Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell Ian ChappellRSS FeedFeeds  | Archives
Former Australia captain, now a cricket commentator and columnist

Look into that mirror, Sachin

If Sachin Tendulkar is playing to eke out a career, he is wasting his time and should retire immediately

Ian Chappell

March 30, 2007

Text size: A | A



Time to retire for Sachin Tendulkar? Ian Chappell thinks so © Getty Images
Enlarge

In the fallout from India's early demise at the World Cup one of the major decisions will concern the future of Sachin Tendulkar.

Before anybody else makes a decision on what will happen to Tendulkar the player himself has to have a good long look into the mirror and decide what he's trying to achieve in the game. At the moment he looks like a player trying to eke out a career; build on a glittering array of statistics. If he really is playing for that reason and not to help win as many matches as he can for India then he is wasting his time and should retire immediately.

When you think that for a decade Brian Lara and Tendulkar went head to head in a wonderful battle of stroke play to establish who was the best batsman in the world, they are now worlds apart in effectiveness.

Lara's quick-footed tip toe through a terrific innings against a good Australian bowling attack when the rest of the West Indies top order succumbed easily was in direct contrast to Tendulkar's stumbling effort in the crucial Sri Lanka match. The amazing thing about Lara's brilliant career is the fact that he hasn't changed his style at all over seventeen years. This is a credit to his technique and mental strength, as the aging process generally makes a player more progressively conservative.

Tendulkar hasn't worn as well; his last three or four years have been a shadow of his former self. His double century at the SCG in January 2004 was a classic case of a great player really struggling. He came to the crease out of form and despite amassing all those runs and batting for in excess of ten hours he was no closer to recapturing his best touch than he was when he started out. It was a tribute to his determination but it was a sad sight to see; there are enough average players around that you don't won't to see a class one reduced to that level.

Tendulkar hasn't been as lucky as Lara; the Indian batsman has suffered a lot of injuries in this period where his play has deteriorated and there is nothing that melts your mental approach quicker than physical handicaps. Lara has been relatively free from injury and he certainly doesn't have the weight of numbers riding on his shoulders that Tendulkar does.

However, the population of the Caribbean might be small but they are extremely demanding. Despite all the fuss and the odd controversy that has surrounded Lara's career he has remained himself; this is my game and that is how I play. For whatever reason Tendulkar hasn't been able to maintain his extremely high standards for the last few years and unless he can find a way to recapture this mental approach he's not doing his team or himself any favours.

If Tendulkar had found an honest mirror three years ago and asked the question; "Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the best batsman of all?" It would've answered; "Brian Charles Lara." If he asked that same mirror right now; "Mirror, mirror on the wall should I retire?" The answer would be; "Yes."

Do you agree with Ian Chappell? Tell us here

This article first appeared in Mid-Day, a Mumbai-based tabloid

RSS Feeds: Ian Chappell

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

FeedbackTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Ian ChappellClose
Ian Chappell Widely regarded as the best Australian captain of the last 50 years, Ian Chappell moulded a team in his image: tough, positive, and fearless. Even though Chappell sometimes risked defeat playing for a win, Australia did not lose a Test series under him between 1971 and 1975. He was an aggressive batsman himself, always ready to hook a bouncer and unafraid to use his feet against the spinners. In 1977 he played a lead role in the defection of a number of Australian players to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which did not endear him to the administrators, who he regarded with contempt in any case. After retirement, he made an easy switch to television, where he has come to be known as a trenchant and fiercely independent voice.

    Shiv's not-outs, and hit-wicket victims

Ask Steven: Also, top-scoring in both innings, most Test dismissals caught, and the oldest Test centurion

    Yorkshire's lucky 13

The heroes of 2001 recount how they won the Championship. The similarities to 2014 are striking. By Alan Gardner

    'All I wanted to do was watch Sobers'

My Favourite Cricketer: Martin Crowe on a cricketer who drew your eye irresistibly

'Chanderpaul was always out to prove himself'

Modern Masters: Playing in a weak team, his single-minded focus is to be the best he can be

Don't shed tears for chuckers

V Ramnarayan: The ICC's decision to take a stricter view of throwing is an important step forward in eliminating the problem of illegal actions

News | Features Last 7 days

Champions League T20 still battling for meaning

The thrills are rather low-octane, the skills are a bit lightweight, and the tournament overly India-centric

Automaton, man, inspiration

Twenty years on, Shivnarine Chanderpaul continues to be understated, underestimated. And that doesn't bother him. What's not to like?

Busy keepers, and Waqar's bowleds

Also, high scores and low averages, most ducks in international cricket, and the 12-year-old Test player

85 Tests, 70 defeats

Of the 85 Tests that Bangladesh have played so far, they've lost 70 and won just four. Those stats are easily the worst among all teams when they'd played as many Tests

'My kind of bowling style is gone now'

Former New Zealand seamer Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up bowling, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament

News | Features Last 7 days