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Tendulkar says it would be 'selfish' to retire now

Nagraj Gollapudi

March 25, 2012

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Sachin Tendulkar at a media interaction, Mumbai, March 25, 2012
Sachin Tendulkar at a media interaction in Mumbai © Fotocorp
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Tired of the incessant questions about his retirement, Sachin Tendulkar has insisted that the decision of when to quit cricket is his alone. He said it would be "selfish" to make an exit when he was "on top" of his game. Tendulkar also lashed out at some of the former India cricketers who had suggested he should follow Rahul Dravid in retiring, saying they had no business making decisions for him.

"When I feel I don't have that, on that day, I will think of retirement," Tendulkar said at a media conference in Mumbai, convened by his brand managers World Sports Group to celebrate his achievement of scoring 100 international hundreds. "I feel those who say you should retire at the top are selfish," he said, "because when you are at the top, you should serve the country instead of retiring.

"When I retire is something I will decide because when I started it was not decided by someone else. Those who are advising me about retirement did not bring me into the team. I get my strength from my coaches and family."

Earlier, in a special hour-long meeting with editors from the Indian media, which preceded the press conference, Tendulkar had said he had already lived out all his dreams. "I don't have any other dream now. There were two big dreams: one was playing for India and the second was to lift the World Cup. That was my biggest dream."

At the same time, Tendulkar insisted his repeated statements that he had not at all thought about retirement were genuine and he was not trying to conceal anything from the media. "Maybe you guys have not understood properly. I have always said that when I decide to retire I will let you know. Where is the question of not answering?"

Tendulkar said he was not looking too far into the future and hence could not predict whether or not he would be available for the 2015 World Cup, which would be his seventh appearance in the tournament. "When this question was asked in 2007 [about the 2011 World Cup], it was tough for me to answer. It's the same situation: I don't know what to say about 2015. If people keep praying for me that means a lot. I will keep trying, the rest is in god's hands. I just want to enjoy the game. I don't want to set targets."

After a 33-innings long wait for the 100th century, Tendulkar got it in anticlimactic circumstances, with India losing to Bangladesh, after Tendulkar's 114 off 147 balls had built a total of 289, and consequently missing out on the Asia Cup final. Tendulkar said the events being held to commemorate his achievement were not just to celebrate that single century but all the work he has done in his career.

"I don't think we are celebrating just that game. Where I have reached today, it has taken me 23 years to be at that place. Results are very important for me. Yes, it was a disappointment for us to not make the final, and let me tell you there was no major celebration after I scored a hundred as we had lost the match."

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (March 28, 2012, 22:18 GMT)

@gdalvi If Kohli had as much time at the crease he may well have contributed more and towards a winning cause. IT's a long time since SRT has played a match winning hand as Kohli has done on at least a couple times recently. Where India has scored over 250 SRT has been one of the batsman who has contributed to the total. A player should accelerate after reaching century particularly one who believes he is the best form of his 22 year career. After seeing Kohli against WI home and away, I didn't feel he was ready but he has proved me wrong. I wonder how other players are waiting for their opportunity to prove themselves but are being opportunities by the established players. Dropping players but leaving the door open to come back based on form paradoxically makes them into better players. india's policy os to give players a chance and if they don't succeed for whatever reason are never from again.

Posted by bobmartin on (March 28, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

One last point.. as England have found out in the last 4 tests.. you can bowl as well as you like, but if the batters don't score sufficient runs... you lose..

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (March 28, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

@bobmartin has hit the nail on its head - In all this talk about which youngster could take the place of Tendulkar...one obvious point seems to be missing... How the heck are you ever going to find out if you don't give a youngster the same chance Tendulkar had when he was a mere 16 years old? If you go by the supporters of Tendulkar hanging on in there, you are depriving another possible Tendulkar of making his mark...In the not too distant future, Tendulkar will be just another retired cricketer. You have to prepare the ground now for his replacement, not wait till he decides he's had enough. The old adage rings very true in this case... If you fail to prepare, the you can prepare to fail. You might also care to reflect that India at present don't appear to be doing very well with him in the team, so what have you got to lose by blooding his possible replacement.

Posted by bobmartin on (March 28, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

@ Nampally & gdalvi.. It is acknowledged that the Indian bowling attack is mediocre and, with a few exceptions, has been for years. Consequencly it's the batting that has carried the team by batting the oppostition out of games. Generally, if the batting fails the team loses, exactly as happened in England, Australia and the Asia Cup where a score of 289 @ less than 6/over proved insufficient With the much vaunted talent and experience in that side, India could have pushed the rate up to around 6 - 6.3 /6.5 an over which would have got around 315-325. Even the most medioccre bowling attack should be able to defend that against a side supposedly as weak as Bangladesh. The fact that the Indian batting didn't says one of two things; either the Bangladesh bowling was better than you give them credit for, or the Indian batsmen wrongly thought that 289 was a winning score, which it clearly wasn't.

Posted by kristee on (March 28, 2012, 1:47 GMT)

Simple, both his rather slow yet 'historic' century and poor bowling by his teammates are responsible for his 200th ODI loss and the consequent exit from the AC. Which was more is immaterial. And, significantly, it seems like he's obsessed with the word 'selfish'.

Posted by Happy_AusBang on (March 27, 2012, 23:57 GMT)

The plain and honest fact is India at the moment is not brimming with a lot of talent. Tendulkar would make it into the team even if we don't look at his past performance. PERIOD

Posted by gdalvi on (March 27, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

@bobmartin. you are just stating how a victory is defined in cricket. In an alternate world, it could have been who takes most wickets in 50 overs - never mind the runs. But you haven't answered the question - what is the responsibility of bowlers in ODI and when will you attribute a loss to the bowlers? Or are bowler free-riders with no responsibility? How will a team batting first ever know what is a winning score given that even Aus lost after scoring 434! @itsway... kohli had same strike rate as Sachin. If he could demolish Pak bowling, why didn't he do the same for BD? He could have score 100+ runs in the 85 balls he faced? He was the man in form, he should added those extra 20-30 runs. Or was he selfish too, looking for a century? The main problem is with Indian selector/management. If bowling is weak, they should try to bolster it by adding more specialist bowling instead of relying on part timers. It is their job to fix the problem, not to cover it by adding or blaming batsmen

Posted by Nampally on (March 27, 2012, 21:15 GMT)

@bobmartin: I think gdalvi has given exactly my thoughts.Batsmen score runs but bowlers & catches win matches. India's bowling is the worst of all major playing nations. Even 350 runs will not be a winning total!. Why on earth Dhoni does not play 4 specialist bowlers + an all rounder to make up 5 bowlers instead of using mediocre all rounders who can't bowl & never get to bat. By focussing on batting the commenters are burying their heads in the sand. Even in BD match, playing Rahul Sharma instead of Y.Pathan was a logical choice & essential. Yusuf bowled poorly & did not get to bat. Was that not a waste of one Bowlers spot. All the guys commenting on Sachin's 114 at S/R of 78 should ask themselves why are they blaming him when this bowling could not defend 289 & may be even 350. Without Sachins 114, I shudder to think of Indian total in the same match. So be thankful, Sachin gave India the fighting chance to Win. Mr. Selectors & Dhoni: Strengthen Indian weakness (bowling) & WIN.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (March 27, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

@bobmartin I'm with you on this one. India's bowlers are amongst the weakest in interenational cricket possibly better than only Zimbabwe. This is nothing new so no point blaming the bowlers. The only way India is going to win an ODI is to score more runs that the opposition unless the bowlers are having an off-day and actually bowl well taking wickets at a good economy rate. Kohli, Raina and Dhoni all had better a SR than SRT. You could make the argument that if any one of these guys had come in earlier they would contributed more towards a match-winning total instead of SRT scoring his 49th ODI in a losing cause.

Posted by bobmartin on (March 27, 2012, 19:23 GMT)

@Nampally and gdalvi... How do you win a cricket match ? Simple.. score more runs than the opposition. BD won by scoring more runs than India. Therefore simple logic says that India didn't score enough runs to prevent BD winning... ergo.. India's score was not a winning one. It perhaps should have been a winning score, but quite plainly it wasn't. Naturally, defenders of the willow weilders will blame the bowlers and on the other side of the coin defenders of the bowlers will say exactly what I've said. The result always reads either A won by X runs i.e. A bowled out B before B had scored the runs required to win...or A won by X wickets... i.e A scored more runs than B before they were all out. Either way, it comes down to scoring more runs than the opposition. Fail to do that and you'll never win a cricket match.

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