:22 GMT)

@kartiyk This is why India will always struggle to become Number one. According to you Sachin Should Play Till His avergae gets reduced to 24 in test cricket. I think that is what you want, You want that he becomes a laughing stock!!!

Posted by SuperKingViv on (November 30, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

Tendulkar should not go because there is no replacement yet??? Unless a chance is given to a youngster, how would you know whether we have a replacement or not. If the same logic applies, why did Ponting retire? Has Australia found a replacement??? Hughes??? Khwaja??? They are not in the league of Ponting but they might be someday?? Did we have a good opener when Gavaskar retired? Did we have an allrounder when Kapil retired??? Even now we don't have player who can be 50% of what Kapil was. I am a fan of Sachin but the quantum of respect that I had for him has been receding for the past couple of years. Some people say that he is going through a lean patch and has to be persisted with and should not be forced into retirment. Once he comes into form, the same people will say that he is in such a great form that he should continue to play. Even Sachin said recently that 'he is not selfish to retire when he is good form'. So when would this end?

Posted by tony122 on (November 30, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

@Andross- Your logic is flawed. It is simply absurd to call the logic of future, grooming young players, and the like into selecting a team for the next match. Tendulkar or any other player should play if he is one of the best 11 players in the country for the nest test/ODI/t20. It is really that simple. This article is very smart I think. Tendulkar is a human being first and a star later. He should not retire simply because his fans(haters?) feel he is not the great batsman he once was. He sure is not. But so what? He should continue to play as long as there is not a better batsman to replace the Tendulkar of today. Also I feel it is not player's responsibility to choose himself in or out of the team- just as a player cannot choose any other player in or out of the team. It is the selectors job to do it. That said Tendulkar is not looking good for more than one year now. And if he fails to perform this home season he should be politely shown the door.

Posted by bhrangi on (November 30, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

Again I don't know why people are calling him selfish.,, There was a time when sachin got out, we all will change the TV channel, knowing that Team will lose, there was a time when he got out, other will fall like a cards. Even in last world cup, he hit century against SA and got out at 40 th over and score was 250 something and in remaining 10 over our all batsmen got out just for 38 as whole. India lost that match., people call him selfish., utter nonsense. and I agree he is not in form and sure he will retire after this series if he is nt good in coming 2 matches. just give him some time and give respect on what he has done in the past for Indian team.

Posted by mano.mcse on (November 30, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

Can you stop taking about Sachin's retirement....no one tell him to play cricket, so on one have rights to say to retire....He is a legend in the world cricket..he is god of cricket...he is a run machine in Indian history as well world.. please encourage him to play Cricket...

Posted by   on (November 30, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

hey all cricket fans... sachin's not foolish to play on this lean period even while all the world whinging abt his form & retirement... he would know his limits & strengths better than anyone else...he's playing bcz he knows he can play big innings and i bet ya its coming in kolkata...

Posted by othello22 on (November 30, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

I'm Australian so I really don't care whether Sachin plays on or not, but this article is preposterous. So it is selfish to expect Tendulkar to admit his lack of runs is hurting the team and bow out gracefully? And more importantly, doing so knowing that his board would never even dream of dumping him regardless of how woeful his form is? What a load of rubbish.

Posted by sanju1646 on (November 30, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

Sachin still has 2-3 years .. he is just going through bad patch, I'm sure he will bounce back.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

hey all cricket fans... sachin's not foolish to play on this lean period even while all the world whinging abt his form & retirement... he would know his limits & strengths better than anyone else...he's playing bcz he knows he can play big innings and i bet ya its coming in kolkata...

Posted by basusri133b on (November 30, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

The tone of this article beggars belief ! Mr Monga you cannot hide an eight hundred pound elephant ! It is indeed moot as to who is being selfish right now.

It is painful, and churlish to criticize possibly one of the greatest cricketer of all times. But time is a remorseless taskmaster. The decision to retire or not is up to Tendulkar.

But the question is on his current form, how long can he retain his place in the Indian team ?

Posted by kartiyk on (November 30, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

why does evryone suddenly start blaming sachin.. how is te test loss suddenly be put on sachin. what about gambhir shewag and yuvraj? he makes a comeback into cricket and suddenly no one talks about him... and the top of it our captain?? he the main passenger in the team ..first try to get these players a replacement and then start about sachin.. and if you dont know sachin has scored the most runs outside india in the past 2 years than anyone in our team...if you dont agree come up with your points ...apart from dravid he was the better player in england and he was the only good player in aus..

Posted by DEV_ME on (November 30, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

A Romantic article - but not practical. If others are hiding behind the elephant called Tendulkar - then sack them. Whoever said the Indian Cricket team does not need real players ?? The talent cupboard, though not brimming, is yet enough full. One only has to look at the players warming the bench. Gambhir, Yuvi, Raina, Tendulkar, Zaheer, need to be given some time off. Right now change is required - and urgently. Achrekar sir has himslef said about Sachin, that he does not when to stop - right from his school days. Sachine needs to be told - enough is enough.

Posted by raj040686 on (November 30, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

1. We die hard Sachin fans adore him so much because of our love towards the game, it is not the reverse. 2. It is a bad excuse to say a debutante is not good enough to replace a giant like Tendulkar. It is an unfair comparison. A Tendulkar or Dravid or Kumble are what they are after playing all these years. Only and if only we give a youngster a chance, he can make a name for himself, by playing, by committing mistakes, by learning and standardizing. 3. If Tendulkar wants to share his pearls of wisdom, why not make him a coach or batting consultant or someone who could travel with the team? 4. Tendulkar may come back strongly,he might even score a few centuries and defy his age but what difference will it make? Let us suppose he helps the team reach the number 1 spot again, should he retire then and let the team deal with the gap of his absence? NO..This is the right time to retire and let Dhoni build a future. We all love you Sachin, but it is time to go. :'(

Posted by caught_knott_bowled_old on (November 30, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

Either Mr. Monga is being incredibly clever or completely obtuse. In making a statement such as "a debutant can't be sent to the vultures", he's either making a clear case for SRT to be dropped immediately - which makes a lot of sense OR to retain SRT through to the SAfrican tour which makes no sense whatsoever. The "elephant in the room" comment also can be interpreted both ways - remove SRT so that all the issues are exposed. While Monga's true meaning is unclear in this article, its clear that none of the fans are being "selfish" because we want to remember his better days. Its about rebuilding the Indian team with the next set of players - for which the time has come!

Posted by Chedchatri on (November 30, 2012, 3:48 GMT)

@ itsthewayuplay "hasn't played a match-winning or game-changing innings in the last 4 to 5 years" Really?? Its fine to criticize his current form and non-performance, but stop the hysteria and get some perspective. It was only last year when he made one his best Test match hundreds at Cape town against Dale Steyn. Cricinfo labelled it the contest of the year.....India would have won that match if it hadn't been for a certain Mr Kallis playing a heroic match saving innings. 2009-2010 Tendulkar was the best Test batsmen in the world by a long shot. It was in the same period when he scored his 175 when India chasing a monumental 350 were 170 odd for five down. Personally, being a huge Sachin fan, it is painful to watch him struggle. And I would love if he goes out on a high.......but I agree with Siddharth if the fierce competitor in him thinks he can conquer this latest slump, he has earned the right to give it his all and try one final time.

Posted by 1MAK7 on (November 30, 2012, 3:23 GMT)

Why do people keep saying he should retire in order to give "opportunities" to youngsters? Sid says it well in fact.........if there is such an abundance of talent in the country, why do we keep falling back on Yuvraj or Raina when they have proved numerous times that their game does not suit the longer formats?

So instead of simply saying "give opportunities", please enlighten us with the names of the replacements as well and why you think they should not replace a Yuvraj/Raina or Gambhir too...

Posted by Vaibhav3418 on (November 30, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

When tendulkar performs well he says " You should serve your country when you are at high" & when he performs bad he forgets his own statement.

Posted by Sooryan_Indian on (November 30, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

I think that people still don't get the essence of this article. This is exactly what I've been saying to the majority of so called group who will be happy to see sachin's back in the form of retirement.

Fantastic article. One who questions sachin's game is not a good reader of cricket. Sachin, as he has done so many times in the past, will silence all the critics and silence all pessimist of Indian cricket by his performance. WAIT AND WATCH

Posted by wake_up_india on (November 30, 2012, 3:08 GMT)

That it is "selfish to expect Tenduulkar to retire" is one of the most ridiculous examples of inverted logic I have come across. We perhaps don't get it that cricket is a team sport, not 11 guys playing golf together. If Tendulkar were a mutual fund, would you be buying it today? If he is not contributing to the team but feels that he still has it in him, he should go back to the nets and sort out his game in private, and perhaps come back through regional tournaments -- the Indian national team is not the place to get remedial practice. And please lets not talk about his records. After all, we are not asking Gavaskar or Kapil Dev to come back -- they too have great records.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (November 30, 2012, 3:03 GMT)

Sidharth Monga should stop such senseless articles. None of his arguments make sense. Yuvraj scored 70 odd runs in the first test and is a much better fielder. Even Gambhir and Ashwin scored more runs than Tendulkar in the last six test matches. I am all for replacing Zaheer too. He hasn't done much lately and is showing his age now. India doesn't have to go back to Raina and Yuvi if selection committee does proper job. Rahane and Tiwari are good replacement and so are many more. No player should be entitled to be in the team based on distant past performances.

Posted by BeatTheChamps on (November 30, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

"The elephant that nobody used to speak about is now hiding other people's failures just because he is so big"

This is so true!

Posted by ChevChelios on (November 30, 2012, 2:50 GMT)

I strongly disagree that Tendulkar has not been given preferential treatment. S Badrinath, Manoj Tiwari, Ajinkiya Rahane and Murali Vijay have been performing heavily in Ranji Trophy and other domestic competitions for quite some time now, average well over 55 in the 4-day cricket and have techniques and temperaments solid enough to allow them to be tested in longer formats of the game. Cheteshwar Pujara has just answered his critics, performing in conditions where many of his statistically more illustrious teammates failed. Uday Kaul and Saurabh Tiwary are two names that should be looked at seriously and groomed as future inductees into the National team, and I have to say this that India has to come out of its superstar galore policy in the team. Star power might be good when pulling in crowds for show pony competitions like IPL, but for taking on the best attacks of the cricketing world, contributions are needed.

Posted by Reggaecricket on (November 30, 2012, 2:50 GMT)

Apart from 137 against Indian Railways (not a worthy opponent for him!) his highest score in the last 10 innings has been 27. I can understand the emotional aspect that goes with the culture. Given that, people will want him to play when he is 42, but the game is more important than any individual. He is just shy of 40, Sachin has played since age 16 and achieved many milestones and glory for India, but right now, he is standing in the way of youngsters who are more likely to bring India victories than Sachin's present form indicates. He should take a leaf from Ponting's book and retire gracefully, without waiting to play Bangladesh or Zimbabwe to get runs again.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (November 30, 2012, 2:50 GMT)

A top and senior most player who has not performed in the last 6 test matches and a very average performance in the last two years doesn't deserve a place in the team. It doesn't matter whether a suitable bench replacement is there or not. One will never know. We may get another player like Pujara or Kohli. The replenishment process must continue with new talent.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (November 30, 2012, 2:45 GMT)

Very well said..The question is "Where is the bench strength?"..and if there are good players, why do we keep repeating Yuvraj ,Raina, M Vijay on regular basis? Why are we persisting with Dhoni , although he is a provel liability in test matches....Gambhir's lean patch has been longer than sachin's , but he is still in the team....Sehwag Scored century after 2 years, but no one talked about him... So, efven if we want to bring in youngsters, they should replace those first who have not performed since a very long time..Yuvraj has been in the International cricket since around 12 years but he hasn't been able to seal his place in the test team....why should we give him so many chances? Raina has been around for at least 7 years, and his case has been the same..

Posted by satish26284 on (November 30, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

I want to ask a simple question. Will you people retire from your work when you fail 2 or 3 times in your work. There are lot of youngsters with MBA's, MCA's, B.E's, Degree holders waiting for job with better talent than you? They are also the future of India. I know most of them didn't even know how to hold a bat. Stop your crap comments of Master Blaster.

Posted by ChevChelios on (November 30, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

Sid you mentioned Yuvraj. Seriously, have you forgotten that this guy was the stand-out performer for India in the last ODI World Cup and he has just returned from a career-threatening melanoma. He is an excellent limited-overs performer, but Tests are not his forte, so spare him a thought and replace him with someone who can perform in longer formats. It is a fact very well known that India has never been able to produce an enduring, durable and quality fast bowler, so Zak at least is a far better option against the mediums of Munaf Patel and Ajit Agarkar, and he has struggled on Indian pitches where nearly all English seamers did as well. Ashwin is probably the best no. 8 India has produced in a while. Combine that with his wicket-taking ability and his control in limited overs cricket, he is much better than Harbhajan Singh and others, Indian selectors are so fond of reverting back to. These comparisons are simply not good enough to justify Tendulkar's run-of-the-mill form.

Posted by Angry_Bowler on (November 30, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

Whatever, Jacques Kallis will break all of his test records that's for sure.

Posted by JoieDeVivre on (November 30, 2012, 2:07 GMT)

The issue with Indian followers has always been emotional and we do tend to copy what the Aussies, SAF or England do. There has been lot of noise about Sachin's impending retirement and now that Ricky Ponting has the noise will only get louder. What people tend to forget is Aussies still have the 2 Michales - Clarke & Hussey with tons of experience and who does India have? Not many batsmen know how to construct an innings. While there is a merit in saying how much worse can it get if Sachin is replaces by Manoj Tiwary or Rohit Sharma or any other deserving batter but why replace someone just because he is getting on in life. Have we found a replacement for Anil Kumble yet, is there a replacement for Zaheer Khan in sight? We are not Australia where bench strength will be found in plenty nor we have the strongest of structures to groom a youngster. Virat Kohli, as much as I admire him is yet to fire regularly in Tests. I really do think we should stop spewing venom, enjoy till this lasts

Posted by jugadu on (November 30, 2012, 2:02 GMT)

When a team is struggling, the seniors are expected to show the way and lead by example. In this team, if Dhoni, Zaheer, Gambhir and Tendulkar fail, who are our role models in the test side ? There is no Kumble or Dravid in the team anymore so these four senior players have a greater responsibility.

Tendulkar is not dictating terms like he used to or like the highest run scorer in test cricket. He is less reassuring than Pujara at this stage. As with any other batsman, he should be dropped if this continues.

Posted by ChevChelios on (November 30, 2012, 2:01 GMT)

My dear Sid, just like Dravid a couple of days earlier, you have fell for emotions over reasoning as well. No one is questioning Tendulkar's work ethic, his will to perform, to strive and his desire to give it all. But as you said it yourself, Time is one factor that takes its toll and tames them all. ODI season 2009/10 (14 mat 703 runs Ave 63.90), two outstanding 100s and milestones never achieved before, ODI season (11 mat 513 runs Ave 46.63), struggles but two 100s against good oppositions keep the things going. ODI season 2011/12 (10 mat 315 runs Ave 31.5), struggles, struggles and struggles. Test season 2009/10 (7 mat 674 runs Ave 84.25), outstanding, Test season 2010/11 (8 mat 855 runs Ave 77.72), excellent, Test season 2011/12 (7 mat 505 runs Ave 38.84), disappointments all around. There have been many times this when Tendulkar has clearly struggled to put bat on ball, to move quickly in the field, pointing at only one thing that Father Time has finally caught up with the god!

Posted by adesmpf on (November 30, 2012, 2:00 GMT)

There is no arguing about how great a player sachin tendulkar has been for India and how much importance he carries to the game of cricket..calling him a indecent cricketer would just be ignorant.....but sachin is not delivering the way he used to before....okay he might score a ton in Kolkata but it will be after 12 or 15 games.. isn't that a little too many games to wait for a ton?he might go out there and score the greatest ton of his life but the question is- Will he be able to deliver similar performance in the inning to follow?..possibly not....So i think it would be logical to get over his past performance and rate him as a current player..you want sachin to knock off a ton in every 2 matches..not a 300 ball ton in every 30 innings....even deep das gupta can do so.....So my point is if your tire is old and not taking you anywhere you replace them or throw them out,you dont keep riding in them just for the sake of past nostalgia

Posted by gdnaidu on (November 30, 2012, 1:45 GMT)

It's a ridiculous joke by SRT to say "it's selectors call". As a great sportsman, he should decide his retirement, in his own terms and not by the selectors. I bet, as any selector in India got the guts to drop SRT? NO. If a selector does, his house will be set on fire, stones will be thrown at his car. Come on SRT, get the inspiration from Punter and retire now, though you are over due by almost 2 years. You had a golden opportunity to retire after India winning the World Cup 2011, but you missed it and you will never get such an opportunity in your life time again. People talking about empty bench/cubboard, which I strongly disagree. Look at Pujara, had Dravid not retired, he wouldn't have got the opportunity to showcase his talent, there a 100's of Pujaras among 1.3billion Indians, give them a chance please. GD Naidu

Posted by Nathan_R_Patrick on (November 30, 2012, 1:44 GMT)

Ponting retired and Sachin and his close ones are waiting for Kallis to go. Sachin will pull the plug only when he is assured of no one breaking his records. Utterly childish!!! And why are we worried about someone equally prodigious to replace him? Genius are made only once in 100 yrs. But we'll continue to win with bits-and-pieces players. In fact everyone will learn the responsibility. That's the key to success in any team sport. 1/2 stars will never get you to finish line consistently every time. Sachin has that bitter taste in his mouth for first 7/10 yrs of his career. So indian cricket will survive without Sachin. We all know it.

Posted by Silverbails on (November 30, 2012, 1:36 GMT)

Surely, time to go, Sachin. He's hardly been involved in ANY of India's Test wins at any time in his long career that I can remember (unlike the legendary Rahul Dravid), ONLY for his personal glories and milestones, however quickly those have been scored in the past. He'll always be remembered as a wonderful player, but I'm afraid that Father Time has now seemingly caught up with him...NOT a team player at all...I suppose that the BCCI have a problem with WHO to replace him with, although surely there are quality batsmen who can play on ANY SURFACE playing in India at the moment?!?! Goodbye SRT...let's remember you as you were...the Little Master, at his best, rather than a great who's decline is sooo sad to watch before the world's media!!! Surely, you have NOTHING to prove to anyone, anymore...

Posted by sundarsg on (November 30, 2012, 1:36 GMT)

It is quite simple really. India must pick the best 6 batsmen, the best wicket-keeper and the best 4 bowlers in the team. Of course, some adjustments can be made to accommodate a good all-rounder - if we ever fine one - or for ensuring balance, or to get specialist openers and such, but in principle, the best 6 batsmen should get into the team. And Sachin is the highest ranked Indian player; I am talking CURRENT rankings not past glory. Not number 5 or 6, but number 1 among CURRENT Indian batsmen! So, where is the argument to drop him?

Posted by tennakoon63 on (November 30, 2012, 1:33 GMT)

Its time for him to step down and let a budding youngster take his place. I am sure there will be plenty of young talent.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 30, 2012, 1:16 GMT)

Tendulkar can struggle to his heart's content - in Ranji Trophy. Let him play there for as long he wants. He should have been dropped after his failures against England and Australia. We want India to win. We can't win with walking wickets like 10dulkar.

Posted by challagalla on (November 30, 2012, 1:09 GMT)

@santoshghirnikar, nice post. You said what many of us feel and put it very well. Ponting had the support of his captain and selectors to play another series. Yet he chose to retire when he felt he was not contributing to the team cause. He may or not do well in Perth , that does not change it. His mind may have wanted to continue but his body told him no. This is something that SRT should understand and in the interest of the team announce his retirement at the end of this series. I would like him to play the last 2 tests of this series and go gracefully.

Posted by RaviNarla on (November 30, 2012, 1:00 GMT)

"If the cupboard was brimming with such exceptional talent, why would we keep going back to Suresh Raina and Yuvraj?" Are you kidding. Rope in Badri or Manoj Tiwary they will show how to play tests. For god sake given them a chance to fail. Raina and yuvaraj occupied that #6 slot and have proved nothing. Rahul Sharma would have been a better bet than Bhajii. He is currently the tallest spinner. He is fast in air and he would have wrecked havoc. Selectors open your eyes and see the world. There are lot of good players. Look out for people who have proved in domestic consistently for years. I am great fan of Sachin. I would rather watch a Virat Kohli or for that matter Rohit Sharma struggle. Not Sachin. We are always 10 steps behind in Selection than any country.The state of cricket is so messy until some good measures are taken.

Posted by sachinanddravid on (November 30, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

Come-on Master you have played a lot for India and you alone brought up our nation from nothing to world class team in cricket.you have nothing to proove to anyone in the world. but as a Die-hard fan of you,I want you to score big hundreds in the coming two matches against england and close the mouth of all peoples who are talking abt ur retirement.as you say earlier i know u r not elephant,u r a horse.if u fall down u can wake up immediately and can run very fast than before. I dont know how its paining to you because of ur failure,its paining a lot because when i started to watch cricket there was one man who used to dominate the world cricket better than anybody in the world. you have been played so superbly against walls,ambrose,bishop,waseem,donald,waqar,saqlain, warne,murali.but its hurting ,because you are getting out for average bowler. please hero come and deliver a big hundreds and close the mouth of peoples who are talking, u are not good enough to represent india

Posted by Andross on (November 30, 2012, 0:47 GMT)

I'm sorry, I totally disagree with this article. If there is no one better than Tendulker at the moment, then India has to groom the next one, which means they need them in the side playing higher level cricket. I think sometimes people's expectations get too high, Every ones looking for the next Tendulker and no just the next upper order batsman. We had the same problem in Australia when Warne retired, we went through about 5 spinners in two years because no one seemed to stack up after Warne. But Tendulker is not going to be around for ever, & I find it hard to believe that there are no young batsmen in India who couldn't get thirty or so in ten innings, so why not make the change now.

Posted by superdecoder on (November 30, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

Sachin is the only player who has played and challenged every aspect of cricket on the highest level since 1989. The current generation of cricket supporters would never admire what Sachin has given to the cricket in India. Now he is about to touch the finishing line of what has been an extraordinary career full of achievements, so please don't push him down. Over last 20 years Sachin had provided all the good times we have cherished along. Consider Sport as no different than other Arts. A connoisseur understands and admires every genre and age but popular demand always is for the one who produces chartbusters. Just admire him for all the chartbusters he has produced, don't seek his resignation because it is not coming lately. This is Consider this as an ideal platform for a new Artist to make his mark and we have seen Kohli and Pujara capable of just doing that what Sachin has done so for. If you don't know what it means then just watch the reaction of Michale Clarke on Ricky Ponting.

Posted by laxmanrules on (November 30, 2012, 0:40 GMT)

I don't blame Tendulkar alone. He is trying as hard as he can and was in fact looking good in Australia. We have lost 9 tests out of the the last 12 and the main culprits in Gambhir, Sehwag and Dhoni do not even so much as feel the pressure of scoring.

Absolutely despise this culture of backing batsmen for 6-7 years. Dhoni is not building the best test team, hes buiding the team that best suits his comfort. Can we identify two batsmen in the Ranji trophy who can play good seam bowling a la Dravid/Tendulkar?? From my four years of watching Ranji knock-outs, Rayudu seems the best of the lot and he scored that brilliant hundred in NZ on a green pitch.

More than anything, I want to see the selectors and the coach back someone they believe can actually play seam/swing and just accept that Raina and Yuvraj are fantastic one-day players but not made for tests (contrary to what Raina may believe). Yuvraj has forever been a passenger.

So frustrated with the team selection....

Posted by funnykumar on (November 30, 2012, 0:14 GMT)

I won't respond to the claims that Tendya is keeping someone deserving out of the team... Let us assume he is ( which I don't think so).. Even those players won't want to enter Team India at the expense of their hero... India with so many inherent diversities in every field.. the only constant thing which unites every Indian is Tendya.. Every Indian is more than happy to see the Master on batting crease as long he feels his reflexes are sharp...

Final note -- when will Tendya effect leave the Indian pyche..? may be when Indian cricket team plays like the great West Indian or Aussie team... Then he would become part of folkfore...till then feel fortunate that you are watching the Little Man with bat in his hand...

Posted by prabachris on (November 30, 2012, 0:11 GMT)

All are saying that ,there is no one near sachins caliber to replace him, but you know how long it took sachin to hit is first one day hundred , i think its nearly after 70 ODIs.So if you dont give a chance to a young player to establish himself then how it possible to groom young players for the future indian cricket.see man sachin is greatest among great batsman , but he is middle aged now 40 years ,even if he is fit enough to play if not scoring runs means that the basic failure. it will spoil his reputation which he has globally.so its BASIC MAN, (For Example)AROUND 58-60 YEARS, IN ANY GOVERNMENT JOBS A PERSON HAVE TO RETIRE ,Because he did enough and he need rest , think what will happen if all the government employee refuse to retire ?

Posted by zoot on (November 30, 2012, 0:04 GMT)

India are not good enough to carry batsmen and win matches. Tendulkar averages 22.8 in seven tests this year and at his age he might get worse rather than better. India probably would not have lost 4-0 to England and Australia if they had picked younger promising batsmen like Pujara for those tours.

Posted by thegreatwhiteduck on (November 30, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

As an England fan, I'd love India to continue to select Tendulkar for the remainder of the series. He's a walking wicket.

Posted by funnykumar on (November 29, 2012, 23:57 GMT)

Guys.. Here we are talking about Tendulkar .. not just a great player who has great stats to show...Just once recollect the joy 10dulkar has provided the Indians during 1995-2003 and 2007-2010.. Come on.. how can you quantify this persons achievement in terms of runs scored/ wickets taken. Those who have seen in his prime would never utter anything judgmental leave alone anything against him.. I bet most of the negative comments are understandably coming from kids who haven't seen Tendya in prime...Or non Indians who can't relate to him as Indians do. Remember the days when Indian's used to get glued to their television sets airing matches on Doordharshan when he was at the crease... Indians who have watched him in 90's considered him as their own family member playing for India..There was no other obsession throught for India in those days..He was the only hobby, entertainment through out the country. Now India has developed, and rightly interests changed..cont

Posted by NaniIndCri on (November 29, 2012, 23:49 GMT)

Not getting preferential treatment? He can pick and choose the series/matches he wants, someone else will get a permanent place if he retires. Anyone who says there is no bench strength is hilarious. Bench strength develops by playing different players not by sticking with 40 year old who is not going to improve. If the same principle was applied to Sachin he would have come in to team after age 30. He was very talented no doubt about that but He has so many records because he came into team so early. Now why is he denying the same opportunity for other players?

Posted by Hardy1 on (November 29, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

On merit he has little right to be in the team. I love how we're talking about the need for experience in planning for a series a year away. If, as is more likely than not, the current trend continues and he makes insignificant runs in South Africa, what good is that experience? RUNS are what counts and he isn't making them and hasn't been for a long time so he shouldn't be in the team, simple. No one's asking him to retire but he shouldn't be selected in the team either. As stated, there's plenty of good young Indian batsmen waiting in the wings and his performances need to be assessed independently of others, just 'cos Gambhir may be doing worse doesn't mean Sachin deserves to be included. Would Sachin have had his chance soon enough if Gavaskar had kept going forever?

Posted by D.Sharma on (November 29, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

Will there ever be a journalist who'll have the guts to speak against Tendulkar?

Posted by Vkarthik on (November 29, 2012, 23:26 GMT)

I stopped at "that is selfish". Article pretty much explains why our country could not dominate the sports we are so crazy about. Hero worshipping. He could play all the home tests and retire right before an abroad tour. India will have to send a complete noob team which could result in another 0-4 humiliation.

Posted by zaman2012 on (November 29, 2012, 23:25 GMT)

if you cant score 30+ in 10 straight test innings, it is worth giving someone else a chance. At least Sachin should step aside for a little while.

Posted by OzWally on (November 29, 2012, 23:23 GMT)

I'm not sure which is sadder, the fact that SRT has not reached 30 in his past 10 innings and doesn't realize it is time, or that India (with a population of 1.2 B) doesn't have anyone to step into the side that can at least equal that.

Posted by SubhashishNath on (November 29, 2012, 23:11 GMT)

What nonsense is this? I hope I also don't get hooted off as someone who is not a fan. He has contributed immensely. But it's a team game at the end of the day. When was the last a 40 year old man allowed his struggles for extended periods in a team game any where else in the world? I thought genius was knowing where to stop. Indian cricket team's bench strength is bare. There's no sense of purpose to rebuild a team. The T20 League has ensured that the long format is killed for good in this country. Whatever young talent is coming up is usurped by the League. Pujara was lucky to have played quite a bit of the long format by default. Is Cricinfo gradually becoming another mouthpiece of the handful of vested interests that keep creating a band and try to sustain it as long as they can. I feel pathetic for a great player of the game not because he's looking pathetic on the field but because he's allowing his soul to be sold so late in his career.

Posted by Sudeep2111 on (November 29, 2012, 23:02 GMT)

after reading these comment I can say only that in indian squad currently there is any player who can fill the place of THE Sachin.And we have seen when suddenly the 3 great player of australia takes the retirement then what happen to team. So,I think that we need sachin expereince and one thing I can say dont talk any thing about sachin he is a great player and he can handle these type of situation very well. So just pary for Sachin that he comes in his form and just make these criticsm worthless....just do it Sachin.......We are with you.....

Posted by miyer_cricinfo on (November 29, 2012, 23:01 GMT)

Sid, why get on Yuvraj's case when talking about Sachin?!? The poor guy scored 74, 0 and 8 in the three innings he has played so far in this series. Other than Pujara and Ashwin, no other Indian batsman really acquitted himself in the Mumbai Test. It seems unfair to make such short-memoried statements about a player who has come back from unimaginable trauma and is working hard to make a place for himself in the team. And Yuvraj bowled all of THREE overs in the Mombai test! Sigh .... We don't seem to realize that we have amidst us a player who, given sustained opportunities, could turn out to be a world-class player.

Posted by KukaSekhon on (November 29, 2012, 22:56 GMT)

How about firing Dhoni from test team and captaincy. Put Sehwag and Gambhir on notice. Ashwin to be sent to fitness academy. Bhajji to domestic cricket.

Lets look at Rahane, Parthi Patel as keeper. Virat as Captain for test team. lets look at Awana, Varun Aaron, There is enough talent to fit the test side. But this team BCCI is run by BCCI crooks,selectors...

Posted by moBlue on (November 29, 2012, 22:48 GMT)

you are all entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own *facts*! don't exaggerate sachin's failure in tests! sachin has only failed in 6 tests - not 4 or 5 years! read that again... 6 tests, people! the 6 tests before that weak streak produced (23,91), (7,76),(38,DNB),(94,3),(73,32) and (41,80), the first test *in* ENG and the last 2 tests *in* oz! look at those scores again! they don't represent failure in tests!!! guess how much they average? 50-plus! falls into "great" territory! so, lay off sachin, k? the man deserves 6 more tests after what he has done for IND over the years! i was there in the 90s! without sachin, there was no IND, let alone being world #1!!! so, yes, sachin deserves 6 more tests based on cold hard facts, not just sentimentality!!! ...and guess what, if he ups his average to 45-plus by then, he deserves 6 more tests! as long as he plays, he stays!!! *he* - not you! - gets to decide when he retires! 'cos he hasn't "failed"!!! {cricinfo, please publish...}

Posted by PPD123 on (November 29, 2012, 22:36 GMT)

Awesome article. Like the thought process. Rather than pointing the finger at Tendulkar (granted that he is not scoring runs the way he should), I feel the failure is collective. If you take the 2nd test for instance, when Pietersen was going hammer and tongs, the bowling looked innocuous and that was the game changer on that track. Once Eng had a lead of 80/90, it was always going to be very difficult. If anything, I think Tendulkar should just look to play freely. He should let him mind just switch off and play shots. Right through his career, he has played on a different plane whenever he has had an attacking mindset. he always tends to suffer, when he looks to defend or play tme out. If there is anything that Tendulkar should change for the 3rd and 4th tests - it is that he should start aggressively and stay that way right through.

Posted by Monty_86 on (November 29, 2012, 22:34 GMT)

I am a SouthAfrica supporter. Tendulkar has always been my all time fav despite so much envy shown towards him when he used to score lots of hundreds I always argued back. But if I was asked whether he has the same talent the reply would be a sad NO. Lets admit this article was just to either protect or support his presence in the India cricket team. Oh common lets not be taken for a ride. India is a country with full of talent and in particularly producing world class batsman. Look at Kohli, who knew him 3 years ago. He has come in and settled so well that i feel if he continues injury free he can easily reach Tendulkar's no. of centuries in ODI. Look at Shiv Chanderpaul he is superb and so is Kallis. When you have not scored a hundred in 23 months you must realise its TIME UP! and if you are Tendulkar 23 days without century would be a disaster let alone months. So if he retires, I am 100% certain that the new lad will be in a better position to succeed him.

Posted by luks on (November 29, 2012, 22:32 GMT)

This article is the biggest insult to Indian cricket. According to the author, there are no future Tendulkars in India. No batsman is capable of playing better than him, even with him being 39 years old. I don't buy that argument - we have lots of batsmen with potential, even more than Tendulkar. Tendulkar himself has said that Kohli might one day break his records. Dravid himself has said that today's batsman are far more talented than he was. Dravid's replacement is doing quite well. Its time to blood other young batsmen. Every argument in this article is no pathetic, that its not worth responding to. Unfortunately, this will be Tendulkar's legacy from now on. Sad.

Posted by moBlue on (November 29, 2012, 22:27 GMT)

i don't understand IND fans. leave sachin alone! focus on the following. gambhir needs to go, can't play outside IND. rahane should open, if he fails there is dinesh karthik (a ton *in* SA, peeps!). dhoni needs to go. not suited for batting (or fielding) in tests. karthik or saha should play instead. pujara and kohli are in. if sehwag plays at #6, we need another opener. sachin stays! ...because no one else is better yet! not raina (can't play bouncers), not rohit (no temperament), not yuvraj (can't play spin), maybe that dude from chennai, yes, he may be the only one ready to replace sachin, but who knows how ready he is for SA (he did struggle recently against fast bowling). so sachin has time. sachin deserves time!!! he got my back in the 90s, i am certainly getting his back now!!! y'all are ingrates! he is the greatest ever IND batter. period. how dare you *tell* him to retire?!? he goes when he wants to... period! he's earned it after carrying IND all by his lonesome in the 90s!!!

Posted by ohyeah01 on (November 29, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

What a sad article....the state of Indian cricket is that Tendulkar will play cricket till his 60. It's time to let go people...people come and go but the games live on!!

Posted by BravoBravo on (November 29, 2012, 21:59 GMT)

I give it to S. Monga, he is really expert in glamorizing defeats and weakness of IND cricket.

Posted by rajcan on (November 29, 2012, 21:53 GMT)

What is this article about?. Why Mr Sidharth Monga brushing up here. Why cant he simply say Tendulkar should not get preferred treatment. He is also like many others in Indian management does not want to say anything against Tendulkar. Yes, Tendulkar is a great batsman, he has achieved a lot, now he is sticking around and taking away another youngster's opportunity and not contributing to the team at all. Would they allow any promising younger for 10 consecutive tests scoring less than 30 runs?. Why Tendulkar is different from Laxman and Dravid?. When these two were not performing few tests, pressure was mounted on them, but not with Tendulkar. Mr Monga please do not paint the picture that the people like to see Tendulkar playing and they want to see him not failing. In fact, people who are even die heart supporters of Tendulkar feel, at 39, not performing even as an average batsman, he is doing a damage to Indian cricket and also young growing batsman. Anyone agree with me???

Posted by Nampally on (November 29, 2012, 21:52 GMT)

Sidharth, You start this article in a great fashion when you say Old Father time has consumed one more! Please tell me, Why will it spare Sachin - a legend & all? I can quote a beautiful lyric from the Beatles: "Yesterday Love was such an easy game to play, Now I need a place to Hide Away".Time & Tide wait for None. Sachin was a Legend & now his time has come. No body is saying there is a replacement available for the Legend in India. But we have to develop one. By keeping him longer you are only delaying the process which is more dangerous for Cricket in India. Dravid, Laxman, Ponting & Strauss all understand this & moved away gracefully. Sachin & the Indian Selectors should understand this. This is a fact of life. Gavaskars, Kapil Devs & many before them retired as well. Why are we so shocked at the "R" word for Sachin? Sachin was the greatest Indian Cricketer of all times & will always be one of the greatest in the World. But unfortunately it is time for him to quit Test Cricket!

Posted by cricketfan89 on (November 29, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

To all those people who keep saying that he needs to give place to the youngsters read the article again. None of the players we have on the benches are in form. And for the person who said "the youngsters need to struggle in the middle", the youngsters that come in to the team should not struggle. They need to be in form now and for a considerable time into the future. The youngsters should be able to fill the shoes of the legends that we have and currently, none of them do. They all play a couple of matches and boom, they are not in form anymore. What about Rohit Sharma? how much has he proved his worth in the team? We have talent but we also need players with consistency. We are not looking for a 'one night stand'. we need a long term in-form commitment form who ever is willing to fill in in the team when the legend steps down. Until that time, until we find the right players, Tendulkar deserves his place in the team for he is not being selfish, he is looking out for the team.

Posted by PSYGangnam on (November 29, 2012, 21:46 GMT)

Ding Ding Ding - Thats the bell Tenny, time is up ! Time to pack up! Sick of watching 35+ yr olds struggle to make runs test after test, please give the cricketing fans the opportunity to watch some up and coming bats men ! I know they are not going to be as good as you but letÂ’s be honest in the last 2 year you have done nothing or should I re phrase against quality opposition, you have done nothing substantial! Enough said

Posted by cricket-india on (November 29, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

so gambhir, ashwin, yuvi, etc have also failed - so what do u say sid, if these guys are dropped would you accept the prevailing argument that sachin should also be dropped??? agree with u we're not exactly overflowing with batting riches - but that's precisely why we need sachin to go right now, for the replacement to find his feet and be ready for the acid tests abroad against steyn and co. in any case if sachin goes we won't seach for the next sachin; we'll only search for the best number 4 we can get. it may be a lottery, a parade of guys may come and go, we may even lose a few tests (not that we're winning too many anyway, right?), but that's the only way to go about it. and the sooner we do it, the better it is for indian cricket.

guys, take all the arguments everyone ever came up with to justify their demands that dravid and vvs shoulkd retire. apply them to sachin and check if they lose their validity. if not, they guy has to go, right???

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 29, 2012, 21:41 GMT)

I think that for many Indian supporters SRT's performances in the 3rd & 4th Tests are rather more important than India winning either or both games, such is the hold he has over the nation! If, say, the cricketing gods were to give him a hundred at Kolkata & India was to lose, how many supporters would be more satisfied with that scenario, than India winning a match in which he had two more failures? It's a question worth asking, IMO, because it seems to me that Tendulkar is greater than the game he plays in the hearts & minds of many. It cannot be at all easy for him walking out to bat, knowing that virtually the whole nation is at prayer for his success. He must know that the sun is setting on his fantastic career, but still his fans expect/demand so much. No one should be asked to carry such a burden, yet he does! The Little Master has become the slave of millions & the puppet of commercial enterprises. It would not happen in any other country, believe me. Some nations are kinder.

Posted by jango_moh on (November 29, 2012, 21:27 GMT)

not bad points mentioned by monga... sachin is def struggling bcos of his previous high standards, and i wouldnt mind him being dropped, BUT only if Gambhir, Dhoni, yuvraj(maybe) are dropped, and zaheer/bhajji/ashwin are put on notice..... let it be consistent!!!

Posted by sharidas on (November 29, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

As an Indian there is no question, I admire Tendulkar and all that he has done and I continue to do so. But, remember, he came into the team as a teenager and has gone on all these years with records after records. So, should we not give a promising player the same chance and support ? Our Indian cupboard is bare, because, like Australia, we had quite a few giants in the game who left it all of a sudden. Australia is slowly creeping back with a lot of youngsters and so must we. Sachin is my favourite, but he should leave his place for a youngster to South Africa.

Posted by JustIPL on (November 29, 2012, 21:13 GMT)

Whether he is playing or not other talent around him can strive to win. Let him work on his own agenda and whatever milestones he wants to achieve. At the end of day there are 11 players in the team and it should not be dependent on single player. History also is on this side as well only 39% of his hundreds were scored when India won so other players constantly chipped in to make india triumphant.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 29, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

@ianbellfan (November 29 2012, 18:13 PM GMT) You're missing the point. Scoring a century doesn't alter the fact that he hasn't contributed for a good few years. Any batsmen who plays long enough is bound to score a century but once in two years doesn't justify his selection over the entire period.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 29, 2012, 21:04 GMT)

'Allow the man his struggle' - I do but it should be in Ranji and not at the expense of the opportunity for another batsman.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 29, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

There are as many people who are struggling to understand why when a no 4 batsman hasn't played a match-winning or game-changing innings in the last 4 to 5 years continues to selected. Being dropped and going back to the domestic game to rediscover form is not living in an ideal world but living in the real world. Giving another player a chance surely couldn't do worse than Tendulkar. How can Sid say that Tendulkar has not been given preferential treatment when he has been given nothing but? It's not rocket science - you play well in Ranji, get a decent run for the national team and if you don't do well another player gets a chance and you go back to Ranji and start over again to win your place back. Nothing perfect about this, just common sense.

Posted by SantoshGhirnikar on (November 29, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

What utter tripe! So we keep SRT because there is no bench strength? Even with Sachin in the team we have lost 8 out of 9! I have friends who are diehard SRT fans and are ready to beat the crap out of me when I state that SRT has overstayed his welcome by 2 years. But they are speechless when I ask them if they think SRT is the future of Indian cricket. The answer is a resounding NO. So what difference does it make if we induct some youngsters and give them space and runway to establish themselves? Yes, initially we will lose, sometimes badly, no different from what is already happening. And this argument that there are others who are not performing so why pick on Sachin is ridiculous. Sachin has set a standard he is not meeting. Additionally he rarely delivers when it is needed most. 2003 WC fell to McGrath in the first over. 2007 WC in a must win game bowled neck & crop by Fernando of all the people. In 2011 could have carried India home, but out to a ball he could have left alone

Posted by SCC08 on (November 29, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

Sachin is not the player in the rest of the worlds eyes as seen by Indian eyes. He should retire before the SA series because Kallis will show him who the real great player is.

Posted by cricfan65 on (November 29, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

SRT might score a century in the next test but will that really change anything ? His technique and reflexes are clearly waning, which is why he is getting bowled so often. And no, he is no longer the most prized Indian wicket; that honour goes to Kohli. Most fast bowlers have figured out that if they bowl straight and full to him, Sachin will sooner or later be out bowled or LBW. I wish the BCCI had the intestinal fortitude to drop him. At the very least, it would send a clear message to the other non- performers that they can't take their spots for granted. Yes, there is no one even near his caliber waiting in the wings, but it is better to fail with new and upcoming players than to persist with older ones hanging on because of long- ago heroics !

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (November 29, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

come on guys. let the genius keep playing as long as he wants. he will retire one day but it was not his batting alone that india lost matches at home and away it's team effort. even super hero kohli is not scoring runs in test cricket so what about him.

Posted by Solution on (November 29, 2012, 20:32 GMT)

Bottom line for all of us: Its not about someone retiring. Its about who they will be replaced with. If we had found someone better than Sachin, he would have retired. He is still better lot in current talent pool in country. Kumble Retired...did you find another one capable of the same spin standard?

Posted by InnocentGuy on (November 29, 2012, 20:24 GMT)

Let's keep in mind that SRT didn't fail because English bowling is good. That's a joke. Everyone knows that English bowling is worth jack squat. SRT failed because he is slowly, and inevitably, losing his instincts. It is just age catching up with him, that's it. It was bound to happen at some point. It is happening now. And to persist with him just because he means so much to Indian cricket is to do disservice to Indian cricket.

Posted by pawaramol22 on (November 29, 2012, 20:22 GMT)

@ianbellfan: It was Indian bowling attacked which looked second class in 2nd test not England's

Posted by SrikanthReddi on (November 29, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

What would the hatemongers do it Sachin scores a blazing century in Kolkata? Shut the mouth for another year? You need to see Sachin at the larger picture than a small frame. Sachin will rock!

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (November 29, 2012, 20:14 GMT)

A balanced article. It is well written and paints Sachin's side of the story with great compassion. However, this rhetoric piece is not sufficiently persuasive to justify why Sachin should either not be dropped nor drop himself. In most career and emplyment situations, annual performance reviews are conducted and suitable actions taken for both over and under achievement. In Sachin's case, it is the weakness of the employer that mediocre performance is being allowed. In an era of professional cricket, this situation rankles. Finally, I do agree that we lost the Mumbai test because of our poor quality spinners - Harbhajan should not be re-picked and Ashwin needs to start bowling, not batting.

Posted by ProdigyA on (November 29, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

Its a given fact that Sachin's end is pretty close, if not this year may be next year. But before him, there are many other passengers in the side who are hiding behind Sachin. Lets start with the captain himself. He has a terrible captain in Tests and has done nothing with the bat for a long time and now his keeping skills are being compared to Kamran Akmal. He should be shown the doors first.

Posted by Suryawanshi_ on (November 29, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

Selectors again making India play with one man short... SRT has not showed up for a very long time... I do not know what is expected here.. a sudden return to form? This old habit of keeping non performing players on the team just because they had performed in the past is hurting the team most. You cant field a 11 member team in which members are out of form and expect results..

Posted by cricket-india on (November 29, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

so sid monga, tell us here, what happens if sachin struggles with his barren patch thro'out india's home tests and then eithr gets hurt or retires just before the big overseas series against south africa, what would we be left with? a badri or a rohit or an X or a Y doing one of the greatest impersonations ever of a deer in the headlights (with due apologies to all deer)? the only reason sachin is hanging on is the mini-industry that he supports, the one that will collpase when he goes and hence won't let him go. no one - repeat, no one - has earned the right to decide when he wants to go, much less IF he wants to go. form, age, performances, contributions on and off the field, these are the judges. and by all counts, sachin fails. he is not the future of indian cricket. he is the past.

Posted by tests_the_best on (November 29, 2012, 19:40 GMT)

If one looks at the tours to eng and oz, sachin was the one player who looked in fine nick while dravid, vvs, sehwag struggled. In the current series, more important than the runs he gets, one must see if he looks comfortable at the crease/reflexes are well etc which seems to be the case. Consequently sachin shouldn't retire now and also because we don't want the big 3 leaving in quick succession as you need some mentor on the tour to sa. Imagine if ponting, hussey, clarke retired within an year of each other. If he continues to fail in the remaining 2 tests and the first couple ones against aus, then maybe it's time to call it a day. As for denying another youngster an opportunity, I would much rather drop yuvraj first and try out rahane or tiwary.

Posted by Bowl_Meaner on (November 29, 2012, 19:29 GMT)

Im a huge Tendu fan... born and brought up in Bombay, Ive seen him play all my life and can't imagine cricket without him. BUT. This is about India and the future of Indian cricket. Tendu has given a LOT to India and has benefited a LOT from his work. Lets get that straight. Indian cricket does not owe him a spot. It shouldnt owe anyone a spot. While Gambhir and Yuvraj have had rough patches, they have a future with India that goes beyond a couple of years. Tendulkar does NOT. I don't believe that India has a lack of "brimming" cricketers. I think the selection committee and board have a lack of vision and standards.

With that said, its not just about Tendu, its about performance in general with all batsmen. We need a better yardstick to "rest" players if they are not firing over a certain period of time. A world class team doesn't lose 8-11 tests in a year.

Posted by AmandeepJindal on (November 29, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

Sachin is a legend. Please Sachin, just watch the videos, not long ago, when you could dispatch almost anything to the fence with the minimal of effort. All that is in the way of you and form is lack of that carefree batting, that tentativeness that could creep in any person's head if thousands of tongue are wagging. Just watch your own video when you scored 200 in the odi and go out there thinking nothing else. Then how won't you able to paddle sweep almost anything English spinners throw at you. I, like many many other Indians out there truly believe that you will come back with a bang. And what better place than Eden gardens. Good luck Sachin. Good luck Team India. We are with you. I believe in you.

Posted by ssvapk on (November 29, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

pointing out Sachin for the defeat is unfair. for those who is complaining -- blocking path of youngster... show me the promising list of youngsters waiting who can play test cricket and score hundreds.... just imagine few games without sachin for test cricket(talking about only test cricket) and we might still loose the match and will start pointing out the next person. probably I guess Dhoni or shewag. .. Only Team effort is going to give the win... blaming just one person always is not going to work out...

Posted by perl57 on (November 29, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

I think Sid, you have been very nice to these people's wishful thinking. They just want Sachin to retire because they know not what they want. They think a Pujara will walk on Durban and score 400+ in a test. A Tiwari will take on Nathan Cummins and blast him past all corners on perth. A dhoni will hit a cover drive that makes poets write pages of poetry. Fact is, Sachin's worst is Kallis' best, Bradman's greatest. That comparison itself is enough for people. Tomorrow after Sachin, they will say Viru needs to go and then Dhoni needs to go..... for what? Do you even know why you are asking Sachin to retire? Compare the captain Dhoni's batting to Sachin's batting since Sachin started failing. Heck leave Dhoni, compare viru, gauti, Yuvi, laxman till his retirement with Sachin. You would not have an answer. If Sachin goes, it will become the same series where India even with Sachin was bowled out for 100 and 66 in Durban. Bradman is a human, Sachin is a legend. Understand that.

Posted by cricisme on (November 29, 2012, 18:59 GMT)

I agree with Monga, we should allow all struggling cricketer to continue until they regain form....starting with Rohit Sharma, Badrinath, Kaif, Jaffer, D. Karthik, Uttapa, VVS Laxman, harbhajan singh, Suresh Raina, and anybody new like M. Tiwary who were given only few chances... If Tendulkar "the GOD" needs 2 plus years to regain form why not 4 years for others to settle....

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 29, 2012, 18:57 GMT)

@RandyOZ & cric4lyf: Both of you must be having MISERABLE lives for you to come to Cricinfo and type such mean stuff about a living LEGEND. Look at the mediocrity going around in world cricket nowadays ! You both speak about selfishness which is has NOTHING to do with Tendulkar. My only regret with Sachin is that he could have called it a day after India were on TOP of the world in EVERYTHING 2 yrs back. He's a FOLKLORE who should be sang and glorified by future generations of cricket lovers. Too bad both of your opinions are in the minority.

Posted by InnocentGuy on (November 29, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

Let's keep in mind that SRT didn't fail because English bowling is good. That's a joke. Everyone knows that English bowling is worth jack squat. SRT failed because he is slowly, and inevitably, losing his instincts. It is just age catching up with him, that's it. It was bound to happen at some point. It is happening now. And to persist with him just because he means so much to Indian cricket is to do disservice to Indian cricket.

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (November 29, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

To all those who are asking why Sachin is being singled out, here's the answer. Let's take Dhoni first. Agreed he did not play well overseas and his place is to be under constant scrutiny but if it had not been for his crucial knocks (especially the last innings chase) during NZ tour, the series would have been 1-1. Let's take Pujara and Kohli - consistent performers (even though Kohli is yet to do well vs Eng). Let's take Raina, Yuvraj - Raina performed in 1 innings and flopped in 2 and has been dropped. Yuvraj - same case which is why his place is under scrutiny. Let's take Sehwag, Gambhir (the 2 openers whom I feel should NOT be playing). Even they had some useful opening partnerships Vs NZ, Sehwag scored a century, Gambhir scored in the last innings. Now take Sachin. No performance after the 2nd test in Australia. Flopped all 3 innings Vs NZ. Flopped all 3 innings Vs Eng (plus he looks like getting out). That's why he is targeted the most. Others are in firing line after him.

Posted by anilkp on (November 29, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

Good article, Sid! You raise valid points that stability in the middle is much needed, and who else than SRT when the famed middle is gone? However, how useful he is to the team with his consistent scores of below 30? How inspiring his recent scores are to other youngsters in the team--especially when they see someone of the stature of God failing so miserably? I understand that people should look at what he has been doing for over two decades now, and should show some restraint. However, it is not the fault od people; they are questioning what they see o9bviously. And, should not someone as intelligent as SRT listen to the voice of his own body? Why delay the inevitable?

Posted by Sultan2007 on (November 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

Wholeheartedly agree with the author of this article. Sachin should go when he says he is ready. A man of his stature and professional honesty will not stay a day longer than he thinks he can or should. It will be a tragically sad day when it happens though. Interestingly though, there is nothing in his movements that suggests that he doesnt belong at that level. There are several men on the field on either side that are not as sharp as him. He is still a rapid runner between the wickets. If anything, I suspect he is not playing enough cricket to be really match sharp when the Test matches happen

Posted by ianbellfan on (November 29, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

@utkarshspat: Mate, if SRT is now falling to second class bowling, would you also say that his runs were scored against such bowling if he were to score a century at Kolkata? Your appreciation of SRT does not have to be at at cost of humiliating others. Monty got him out with a couple of peaches at Mumbai. As far as SRT's retirement is concerned, I agree that he has earned the right to find form but what are the limits of that right? Are we picking 11 players or SRT+10 players? If it is the latter, it is wrong even if the player happens to be SRT. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that BCCI or the selectors do not have the gumption to stand up to him and give him notice. But at times, that is what is needed to remind that however mighty you may once have been and possibly still are, you cannot presume your place in the team for granted.

Posted by Gdesai on (November 29, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

A well written Article. Retirement is always an individual's decision and nobody can force him to retire. Its up to the selectors to decide whether he's still good enough to hold his place in the Team and i can't see a reason why he isn't especially considering some of the other players performance in the Team. Lets hope that he will come good and bring a few smiles to his few hard core fans in the world!

Posted by Hurricane08 on (November 29, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

Yes there are other players that are struggling with form and there seems to be one common theme with all of them - age! Only in India can your record be placed above results. Sachin, Zaheer, Gauti all have had a great record for India, but that doesn't mean they are immortal. The youngsters have to come in. Virat Kohli proved his mettle in the tough Australian conditions. Pujara took India on his shoulders to victory in the first test. Even Ponting has acknowledged and bowed to age! Sure, Sachin may score another century against Bangladesh - but does that really mean he is back in form?

Posted by xylo on (November 29, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

ah. Tendulkar is not getting preferential treatment. This is as true to every subcontinental fan as hearing that their governments are not corrupt. I don't understand why Dhoni is being compared to Sachin by fellow commentators. It is not like Dhoni's primary job is to bat than to keep wickets. And, so called Sachin "fans" accepting that he has had a rough year need to realize that when you say that for two years, it means that he has had a rough two years. Now with VVS and Dravid gone, his true ability is being laid threadbare, and his "fans" are just not liking it. As for the cupboard brimming with talent, that is the selectors screwing over domestic performers and going for ODI and T20 specialists. Why did it take so long for Pujara to be inducted? And, has the domestic run machine and Dravid-clone Badrinath ever been taken for a test? The selectors wrecked his confidence by throwing him into ODI cricket rather than his core skill - test cricket. And, hey, have you heard of Rahane?

Posted by DipsoManiac on (November 29, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

A very balanced and well written article. We have still not found a suitable replacement for Ganguly and people are calling for Sachin's retirement. As you mentioned, where is our cupboard full of talent?The so called young guns have miserably failed and the only good batsman we have found till now is Pujara. Let's not call him the next Dravid till he plays outside sub-continent.I wish he really does well.But all the Dhoni's favorites have proved themselves to be just flat track bullies.They can't perform on spinning tracks nor the wickets with pace.As Dravid said, we need Sachin more than ever!Dhoni has just lost 8 straight test matches and another one at home on a wicket which he begged for.Why is no one calling for his head? For me, Dhoni needs to take a lot of blame for recent poor form of India. His mindless defensive tactics and total lack of any tactical intelligence are as much to blame as players poor form. Lets just hope Sachin decides to stay for at-least an year to help!

Posted by Rajesh. on (November 29, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

Amidst all the crap here is one excellent well thought out write-up. Good job Sidharth Monga !!

Posted by nlambda on (November 29, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

The guy who REALLY needs to retire after the next test is Harbhajan. That would be his test #100, and that is probably 15 more than he should have played. Very disappointed at his bowling over the past few years and in the last test.

Posted by MattGurnsy on (November 29, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

No dude! It is all about evaluating your contribution and looking youself in the mirror. It is an old saying that itis always better when people ask you why rather than when. Sachin has already dimished his aura by releated failure and yet hangin on. I believe if BCCI had the courage and ability to enforce - Sachin would have lookedat his contribution long long time ago and called it a day when he had nothing more to achieve/prove. Right now he still has to prove that he has got it in him to deliver. That is quite a different burden to bear.

Posted by s.moda on (November 29, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

The article rightly points out that it is not individual failures which is costing us the game but the team as a gropu is failing to perform. It would be unfair to criticise srt and dhoni for the debacle..

Posted by Shan156 on (November 29, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

I agree that Tendulkar should not retire now but if India has to wait till it finds a like-for-like replacement, then Tendulkar can never retire. For there will never be another one like him for, at least, the next 100 years. At least, it is hard to find someone who would start at 16 and play till his 40s, maintain that amazing consistency, pleasing to the eye, and terror to the bowlers. Someone who can play spinners and seamers, home or away, attack or accumulate, anytime at will. India has an amazing pool of talent but talent alone doesn't make a test batsman leave alone one of the greatest batsman.

Posted by ashok16 on (November 29, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

I think we need to stop obsessing over individuals. We have lost 8-0 in Aus/Eng and now we are losing to England at home. It is time to gut this team and reconfigure it. It is better to lose with a newly learning team than this one. The last 20 years have been below average for India. 1 world cup win and a brief stay at the top of test rankings, when there are only about 8 teams really competing in cricket is a very crappy run. Gavaskar achieved more. There is nothing for Tendulkar to gloat over besides meaningless individual records. Of course this wont happen. We will continue to worship individuals and the rest of world will either ignore us or laugh at us & still take our IPL money.

Posted by sportofpain on (November 29, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

Well written Sidharth - a lot of people bash him now but adored him when he got runs for India. Think of him as a servant of Indian cricket doing EVERYTHING he can to help the team. He can be selfish and retire - yes that sounds counterintuitive - but really he has nothing left to achieve personally. So he could call it quits but wouldn't that actually be selfish? Now he is playing with pride to keep India's flag flying high - his average might come down but it doesn't seem to bother him. He wants more Indian wins - that is what matters and if he can help accomplish that he will stay. Why don't people think of that and applaud him for actually being unselfish. Oh and btw applaud him each tiem the master walks to the crease - it won't be long before we won't see him anymore and then we'll just have the memories. So cherish the man - he has made us proud. And say 'Thank you Sachin'

Posted by JackleNet on (November 29, 2012, 17:27 GMT)

Who after ganguly came kohli..who after dravid came pujara...world doesnt end after tendulkar.....some one will come...instead of grooming youngsters in familiar home conditions...groom a 39 year old for a series where he historically not played gr8. if doesnt score in familiar home conditions he will surely score in south africa..wat logic is tat...not only about 23 months ....how about the lean patch b4 that..b4 scoring 100th 100 how many matches did it go..if you see strictly by contribution to teams cause..he shoulnt be playing home tests and ODI anymore ..should play Ranji..really if u need middle order experience go for overseas matches if fit and in form..there are some fanatics fans for sure.

Posted by Nampally on (November 29, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Sidarth,You say "If the cupboard was brimming with exceptional talent why would we be going back to Yuvraj & Raina". I would add that the cupboard is not "Empty". The real issue is the lack of planned development of players. Players have been aimlessly IN & OUT of the squad - like Yo-Yo's- never in XI - A Cowboy approach! The Selectors must have a plan for Team India with 2 pools of players- Immediate & Future prospects. Succession planning must be over a 3 year period. I think Tiwary is a fine middle order batsmen deprived of chances for the past 18 months. He is an ideal #5 batsman after Pujara & Kohli. Yuvraj is in the team as an All Rounder @#6. Develop Players by coaching- e.g., Chand, Rahane & Mandeep, Rohit Sharma for 4 batting spots over next 12 months. Accountability is totally missing from Team India - major cause for 8-0 overseas Test debacle! Define performance expectations of each player & impose penalties for Failures via grade promotion or demotion. Improves intensity!

Posted by 402_Navata_Complex on (November 29, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

The article definitely unearths the mindset of Indian cricket. First, MSD says that he is willing to step down as the Indian Captain, if the selection panel finds an "able" person. A similar message is also being portrayed in this article too that - Even though Sachin himself knows that he is going thru a lean patch, he is not stepping down because there is no pressure being put on him by an "able" batsmen. Not sure how long Indian cricket can afford this kind of a mindset from the players, who think they 'deserve' to be in the team because of past performances. Granted, there are other cricketers who are not performing as well - Gambhir, Viru, Zak - to name a few. But the newly appointed selection panel should not have a myopic view and should think long term. They should take some hard/brave decisions and try to build a team for the future. In a country of 1.2 billion people, talent is abundant. We just have to look diligently.

Posted by Edassery on (November 29, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Well, you say that it's almost two years since he got a test century. Others like Sehwag, Kohli, Pujara (if not Gambhir) all have scored centuries during this period. As for the recent form, one could claim that he's as bad as others. Even in that case, I would rather think of a younger player coming into the side who can plan a longer test career.

He could even get back to form in small spurts in the coming matches or months. But when the time is up, it's better to quit - that's what great sportsmen do. I wish some of the sports writers, selectors or ex-cricketers had the guts to say that openly rather than being over diplomatic.

I hope you publish this comment :)

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (November 29, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

To all those who are asking why Sachin is being singled out, here's the answer. Let's take Dhoni first. Agreed he did not play well overseas and his place is to be under constant scrutiny but if it had not been for his crucial knocks (especially the last innings chase) during NZ tour, the series would have been 1-1. Let's take Pujara and Kohli - consistent performers (even though Kohli is yet to do well vs Eng). Let's take Raina, Yuvraj - Raina performed in 1 innings and flopped in 2 and has been dropped. Yuvraj - same case which is why his place is under scrutiny. Let's take Sehwag, Gambhir (the 2 openers whom I feel should NOT be playing). Even they had some useful opening partnerships Vs NZ, Sehwag scored a century, Gambhir scored in the last innings. Now take Sachin. No performance after the 2nd test in Australia. Flopped all 3 innings Vs NZ. Flopped all 3 innings Vs Eng (plus he looks like getting out). That's why he is targeted the most. Others are in firing line after him.

Posted by sarangsrk on (November 29, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

Sid, Everyone loves Sachin and wants to see him bat and play for India for as long as possible but If Sachin has to struggle, its better that we allow a youngster to struggle which will reap us some benefits in future. Even if we agree that Sachin should be allowed his struggle, you made a very good point whether he would be able to play on till SA tour with this form and fitness. He should play and retire for right reasons. Also, it should be his call to make , not selectors. If he can choose to play and rest in some series, he should take that call to retire and not hide behind selectors.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 29, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

For me sachin should retire. period. Is he better batsman than most youngsters waiting? yes. Is he better athlete and fit ? i do not think so. There are always diminishing returns when you support old players. Its like asking insurance company to give insurance for the guy with cancer. No business wants to lose money on their investment. BCCI may look like a business , its feudal management. Meaning there are few groups they will support to death. Its thier horse they run it until it dies. But if i am sachin i would retire because he pave way for younger blood in home condition and well prepared for SA tour. Now with sachin dragging india to another loss with his shady batting. It looks so bad on him even his fans start to doubt his motive to stay. Darvid should have its sachin call not saying india need sachin. It is awful of dravid to say such a nonsense statement. Knowing sachin selfish nature he leave only he gets dropped. Basically daring selectors to drop him knowing they won't.

Posted by KarachiKid on (November 29, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

Tendulkar is modern day great but should be considered part of history.

Posted by East_West on (November 29, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

Monga, sorry to read your opinion! Sachin should retire! this guy is more selfish than any crickter I have known! For the benefit of younger generation, and to see the glory of future of India, this guy has to rather should be kicked out of the team! so many are waiting - Badri, Rahane, Tiwari, Kaif is past his prime, and the list goes on.....Thank God, Dravid and Laxman reitred at least Pujara got a chance, but Sachin is just beyond selfish!! Look at Aussies, why they have excelled this game for so long - but it is our Indian psyche that is detrimental to cricket - hero worshipping and so-called heros taking advantage of their status - oh! well,

Posted by blogossip on (November 29, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

I disagree with monga and I think he should retire. Its evident age is catching upon him and its doing no good to Indian cricket by blocking path of some promising youngster. Even if he does score some runs, point is we are witnessing a sunset and finally it should be acvknolwedged that alongwith other greats Tendulakr should respectfully go. sorry but its hurting future of Indian cricket- team is more important than an individual. I found it absurd that since hes working hard he should be spared. Werent pontings and dravids working hard but every sportsman retires one day. If Tendulkar wasnt Indian, he would have been axed with this performance. His performance was also one reason for india losing to England at home after 25ish years.

Posted by samudralakiku on (November 29, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

"Allow the man his struggle. He works hard to be an India player, and is not going to give it away just because we don't find it pretty" - I fail to understand why anyone writing or reading do not understand that a man in his late 30's is not the furute of Indian cricket. Without any doubt I agree that he is a legend. But I would still like to see him retire and let a youngster struggle there in the middle than a legend in his late 30's. I do not see a value in that. I hope Sachin and BCCI feels the same, for the good of Indian Cricket.

Posted by kevnssuresh on (November 29, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

Well said Sid, as you mentioned it is not because of his poor performance its because Indian supporters want to stay with good memories. He is a big elephant closer to one more land mark that one can never reach I guess so let him peacefully reach that land mark and leave the retirement decission to him and selectors instead of pondering on him as it is creating lot of pressure on him. I hope, will see a big innings in next two matches from him, as he always does once he gives away his wicket cheaply to one bowler he will come out strongly against him and team during next matches. So lets hope for a big knock from the LEGEND.

Posted by narvan on (November 29, 2012, 16:49 GMT)

Excellent article. I remember the sentence that Sachin said after his 100th hundred that "A PLAYER SHOULD NEVER RETIRE WHEN HE IS DOING GOOD FOR HIS COUNTRY " That statement changes my thinking about whole retiring on high. He will surely tour south Africa and he might retire after that and in due course he will hit some more delightful tons.

Posted by the_blue_android on (November 29, 2012, 16:49 GMT)

Yeah. He can play the game till he's 50 because he's still 'enjoying' his game. While talented youngsters like Rahane,Tiwary,Dhawan, Rohit warm the benches.

Posted by bharat247 on (November 29, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

Great article Sid! Why have people deflected criticism away from the spinners and Dhoni's repeated shocking captaincy? About time to focus on getting a better captain. Dhoni is far too defensive, any time a partnership (even if between numbers 9 and 10) lasts for 20 mins Dhoni starts pushing men out to the boundary - it worked once in Nagpur against the Aussies but it wont work every time. In fact it will not work more often. Dhoni is a useless captain in Tests and increasingly so in ODIs. If he thought the spinners were bowling too short, he was the captain and the wicketkeeper and both of the roles required him to go up to the bowlers and talk to them. Why didnt he do it? If he did and the 3 spinners didnt listen or could not do it, why on earth did he ask the selectors to retain them?

Posted by Thrikeso on (November 29, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

Well written. Yes Tendulkar deserves patience, and I am sure he will prove his critics wrong yet again. The problem India have is the other middle order batsmen are not stnading tall. Whatever happened to Rohit, Raina etc.? Do we need to keep trying Yuvraj? Is it time for Manoj Tiwary or others..if there is any? Can India play Rahane opening and make Sehwag play in the middle order? Surely something needs to change.

Posted by murdesi on (November 29, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

It is up to an individual to decide when to retire from a sport. Nobody can force him/her. In this respect, Tendulkar is no different and he has to decide when to hang up his boots. The question really is whether he should be part of the playing eleven given his current form or should he be rested for some time to get back his form. He is a great player and he certainly deserves to be given more leeway than what is given to an average out-of-form player. I feel that he should be play through the current series and the selectors should take a call based on his performance in the remaining matches.

Posted by gundavarun on (November 29, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

people might be worrying about the team performance.team doesnot mean sachin Itself.He is a part of team. There are many other players who are not performing upto the mark.It is wrong to say sachin to quit the game as he is going through torid time.The retirement should not be judged by the age.The retirement is a personel decision.No one should thrust on him about his retirement.After all is has got every right to take the decision.But from my perspective I feel that he should continue in international cricket untill he calls it a day.

Posted by ProdigyA on (November 29, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

Sid's articles are mostly bashing team India but it is refreshing to see such an article and the timing is perfect too. For me, Sachin has looked most vurnerable this year in India more than in England and Aus, but i think he should still continue. The major reason being, he is still the most feared Indian batsman. No matter where he plays or against whom his wicket is till the most priced for the oppostion. Another important point being if anybody needs to be dropped then its MS Dhoni then everybody else can be questioned.

Posted by VickGower on (November 29, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

This Indian team badly needs Sachin's experience through the end of this year at least. In any case if Sachin were keeping another Pujara out, that person should be in the team for Yuvraj.

Posted by Bond2008 on (November 29, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

Again there is someone who just comes up with certain statistics or theories to defend sachin tendulkar.. why the author has not mentioned manoj tiwary, rahane or badrinath ? Had we kept on sticking with old ones like dravid or laxman we wouldnt have seen Pujara !! Also, no individual is greater than a nation . Even if he can play for one more year what more it would bring to indian cricket ?

Posted by HK_Sachin on (November 29, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

Its clear that Tendulkar is in "shell". Its the same shell that we see in his lean patches. this one has been long. But the touch that he shows is still Godly.

Very engaging to watch. If he score a century in the series, the next world up isnt frankly rule out. Everyone knows that.

Sid good intention in this article, but by God, ready some of the other articles on the sites -- sometimes your articles dont flow fluidly.

Posted by Ritesh_Bhagwat on (November 29, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

Hi Siddharth,

What you are saying is correct but try Saying the same to Ajinkya Rahane and Manoj Tiwari :-). Just keep yourself in their or any other youngsters shoes.

Posted by cric4lyf on (November 29, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

hahahhah....indians open ur eyes...shame on u...england bowling is world class and sachin third class

Posted by jb633 on (November 29, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

Fans of cricket need to understand that it is almost impossible for the greats of the game to admit that nature (age) has taken its course. If they were to give in like this then they would never have been a great in the first place. Lara, Sachin, Ponting and even to an extent Steve Waugh struggled once age caught up with them. They all are greats of the game and would find it impossible to admit to themselves that they were fading in any way. When you build yourself up in your mind to be invincible, then how can you be expected to suddenly admit fault, weaknesses and doubts. I feel for Sachin like I felt for Ponting. I will always remeber him as a great no matter what he does from here on in. I just want him to retire and leave his legacy of world cricket. People from every country can respect the man and loved watching his play in his pomp. He has been a great ambassador for the game and nobody would begrudge the plaudits he has got throughout his career. Respect from England

Posted by badalrocks on (November 29, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

Cannot agree with this article more.

Posted by lettherebecricket on (November 29, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

The trouble with discussing someone like Tendulkar in India is that the conversation seldom borders on a rational discourse. This article is outright emotional. I do not want Tendulkar to retire because I want to see him in a good light, I want him to retire because he hasn't done squat in a very long time. And the players that Mr. Monga quotes who have had bad performances in the immediate past - Gambhir, Yuvraj, Ashwin - have all been dropped out of the test side at least once in the last 2 years. When did this ever happen to Tendulkar? The fact is that it is next to impossible that he will ever be a shade of what he was in the past. Lets think about Indian cricket for once and do what is best for the country. He can still take on an administrative role like tour manager when we go to South Africa to impart his wisdom on the boys.

Posted by Min2_cric on (November 29, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

say what u wanna say...but at the end of the day, sachin must retire...

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (November 29, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

Brilliantly written, again! "People are struggling to come to terms with his mortality." Excellently summed up.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 29, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

Very selfish cricketer holding out the spot of a young gun. Will only ever be remembered as a falt track first innings specialist. Not even in the same ball park as Hussey, Punter, lara and Kallis.

Posted by jb633 on (November 29, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

From an English point of view I this article makes no sense. India may have little talent in the bowling "cupboard" but there is plenty of talented batsmen in the ranks. India need to forever forget about Suresh Raina (ultimate flat track bully) and Yuvraj and look at players who have a real technique. I think Rahane looks a class apart as he plays well off the back foot, which is a rare quality in the young Indian batsmen. Just look at what Pujara and Kholu have achieved once they were given a go. India could switch 4 of the batting line up and they would be no worse off. Yes the experience is gone but if the expereince failing why not give youth a go? Sachin Tendulkar has been a legend of cricket but once your eyes begin to go that is it. I do not blame the man, it is the desire to succeed that made him what he is, but nature has taken it's course. Ponting has found the same thing. Tendulkar should retire at the end of this series, as a true legend and gentleman of the modern era.

Posted by InnocentGuy on (November 29, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

Mr. Monga, the issue here is that the cupboard IS brimming with talent and we STILL keep going back to SRT, Raina, Yuvraj etc. How will we ever know what the cupboard is worth if none of them get a chance to play? What a test of ability and mental strength would it have been for some youngsters to play a slightly less than top-quality team at home (i.e England in India)? Wasted chance except for Pujara. It's frustrating to watch this happen again and again. It's like we will never learn. Not even 8 straight losses on tour has taught us anything. Maybe 8 straight losses at home will, but I am not too sure of that too. Justifying any one person's inclusion by saying others in the team are far worse is no way to build a team. It's frustrating enough to see the selectors do this again and again and now to see journalists endorse that is driving me crazy.

Posted by bipulkumar on (November 29, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

Another sentimental blabber. Why not allow youngsters some space to get into the team rather than allowing Tendulkar struggle. Rahane, Tiwari etc seems to be stuck forever.

Posted by Avid.Cricket.Watcher on (November 29, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

Retire? Tendulkar is still the highest rated Indian Test batsman in the ICC standings - at #18 - despite his poor form in the last few months. He deserves to be in the Indian XI. Far more than a few others (as Monga rightly points out).

Posted by Avid.Cricket.Watcher on (November 29, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

Retire? Tendulkar is still the highest rated Indian Test batsman in the ICC standings - at #18 - despite his poor form in the last few months. He deserves to be in the Indian XI. Far more tha a few others (as Monga rightly points out).

Posted by utkarshspat on (November 29, 2012, 16:01 GMT)

Very well written, Sid. I have been a Tendulkar fan ever since I first saw him playing in Sharjah. I can't tolerate seeing him falling against second class bowling. I always cherish his aggressive innings against the Aussies, the Saffas, the Pakistanis and the English. You have hit the right point by saying that we wish to live with all the good memories. Yes, India needs the experience of Tendulkar now, more than ever because we don't have Dravid, Laxman or Ganguly anymore. Moreover, there is no like for like replacement for Tendulkar like we got Pujara for Dravid. I just hope that he starts playing aggressive cricket again and rises from the ashes like a Phoenix. Long live the Little Master, the Master Blaster.

Posted by cricwick on (November 29, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

A well balanced article I must say.I cant understand all this Tendulkar bashing.Agreed he has had a rough patch this year.But the manner in which he is singly being picked out is pathetic.when was the last time Dhoni roared with the bat in tests?Why havent our spinners been able to do wat their english counterparts have done?All these issues are sadly being sidelined.

Posted by Dhanno on (November 29, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

Wow.. Now that is wrong on so many levels, I am at loss where to even begin ? No we are not struggling to come terms with his mortality, we are struggling to understand why someone else cant be mortally gifting his wicket at #4 for india. It can be Rahane/ Badrinath whoever. No it is not his ego which Sachin is swallowing, it is his ego which keeps him going still further and dragging the team.

Just because Yuvi, Zaheer, Ashwin are useless we should keep Sachin ? If cupboard isnt brimming, it is not due to cricket is going through weak phase, rather it is outcome of bad policies by BCCI and not questioned by media/fans. The policies like picking Yuvi/Raina based on ODIS is ex.1.

Yes you cant take newcomer to SA that is precise the reason why Sachin should be benched for kolkatta and any 24yr old be given a chance. And whats with the fatalistic views that in India selectors wont drop people like sachin so he should just stay ? Lets just continue bad policies and expect new results!

Posted by 777aditya on (November 29, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

"it will be wrong if he plays all the home Tests and retires before the South Africa tour, sending a virtual debutant to the vultures" - no need to read the rest.

Posted by Mann123 on (November 29, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

I have been a Tendulkar fan like millions others since my childhood. Its not that people don't like him or something but its just painful to see such a legend struggle. Would you want to see a tiger eating grass as he is old and cant digest meat or rather live like a tiger till he can. Also its not fair to say there are no candidates for batting positions. Selectors have not even tried Rahane, Rohit or Tiwary in long format. Already Pujara is proving the faith in some youngsters could pay off. They just keep trying the already tested and 'failed' new batsmen.

Posted by Unniambady on (November 29, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

Good article a different proscpective altogether.

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