India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 1st day

Tendulkar states his defence

He still doesn't have a hundred this year, but Sachin Tendulkar's determined innings was an example of how to dig deep and was a display desperately needed by India

Sidharth Monga

December 5, 2012

Comments: 149 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar acknowledges the applause for his half-century, India v England, 3rd Test, Kolkata, 1st day, December 5, 2012
It was mighty hard work for Sachin Tendulkar but he did produce a few vintage shots © BCCI
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People get anxious when Sachin Tendulkar starts to defend. Not just in bars and barbershops, not just on Twitter and in tea shops, but also in commentary boxes full of former Test players and Tendulkar's own team-mates. "The one that stays low can't be too far", "How long can he defend?", "He'll get out before stumps". Ever so simplistically, everybody begins expecting a wicket the moment Tendulkar begins to respect bowlers.

Everybody other than those who remember and swear by his hundred in Cape Town last year, where he basically defended and left alone through a crazy day's play because, in his own words, "one had to play a little bit outside the line" to take singles, which he didn't want to do. He scored 146 at a strike rate of 46.49 on a day when the ball swung and seamed to the whims of an on-song Dale Steyn, but by the time he went on his next overseas tour that masterclass in pure defence was forgotten, and pundits were back to predicting a wicket when Tendulkar blocked out as much as an over.

The thing with Tendulkar is, he has played for so long you can find examples of almost every kind of innings. For every Cape Town against Steyn, there will be a Sydney when he began to play for a break and got out. And for every such innings, there will be Sydney from eight years earlier, when he obsessively cut out the cover-drive, and defended, defended, defended before opening up and scoring a double-century.

It will be fair to say, though, that Tendulkar's dismissals when defending stand out more than his successful and long displays of defence, or even the dismissals of, for the argument's sake, Rahul Dravid when defending. Almost everybody has written off Tendulkar's defence or prefers his attacking game.

To Tendulkar it matters little. Speaking of his Cape Town innings, Tendulkar told ESPNcricinfo, actually making a larger point, "There are times when a batsman feels he is not moving well enough to take charge. And there are times when you feel, 'I need not do this. I am in control. Why should I just do it for the heck of it?' Somebody sitting in the stands or in the commentator's box wants me to hit a boundary. Why should I do it? I have to score runs, I need to make my decisions."

Kolkata on Wednesday was neither of the magnitude of Sydney nor were the conditions and bowling as challenging as Cape Town, but it was an important innings considering what Tendulkar is going through. This is a fascinating Test if you want an insight into Tendulkar's batting. He is 39, going through his leanest patch, India are struggling too, people are calling for his retirement, and he had both his edges beaten by a left-arm spinner in his last Test. How would he respond? Counterattack or absorb all the pressure and defend? Unlike outsiders, Tendulkar showed he trusted his defence again, playing an innings - albeit worth just 76 - that has kept India from rolling over and dying on a flattish pitch.

This was an obsessed innings. In both innings in Mumbai, Tendulkar was dismissed playing across the line, looking for that single around the corner. This time he cut that shot out completely. Only three times did he play that shot, and on each of those occasions the ball was safely down leg. It's a pursuit of batting perfection, played out in the pressure situation of a Test and despite his waning powers as a batsman.

Forget the single, he didn't mind playing out continuous maidens. Against Monty Panesar alone, his tormentor from Mumbai, he played six maidens. His 20 runs off 83 Panesar deliveries made for his second-slowest strike rate against a particular bowler in a particular innings (at least 60 balls long) since 2002. He either defended or left alone 88 deliveries out of the 155 he faced.

And it needed some of the best defence today. If defending against Panesar was to overcome a personal demon, had he not played out James Anderson and Steven Finn in the afternoon, India would have lost more than just two wickets in the middle session. He played late against the reversing ball, he kept out the yorkers, he swayed out of the line of sharp bouncers, he watching the ball so closely that even those that kept low could not squeeze through. One of them he even punched away for a four.

Just when Tendulkar was beginning to look comfortable, Finn managed to trouble him with movement each way. He was back to being cautious in those overs around the afternoon drinks break. It included that ferocious spell from Anderson too, which claimed Virat Kohli. After weathering those two spells, and a 21-over stint from Panesar, Tendulkar finally showed the first signs of confidence, lapping Graeme Swann to moving from 38 to 42. The innings began to flow, he even began to take the odd risk, but it ended to the first ball after the final drinks break of the day.

Had that amount of concentration taken all he had to give at this age? Did he just get a ball from Anderson that was too good? Those are questions for Tendulkar to answer. What is certain, though, is that the innings was a superb show of discipline, a reaffirmation that he was prepared to play at a level below what he is used to, that he might do it every time he comes out to bat if that is what it takes to prolong his career. Most importantly, it was something India still need.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by rajdelh on (December 8, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

Too much greed is not good for anyone. Kallis will anyway beat Tendulkar's record of test centuries. So why doesn't he call it a day and prevent his career batting average from going down further.It has already plummeted from 56.25 last year to 54 as of today.Personally speaking, Rahul Dravid will always remain India's best test batsman ever for me.

Posted by TequillaGuy on (December 6, 2012, 19:09 GMT)

@Bala_83: Completely agree with you. Dhoni is probably the worst tactical captain I have seen who has enjoyed such an extended run without anyone questioning his place in team. When India was winning tests, it was inspite of Dhoni's tactics rather than due to him. India should have won the series in SA but Dhoni decided to spread the field as soon as SA lost 6 wickets. Even in the home series against Australia which India won, it required heroics of Laxman, what should have been easy win. Dhoni's defensive tactics and mindless field placings have not been questioned even though India has lost 8 test matches on a trot and about to loose second one at home. I hope Sachin scores couple of centuries and India looses the series so that people will stop talking about Sachin and start questioning the poor captaincy of Dhoni. Would do a lot of good to Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

The Indian team does not show any TEAMWORK - if any exists, we don't see it. There is absolutely no motivation / pride playing for the country. Each one is acting like they are doing us a favor by playing for the country. If you dangle some money in front of them, motivating them to win this game for a agreed price - do you think they won't take the bait? You tell me.

Right now they don't look like they want to win - ( please observe their body language ) they are just going through the motions AND still getting paid handsomely for the pathetic show on their own home turf.

It looks like both the teams are playing on 2 different pitches isn't it? But they are not, they are playing on the same pitch !!! Mind you.

The whole Indian team CAN form a winning strategy - which is possible but they are too lazy right now - playing for themselves - not for the pride of country or for the fans / entertainment. Hence we have this stalemate - do you still want to watch and waste your time. ???

Posted by prasadram on (December 6, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

For all the ones who is criticising the genius, who always tells the master to call it the day as though they know everything abt cricket, pls here the comments of experts like Sir don,Sir viv, Shane warne, Nasser Hussain, Brian lara and many legends etc., about tendulkar as a cricketer and the value he brought(still bringing) to this sport. These peoples not only know the game but they've played the game in highest form. Tell me which cricketer has got applause from the great don? tell me which cricketer has got the prestigious award from the foreign country?(The order of australia award) and tell me which cricketer or for that matter a sportsperson who has played the sport with a billion peoples expectation every time he walks on to the field and these are all some of the frw reasons why he is far ahead of ponting and kallis as they have played in the teams with many good cricketers apart from them.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

With all due respect to one of our best Indian batsmen - Sachin, i feel he is not performing to his standards. Not only Sachin, Virat, Yuvraj, Dhoni and even our bowlers have not performed. Look at the batsmen and bowlers from England, they are performing as though they are playing on their home turf. And, on the other hand, is our Indian team, a whole lot of non performers, who do not have that in them to say to themselves that i can. Batsmen are not scoring runs, bowlers do not know how to bowl. Sachin ji needs to take a call at the earliest, not just play for records, enough is enough, lets give in to the numerous youngsters waiting for a chance. We could get the same performance from a newcomer what we get from Sachin right now, no big deal. I was expecting atleast two batsmen to be dropped. England is going to take this home series, for sure, the credit would surely go to Sachin and his team rather than saying Dhoni and his team

Posted by bobmartin on (December 6, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

Is it not time that all this hero worship of Tendulkar was put to bed once and for all... After all, he is only another batsman.. After 318 test innings, one would expect 51 centuries at an average of 54.67.. but look at it this way..he has only made a hundred or more in 16.04% of those 318 innings. Compare that to this cricketer.... who, after 268 test innings with 44 centuries and an average of 56.92, has scored a century in 16.42% of his innings.. Added to which he has taken 282 wickets at 32.57 and 192 catches.. yet no-one idolises Kallis as much as they do Tendulkar.. I know who I'd sooner have in my team..

Posted by Satyam_max on (December 6, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

The guy is slowly coming back to form. It just needs some time in the middle and slowly everything works. The feet moves nicely, the body goes to the perfect position, hands work in tandem with the body movement. And the overall instinct comes back . I am sure he will make it big in the coming test matches...

Posted by dav_yccc on (December 6, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

3-1 India? We're battering you!! Same old deluded Indian cricket fans you all said the win in Mumbai was a one off - but looks like the same in Kolkatta so far... There's always time for a good 'ol fashioned English collapse of course but so far so good

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

There is an story with every Sachin Inning now..... I think 3-1 victory to India will see Sachin saying TIME this month........

Posted by sweet2hrme on (December 6, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

Sachin shld retired now! I am big fan of sachin but nowadays i dnt find any class in sachin. He shld learn frm youngster how they play attacking game these days. He cannt play cover drive, he cannt play pull shöt, whn spinner is bowling he cannt come down the wicket. Makin 6 runs from 35 balls does it make sense. They way he is playin he need 3 days to complete his 200 runs. Playin towards third man, padell sweep. A man known for his aggression is playing very dull cricket. Too defensive and no class. Always strulling 4 runs whether it is spiner or faster. In his inning of 76 he never look cönfident. He shld learn frm cook n peterson how they are playing. Always play agressive if cnnt thn you shld retire. Dnt play dull game its request. Thnx

Posted by Simoc on (December 6, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

Looking at the scoreboard Tendulkar was top scorer. Makes the negative comments about him look ridiculous. Ponting is finished and has looked that way for awhile. Still world class at state level though. There is a difference.

Posted by aravind077 on (December 6, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

dhoni is not fit for test matches. replace him first. sachin is back in form

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Argument going for Tendulkar at least made something. Look at Kohli. However real argument is that should Tendulkar allow himself a struggle on a placid track against decent bowling attack ? regardless of what he ends up making.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 6, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Time to call it a day SRT. A struggling 70 runs, the man is a shadow of his former self.

Posted by GVNR on (December 6, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

enough of double standards.. if tendulkar is defensive, the bowler is good and pitch is difficult; if an youngster is defensive, he is not attacking and wasting time !!!

time for the little master to say "enough". he obviously struggling with footwork and is not fast enough to react ..

he is not performing, let us drop him, PERIOD. no double standards please ..

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (December 6, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

whne sachin was playnig it was pure bowling pitch likes of perth and ambrose ,lilli,shane warne,muralidharan bowling aroiund... but when cook ws playing it was pure flat track..

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (December 6, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

that was pure batting pitch...sachin made it look as a pitch with bounce of perth and ambrose and lilli in good rythm and spinners with double the power of combined shane warne and muralidaran.. it was very treat to watch as bowler was doing so much in non helping condition .full credit to sachin .hmmm..even after edgining 4 times sachin scored fifty..hope fully he can play another 4 more years to india.. this is absolutely good news for all other teams :)

Posted by Ramansilva on (December 6, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

Does Tendulakar know, Ricky Ponting called it a day gracefully.

Posted by Pane on (December 6, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Tendulkar is just a flat track bully,he is nowhere near Brian Lara and Ponting.Dravid and Laxman were best of India But Tendulkar is an average player,who just want to score for himself and not for the team. Kallis is the best player of this era,he averages 56 to tendulkar 54(most of runs on flat and dead tracks)and Kallis also has 300 wickets. So decide who is the best?

Posted by Samip16 on (December 6, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

Who ever here is writing against Sachin are not atall practical. No one of them will take their retirment from their work, if they have a faith that they can do. If he needs to push him out from cricket, then who is capable enough in Indian team to continue......No one is upto mark at this moment. What ever he is doing is an example for all. We should learn from him, how to fight. If you have faced difficulties and failure in your real life, you should not have raise concern against Sachin. Still he is contributing nicely to Team India. He is still the most valuable player. He should continue, until he beleives, he can score. It is upto him.

Posted by Sooryan_Indian on (December 6, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

Test match is all about TESTING THE MOST TESTED IN TESTING CONDITIONS AND TESTING SITUATIONS.

Tendulkar has seen it all. And so did the little master played as he normally does when india needs defence to be at its best to prolong with partnerships and score runs test match style.

England were awesome to tendulkar and tendulkar was magical in defending them. Good day's play. Keep going sach!

Posted by Bala_83 on (December 6, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

People who are saying sachin was struggling am sure have never been to a cricket ground to watch a test match. In this innings also among batsmen who have scored 50+ he has the better strike rate. The problem with Indian team they have forgotten how to play test cricket.. We need a change of personnel and it should start with DHONI.. I have said right from the start of his career, DHONI is not gud enough to be the starting XI of a test team. I still believe he is better to lead the ODI team. But should not find a place in the TEST XI and his attitude to test defeats pathetic.. Not sure if any INDIAN captain would still be the captain after losing 4-0 in Eng and Oz..or for that matter captain of any country..

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

All this deep analysis of his batting and dismissals prove the fact that after two decades, he is still the best in the game. Our subconscious mind does not allow us to believe that there is cricket without Tendulkar. He is the greatest cricketer ever.

Posted by memoriesofthepast on (December 6, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

Sachin will complete 40 years in April 2013 but the determination and desire to stay on the wicket is amazing as he showed with his half century yesterday. Another observation-ever since Englishman Duncan Fletcher has taken over from Kirsten as coach of indian team, India lost 4-0 in eng, 4-0 in aus, dravid retired, laxman retired, india have started losing tests at home on spin friendly tracks such as that at Mumbai. Is keeping with Fletcher as the coach really serving the purpose for Indian cricket team?

Posted by deep2sha on (December 6, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

TO ALL SACHIN HATERS.....i can understand easily now there is only one mission for all of you....just put this great man down ,any how....after scoring so brilliant 76 he deserves a praise...but you all are trying to show the world that he is selfish....go ahead...just remember one thing he is greatest of his generation....way ahead of ponting and lara...i can easily make out there are handful of people who are against him on this site...but you all will be outnumbered by all sachin lovers.......KEEP PLAYING SACHIN

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

It was a painful innings for the viewers.Beaten on several occasions and edging many it was an eye sore.If he continues like this he will be eroding his achievements. This innings although he scored is best forgotten

Posted by chin-music on (December 6, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

To put Tendulakr's 76 in perspective - in the context of an ageing, over-the-hill superstar struggling to accept reality , this was a personally brave effort to roll back the clock & certainly without it India would be in even greater trouble than they are. In the larger context, if this innings becomes a reason to justify his hanging on for the next 25 tests ( ..on the grounds that a "big one is just round the corner") , then this innings might have disastrous results for Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

Too early to comment. Wait & see. If he ends this series with a 40+ avg, he can decide, otherwise the selectors should decide. Rohit S had a good time in the 20-20. He should be next in line. And don't say 20-20 doesn't matter. If first-class averages mattered, Rohit S, Mukund & Rahane average around 60 and would have played far more tests than Yuvraj, Raina & Vijay. In fact, anyone who has played >50 tests has almost the same first-class batting avg as test cricket avg. Shouldn't that say something to selectors?

Posted by RKF on (December 6, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

people should not compare his half century with a young players 10 run.talking about future?if the present is ruined how can the future be good?can india cross the 300 mark without the hard earned score of tendulkar?which young player helped him in building the indian innings?NO ONE....!!!so appreciation is required for this man....and the so called selfish young players should learn from this master blaster.........!!!!

Posted by Dhanno on (December 6, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

@Neurosis. Sehwag and Yuvraj are not young. Sehwag's wicket for once was not his fault. Yuvraj, well he wouldnt be ina test team anywhere else in world. absolute disgrace by selectors to bring in players based on their patta achievements. What remains is Kohli. A guy with definite potential, best among young players some would say. Maybe he does not have the temperament for test cricket, but right now the way things are, very difficult to drop him while we carry players such as dhoni, yuvi, sachin etc. Out of them sachin should go as he cannot, I repeat he cannot improve/ regain his form of old, neither can be help the team in short or long term. Other two, well that is upto selectors, who would persist with these clowns series after series. I would agree a sachin is better than yuvi/ dhoni but not better than giving chance to a Rahane/ Mukund/ Badri

Posted by Aussasinator on (December 6, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

Tendulkar played like Dravid would have. if we can accept the same innings from Dravid and call him a face saver, why not give the same benefit to this genius? India would have been out for a 100 if not for this knock. Tell u what? a whole section of the public, media and former cricketers will not have a topic to discuss once Sachin retires. Please savour the last stages of a once in a lifetime champion's career and leave him alone.

Posted by sheenu on (December 6, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

It was a measured innings by the little master. Yes, he was not at his fluent best, but it was the kind of innings needed given the situation. For all the SRT-bashers, do you realize that Sachin is and has been the ONLY cricketer in the world for whom the crowd gives a standing ovation every time he walks in and out (even after scoring a duck), no matter WHICH ground he is playing on. Every cricket ground in the world is SRT's HOME GROUND!! And that is something to behold!!

Posted by GRVJPR on (December 6, 2012, 3:12 GMT)

Now everyone say he is back in form. Guys wait for another 50 innings for another half century.

Posted by mlkt on (December 6, 2012, 3:08 GMT)

gambhir and tendulkar's overcautious batting was the cause that india lost the day to eng.....thay added 25-30 runs off around 20 overs around lunch..which let eng come back.....it looks disgusting when players of their calibre dont see the importance of 2-3 singles per over, which releases the pressure.....what happens after that!!....an attacking batsman like kohli comes and try to play at that pace...and looses his wicket by defending too much....tendulkar has made 76 runs and that was a fighting innings, no doubt...bt who made it look so.....a first day flat wicket?...or atmost a disciplined eng bowling(i mean there didnt looked many deliveries which were unplayable)..?......i think it was the mindset of indian batsmen which caused their downfall......and sachin wa spart of that mindset!!!!!!

Posted by baranasai on (December 6, 2012, 3:03 GMT)

We should start looking for strengthening Middle order as well opening by bringing some new players in rotation.SRT has no doubt has been the strength in middle order with the walll Dravid.However as the new team is being built we should bring in more new players so that if any two three or even one click they will go intonregulars-like Tiwari Rahane Or Badrinath( no place for Jadeja or Rohit even if they score triple centuries-as they have failed in the past) /This will encourage youngsters to perform well/this is the time as the present players are getting to retirements and the process should be seamless

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 6, 2012, 2:34 GMT)

In 1987, at almost 38 years of age, Sunil Gavaskar scored a masterful 96 out of 204 on a spiteful pitch at Bangalore as India tried to chase down a target of 221 to win the Test and the series v Pakistan. The bowlers were Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and two top spinners. He then retired with dignity and universal admiration, respect and love. Srikkanth, Amarnath, Vengsarkar, Kapil Dev and Azharuddin combined scored just 57 runs in that innings. Yet people are applauding Tendulkar for scoring 76 against a second rate bowling attack on a flat, slow wicket. It's embarrassing, and it's disrespectful towards Gavaskar.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 2:34 GMT)

Sachin is not thinking about the future, he is thinking about the present, this test match. It is the BCCI/selectors who should think about the future and decide whether India should continue to invest in him or look for fresh blood.

Posted by PSYGangnam on (December 6, 2012, 2:27 GMT)

Tenny needs to retire, time is up ! He knows it, we all know it ..... Our batting has never been so brittle, our bowling is toothless - we are in transition phase… Best to look to the future and build a side around a few youngsters ! RETIRE RETIRE RETIRE ...........

Posted by Meety on (December 6, 2012, 1:55 GMT)

@acrosticbard on (December 05 2012, 21:52 PM GMT) - that's what I thought. Its innings like this one that I appreciate about Sachin. The 200 with no cover drive is set against a context where McGrath, Gillsepie & Lee had Sachin in all sorts of trouble throut that series. Whilst I wouldn't say Sachin was a walking wicket, but he was having BIG problems, so he shelved arguably the most productive & natural shot in the book & stripped out risk. To do that against really good opposition was brilliant (yes it was a bit dour), the mental application required was enormous. Whilst nowhere near as big as Sydney, Sachin had some Gremlins he needed to deal with & he did so very well - again thru mental fortitude!

Posted by CricketChat on (December 6, 2012, 1:30 GMT)

I am squarely surprised that an entire article has been written on Sachin's ordinary knock. Granted he scored more than 20 odd runs that he was struggling to make of late, but does it deserve this much of attention?. My respect for this author has definitely come down a notch.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 1:02 GMT)

@InnocetGuy. You are right spot on. Most of us asking for Sachin's graceful retirement are his ardent admirers, who would like to cherish fond and great memories about his playing days. Many are also worried about the future of Indian cricket, for which advance thinking, trials, errors, and re-trials are already overdue.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

I feel Tendulkar should be allowed his freedom. After Jacques Kallis, Tendulkar is the only senior legend left now. Also Tendulkar is scoring at a good rate if not very good. At least Tendulkar is scoring runs Ponting looked extremely shaky at the crease. Only Tendulkar knows what he needs to do to keep scoring runs. Also Kallis has scored a lot of runs with Amla's cushion at number 3. Tendulkar still has the top score in this innings this shows he is still absorbing large amounts of pressure even at this age. Tendulkar is still India's best batsman in the line-up esp. after the retirement of Dravid he has lost that reliability at number 3. Sachin should be given a chance to retire at his own terms so long as he continues being the best batsman in the line-up and so long he continues to top score in the innings like he did in this innings (unless MS Dhoni finally starts to score off his bat). SRT is the stuff of legend and he has earned the right to retire on his own terms.

Posted by TequillaGuy on (December 5, 2012, 23:15 GMT)

@rssampat, InnocentGuy, Idli_Dosa, enthusiastic, Stone-Aamir,Jose Puliampatta, ROXSPORT,hhillbumper: It's not as if the so called young guns have set field on fire. Rohit Sharma is still struggling to cement his place in ODIs even after playing close to 90 matches.His average is 13.66 in 13 ODI matches he has played this year.The guy who is struggling to learn know how to build an innings in ODIs and whose commitment to the game has come under scrutiny more than once is expected to replace a veteran of 34k international runs in tests?India is still struggling to find replacement for Ganguly who retired a while back.Yuvraj has just made a comeback, Kohli is finding out what life feels like when ball doesn't hit middle of the bat,Dhoni has been ot of form for a while now,Gambhir and Sehwag have been struggling as well.Pujara is yet to prove himself outside India (19 runs in 3 innings in SA) though I hope he does well.As Dravid said,India needs Sachin more than ever!Sachin,still relevant

Posted by TequillaGuy on (December 5, 2012, 22:44 GMT)

Gautam has got out again playing a shot which I find hard to understand. Is it a break in concentration or a release shot? Or is it just laziness? Or is it his over-confidence against spinners? I hope he tightens his game. Now, to all the sachin haters: So you want to throw a guy out just because he is old? Is that your problem? The random slander against the great man is something I find hard to digest. Ok, he had a bad 2012. 2011 was not best by his standards(47 average), but nothing we have not seen before.The only time he has looked out of form was against NZ and England at home.It's amazing people can find fault with this innings.The man struggling for form and under immense (unfair) pressure to leave the game comes in and fights his way out of it by putting his ego aside, making ugly( or beautiful, in the over all context) runs initially, against some really good bowling while players around him gifted their wickets away by playing loose shots.Mesmerizing test cricket!

Posted by Hunt134 on (December 5, 2012, 22:28 GMT)

@rssampat.. I guess guys like you don't know that individual performances contribute to the team. I don't understand why SRT is being criticized for playing cautiously to get out of hole..any batsmen would do the same when they are not in good form..i doubt if any batsmen would play aggressively without considering their personal form and team situation. I wonder what you do to yourself when you are not performing well at work..do you work hard to get work done ??? or do you take day off or pass on to someone else??.. ask yourself

Posted by TequillaGuy on (December 5, 2012, 22:28 GMT)

It was an amazing innings to watch. I was up all night enjoying what has to be one of the best bowling spells in sub-continent for a while.Monty and Anderson were bowling superbly and the sheer doggedness and willingness to fight it out instead of throwing it away by Sachin is what saved India from being 150-180 all out on a good batting wicket. You could see Sachin trying to get back into nick, getting the tough and ugly runs.I can not believe people are still able to find faults with Sachin even though none of their so called young guns were willing to put in the hard work. Kohli is now finding out how it feels when everything you touch with a bat is does not go for a four or a six. His defense looks poor and was always looking like getting out but I hope he learns from this.Yuvi has finally realized the importance of test cricket and is willing to put in hard work.Is it too late? I hope not.Gautam needs to tighten his game a lot.

Posted by Jojygeorge on (December 5, 2012, 22:19 GMT)

LillianThomson, before retiring when was the last time Ponting had the highest score in an innings......can't remember.......well it was a long long time ago.....he had become a mediocre player many years ago.....if mediocre players like Ponting can be kept in the team just because no other young blood is pushing him out then the same applies to SRT. Mind you SRT is the highest scorer for India in this match so far and we will know the value of this innings (match winning probably) in the next 2 or 3 days. I doubt whether Rahane, Badri or any other youngster would have survived this relentless and high quality bowling attack of England yesterday for so long.....At the test level one needs loads of patience and skill to survive which the new generation of players have to acquire through discipline, concentration and hardwork......

Posted by acrosticbard on (December 5, 2012, 21:52 GMT)

The double century without cover drives was in 03/04, not four years back.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

Tendulkar worked really hard for that half century yesterday. not only the good bowling but the pressure of not being good with the bat for sometime... but there is no positive for team india from his yesterdays batting... ajinkya rahanes 10 run would have added more value to the team future than tendulkars 76runs if rahane was given a chance in place of tendulkar.

Posted by Neurosis1979 on (December 5, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

We need to stop "Tendulkar Bashing " at every opportunity , the man was trying his best to hold up an innings that was in tatters, lacking discipline from other players. To those who say " Young is the way to go" how many young players adhered to the discipline that Sachin showed yesterday . Kohli ;Yuvraj; Sehwag ?? If one of them could have just said Dude i will stick around for s session , things would have been a lot different . Remember Test cricket is more a "Mental game " than a physical one

Posted by Buggsy on (December 5, 2012, 21:48 GMT)

A score in the seventies isn't going to win back the fans who abandoned him. Tendulkar needs a double ton which directly affects a win result for India, and now.

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 5, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

I think most, if not all, alleged SRT haters don't really hate him. Everyone asking for his retirement only want him to retire soon so he stays big in everyone's memories. The more we watch him struggle so hard to make a half-century, the more painful it is. Nobody wants him to surrender meekly in the end, hanging up his boots when he is eventually kicked out or voluntarily retires because he is physically incapable of pursuing cricket any more. That is why retiring after the WC would have been perfect. The entire cricketing fraternity was happy for him at that point. It was emotional and powerful. It would have been the perfect culmination to a nearly flawless career. Now it looks like he is trying to prolong something that is way past its due. Plus it is also unfair to a younger player who could be using these opportunities to make these mistakes and learning from them. He should have "died a hero, rather than live long enough to see himself become the villain".

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 20:41 GMT)

SRT is the lone player who draws masses to cricket in India. He sets the standard for principled behaviour and exceptional character on and off the field (I dare say that his example reinforced the resolve of others in this regard: Dravid, Laxman, Gilchrist - an Aussie who walked!). Till today he advises his captain to recall a dismissed batsman - who else in the world does? Further, in becoming the first millionaire cricketer, he showed the way for others to earn their due. He made it feasible and respectable - even fashionable - for an Indian to pursue a career as a professional sportsman. When he goes, we will see a marked decline in the standard of sportsmanship in world cricket. The Test match in India might die out. Minus his magnetism, Indian sports fans will turn their interest westward: European club soccer, US college basketball. I pray that he perseveres to 200 Tests. He deserves that as much as Bradman deserved 4 runs in his last Test innings. Will Sachin face tragedy too?

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 20:36 GMT)

Hey Sachin well done but we want big hundreds. I am sure you have a few left in you. Best of luck!

Posted by jango_moh on (December 5, 2012, 20:24 GMT)

give credit where its due, he survived and scored the highest score in the innings(so far), so all the haters need to compare the innings based on the context of the indian innings!!! i bet if any other player got the same score, they would have been lauded and ppl wud say it saved the indian innings... so a little perspective mates!!!

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

I like that when he goes through a bad patch, he takes a couple of steps back, plays more defensive, and gets some runs to get his confidence back. At 39, if you are not playing well, you would be very tempted to hang your boots. He didnt score a hundred today, but India has lost 7 wickets to some very good bowling, so his approach and his wicket were crucial. All eyes are on SRT, but no one in the Indian lineup apart from Pujara is making a healthy contribution. Players like Kohli, Yuvraj have not changed their game, they havent tried to be a little more defensive when the pitch and opposition demanded it. SRT made a significant contribution today.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (December 5, 2012, 20:18 GMT)

Did you watch the ball that Anderson bowled to get Sachin's wicket? If you did, you wouldn't be asking questions like that. That was the most unplayable reverse swing that you will ever see. Kudos to Anderson. And kudos to Sachin. Only a great batsman can get out to great deliveries. You and I....would have gone long before that ball.

Posted by Shriman on (December 5, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

One wonders how differently would Sachin have batted and how much more would India have scored if either Kohli (6) or Yuvraj (32) had shown a bit more patience while at the crease. Cricket is a team sport & batsmen flourish in partnerships. That Sachin scored 76 despite the lack of adequate consistent support at the other end & despite the incredible pressure he was personally under, is further confirmation of his class & pedigree. But, the Sachin-haters in this forum and elsewhere are too deeply immersed in their negativity towards the Maestro to recognize let alone applaud this.

Posted by HyderabadiFlick on (December 5, 2012, 19:29 GMT)

It's reversing buddy in Kolkata and see how Zaheer & Ishant will torment the opposition batsmen. Just wait & watch.

Posted by moBlue on (December 5, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

...continuing... there were other noticeable features of SRT's inning yesterday. SRT is indeed in poor form! but only for 6 tests like i stated before, unlike some here who exaggerate it! yesterday, his feet were not moving forward decisively - which is when no one has a prayer of getting him out! yesterday, my grandma could have gotten him out if she kept bowling straight at the wickets because his footwork was hesitant for about an hour or more! but he played straight - in the V - none of those flicks to square leg to straight on-the-stumps balls yesterday and most importantly, he read anderson's late reverse swing after a while! initially, he couldn't read it *and* his footwork was tentative! besides anderson was brilliant yesterday! but eventually SRT read him, and that is when the rest of his game opened up, and he paddle-swept swann in celebration!! that was a gem of an inning he played, and yes, anderson got him with the only one that could have- one that moved late only a hair!

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 5, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

he is not a bad batsman but i would still rather watch Lara,ponting and most of the England batsman. As for quality he has not done anything for a while and others would have been dropped but he knows no matter what he will be picked because he is Sachin

Posted by moBlue on (December 5, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

some of these comments are distressing! what do y'all want from sachin?!? i have to shake my head in disbelief! the following are facts!!! before yesterday, no matter what y'all may say, sachin was ***only*** on a 6-test low-scoring streak. six. that was it. in the 6 tests before that which included one test in ENG and two in oz, he averaged 51 with 5 fifties!!! ...and his year-to-year average before the last year was at least 48, going back 5 years!!! the above are facts that show - to anyone who understands test cricket - a consistent great batsman! yes, i said "great", and i meant it. this is test cricket we are taking about, not twiddlesticks where your rohit sharma's and suresh raina's may be king!!! test cricket is where you've got to weather the anderson storm for a good half an hour - even wear one on your armpit - but bot waver in concentration for the millisecond it took yuvraj to spoon one, or kohli to (daftly) push at one with hard hands! SRT was great yesterday as well!!!

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 5, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

Like Ponting was last year, Tendulkar is a former great who has been reduced by old age to being an average player who can put his head down and fight an ugly struggle to average twenty-something, with the occassional half-century. Great dedication by an ex-great who is now a mediocrity. Speaking of which, Dhoni's average is now six lower than Prior's.

Posted by ROXSPORT on (December 5, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

@ muski: What good is experience if it can't win (or even save, as in the last test at Mumbai) you matches ??? This whole experience thing has been too hyped-up. Remember Sourav & Rahul saved the day for India on their debut at Lords in 1995. Cheteshwar Pujara is doing so well. The world over, new-comers are doing such a fine job in place of well established, more experienced players. I fail to understand why India are not doing so ??? Youth is the way to go. Not turning to fading stars in the name of experience. I would much rather have Ajinkya Rahane opening with Gautam Gambhir, push Sehwag to no. 4 in place of SRT & put Abhinav Mukund at no. 6. Mukund deserves more chances especially as he is so young & in his short stint, he has already showed stomach for a fight. Give him a chance in the middle order & after a few matches, you can put him up in the openers slot if that is what you want.

Posted by KVAM on (December 5, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

With pujara and kohli yet to be consistant, i totally agree to Dravids comments the other day...this is the time India needs SRT the most. We all agree to the fact it was not one of those fluent SRT knocks but admire the determination and the never say die attitude, the total commitment to the game. This innings could be the x factor he is was searching to announce his come back.

Posted by moBlue on (December 5, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

some of these derisive comments about SRT's batting yesterday show people's ignorance of cricket more than anything else! i mean, both anderson and panesar were consistently dangerous yesterday, and finn was dangerous in spurts. two batting approaches may have paid off - the usual sehwag approach, which if SRT had failed at, y'all would have wanted him "fired" for being irresponsible, or the approach SRT took which eliminated risk to the extent that was humanly possible! it reminded me of the sydney double hundred in 2003 when he eliminated the cover drive!!! yesterday, i think he played one turn of his wrist to a ball on leg stump to flick it to midwicket. one. i mean, he played all leg side balls into the V - thereby not repeating the mistake that cost him twice in mumbai! did y'all even "see" all that while passing judgment from 10,000 yards?!? criticize him, but at least make some cricketing sense!!! SRT's soft deliberate hands is why he didn't get out while kohli did, for another!

Posted by Cricket_Fan_And_Analyst on (December 5, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

For all his fans who want him to play well for India he has given HOPE. This was an excellent innings of great technique and determination. Because of his solid technique he is still able to play.

Posted by SrikanthReddi on (December 5, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

What will the critics say now? Sachin has scrapped through or batted without influence or didn't score a century or didn't play for team's cause or didn't hold the line up? SACHIN IS THE REASON FOR CRICKET. India needs Sachin more than ever they did to enable smooth transition. For God's sake, don't put unnecessary pressure at this stage of career. Please let him enjoy his last phase of cricket. Even Cricinfo shall abstain from posting blogs on his retirement every now and them. SACHIN is still an idol to emulate in cricket, life. SACHIN is the GOD of Cricket.

Posted by svenkat02 on (December 5, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

The innings Sachin played today was significant. It showed that he can still fight it out there and contribute enough for India. We have had players before who have played beyond their 40's (e.g. Jayasuriya played till he was 42; Stewart retired when he was 40). Sachin's case is being scrutinised more because he has been playing since he was 16. Sachin should be the one to decide when to retire, and whenever he does it, he should be celebrated like a champion because HE IS ONE!!

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

@rssampat.. I guess guys like you don't know that individual performances contribute to the team. I don't understand why SRT is being criticized for playing cautiously to get out of hole..any batsmen would do the same when they are not in good form..i doubt if any batsmen would play aggressively without considering their personal form and team situation. I wonder what you do to yourself when you are not performing well at work..do you work hard to get work done ??? or do you take day off or pass on to someone else??.. ask yourself

Posted by Rahulbose on (December 5, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

All Indians are obsessed with Tendulkar. He is not the highest priority issue with the test team. India now have no quality bowlers in the side. Their younger generation batsmen have consistently failed to perform in test cricket, with only Pujara being an exception. As a result they can't even win at home now, except when playing WI, NZl or Bangladesh. In such dire times do we really need to worry about Tendulkar?

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

@rssampat

really? tendulkar went in to a shell and slowed down the scoring rate.. so how come pujara who got out before him and gambhir who batted from the beginning also seem to have a lesser scoring rate ?? so them doing that is fine and it is a big mistake if sachin does that ?? and this is test cricket..keeping your wicket is much more important than the scoring rate .

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Sachin is an iconic figure no doubt about that but youngsters like Manoj Tiwary definitely deserves a chance to stake their claim in this indian team. We must remember Test cricket is not about flashy stuff like T20 as displayed time and again by Sehwag, Kohli & Yuvraj, it is a game of extreme character and patience which a industrious player Tiwary definitely has.

Posted by sportofpain on (December 5, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

Well played Sachin. This was 76 runs for the team. Priceless they might yet be.Keep fighting - your heart beats for India.

Posted by unrolledmonk on (December 5, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

Ofcourse he was not at his best.. plenty of edges were also there, but you got to admit.. the man is simply not done yet!

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

@rssampat....I guess you don't understand that individual performances contribute to the team. what you are saying is no matter how good is the batsmen's form and team scoring situation one has to play aggressively. Any batsmen would play cautiously like how SRT did when they are trying to get out of hole..I wonder what you to yourself when you are not performing well at work..do you try hard to get things done? or do you take day off???..ask yourself

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

if you keep giving a player match after match after match he will eventually click in some innings and then the media is quick to pounce and say tendulkar silences his critics, slap on the face for critics...it's not about tendulkar being good or bad...that is not even the discussion...he's good period. but time has come for him (actually it came when india won the world cup in mumbai) to say goodbye...what is he trying to prove? players like tewari and raina are waiting to get their chance. why is he blocking the path for youngsters? he's had his innings and beyond

Posted by Jits_SRTian on (December 5, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

I fail to figure why Tendlya is being targeted by people. This is usually in India to following reasons. The diversity of India and the hate politics practiced by the politicians. The demograph that targets SRT can easily be predicted/rationalized into Ones who have an uneducated opinion about the game, one who has played little of the game or just the everyday hater who runs down anything that belongs to another region and other socio economic factors that has yet failed to divide India. A true connoisseur would never bad mouth such a great, and for whom the youngsters of weak character! The retirement of SRT would herald the death of Indian cricket as we know it, with the likes of Dravid, Kumble, Laxman and even Ganguly having already left a huge un-fillable void.

Posted by Vipul_Kaushik on (December 5, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

@rssampat - Contd.- I personally think if Sachin would have scored a quickfire hundred, you would have a counter argument to what you just said - "India was reeling at 90/2 and this guy comes in and starts playing his own aggressive shots which might have resulted in his dismissal". I am a die hard Sachin fan and I know that he is not even 10% of what he used to be and his retirement is imminent; but still he is the best batsman is the side. I plead to everyone that relish his batting as long as he is here.

Posted by Vipul_Kaushik on (December 5, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

@rssampat - With due respect with what opine, I beg to differ from it. First of all, now Tendulkar's role in the team is not to create fear in the opposition by his attacking batting (it's the role of Sehwag, or you may include Dhoni as well). His role is to provide stability to the middle order with his experience. India's score of 90/2 on a flattish wicket is not a respectable score and considering the fact that Sachin went kaboom as soon as he entered the pitch and he got out - this would lead to two situations: 1) India's position (which is still respectable if not healthy) would be pathetic and 2) Sachin's critics would get another chance to kill him (which I believe is being done even after his patient and really helpful knock). And above all Sachin was playing cautiously and not slowly which no way affected other's batting. Your alleging that Sachin was playing for his personal agenda and not national; aren't both the agenda's same.

Posted by luks on (December 5, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

I'm not sure why these are considered tough runs when the pitch is supposed to be a flat one with nothing in it for spinners or seamers. Ok, Anderson had one good spell and in fact in that over, he would have got Tendulkar if the edge had carried. Again, Tendulkar can thank the pitch for that. It was quite funny watching him defending with extra care, balls from Panesar which were bouncing slow and only up to ankle height. So, how exactly is this a good performance? Gambhir played much better and looked much more convincing.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

SRT passed his prime before 2010. He should have retired well after the WC truimph. Leave it at 99 like Bradman

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

Flattish pitch,we say and then lose 7 wickets. What does one expect SRT to do. He scores runs, we say, it was a flat wicket, if he had got out, then it would be said that SRT cannot play on a flat wicket also. Someone said correctly, India does not deserve SRT. Whatever anyone might say, it was a super knock and SRT, I watch cricket for you and the day you quit, I might quit watching the game.

Posted by rookie4u on (December 5, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

Well, there is no doubt that he is/was one of very good batsmen India have ever produced. The question is how long is he going to deprive young talented youngsters to play for national side. How long is he going to play that scratchy innings that too on a flat surface and somehow try to make it look big. It clearly shows how in-spite of playing for so many years its personal milestones that matters most for him and for his frenzy fans. Cricket is not an individual sports like boxing, golf, tennis, badminton.. its a team sport. Individual brilliance doesn't make too much of a sense here. Little"flat-pitch" Master, I would say...

Posted by MiddleStump on (December 5, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

A lot of people don't realize that no Indian batsman has performed consistently during the past year. Not Kohli, Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj, or Dhoni. So the calls for Tendulkar to retire were based simply on his age. The difference between Tendulkar and say Ponting was that Punter was not able to score runs even as others in the team like Clarke and Hussey were piling up runs in the same conditions. Sure his reflexes have slowed but Tendulkar has an amzing cricketing brain that can adapt his game like few others in history. Should India win or draw this test much of the credit must go to Tendulkar who prevented the Indian innings from a collapse.

Posted by alex7646 on (December 5, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Good knock from SRT today no doubt. but some some people don't know about cricket and they are commenting sachin. this is bad yaar.................

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

@rssampat do you mean to say sachin scoring at a strike rate of 49.03 is a selfish knock and dhoni at a SR of 37.28, gambhir @ a SR of 48.38,pujara @ 33.33,kohli @ 25.00 and ashwin @ 48.83 on the same "flattish batting wicket" were good enough and sachin's innings @ a SR of 49.03 slowed down the innings??That was a selfish innings?Come on get your facts right before criticizing the man for every damn thing that happens.The way anderson and finn were bowling and the way sachin played them actually saved us a few blushes otherwise we would have been in a worse position.Agree this wasn't anywhere close to his best,but still was better than most others.So Team India needs him.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Even if Sachin was not at his beat, still proved that he is way above the current crap of Indian players. All these so called VVS, Dravid and Ganguky replacements are still struggling in flat tracks. The much hyped Pujara was also brought down to earth. Sachin is still hungry for runs and the majority of amount he earns from cricket is given for charity works unlike the politicians. Lets stop Sachin bashing and enjoy his innings for a few more time. Or, is there anyone so talented waiting in the wings?

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 5, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

Indian team will never be the same without SRT and that is totally fine. In fact that's how it should be. It changed when Gavaskar left and look what we got with SRT. It changed when RSD left but maybe Pujara will make things better. Credit SRT with changing the perception of the Indian team, but we need things to change. If things get difficult for the team after SRT is gone, then so be it. It's alright even if we hit rock bottom after he leaves. Point is he has to leave at some point, and at this stage, the only difference it will make between SRT retiring today and retiring say 2 years later is that someone else could have gained 2 years' experience playing cricket for India.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

Yes. SRT played well trying to slay his internal demons; to prove to himself that he can prolong his career a bit more; and to try answer his critics. Would it help in blooding in guys like Rahane? I don't know! Would it help the future of Indian cricket? I don't know! Would it silence those who say he plays for himself? Most probably not! Would it embolden sycophantic journalists to look for tiny pieces of diamonds in the Chowpathy beach in Mumbai? Probably yes!

Posted by siddharthsays on (December 5, 2012, 16:49 GMT)

i dont understand why people vent out their frustration and helplessness on sachin...they cant deal with their set of problems and are advising sachin on how to be a great batsman!..some say he played for his own merit and wanted to be in his comfort zone..i wish people understood cricket a bit more and realise its a team game!! sachin is going thru a lean patch the worst ever in his career and to fight the demons he had to play a patient game to find his game and in turn help his team..the so called cricket experts ..just imagine if sachin had attacked and had been sent packing ,..what would have been the state at EOD? others were scratching their chins in dismay..while he was patiently playing out with composure forcing the bowle to rethink..23 years ppl...first do something purposeful in your lives in 23 years....look at the audacity ..flattish track and what not...call the veterans and give them practice and they shall score..ridiculous ..i cant even laugh it off...pathetic !

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

@rssampat - learn the basics of the sport first ..before putting the big words.. we saw ppl scoring great runs from the other end.. at a brisk pace .. hahaha.. before crying for slow scoring rate from sachin... wat else u got in ur kitty (assuming u r a desi). A truck full of dumps ?? if Sachin want to go.. India should stop playing international cricket.. and join back only once u have a half good player like sachin ...

Posted by Stone-Aamir on (December 5, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

Only the England's first innings tomorrow will confirm or reject the logic explained by Sidharth. Till now the track looks pretty batting friendly and a well disciplined English attack. Lets wait for the approach that England batsmen will use against Indian bowling. But one thing one should realize that recently Sachin has not been able to convert his good knocks into decisive ones (even on home grounds) and this ability differentiates a good batsman from a struggling or declining player.

Posted by Scube on (December 5, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

@rssampat: Sidharth wrote the following paragraph for ignorants like you: "had he not played out James Anderson and Steven Finn in the afternoon, India would have lost more than just two wickets in the middle session. He played late against the reversing ball, he kept out the yorkers, he swayed out of the line of sharp bouncers, he watching the ball so closely that even those that kept low could not squeeze through. One of them he even punched away for a four." But, I'm sure you'll not understand a word of it, but keep trying!

Posted by imgame on (December 5, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

@rssampat - it just shows how peanut of a brian you have got.Had it been flattish pitch everyone would have made runs in bucket-loads.Fact is England bowled well and Indian Batsman lacked application to handle good bowling. Well yes the players you mentioned were great players and they could produce 2 memorable innings.But what about the current breed of players when was the last time,yuvi,kohli and likes of dhoni played a memorable innings? you definately don't know about cricket if you say that SRT went into a shell. And yes SRT has an agenda and that is to make runs.Who has stopped other indian players to have their own agenda and make runs ? Nobody has ever stopped anyone to performing.You can say whatever you like.But it does feel like a dog barking when he doesn't understand what is going on.Writing words and finding faults is the easiest thing in the world,while achieving something for yourself is another. You are just a loser who has not seen hardships in life.Get Life

Posted by muski on (December 5, 2012, 16:40 GMT)

Yeah Sidharth- You are right in one sense.The grand old man of world cricket with his concentration waning and his reflexes slowing is still managing to contribute when everything is down and out for him- that should speak volumes of his greatness and perseverance. Lets for a moment assume that Tendulkar is eased out after this series- who will replace him- Rohit Sharma or Raina or Rahane. Common sense says that Kohli and Pujara who have replaced Laxman and the Great Wall need time to settle down. If the little man is replaced,it will expose a highly inexperienced middle order- change is necessary- but then in stages.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (December 5, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

@rssampat...Do you understand that individual performances in cricket are vital to a team?Tendulkar very much played for India,in fact the shirt he wore had the BCCI emblem right next to his heart.

Posted by Amit_13 on (December 5, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

Nothing wrong with hard work, is there?

Posted by Avid.Cricket.Watcher on (December 5, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Fine article. Much due fairness to Tendulkar. A lesser batsman would not have survived Anderson's spell in the middle session, as rightly noted in the piece. Even Kohli perished. No hundred, but a very fine fighting display nontheless. (And really well bowled Anderson and Monty! EXcellent stuff.)

Posted by concerned_cricketer on (December 5, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Ah lovely it was! So so intense that battle between the ball and bat. That battle between Tendulkar and Panesar, between him and Anderson and not least the one between him and Finn. This was excellent cricket. India is not on top in any sense of the word, but like Kapil Dev (now famously) reminded his team mates at lunch break in the 1983 Pudential World cup final "183 is not a big score, but they still have to go out and get it", the same way 273 is also not a big score but Eng are yet to go out and get it. Don't underestimate Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma.

Posted by Avid.Cricket.Watcher on (December 5, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Fine article. Much due fairness to Tendulkar. A lesser batsman would not have survived Anderson's spell in the middle session, as rightly noted in the piece. Even Kohli perished. No hundred, but a very fine fighting display nontheless. (And really well bowled Anderson and Monty! EXcellent stuff.)

Posted by enthusiastic on (December 5, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

It was far from convincing from srt. Glad he made 76 but its obvious he's well past his best. Time for some serious retrospection. Sadly he will play for some more personal glory and struggle with his footwork and confidence.

Posted by AjaySridharan on (December 5, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

Excuse me please, but aren't you one of those "pundits" yourself? It is depressing to see that with 76, Sachin is still the highest scorer in the team on a flat belting track. Perhaps the rest should be fired before he retires. Sehwag showed some intent and wanted to score at a fast clip. Gambhir and Sachin pitched tent and wanted to play for their personal glories and pull themselves out of form slump, and in the process completely bogged India down and handed the momentum to England. This was not a heroic match saving defensive knock from Sachin like some of his previous ones, but more a save my own ass innings. Yuvi is such a waste of spot in a test team. Raina or Rohit deserve a place in the team ahead of Yuvi. I don't know what Yuvi has done to earn a recall to the Test team, especially coming straight out of a prolonged outage due to illness (all sympathies, but this is a team event)

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

Which is exactly why I rate him as the best ever batsman to have played

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

He is the best of the modern era including Lara!

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 5, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

well it was a good knock for his side, but there again it was about time.

Posted by Desiboi80 on (December 5, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

Continued - Even with his age, his fits were moving well, he was playing correct shots with best techniques among all the players in the Indian team up to the visit of Australia last year. I haven't watched his games against NZ or in this series to comment on how he is doing but if his technique is still there then it's fine. No batsmen wants to get out on a low score but it's not always in your hand, so keep on trying to get most runs as a batsman and helping your partner at the other hand is what matters, and Tendulkar has been doing that for past 23 years.

Posted by VinodGupte on (December 5, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

good analysis by s monga.

Posted by Desiboi80 on (December 5, 2012, 16:15 GMT)

@rssampat - Yes, because a good average is what you need in a test game. How exactly did he bring pressure on the other batsmen? India was chasing a target in limited number of overs that the others felt the pressure? If Sachin had lost his wicket after scoring 10-20 runs, you would have come here asking for his immediate retirement mid-way through the game if that was possible. Many people have scored at worst strike rate not just in one game but throughout their career than Sachin's SR for this game. When he scores runs, he doesn't get to take it home but it adds towards team's total. He's not a robot and can't score runs on a command just the way people like him to, rather he has to score runs based on pitch and bowling conditions plus his own ability to handle the situation on certain days. People who keep talking about him being selfish are clueless because he could have scored his hundred 100s long ago if he played all the games he missed before the WC to give others opportunity.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

agree with rssampat - So India need's a 76 from it's best batsmen on a flattish batting wicket in India and that's considered good batting. India might as well quit playing cricket if this is the state of affairs. Pull Ganguly, Dravid or VVS out of retirement and give them 10 matches and they will produce a memorable inngs or two from those innings, a match winning or saving knock, a heroic knock, a knock which will help the team. Walking in at 90/2 on a "flattish" track, SRT went into a shell to resolve his own problems, not the India teams. He was playing for himself and not for his team. His team required a reasonable paced attacking or dominating innings to demoralize the English bowling, to spread the english field, to push them on the defensive. None of this happened and what happened was SRT's batting slowed down the innings, brought pressure on the other batsmen and India kept losing wickets while SRT was persuing his own agenda instead of the team's. What a "great"? player !

Posted by niceguy31 on (December 5, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

Tendulkar did OK nothing more its a shame we are going to have to be celebrating such mediocrity these days, to be honest once he was set, Tendulkar of old would have made the opposition pay but its such a shame these days he dosent even look fully set even when he crosses 70. He is giving way too much respect to Monty and all the self restraint he showed in playing out 8 maidens on a trot just gave the wrong impression and made sure we never had the momentum.

Posted by timtom on (December 5, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

@rssampat - Ganguly, VVS have consistently scored once 10 matches thru out their career and ended up with below par averages that did`nt justify talent..The brilliant inning produced overshadowed these facts.. Dravid was on decline since end of 2007 except england tour ...Do not compare Sachin just for the sake of it.... He is still best ever even now..

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Well like most people say it aint a once in a blue moon knock..... It is a knock to gain his confidence back.... well lets make one thing clear my friends.... even if u go back and give ganguly or dravid the same time sachin had i am sure they wont end up scoring 34000 runs..... and each batsmen has his own way of getting back into form. If sachin has to retire due to poor form why dont people ask dhoni to retire??? when was the last time the so called " Great Captain" played a knock for the team?? he is always willing to blame the batsmen or bowlers and never ready to take any blame.... So guys STOP ASKING TENDULKAR TO RETIRE!!! there are players who are in worse form!!!

Posted by Scrop on (December 5, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

@ rssampat-".... reasonable paced attacking or dominating innings to demoralise the English bowling, to spread the english field, to push them on the defensive..... SRT's batting slowed down the innings..."

I think you are so much lost in T20 game played around the world. This is test match cricket played over 5 days, the quality of cricket played is highest level with an equal contest between bat and ball. The situation of SRT coming and the quality of bowling demanded such an innings from SRT and he delivered (albeit just 76). If attacking game and demoralizing is all about batting you can request ICC to cut short the test games to 3 days.

May be you can come down to play Ranji games with a reasonable paced attacking or dominating innings to demoralise the opposition bowling, to spread the their field, to push them on the defensive and score tons of runs and get a chance to play for India to replicate the same.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

Innocent Guy and rssampat: I respect your views but i believe these were shared without watching the match..SACHIN has always rotated the strike.. he let his partner settle in the crease.. he has played an important innings today... this means a lot to Indian team!!! am sure you both are SACHIN haters..

Posted by Dhanno on (December 5, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

All said, Sachin doesnt have the same class he possessed in his prime. Now do we want to celebrate his struggles (which are getting rarer too, most times he just fails) or he should hang up like ponting, accepting the fact that he can never match his own lofty standards I said at the start of series, if English bowlers keep their fitness and are ready to adjust to conditions, India do not have the fight for test matches. NZL who played 2 tests were far competitive 2nd time around and they had some really inexperienced attack. I predicted one 80 for tendulkar and here we have it. I also predicted Broad to fall on the wayside as series progresses (I thought it would be fitness related, it turned out performance). Sadly Yuvi/ Dhoni were predicted to fail and that some will say is easy predictions. Batting wise England will get better and that started last test match. I had bet Trott would be among runs, although that hasnt happened, I am sure he will want to rectify that at Eden

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

Well said rasa pat. 100 percent true. Sachin is playing for himself not for the country. Indian people don't realize this. Ponying, dravid , Lara, kallis , sanga, jayawardane contributions are more than sachin,s contribution in the results.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

i dont understand the logic behind indian spectators criticism even when the master scores ~ i mean no body cares about the fragile middle order ! some rated kohli to be next tendulkar ~ but his disappointing story is moving into hindsight ! India in post sachin era have to face some serious questions ~ as able replacements are not in sight !

Posted by Dhanno on (December 5, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

Another article to sweep away main issues at hand and focus on Sachin's struggles. Although I dont agree with rsampat that this indian failure was all by Sachin's doing, but to concentrate on him is useless. Firstly give credit to England bowlers, especially monty and anderson who produced the controlled display needed on such flattish wicket. The main problem lies with Indian batsmen who cannot live through 2-3 hours of good bowling. Their diet of T20 league where every other over is bowled by some nobody + flat bed ODIs where again atleast 35% overs are bowled by lesser bowlers ( currently except for SA no team has more than 3 good ODI bowlers, there is always weak link to feast upon). This is the bane of indian performances, and no one wants to address this. Current indian batsman cannot plan for sustained hours crease occupation, grinding out and earning their runs. Sachin's struggle just shows that his training from early 90's is helping him to some extent.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

India may be languishing at 273/7 however Indian batting has looked a lot more positive and this is a good sign. Gambhir, Sachin and Yuvraj have spent good time in the middle.

Tendulkar has returned from the neverland, this is exactly how he has killed his slump in the past and that is a bad news for opposition and critics. I only see him going on to play good cricket for another 1 year or so.

Swann and Finn looked ordinary, Panesar was defended well, we have a good chance if our bowlers show some intent.

Posted by vatsap on (December 5, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

Let us face it, Sachin is never going to be the Sachin of the mid 90's or even the mid last decade. If there is one reason to respect this man, it is for the way he has been absorbing pressure. What did we expect a 147 of 140 balls a la Clarke or a 185 from 150 balls a la Warner. Give him a break.

It was not the best of his knock, but one under a lot of pressure. If he had scored 10, people would have still been after him.

Who replaces him in the XI, after he is gone. Enjoy and respect till he is around.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

very nicely summed up by rssampat! Test match is not about just defending especially when one have won the toss and chose to bat first. The australian 11 starc scored 68 runs just a day back. Though in terms of quantity 68 and 76 doesn't make much of difference, in terms of quality? Starc just lighted up the perth for more than an hour or two with blistering drives, pulls and sweeps. I mean if it is about runs, anybody can score some if time is spent in middle (add to that the DRS option is not available for england). I cant understand how series after series tendulkar is able to score runs but never the best innings of the series and still be called the best. My god, peterson's innings is far ahead!

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

@rssampat... could you please tell who is your favorite cricketer... Till yesterday, people includes you are saying to retire to seniors give chance to youngsters, now what happen to your youngsters and you asking for retired people... Youngsters not even playing in flat tracks. Definitely today he played for team,I can give simple example when dhoni came in and he is struggling to face spinners sachin played 3 overs without giving strike to dhoni, It says he played for team not for him...

Posted by SpeedCricketThrills on (December 5, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

If Gavaskar is given a chance to play 10 tests, it is likely he may score 50+ in at least one of them! So it is not a question of Sachin making a statement of defence. It is that 'he has played long enough, his abilities to stand there when badly required have waned and many youngsters are being denied a chance to don India colors'. Indian cricket will not die if India lose a few tests in Sachin's absence. Recognizing players who deserve to be there, before they fade away', is the key to fair governance of India's cricketing talents

Posted by maruthikunnuru on (December 5, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

Sure, he scored some runs today. But he was nowhere near his best. The wicket was good for batting but England showed a lot of discipline in their bowling. Whenever there was some bounce, swing and spin, SRT struggled. He was beaten several times and some of the edges didn't quite carry. Lots of streaky runs initially and then he cashed in on some loose deliveries. This is not the sort of an innings you expect from him. It'll be too optimistic to say that his form is back. I expect England batsmen to score loads of runs on this pitch. Let's see tomorrow.

Posted by Narbavi on (December 5, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

@CricketMaan: Oh so now can i say that if only had Sachin stayed with Gambhir in india's second innings in Mumbai we would have made a match out of it?

Posted by venkatr_11 on (December 5, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

Reply to rssampat: Did you even bother to watch the spell's bowled by Anderson and Finn. Did you know how controlled Monty bowled? If not for Tendulkar, India would have been bowled out for less than 200. Easiest was to score against the new ball which Gambhir and Sehwag did, but threw away the start with careless running. And it was SRT who had to pull it back. The wicket is flat but slow which means it is not easy to score runs quickly once the ball has lost its shine. A player of Tendulkar's caliber throws away his natural game and guts it out for the sake of our team and plays a vital knock and guys like you will still complain. It is a pity that we relish criticizing others even if we are not qualified. Take it from me that India will secure a first innings lead and the value of this innings will then be known to everyone.

Posted by HyderabadiFlick on (December 5, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

People were comparing him with Ponting, who retired 2 days ago. I can tell you all who are suggesting him to retire that Sachin was playing better cricket than Ponting even in struggle. Ponting was clue less against the quality bowling but Sachin came out as a winner in the end. What happened to all the youngsters who are given ample chances to cement their places. People like you have put pressure on greats like Rahul & VVS to retire and India failed in Mumbai test, I'm 100% sure that India would have gone on to win the test with Rahul & VVS in the team. So, my suggestion to all the cricket lovers is to have patience. It is always better to have the blend of youth and experience. Sachin will retire certainly one day. Let him play till he wants. And just do not blame him alone when he fails, look at one and all in the team and complain.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

So that is 76 from somebody who is out of form. Bad isnt it? Scores 76 out of a total of 273, very selfish? His job was to relieve pressure so that the others could score freely, hmmm we still need him to take the blows to make the others look great, do we? So why cannot others in the team take on this role? Maybe because they are not Sachin! I keep asking myself what drives him to continue playing and have started wishing somewhere in the deep corner of my heart that he calls it a day too. But to think that the team dont need him, even better off without him is sheer folly. There is no need to bank on history to justify Sachin in the team, just look at the current setup, reminds you of most of his career when we had a weak bowling attack, good batsmen who clicked once in a while and expected him to always perform. He has done that and more for a long time now and deserves a better end to his career. As always, the master will decide and I hope soon :-)

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

i won't name people here but the problem is that whatever sachin does, people say sth....anyways let the tendulkar bashers write against him relentlessly end of the day it will be tendulkar who will laugh the last laugh....once he retires, let me see which "youngster" will replace him and let's see what he does....the fact is tendulkar is a once in a lifetime generation cricketer who will never be born again come what may....it's the prime reason he gets so much accolades and criticism....it takes to be an emperor to receive so much flowers and thorns....long live tendulkar....a few handful writing against him can be outnumbered any day by those who love him....the problem is that we sachin lovers stand by him through thick and thin and never doubt his greatness so are never bothered by few hiccups even if it's a long or short one :)

Posted by akpy on (December 5, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

nice to meet rssampat who has scored 40k runs definitely...

Posted by buntyj on (December 5, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

this innings is not a defence; frankly given a batsman of sachins class even in decline if given enough tests and the odd flat track he will score a few 50s may have a last 100 too in him; not so next year away; thats why he averages not above 30 from the tour of eng; otherwise it would be much lower; its not an issue of form- the odd 50s the odd good looking stroke (as per dravid) suggest otherwise and no quality player has a long period of ill luck; so if we rule out form and luck, the only explanation is age; and hes not getting younger day by day- on the contrary; so theres little point in following the bad indian tradition of players staying on well past their sell by date; rather sachin couldve used his stature to set a good example. if 30 is considered an acceptable average for your leading batsman we dont need to apprehend mediocrity following sachins eventual retirement; its here already.

Posted by Triple_A on (December 5, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

Really easy for "experts" like @rssampat to blab on and on about the supposed pressure created on the other Indian players by Sachin. Yes, it was a flat track, does that mean Sachin is supposed to tear the bowling attack to pieces? The youngsters that you are calling for were dismissed cheaply (yes, Kohli, Pujara, Yuvraj got out ridiculously on the "flattish" track). Have you ever watched a test match before? Do you not know that pressure isnt built on other team players by the slowness of run scoring. Also, check the day's run rate please - around 3/over. Teams usually plays at this rate. It is amazing that irrespective of what Sachin does, he is wrong and a "nuisance". Top scores when he was struggling for form, and we have a problem....plays the test match as it should be played, and we have a problem...jeez, tell you what Mr-No-One-Can-Please_Me, become an actual expert of the game, become part of the think tank of the national team, and then make such vague comments

Posted by y4yoga on (December 5, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

This has been a routine in Indian cricket. If Sachin goes for about 4-5 Test without even a half Century, then those who are waiting for this slowly open their mouth.Finally Sachin hits a century. First of all Those Idiots should first rate themselves whether they are capable of criticizing a Player who is worshiped as a god of a particular game.

Posted by lizardkingg on (December 5, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

@rssampat: So now you think Sachin is India's best Batsman. After the first test everyone is saying to give chance to youngsters and Sachin should retire and suddenly he is the best batsman. What happened to Chateshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli? Arent now they India's future and isnt it their responsibility too to score run as the pitch is flat for them also. Please stop pointing flaws at everything Sachin does. Why dont you all Sachin Haters for the love of God stop bitching around and let me man do the job. And if thats something you can't do then you should atleast start weighing equally.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

OMG let us keep him around for another 2 years...this is a 50 on a flat track...team needs to drop a few of these guys....

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

I haven't seen a better description an innings by any other writer like this one was by Sidarth Monga on Sachin's 76 today. Form in cricket is more a matter of mind. It isn't easy when a few failures, a leanest patch and all followed by people calling for your blood. A brilliant innings under the circumstances.

Posted by SrikanthReddi on (December 5, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

Sachin has trusted his defence and let the bat talk again. Critics will come back and say well Sachin hasn't scored a century. Don't worry, he will score the century on next 2 innings and make everybody eat their own words for lunch, brunch. Sachin is the god of cricket. Sachin is the reason I have been playing cricket and will stop watching ro playing cricket with Sachin.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

Mr. Monga, after reading this article and the previous one of your my respect for you as a writer as gone higher by leaps and bounds. You gave a keen insight of the game and the Tendulkar as a batsman. If Harsha is best you are not less either. You are damn right, Sachin today received high class spells of spin and seam bowling and he not only survived but thrived too. The master is not done yet, he will come up with some more in future..!!!

Posted by SnowSnake on (December 5, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

Having followed Tendulkar and his critics for last 2-3 years, here is what I have to say. Please note that Tendulkar played for the team. I have seen it many times people claiming that he doesn't, which does not may any sense at all. How can a player who has scored maximum runs in the history of game does not play for his team? Second, Tendulkar does not have flaws in his technique. He may have problems with reflexes, but no problems in his technique. Third, India has not produced a consistent player since 2000. This means India does not have a replacement for Tendulkar. All those Pujara, Kohli, Yuvraj, Rohit, Raina and others just have a few good games followed by many bad games. India loses because of 80% crappy batsmen batting around Tendulkar and then blames Tendulkar for its losses. When Tendulkar retires, India would become worse than Bangladesh. When Tendulkar does not perform, India does look like Bangladesh.

Posted by rovar on (December 5, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

He is a gem of a cricketer. Far far better that Lara, Ponting & co. Happy to see him getting runs. He will rock 4 antother 2 years 4 sure just watch.............

Posted by Idli_Dosa on (December 5, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Fair comment. But the point is this: would any young replacement for Tendulkar (for instance Rahane, Sharma, Tiwary, etc.) have scored at least as much as Tendulkar over the last year? If the answer is yes, and I believe it is, then it is preferable to have someone young who can still progress.

Posted by cricket-india on (December 5, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

the problem with SRT worshippers is that they see the calls for him to go as an insult to him, as a backstab in return for all the glorious achievements of the man; come on guys, grow up. do you want SRT to stick around as an incompetent and wretched batsman falling to every tom, dick and harry bowler he would have bossed in his heyday? do you want SRT - who stood up to mcgrath, warne, akram, waqar, akhtar, pollock, donald, steyn and murali in their pomp - to be dominated by the nobodies of today? will that elevate his stature in your eyes and in the eyes of posterity? kapil hobbled to 434 wkts but we remember him for his hobble as much as for his 434. why should SRT make the same mistake? today's 76 means nothing; even vvs got a 66 in oz but he's remembered for his epic failure there on his last tour. bring out all the arguments eveeyone ever had for dravid and vvs to retire; apply them to SRT. if he ticks all the bozes dravid and vvs did, he's gotta go; as open and shut as that.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 14:35 GMT)

This innings is the example to all Teams why we need seniors in our side....

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 5, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

Tendlya would have gone on and scored more, had one of GG, Virat, Yuvi hung around and showed the same patience. Everytime he gathered momentum, his partner played a lazy shot and lost wicket..he then had to slow down and let the new bat settle and get his eye in, in that process he was selfless and played for his team and also lost his own momentum. That is why he is still a genius. Everytime you question his attitude he shows how to do it..Only if GG, Virat and Yuvi learn that virtue, India will gain, else we will keep producing ODI champs.

Posted by rssampat on (December 5, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

So India need's a 76 from it's best batsmen on a flattish batting wicket in India and that's considered good batting. India might as well quit playing cricket if this is the state of affairs. Pull Gangulay, Dravid or VVS out of retirement and give them 10 matches and they will produce a memmorable innings or two from those innings, a match winning or saving knock, a heroic knock, a knock which will help the team. Walking in at 90/2 on a "flattish" track, SRT went into a shell to resolve his own problems, not the India teams. He was playing for himself and not for his team. His team required a reasonable paced attacking or dominating innings to demoralise the English bowling, to spread the english field, to push them on the defensive. None of this happened and what happened was SRT's batting slowed down the innings, brought pressure on the other batsmen and India kept losing wickets while SRT was persuing his own agenda instead of the team's. What a "great" player this is!!

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 5, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

What I hate even more about players like Sachin, Sehwag not performing is their once-in-blue-moon good knock. It just makes it worse. Good knock from SRT today no doubt: he saved some embarrassment but this in no way is going to help the Indian team at large.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

It's a shame that we all recognize Tendulkar's retirement is just around the corner but many still want him to leave immediately..The essential fact remains that we all would miss him sorely over next few years and Indian team would never be the same once he dicides to hang his boots..

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (December 5, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Which is exactly why i rate him as the best ever batsman to have played. Ability to score tough runs when your out of form and bowlers on top.....It takes guts and Sachin has a plenty.

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