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How not to close a great career

Sachin Tendulkar's media blitz in the wake of his 100th hundred has been unseemly and cheapens his legacy

Mukul Kesavan

April 8, 2012

Comments: 452 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar at a promotional event, Mumbai, March 25, 2012
Since scoring the 100th hundred Tendulkar has been on a spree of promotional events celebrating it © Getty Images

After winning the World Cup last year, India endured their worst season of Test cricket in 50 years. Tests played overseas: eight. Tests lost: eight. These defeats weren't close-run affairs; they were old-fashioned thrashings, which brought back the bad old days when Indian teams travelled like reluctant invalids and Indian batsmen played fast bowling from outside the leg stump.

To make matters worse for a team that had climbed to the top of the Test match tree on the strength of the greatest middle order in contemporary cricket, these were batting defeats. India's modest bowling attack did as well as could be expected; it was the batsmen who embarrassed the team.

The only batsman to emerge with some honour from this debacle was Rahul Dravid. Not only did he score three centuries in the four-Test series in England, he was unbeaten in two of those innings. But the Australian tour was an unmitigated batting disaster for the Indian team, Dravid included. He was bowled six times in eight innings - seven times if you count the no-ball that bowled him in the Melbourne knock. He averaged 24. At the end of the tour, he called a press conference, acknowledged his fading form, spoke movingly about how much cricket had meant to him and retired from the game.

There can be no doubt that the Australian series underlined for Dravid the fact that this was the right time to go. As a unit, India's batting galacticos had faded. The English and Australian tours made it clear that on lively pitches against quality pace attacks, they couldn't collectively deliver any more. VVS Laxman, who played all eight Test matches, averaged in the early twenties; Sehwag, who missed two Tests in England because of injury, scored a pair in the third, and in the series against Australia did nothing after scoring a quick fifty in the first innings of the Melbourne Test. Like Laxman his Australian average hovered in the low twenties.

The two of them made no announcement about retiring, hoping, no doubt, to eke out another year or two in Test cricket, but they remained silent in the light of their horror season. In contrast, Sachin Tendulkar inaugurated a noisy celebration of himself.

Bear in mind that Tendulkar had had a poor season by his standards. He had scored no centuries, played no decisive match-saving innings, fought no heroic rearguard actions. His average over the eight Tests was 35: 20 runs below his career average. Dravid averaged nearly 47 in the same period and retired, while Tendulkar travelled to Bangladesh in search of his elusive hundredth international hundred.

This is not to suggest that Tendulkar ought to have retired. Given how poorly the new generation of middle-order batsmen has performed, it's not as if he has an obvious successor. Virat Kohli has been the best of an indifferent lot and he isn't challenging for Tendulkar's spot in either Test or ODI cricket. But it is worth attending to the increasing divergence between Tendulkar's career, his opinion of himself and the fortunes of the Indian cricket team.

There were a series of press conferences and public events starring Tendulkar immediately after his 100th hundred at Mirpur. In none of them did Tendulkar spend much time on the fact that a) India actually lost to Bangladesh, b) that one of the reasons India lost was that Tendulkar was so focused on getting his hundred that his run rate dropped as he approached this landmark, leaving the team short of the 300-plus target that was there for the taking, and c) that India were eliminated from the tournament before the final.

Indian cricket seemed to regress to the days when desis consoled themselves in defeat by talking up individual performances. To be fair to Tendulkar, a large part of the responsibility for this regression rested with the mainstream media and the country's cricketing public, which bought into the ersatz frenzy about his 100th hundred with such enthusiasm.

The other interesting thing about this rash of public appearances was the contrast it made with Tendulkar's camera-shyness through the rout in England, the whitewash in the Australian Test series, and the wooden spoon in the triangular one-day tournament in Australia. Pretty much every other player had trudged up to the post-match interview and dealt with the mortification of being publicly quizzed about abject defeat, but not Tendulkar.

Tendulkar isn't merely a great player; he is the greatest human brand in the history of Indian advertising. So many corporations have so much riding on him that his career can't be allowed to end like Dravid's: it has to be talked up and eked out and wrung dry so that it gives them a fair return on their investment

What were we to infer from this? That Tendulkar had reached a place where he was committed to saturating the airwaves to celebrate an individual landmark but was unwilling to step up and take ownership of team defeat? Or had Tendulkar genuinely begun to believe that his cause and India's were indistinguishable? Asked about retirement he suggested that it would be unpatriotic for him to retire:

"When you are at the top, you should serve the nation. When I feel I am not in a frame of mind to contribute to nation, that's when I should retire, not when somebody says. That's a selfish statement, that one should retire on top."

To appreciate the tin-eared narcissism of this, bear in mind that Tendulkar had averaged 35 in his last eight Test matches. If we were to extend the curious logic of "international hundreds" (the notion that you can club together scores in two different forms of the game and create a composite landmark) and calculate his "international average" between his 99th hundred and his 100th, Tendulkar averaged just under 33 in 33 individual innings. Thirty-three runs per innings for a batsman of Tendulkar's class is a kind of batting twilight, not the "top". That he can't recognise this is not surprising: most successful sportsmen find it hard to deal with the dying of the light. Tendulkar, like many greats before him, is in denial. In the normal course, denial is a short-lived phase: the gap between a player's valuation of himself and his performance generally kills off delusion.

But Tendulkar isn't merely a great player; he is the greatest human brand in the history of Indian advertising. So many corporations have so much riding on him that his career can't be allowed to end like Dravid's: it has to be talked up and eked out and wrung dry so that it gives them a fair return on their investment.

As Tendulkar's career faltered over the last year, the prospect of the 100th hundred became for Coke and Adidas and his other sponsors a heaven-sent way of disguising the new low at which his career had plateaued out. They didn't invent the idea but once they found it in the zeitgeist, they ran with it. The 100th hundred became an imminent peak, always just one innings away, and since this mountain top was one that only Tendulkar could climb, it helped elevate him at precisely the point where his form dipped.

There's a bizarrely funny photograph of Tendulkar at a press conference in a shiny shirt, flanked by two anonymous corporate men. One holds a special Coke can that commemorates the 100th hundred and the other man is holding an Adidas shoe. Tendulkar stands in the middle, with a shoe in one hand and a can in the other, like a shaman about to divine the hidden with the help of unlike fetishes.

Tendulkar's unwillingness to share responsibility for defeat (in a media interaction he attributed the whitewash in Australia to a *single big Australian batting partnership per match but for which, according to him, the teams were equal) and the uncharacteristic way in which he milked the Mirpur hundred seemed like a case of individual and corporate anxiety merging and, in concert, trying to make the most of what is left.

For a man who through his long career, has been a model of unassertive poise, the crassness of the publicity blitz and his own odd complicity, is startling. It cheapens a great cricketing legacy, like a tinsel garland on a solid gold icon. Tendulkar doesn't have to brief us about his retirement plans; he is the greatest batsman of his time and he ought to play for as long as he can hold his place in the team. But he should, as he did in his pomp, let his bat do the talking.

*04:42:05 GMT, 8 April 2012: The article originally said Tendulkar attributed the whitewash to a lack of big opening partnerships by India.

Mukul Kesavan is a novelist, essayist and historian based in New Delhi

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Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (April 11, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

@Guruvijay, nice compilation of the regular and non-regular bowlers in that said match. No complaints. And now, let us also know who is a Legend among the following list - Ashwin, Praveen, Irfan, Dinda, Jadeja and Sachin. The bowlers played to their potential/ability/inability. Sachin was the one who played way below his ability. Remove the name Sachin for a while. A batsman scored 49 runs off 12.3 overs. That's pretty pedestrian - a strike-rate of 65.33. Now who is that batsman? Sachin it is. Of all the players, Sachin was the one who played way way below his ability. Now don't tell me that 49 runs off 12.3 overs is what Sachin's ability is. Bashing ordinary players for below par ordinary performances and celebrating and defending a below par pedestrian inning by a Legend is nothing new in our Country. I haven't come across any cricketer in the world who goes so scot-free after kicking his own team in the chest, in broad day light, in the pursuit of a personal milestone. Ridiculous!

Posted by Guruvijay on (April 11, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

Bowling O M R W Econ

P Kumar 10 0 56 3 5.60 (1nb) IK Pathan 9 0 61 0 6.77 (1w) AB Dinda 5.2 1 38 0 7.12 (1nb) SK Raina 7 1 30 0 4.28 RG Sharma 2 0 13 0 6.50 R Ashwin 10 0 56 1 5.60 (1w) RA Jadeja 6 0 32 1 5.33

This is the bowling status of our"WORLD CHAMPION" against bangladesh in last ODI.

Out of 4 main bowlers, only 2 managed to bowl for 10 0vers. They (PKumar, Ashwin) also having a econ of 5.60.

A cricket team in a higher secondary school also can win the match against the team with this kind of bowlers. Even a team with Mukul Kesavan as captain can win the match against indian team. So there is no surprise in lose against a team of good batsmen (Bangladesh). Even if sachin scored 100 in 50 balls we cant win the match. First of all, we have to find a way to form a team with CONSISTENT bowlers and then we have to start comment about batsmen especially the LEGEND SACHIN....

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (April 11, 2012, 14:10 GMT)

@Vimalan Sadhasivam, article isn't about Dravid or Kallis. Or is it? Dravid is slow or fast isn't the point here. Dravid is slow or fast doesn't change Sachin's century off 138 balls @ 72 into the most scorching century ever in the history of ODI Cricket. My stand would be the same, be it Dravid or Sachin or VVS or Ganguly or Sehwag, any player who kicks India on her chest in pursuit of personal milestones is a selfish player. Sachin it is here. First 51 off 63 @ 81, next 49 off 75 @ 65 = scoring 49 runs in 12.3 overs - if that strike-rate isn't match costing, then one has to question that century's supporters' knowledge of cricket. Nuff said. Bowlers didn't bowl well or not is the second half of the story. First half of the story - let's talk of Sachin - scoring 49 runs in 12.3 overs - is that what Sachin's ability is? Isn't it clear to you guys that he was the one who clearly performed below his ability? It's tragic that I'm going in circles to make you guys see such a simple point.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (April 11, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

@karan1609, respects to you bro. Yes Sachin is more gifted than anybody we have seen since 1989. No two ways about it. 80/100 men on the street will tell you that Sachin's 100 is more important than India's win - agree with you on that too. Those 80 are Sachin fanatics and assuming that the remaining 20 are Dravid fans - ask those remaining 20 what do they want - do they want a Dravid's 100 or India's win - those 20 will definitely say India's win. You can count on millions of Dravid fans to say that India's win is more important to them than Dravid's 100. Ring any bells mate. That's the whole problem here. That's the fact I have been mentioning many times. An Indian loss doesn't bother Sachin fanatics. Fanatics who are so indifferent to our loss will be seen as adversaries by people who love India's win more than anything else. And there's literally nothing in Sachin's 100th 100 to conclude that he thinks otherwise about his own milestones - For Sachin - Me first, India next.

Posted by PallathZ on (April 11, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

Mukul,I'm afraid you have again chosen the path of the mere mortals to criticize the man.Tendulkar is a gem.Cherish it while you have.This is one of the myriad n number of articles written after his hundreth hundred albeit in a different context.He looked the best in Australia in the first 2 Test.Dare to say the best of both the teams.It tapered of ! Credit goes to him he is able to maintain his form for the last 22 years.With due respect,Just like Coke & Adidas,you too chose the Subject Tendulkar.Remember,he was our best batsmen for 2010 & untill the world cup 2011.There have been tons of article written on how he managed to hit the purple patch in late 30's.Unfortunate,that England & Australia weren't his success stories.Greame Hick after his ton of hundreds in first class,cudn't put bat to ball in Test matches.Lets celebrate this genius when is playing.To make it to a school Team in India is difficult.For State &Country with almost 100000 teams,herculean!Let alone scoring 100- 100's

Posted by   on (April 11, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

Excellent Article.This is first time m reading article which criticizing sachin.

Posted by kristee on (April 11, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

The problem with the discussion going on here is that its focus is whether he was guilty or not. Instead, it should have been on a certain culture that glorifies personal milestones over a team's performance in a team game like cricket. Whether he was guilty or not, that culture can't hope to be producing champion sides. Those bowlers' fans can as well say that it was a flat wicket and they couldn't defend a modest score. And the fans of the players who carry drinks/ play domestic cricket /are declared unfit can say they are not getting enough opportunities or their rhythm is disturbed by the erratic selection policy prompted by that culture. What seems to weaken their case is these fans are far outnumbered by the fans of the player on focus.

Posted by ramjay58 on (April 11, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

Great article. I agree with every word of the author. i am also a Sachin fan but I don't like him play just for the records without contributing to the team's cause or rather to the detriment of the team's interests. For god sake let sachin retire with some dignity before a public outcry develops for his ouster. without him ,team india will do better than with him. K.Ramachandran

Posted by Alakshyendra on (April 11, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

Quazar, you can choose to believe whatever you want, but by now even kids know how meticulous a man Rahul Dravid is and if he really was in Rajasthan when the Ambani function was on (BTW it was a private function), it could have meant only one thing: the man was practising because he had retired 3 weeks ago and might been rusty.

Besides, you tell us which one was more imporant: a function to celebrate yet another landmark (meaningless according to me) or one to celebrate the illustrious career of a man who had just retired?

Posted by kiranlegend on (April 11, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

Well said Kartick_raja.. Sachin bore this pity world for many many years lol.. It's not about Sachin getting criticized in this mean way but it tells us something about the way humanity is heading. Attracting negativity and magnifying it.. and inferring too much out of it. Oh god! He has every right to tell people that no one needs to tell him anything. He wants to be HIM.. play like him.. When struggling or when playing well, he can take sensible help but he has to keep doing what he believes in.. listening to his inner voice. And there is no doubt about it that he is doing all that :-) what a human he is! Just imagine he didn't even take his foot injury for granted because he has to play in IPL. people might take this in other way around but that's what he is. to play cricket well (i feel) he respects all those subtle things. be it not attending parties or going to bed early or wary of what he is eating etc and doing all that for 23 years? can v do it for one month? leave him alone!

Posted by karthik_raja on (April 11, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Its tough to b Sachin. Isn't it.?? Wt ever he does, he will b criticized. Whn he scores below 50, he is termed "Out of form". If 50-99, he cant get that damn century. If 100 with low strike rate, he played selfishly. All above comments r regardless of team's result. If he scores big @ gud rate, still the team loses like his 98th and 99th international centuries - he will termed as unlucky person. All he wants to do is score big and Ind should win all the matches. Only then he will be left alone. I still believe that he will b criticized for hanging up his boots @ wrong time. Crazy world. Or, I wud say jealous/biased world. As a human, it really takes something unimaginable to remain unaffected by this fame, money and these silly critics and SRT is doing it for 23+ years. Simply hats off to this guy. I can never see a man returning immediately after his dad's last ceremony for team's cause as SELFISH. @Dravid_G. My old friend. I need a reply from u.

Posted by kiranlegend on (April 11, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

as for people who are making comments that sachin spoke out post his 100th century.. he spoke out in bangladesh as part of teams sending their best performers to the post match conferences.. the interview with ramiz raza was apt. but the interview spree that happened on oneday in india was because of his sponsers. Media and WE the public have put enormous pressure on him.. first time he felt something like this and people were criticizing him for smallest of acts.. and he was responding to questions posed by media. ofcourse he 'had' to speak out a few things.. He was as he had been all his cricketing career. Styles of scoring changed his growing age but that brought more consistency in him too.. just take IPL.. in this young people's game too, he is the second highest run getter INSPITE of missing so many matches due to injury. He is like a boy who finds joy in playing cricket. sometimes he can have those BLOCKS too like all of us have. let's not disgrace an inspiration furthur!

Posted by kiranlegend on (April 11, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

@Southpaw.. why are you asking him to retire>? becoz he is 39? if he was 29.. would u have asked him to retire? don't u think it is performance based rather than age based? arey, in test series all of our batsman struggled.. so ask all of them to retire.. and let's have a new team. in 2006 series against sa in sa, all our batsman struggled including sachin but sachin was our highest run getter then. learn to come out of your perspectives. he played his odi series in Aus.. don't u see him playing well in few innings but got out in some unfortunate ways? We Indians don't know how to see sports.. adding to that media doesn't help at all.. commentators repeatedly talk same things. I think change in Indian sports fan can happen if the people in media who talk sports change the way they talk sports. Let's talk sports.. let's talk about what cricketing factors contributed to whichever result it is! Ofcourse Sachin struggled but if u ask ask every struggling cricketer to retire!

Posted by SouthPaw on (April 11, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

All Sachin fans: Sachin is one of the greatest batsmen to have graced the cricket pitch and he has been entertaining everyone for the last 23 years. No doubts about that. His notional 100 centuries does not in any way contribute to the above fact, it is only a by-product of his greatness. But, Don Bradman was great, he retired even though his average was so close to 100 (and he is not any less of a batsman because his average is NOT 100!). Sir Vivian Richards - who is not top on any piece of statistics like the highest individual score, number of centuries, strike rate, etc. nothing - but, the world still acknowledges him as a great batsman, even though he is retired. So there! Sachin, please retire gracefully, it is heart-rending to see you struggle against lesser attacks than the ones you decimated.

Posted by kiranlegend on (April 11, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

If he was desperate to score 100th century, he would have opted to play in odi series against west indies and against England in India. He played his first odi series after world cup in Aus. So he had to play the following tournament to get his form back. It could be in Bangladesh or in South Africa. What we should see from him is His love and passion for the game.. his discipline, his perseverance.. he must have sacrificed many many small things.. saying no to immediate desires is the toughest thing and obviously, HE DID IT! he plays even on optional net practice sessions. It saddens me when people talk subjectively without considering cricketing aspects. Humanity has become evil minded. It is the time for every India to emulate what he did.. not criticize him. Just think, last year on his bday, one of his gurus satya sai baba passed away, and yet he came on to the field and played cricket. He loves playing cricket. street cricket or international cricket. Pls leave him alone! luv him

Posted by kiranlegend on (April 11, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

To everyone who is CRITICIZING Tendulkar, when people are out of form it is general that people consume more number of balls than they usually do. Because of media or some criticizm on him, people like herd mentality lost common sense and started criticizing him without being sensible. When a person scores those many runs, he is a match winner.. he is the higest run getters for us in world cups.. he played many many crucial innings which i have seen in test matches.. many of them are match saving innings which is no less than match winning.. He has been our lone warrior in 90s. with times changing, he has become more conservative but that doesn't mean his strike is bad.. in ODIs, u often find his strike rate around 85 to 90. He loves scoring runs. as far as i c in australia and england test series he was playing like in period of 2004 to 2007. He has this habit of going into the SHELL. That is his psychological problem. Every one has inner blocks.. so does he! Crticism on him is mean!

Posted by circketman on (April 11, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

Mukul, I am a fan of your writing but a bigger fan of Tendulkar's batting. Maybe what you said is true but here is a possibility. People change over time. I hope Tendulkar takes this new aggressiveness to the crease. I don't mind if both he and his bat do the talking as long as he walks the talk. In our changing society we can let our gods be brash. Let the big little man have his space!

Posted by Sunrays on (April 10, 2012, 22:28 GMT)

Dravid's career strike rate being low is a consequence of his lack of ability. He tries, but he can't. Not a lack of intention. Tendulkar's strike rate being low, in the said match and many other matches when approaching a milestone, is purely a pursuit of the landmark. Nobody, in their wildest dreams, can suggest Tendulkar suddenly loses ability as he approaches a milestone. Dravid is a man of limited ability (relative to Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting) who did "his" best. Did Tendulkar do "his" best?

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 21:56 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas...lets talk about Dravid's career strike rate for a change than talking about Sachin's strike rate in one ODI. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (April 10, 2012, 21:18 GMT)

@Sunrays, very well said. Couldn't agree more mate. After failing to make a century all over the world, including at home, for more than an year, he somehow makes us believe that Asia Cup is an important series and so he is 'available' for selection. Well, if he wants that century so desperately, go for it. But, why oh why, kick India on her chest in pursuit of a personal landmark? 100 runs off nearly 140 balls @ 72 gives away the real story. Can't blame the bowlers. They bowled to their potential/ability. But, is this what Sachin's ability is - to make a 100 off nearly 140 deliveries @ 72? Isn't it clear who performed below their ability in that ill-fated match? Sachin it was. Had he even scored at the same strike-rate as his first 50, without taking any risks, he would have reached the century in 125 deliveries and still he and India would have had plenty of balls to put more runs on the board. A selfish pursuit will have legacy damaging results. He deservedly got what he asked for.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (April 10, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

@aalkool, Kohli didn't eat up 147 deliveries. Did he? You can't compare the strike-rate of Sachin, who faced 67 more deliveries, with a player who played just 80 deliveries and draw invalid conclusions. Sachin was slower in their partnership (75.55 vs 80.48) and kept slowing down even further even after Kohli departed, a clear disconnect between him and the team's needs. Had Kohli faced 138 deliveries for a strike-rate of 72 to reach a century, then of course Kohli will be held responsible for a pedestrian century. Point here is Sachin's pedestrian strike-rate in pursuit of the century off nearly 140 balls @ 72. While reaching that century, the last 49 runs came off 75 deliveries at a terrible strike-rate of 65. This basically means Sachin went on decelerating during that passage of play during which he needs to accelerate or at least play with nearly the same strike-rate at which he made his first 50. This is how criminally he played with umpteen number of overs and wickets in hand.

Posted by crazyuddie on (April 10, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

I mean no Dravid already, and no SRT, then who exactly is going to hold the innings together.

Those talking about Ponting being forced out, Ponting is STILL PLAYING! (He has only retired from ODIs.)

Australia it is true has been good at dropping even heavyweights. But they did not drop Ponting while he scratched around for 2 years. Why do you think that is? Because even Australia isn't dumb enough to replace their test middle order completely with a bunch of new guys (no matter what their experience in other forms of cricket is). When the drop is made (ex: Martyn, Waugh) it is when that drop will not leave a void.

Wake up: we already have a major void in Dravid gone, and now you are asking for SRT to be gone as well. So there will be not one, two, but three new faces.


Posted by crazyuddie on (April 10, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

I mean, if people, after having seen SRT bat in the first 2 tests in Australia (sublime!) think he's playing badly and should retire immediately; well then, there's nothing to be said to that.

As for Dravid, the sad part is that he has been forced to retire earlier than he should have. He had a bad series, like many people do, but during the Australia series, such comments were made by the captain (about old people in the field) and about resting seniors, etc. That I think he realized better to retire now than when things get worse. Which, very likely, wouldn't have, considering how well he played in England, and also that a number of series in India are coming up.

India is sorely going to miss Dravid during those series, because whatever the youngsters are, they have not yet displayed the powers of batting long and putting up large totals on the board on a consistent basis. Kohli has, and he is deservingly no.6.

On top that, if we asked Sachin to retire now. GOOD LUCK!

Posted by karan1609 on (April 10, 2012, 20:15 GMT)

Regarding the 'slow' 100th 100...a big disagree!!! Sachin himself pointed out about his discussion with Kohli and the pitch being slow...and you would back any top notch side to defend 290 against bangladesh...the reason India lost that match was poor bowling and not batting... About Sachin playing for records....yea he does...who doesnt? The player who doesnt play for records is one whose record doesnt mean much to many...Sachin's records are dearer to the entire country more than they are to him...just look at the amount of hysteria his 100th 100 generated... @ Dravid_Gravitas: Well mate, I respect your love for your player...but Sachin was always more gifted and loved than Dravid...This is an unbiased comment from a Sachin and Rahul fan.... @India_On: Just move on the streets of the country during an India match and ask any man you find what is more important, Sachin's 100 or India's win...80/100 people will tell you Sachin's 100...thats the point....

Posted by Sunrays on (April 10, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

Some people point out the "extraordinary pressure" caused by expectations of billions on Tendulkar. In my view, nobody else had a smoother or priveleged run in the Indian or any other international team than him. He is always not only guaranteed a spot in the next match and series and year, he is guaranteed his preferred batting spot. He can rest and walk back into the team, as if it is his right, to his comfort. What pressure? Everybody else deals with the pressure of being dropped, and cannot rest without the risk of losing his spot. Not so, Tendulkar. The pressure of expectations results only in disappointment on Tendulkar, not in his being dropped. If anybody else disappoints, be it Dravid, Lara, Kallis, Ponting, they have been and will be dropped. What Pressure?

Posted by khanq on (April 10, 2012, 19:14 GMT)

@ Quazar: hey man Did Sachin attend the function for Rahul, no he dint, he dint even bother to offer great words for the man...shameful

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

@Niraj13: totally agree with u, people are focusing on one and one match only, and suddenly they have forgotten what Sachin has done for 23 years. Guys, i have only one question which may or may not be in the context, but i will ask it anyways: Most of us have a job to do...we have bad days, we crib about our jobs, we abuse our company and we sometimes hate our work as well as bosses, atleast i do...but still we work, why?? because we have to EARN MONEY for our family. Here is a guy, who loves what he do..he might fail sometimes, might even hundreds of bad things about himself from everyone, but he never said anyth bad about Cricket or Critics or fans or the nation...he still has the same passion and love that he had 23 years back. I think that defines his greatness. And if he is selfish, so am I, you and the author of this article...And even now your have doubts over him...your attitude is negative in life and will remain like that no matter what.Lets see if this gets published or not

Posted by Dead_Poet on (April 10, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

@Mukesh Dhoot- you spoke majority of Indian fan's mind that individual milestine matter to you more than the team's performance! Thats why India is such a mediocre team! The writer pointed it rightly that SRT us biw playing for money and record, nothin else! He has lost the charm in his batting many years ago and he actually never played a memorable innings (in tests) where he has won the game or saved it almost single handedly. The time has been long over ti say good bye. A great player should kbow when to close the curtain.

Posted by nikkam on (April 10, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

tendulkars is a record which might not be broken in the near future. but as Mr. kesavan pointed out rightly, tendulkar has his own high standards and seems to be having a poor run. He should know when to retire rather that give some off hand logic of not retiring thus not being selfish. If he averages 33 and still wants to be in team, he is preventing other young players from getting in the side and that makes him selfish. Neither he was a great leader nor a great saviour as seen from his hundreds that have contributed to indian wins in the highest form of the game. sometime in his career he has become fixated with records that have lead to all this. In this the media hype is also a major contributor. For the good of the team i hope he retires sooner such that a new look team con be formed.

Posted by niraj13 on (April 10, 2012, 17:13 GMT)

I can't believe I am writing for the 5th time on this article. But being a true Sachin fan makes me write all these things. It's not because I am a blind or fanatic fan. I do have my reasons to support my hero whether he is in good form or bad. Everyone is focusing on Sachin's 100th Hundred. Everyone is forgetting what he has done in the 90's for the team. He was the only hope for the entire nation. He was easily dismantling bowling attacks when the so-called great players were struggling to make place in the team or most of whom were still kids. And he is in the team today not because of his past heroics, but because he is still the best. Before the Asia Cup series, everyone was saying that this a low profile series and now all of a sudden, winning this series has become more important than the World Cup?? This guy is already under so much pressure when he walks out to bat & he has handled that for 23 years. Now everyone wants him to cry and mourn because we lost due to poor bowling?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (April 10, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

@Sudhan Deo, I guess you are grasping at straws now. Sachin's progress in that match - first 51 off 63 balls @ 80.95, next 49 off 75 balls @ 65.33 resulting in a pedestrian 100 off 138 balls. The devil is in those details. This necessarily means that there was a measurable and palpable deceleration, instead of acceleration, in the second half of his inning which is counterproductive to any team. Thanks to the other batsmen, we at least made 289. And none of the players you mentioned, Indian or Bangladeshi, consumed half the team's deliveries. You can't compare somebody who faced 60-90 deliveries with someone who ate up 147 deliveries. That's why I say you are grasping at straws. Why am I not surprised that you can't see those 49 runs off 75 balls @ 65.33 as the match losing pathetic 49 runs? 49 runs off 75 balls @ 65.33!!! That's the passage of play that cost us dearly. Is the elephant and his fanatics kidding the rest of the country?

Posted by India_On on (April 10, 2012, 15:14 GMT)

NOBODY and I mean even Sachin Tendulkar's century is more important than India's win. An individual's score should never ever be more important than the team's chances of winning or losing. And that is what Mukul Kesavan is addressing that Sachin's centuries have actually made India lose those matches and it is a pattern. It's not something that is a fluke incident. Mukul Kesavan is addressing the pattern and I agree with him completely. If this continues to be a pattern then Sachin Tendulkar has no right to continue playing for India.

Posted by khanq on (April 10, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

Wow... now here is someone with absolute point. This is so very true....Dravid Certainly a GREAT MAN was robbed of his greatness just because he played in an era of Selfish Sachin Tendulkar... very insightful article and m sure this must have hurt many PRO-Sachin people.

Posted by aalkool on (April 10, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas, how is Kohli's strike-rate muddling the issue when it is the most like-for-like comparison with Sachin's batting? They batted together for 30 overs scoring at roughly the same rate, which in itself suggests that they were playing to a plan. Also, barring Raina, none of the batsman were abe to strike from the word go. Even Dhoni with his skills and the stage of innings managed to hit his first boundary after facing ten deliveries. All this and the fact that despite some really shoddy bowling, India were able to drag the game to the 50th over indicates that it was hardly a batting paradise. To use this premise and write a me-too article is hardly distinguishing the writer.

Posted by Lara4life501 on (April 10, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

Wonderful, wonderful article...finally someone has had the guts to question the growing Sachin Tendulkar personality cult, and the detrimental effect it continues to have on the indian cricket fraternity, and my faviroute part is that it comes from another Indian, you will cop alot in comments from people who list themselves as 'Sachin the god of cricket' and the like however they are almost all narrow minded and and the lack of cricketing knowledge is always very limited, Great writing Mr Kesavan, you are a true Realist. This article has been needed to be written for years,

Posted by kenishah on (April 10, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

10 yrs before evry indian loved srt and 10 yrs later evry 1 of u are against him jus cos he didnt peform in a couple of jus shows how indian fans jus like batsmen wen they score 100 and all that n i tink it will be the same wit kohli cos evry1 is sayin he will be a legend n wen he perfroms badly u all will say lets axe him.. u people r not loyal and u call urself loyal. evry1 has a bad patch n tendulkar is havin 1 right now soo dnt critisis him cos i doubt u can even see a ball wen brett lee bowls 2 u forget hittin it.all of u who r against srt are jealous of him and his succes. i wonder y u people dnt respect him for all he did.? wen ricky ponting was havin a bad patch i didnt see 1 aussie fan against him insted they all gave him time.. btw tendulkar is a match winner and thers no doubt bout that n all of u tht dnt tink he is then rewind ur life by 10 yrs n then tink of wat u thot of him then.

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

India is truely a democracy and any X,Y,Z can comment.

Let me counter the points raised:

1. "Mirpur century was slow ": Yes the strike rate of 72 was slow. But please note that "Century of Century" was the passion of the nation and not sachin alone. Let us face the fact that his Century was worth risking 15-20 runs in the Indian total as it was not coming for long time and we were getting desperate. It was important that he get rid of this milestone and play freely (which was immediately reflected in innings against pakistan). So he scoring a century was more in long term favor of the team then himself. No one predicted that Bangladesh will defeat both India and Srilanka.

2. "Dip in his form": Is the average of '33' is so bad?? Are many Indian batsman had better average than this during the said period?? Is the dip in his form is for first time?? Wasn't he unlucky on missing out on century, and that ultimately effected his performance??

Posted by kashifkhan7 on (April 10, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

Mukul Kesavan made a genuine point i wanna make it clear that i never like sachin as he is not a match winner except a couple of occasions he was never and now he a worse match winner than even vinay kumar we need match winners (like Kumble, Laxman, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Sehwag) not some record breakers (like Sachin) he was playing on that fateful day for himself only as he took 138 balls to reach for his century which eventually lost India the game. Sachin not a gr8 man not a teamman

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

looks like somebody is getting very restless at what mr. kesavan has to say and the affirmation he is getting from cricket lovers.

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

looks like somebody is not comfortable with the views of mr. kesavan and the affirmative comments he is receiving.

Posted by i_comment on (April 10, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

i guess most of you are discussing only about the batting of Indian innings, to bring to your notice if Bangladesh is able to stop India at that score i guess Indian bowlers have to be blamed for the defeat. cricket is not a one sided affair you also need good bowling unit to win a game.

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

Its very interesting to note that a lot of posters (or should i say all)state that sachin is a "humble" sportsman.well what has humility got to do with his on filed performance/non-performance.If he is a humble and god fearing person, needs people like him. BUT thatshould not be a parameter for what he does for Indian team.Certainly we cannot afford Srisanth like antics BUT character/good conduct should be seen in proper perspective when it comes to sportsmen.A simple example is Andrew Strauss.England have just drawn SL in SL and retained their no:1 spot.but the consensus is "the good guy whom everyone likes"(read:strauss)should not be in the side (forget leading)against SA if he does not score against WI before that.One should understand that corporates are trying to sell Sachin's humility as well..interestingly the very same fans accuse the likes of Dravid ,Laxman and Kumble of being too gentle/non-aggressive...hope the message gets through..please publish

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

I find it weird, and puzzling when people react acidly to anyone commenting negatively about Tendulkar. He is a great batsman no doubt, but the larger question is whether he is a match winner. The answer, to people who have an objective mind is a big NO! If he was India would have won a lot more. What is even more puzzling is that when he does not perform, the SRT lovers immediately say the bowling was bad, the team did not support him, and the list goes on. Let me draw attention to another great Ricky Ponting. He is by far the only batsman who can boast of a Bradmnesque average, and yet what was his fate. He was axed! But will the BCCi do it to SRT? Nope, cause the fan loves each time Tendulkar goes out to bat, even is we lose the tournament, series et all does not matter. What matters is SRT. That is precisely why we fail so much. We are a team who value individuals more that the team. Great article sir. Something 95% of this country would never write, and can ever digest.

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

The point is that irrespective of what Tendulkar himself thinks, he has to retire from the game and it is better he does it of his own choosing rather than forcing the selectors, or his own injuries to decide the matter.Though it ia a moot point on whwther we have selectors with enough spine to drop him when it is required.Now that he has got his personal milestone, let us see whether he has recovered his old mastery.

Posted by Quazar on (April 10, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

@Alakshyendra, you may need a public display of what Dravid means to Tendulkar, but the 2 men in question certainly don't. And should I apply your malicious logic and suggest that Dravid was chasing IPL moolah and so chose to stay in Rajasthan when he should have attended the Ambani felicitation for his teammate? (All Indian players were invited; Rohit and Virat were sitting together)

Posted by Quazar on (April 10, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

Absolutely appalling that Mukul blames Sachin for the B'desh loss when the bowlers conceded 116 runs in the last 12 overs, bowling full toss after full toss. Mukul is also maliciously omitting the fact that Tendulkar has been put under unparallelled pressure by fans, the media, and administrators over the last year to score his 100. Have we forgotten that an under-pressure Rahul Dravid once made a 97-ball 12 at the Oval in 2007? (that too at a time when India were setting up to declare the 3rd innings and bowl England out) Had Mukul written an equally unfair article castigating Dravid at the time, I could have at least considered him a consistent writer. But clearly he's not. And as already noted by @Sudhan, in the game Vs B''esh, SRT had a Strike Rate of 78, Kohli 81, Tamim Iqbal 71 & Jahurul Islam 78. More than half the runs in that match were scored at a strike rate of 78. But hey, why let facts get in the way of a tirade!

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

Mukul is getting a lot of flak but so did the boy who said 'The King is Naked"!1

Posted by SouthPaw on (April 10, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

Hey all SRT fans! Even the greatest sportsmen have to retire and when they do, it doesn't diminish their greatness by any means. Even the most beautiful flower has a certain lifespan after which it fades, rots and turns ugly. It is better to have seen Sachin playing like the champion he is and reminisce about his achievements rather then squirm in the seats watching him struggle, as he has been in the last one year. Sachin fans, let me ask you another question- Garfield Sobers, Dennis Lillee, Brian Lara, Viv Richards were all great cricketers, so is it justified that they should play now because their teams do not have similar great replacements? Get a move on guys!!

Posted by   on (April 10, 2012, 5:57 GMT)

There is no need to compare Dravid with Sachin. otherwise an objective article.

Posted by rohan024 on (April 10, 2012, 5:32 GMT)

I think Mukul is making a very genuine point..He's not suggesting that Tkar should retire, all he is saying that it would have been better had Tkar displayed some disappointment when we lost 8 away test matches rather than going overboard about his meaningless century against Bangladesh...That century was a selfish innings and in the end it got what it deserved - a milestone in a loosing cause..

Posted by Alakshyendra on (April 10, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

Sachin's selfish batting has been done to death, so no point repeating it here, but that he DID NOT attend Dravid's felicitation is appalling, despite having appeared in the Ambani function to celebrate his 100th ton just a couple of days ago. Agreed, he had a doctor's appointment at London, but couldn't he have postponed it for a couple of days? No I guess, because that would have meant he'd have to miss a couple of IPL matches and the riches accruing out it it. Dravid blasted a journalist who suggested this, but what does that show? It shows Dravid's greatness, not Sachin's.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (April 10, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

@mukul.mantri, Sachin reached his century with a strike-rate of 72. He used up 138 balls by then. It's his strike-rate in the pursuit for the century that is being questioned here. Sachin's strike-rate was 81 for his first 51 runs and it dropped to 72 by the time he reached three figures - meaning the remaining 49 runs he scored at a strike-rate of 65.33 by consuming 75 balls. Now if consuming 75 balls to score just 49 runs at a strike-rate of 65.33 is totally fine, then I have nothing more to debate with you. Also, let's not muddle the issue by bringing in Kohli who faced just 82 deliveries in toto. It's not as though Kohli maintained the same strike-rate of 81 by eating up 147 deliveries. Sachin ate up just 3 deliveries short of half of a team's innings by the time he departed. Bigger question - A strike-rate of 72 to reach a century??? His slow innings didn't allow India to put on more runs on the board. Credit to Raina and Dhoni that we even reached 289 as a saving grace.

Posted by nagart on (April 10, 2012, 2:25 GMT)

I believe that one should understand the meaning of "poor run (BY HIS OWN STANDARD)"... This means he is still doing better than a lot of players who might not have even born when he stepped in the International Arena... It is easy to say that Corporate around the world are earning huge by selling Sachin's name but then they forget to see that they are also using his name to come into the limelight... Otherwise I do not see any reason why 100th 100 is still making the news for bad reasons... Mr. Kesavan has very easily blamed the batting as a sole reason for India's Test defeats but he clearly has missed the point that 20 opposition wickets are necessarily to be taken to win the match... OR else Mr. Kesavan is satisfied with the Matches resulting in Draw!!! Please leave the genius alone as he loves to be... That is the best and least we can do for him...

Posted by orangtan on (April 10, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

Tendulkar has been India's greatest ever cricketer and should retire NOW, no point arguing about it. Thanks Sachin but it's time to go and maybe Doug Bollinger has done you a favour.

Posted by Rivka on (April 9, 2012, 19:52 GMT)

All players go through bad or unlucky patches. If anyone can't see that Sachin Tendulkar is still playing well, you shouldn't watch cricket. My suggestion to these people, including Mukul Kesawan, is this - watch IPL.

Posted by Rivka on (April 9, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

I don't think India deserved to win the Asia cup with a less than mediocre bowling. 289 is a good score by any standards, and if bowlers struggle to defend a good total, then the team doesn't deserve to win. Mukul Kesawan is trying a half-way house between Sachin-is-the-greatest camp and the Sachin-shoud-retire detractors. I wonder if Mukul Kesawan actually watches cricket any more. Anyone can see that Tendulkar is still good, still without a replacement. Kesawan even admits to that. So what's his point? A very poor piece of writing indeed.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

hey i am a pakistani and i have never been a fan of tendulkar in all my life but i think inspite of the fact that the things you are discussing here are true but these are pitty things when you compare them with things that tendulkar has achieved in his career , i hate to say this but he deserves better after retiring as he has done something in cricket that no one else has come close to doing it , hats off to him

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

(1) So if Sachin has a poor run (By his own standards) then he should retire? Like Dravid? Ignoring the fact that he was the second highest scorer in the world cup and the second best Indian batsman in England and Australia both.

(2) If he wanted easy pickings, he would have gone to the tour of West Indies where we, as expected, won. Instead he chose the tour to England.

(3) All major Indian players are backed by corporates. They are contractually obligated to be a part of the publicity blitz surrounding a major achievement.

(4) We bowled out England twice and Australia thrice in 8 innings each. Bowling, not SRT, is not responsible for those losses.

(5) He scored 180 odd runs in three innings... And we lost because our bowlers couldn't defend 285 against Bangladesh

(6) In that game Vs Bangladesh, SRT had a Strike Rate of 78, Kohli 81, Tamim Iqbal 71 & Jahurul Islam 78. More than half the runs in that match were scored at a strike rate of 78.

Pathetic attention seeking ploy.

Posted by ViperIX on (April 9, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

Excellent words from writer for many of the Sachin's fans need to understand. You need to segregate black from white and understand what is wrong. There is absolutely from doubt on Sachin's abilities, and he is one of the greatest names to have played the game. But people who truly watch the game, to get a good game, and not for records would understand what Sachin did in that match against Bangladesh to get his 100th 100. After the Indian inngs., I declared that if India did lose today, it would be coz Sachin and his selfishness to get the hundred(the post was not displayed though). Many of Sachin's illogical fans would crib about the bowling losing the match. But many genuine followers of the game would understand what transpired. And this is coming from an Indian and a Sachin fan(but someone who understands the game). Please publish this.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (April 9, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

For the first part of his career, Tendulkar was a great batsman, second to none. Since the second part of his career, Tendulkar has been second fiddle to India's greatest ever Test batsman, Rahul Dravid. As many have already commented Tendulkar is not at the top of his game and I'm astounded that he could come out with such a statement. It's up to Tendulkar when he retires but the point is that if he doesn't retire, he won't get dropped when he's out of form because the selectors' don't have the courage and / or protecting their investment. Currently Eng, SA and Pak and to a lessor extent WI play far more interesting cricket so my suggestion to Indian supporters who are not die-hard Sachin fans is to watch the cricket of these four teams for now.

Posted by havocsat on (April 9, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

who is mukul kesavan anyway... opinions... dime a dozen ... like mine... just enjoy extra ordinary talents till they last... once gone you will miss forever...opinions... well i suppose everyone has to make a living ... n sadly everyone cant be talented like sachin...

Posted by niraj13 on (April 9, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

I agree with Mukul Mantri (not Kesavan). I understand what Kesavan is trying to say here, but is it Sachin's fault? It is the hype created by the media (people like Kesavan) and the greed by corporations who are always hunting down ways to make money. If Kesavan really wants to write about villains of cricket, he should be targetting people involved in match fixing. Also, all the people here saying "Oh, Kesavan is very bold-he has hit the nail on the head"---has anyone of you voiced your concenrs about other issues in the cricket world. NO, because you are always fixated on Sachin. Who is the fanatic here?? umm umm :). Come on guys, this legend has been like a saint all his life. He is coming off a huge burden and trying to get back to normalcy. Honestly, everyone will forget abt this B'Desh loss in 2 months, but the 100 hundreds will be remembered for decades or should I say er centuries-hehe. Sachin has always spoken thru his bat and this normal service will be resumed soon.

Posted by Sycophant on (April 9, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

That was a great article takes guts to talk about the elephant in the room when many are even hesitating to acknowledge its existence...

Posted by AmolGm on (April 9, 2012, 16:41 GMT)

I think its the way one looks at it...while the article is nicely written, I have my own thoughts about the 100th 100 of Tendulkar...On a + side it was a great achievement by itself needs to be commended.....he can be humble and accept the shower of praises from his fans and sponsors, keep his despair in his heart of India having a bad streak OR totally reject his responsibilities..that can be taken otherwise as well... People do live their own lives and attend functions and is not like Tendular to ask for accolodes to be showered on him -i feel he is just being his humble self by acknowledging the respect showered on him by his fans and sponsors.I think its just the way we perceive things and the way we look at whats presented to us..- One can draw parallels in this situation and Savarkars 'Mazhi Janmathep' where he writes about his suffering at Andaman not to boast of his greatness but to acknowledge the respect the Indians showered asking hm to write abt his experiences.

Posted by India_On on (April 9, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

Good One Mukul!! Kudos to you!! Atleast someone had the audacity to write this article which is absolutely True. I am your new fan now. And from now on I'll continue to read your article.

Thanks again for shedding a light on Tendulkar's retirement and go there where no writers have gone before!! :)

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (April 9, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

It's great to see that somebody has guts to state these facts about Tendulkar. In my opinion, there are two Tendulkars: before 2004 and after 2004. Before 2004, Tendulkar wasn't fixated on these records etc. and he was a team man. But after 2004, even his die-hard fans would agree that these approaching milestones have been his top priority. There is no doubt that Tendulkar is simply the best batsman of his generation. But I have lost some respect for him in the recent years.

Posted by ab.ankur on (April 9, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

Totally agree with Mukul's article. Sachin is playing for the wrong reasons now. As Imran Khan rightly said, he shud have retured after that world cup final but naah, he continues to play ODI cricket where he has nothing to acheive. He did not come for 1 press conference in those 2 fateful test series when a senior pro was needed to take the tough questions. India lost that ODI match with bangla because of insipid bowling but also beacuse they were 25 - 30 runs short on that pitch, tendulkar scoring his 114 @ a strike rate of 77 on a flat mirpur deck!...

He has not been at the top and he saying that he wants to play because he still has the hunger is not right. What are his reasons of playing IPL & instead not resting to prolong his test career.. Its just that money talks and tendulkar is no god.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (April 9, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

Right on the money. Don't be surprised if fanatics come up with the weirdest logic of asking you if you ever held a bat to criticise him. Yeah right! Little do they realise that we don't need to be selfish to criticise the selfish. We don't need to be politicians to criticise a politician. We don't need to be Doctors to criticise Doctors. Good for the elephant and the elephant's fanatics. Well done Mukul. Bravo!

Posted by kh1902 on (April 9, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Cricket is played by 11 players. Please stop focusing on the one who's ready for retirement, probably after the English series this year.

The bigger worry is young guys like Suresh Raina, who are the "future" of Indian cricket but still look amateurish against short-pitched bowling. Not to mention a captain who doesn't care if he is suspended from a test match for slow over rates. Don't forget Sehwag and Laxman who are old too and underperform worse than everyone but escape the scrutiny of Indian fans on this forum.

People who are strange enough to think it is "courageous" to bad-mouth Tendulkar should realise that everyone is doing that nowadays so its not a big deal. If anything it takes courage to defend him because most people accuse you of being a blind hero-worshipper even if you speak rationally.

Posted by Micky.Panda on (April 9, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

Well done Mukul. A very fair analysis of truth ignoring the hype, and looking at players playing for the team, instead of personal milestones, Dravid being the real team man for me. I think Tendulkar should score at a sufficient rate in limited overs matches, or get out. Same thing for J Kallis, who makes runs, but too slowly to win the match.

Posted by Vasi-Koosi on (April 9, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

very nice point put in very succinctly, he has done what no one has dared; attack SRT in public. SRT can say he will retire when he wants; but he has no right to say that we do not have the right to say he has to retire. I found that interview of SRT very brash. We made him what he is an icon, and we have the right to strip him of that status. to me he lost my respect due to his unflinching desire to bat at #2 in ODI and #4 in Tests. I consider him a selfish mortal. he is nowhere near the top of his game; the result of the Bangladesh game was decided on the 32 over when SRT played out a maiden with his individual score on 82. if he was sincere to his fans, he should have avoided all celebrations until he made another 100 in his usual self.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

MK, agree a 100%! You could also lose the balancing praise of the King of Good Times in between.

Posted by addicted_to_chaos on (April 9, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

Dear Tendulkar, is'nt it selfish to play for IPL instead of playing T20 for your country??

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

Evn some people r making a bo\ig issue of sachin not attendd dravid's felicitation did u people read da interview of him n dravid plzz just stop it.. well if u betta den sachin den y u peopel sittint at home commnting go on da field... it's easier comnting den doing....

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

when we talk of things like doing things for the highest cause, selflessness, making sacrifices etc, we should be understanding and sympathetic of indian cricket and not critical. i mean we know honeybees sacrifice their everything to collect and protect honey, but what in the world can a bunch of mosquitoes sacrifice their everything for. we should allow sachin to continue as long as he wishes, we should allow srikanth to select aniruddh, and we should allow srinivasan to use cricket to make as much money as possible. after all they too have families to run, fame to gain. in fact it is very selfish of people like us that are criticizing all the greats that are playing and running indian cricket.

Posted by Jack_Tka on (April 9, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

Sachin's retirement has turned out to be corporate gamble. The man endorses a lot of products. His playing in a match effects the TV viewership and stadium attendance. And if you hear Ravi Shasrti & Sunny Gavasker commentating, they glorify him every now and then(which I agree is well deserved). I believe he cannot retire till he endorses a lot of products. Corporate Interests lie there and BCCI definitely knows how to milk them.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Einstein is a useless scientist...His 'Theory of relativity' didn't not help me in repairing my washing machine...He just worked for a 'Noble prize for himself' and wasted a lot of grants, didn't care for the poor...Kudos Mr. Mukul for bringing out this bitter truth about Einstein with your greater scientific knowledge ...

Posted by Ajay8184 on (April 9, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

Thank you Mukul. We need bold writers like you to bring out the actual Mr Tendulkar. Please Retire SRT- PAINFUL TO WATCH

Posted by a_little_objectivity on (April 9, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

Well written, Mr Kesavan, and thank you for having the courage to say out loud what every objective Indian cricket supporter has been thinking for a while. I too hold SRT's pursuit of the 100th 100 singularly responsible for India's loss to Bangladesh (to take nothing away from Bangladesh's efforts), because it came at a woefully slow scoring rate (~70). When you have two relatively unknown players score close to 50 runs at strike rates of 150+ to win the game for Bangladesh, you have to think that the "master blaster" should be capable of that and more. No Mr Tendulkar, you are NOT at the top of your game, and the selfishness would not be in retiring. The selfishness is in keeping your place in the team, even though you do not contribute much any more. Please go. We are very grateful for all you did, but it is high time you chose dignity over money.

Posted by Jack_Tka on (April 9, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

I lost the respect for Sachin in the English series itself, where he remained fixated at no. 4 position when Dravid came out to open the second innings after making a century in the first innings.

Posted by kristee on (April 9, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Nobody said he was solely responsible for the defeat. His anxiety to score the 100 must have cost his side some runs, the players to follow strengthen that suspicion, and thereby improved the opponents' chances. If Kohli was slower than him, he had the excuse that he left while trying to accelerate and thereby letting the others to try. I still feel, Sehwag or Uthappa in place of him, and India should have lifted the cup in all probability; the situation suited so much India, no matter BD's black horse stature at home. Don't forget it was the last over surge by Pak that denied them a victory. If India's bowling was less threatening than Pak's, it was batters' duty then to compensate for it, as they did against Pak. In any case, a would-be landmark is no excuse for failing to do so.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (April 9, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

Bravo, Mukul. Indian Cricket and its greatest icon are indeed ruled by the Corporations. Will the gullible masses ever realize this ?

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

I would like to see a situation where Sachin needing 2 runs for his century and India needing 5 runs for victory off the last ball ..!Sorry for the cynicism ..but when he scored his first IPL century while MI played first,he took a single of the last ball to complete the century instead of going for the maximum,which is usually ideal for the team cause.No wonder MI lost that match..Despite his greatness he can not match other team players in selflessness.When Gavasker blames Rahane for not going for century and goes on to say that''one or two singles would not have mattered''one can understand the mindset..or probably the DNA of certain Individuals.

Posted by s3ns3 on (April 9, 2012, 12:38 GMT)


Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

Things changed when he started giving lot of interviews after his 100th 100, which certainly was missing since past 1 year. Media hyped the whole 100th ton following up with series of events & felicitation ceremonies. And 1 man in the background retired from the cricket and just like his whole career even his felicitation went unnoticed by the media. Adding to that Sachin not being present in that function felt even more for me. Suddenly he comments that its being selfish to retire when you are in your peak performance, but he has been playing for a year with an average of 33 in tests and one dayers, HARD TO EXPLAIN. Suddenly whole drama after his 100th ton has made me more critical about Tensulkar

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

Though there could be many who won't agree partially u r right but i think if u have courage to reach that summit, then please do & then u will be able to tell was he right...... Afterall he only a human bound to fail, confused & wrong even... but i think u forgot against pakistan same batsman scored @ fast clipped in chase.... So his time is far from over.... The sheer amount of cricket he played makes him invaluable..... please restrain from writing facts unclearly was that u who scored a 200 for first ever time in odi's...... even if he was selfish y shouldn't he be r u not...

Posted by prasanthmeenapalli on (April 9, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

Sachin in his 20+ years of career never faced a single allegation.. now you are trying to show him as a man who is playing for money and that is being and that comments being highlighted.. I donno what to say.. Sachin the greatest cricketing icon.. Sachin God of cricket.. Sachin who made cricket as religion.. Sachin who made us proud by winning world cup for us.. Sachin whoose records may not be broken again.. What happened to all these praises once said(in fact jusl 2-3 months before).. All of a sudden a wave came.. wave of intellect or mob mentality I donno.. A man who has made his country proud.. give him a break... If he thinks he has some cricket left in him.. left him play for sometime as a token of respect..

Posted by msnsrinivas on (April 9, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

There is denying Tendulkar's greatness but the man sold himself short in the aftermath of his hundredth hundred. Thanks Mukul Kesavan, for being man enough. And that picture...that picture is ridiculously cartoonish.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

This article was long overdue...Mulkul has done it perfectly. One can also see the quality of following that , the so called God of Cricket is now left with. Most of the readers who have commended your honest statement of facts, belong the more pragmatic and they dont relate to the 'garland and drums' type of the populace that idol worships the cricketer. Tendulakar is undoubtedly self focussed, no two ways about that. Wish the rest of the cricket scribes had the courage to call, instead of praising the Emperors New Clothes"

Posted by Naren on (April 9, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

Bold article.. stating the facts.

Posted by msm29 on (April 9, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

@TrexTrainer Sachin's career average is 55. During the last 8 tests, his average is 20 runs below is career average. So that's 55 minus 20 = 35. Hence the writer says 35: 20 runs below is career average. That is what the writer means. The numbers are fine.

Posted by santoshjohnsamuel on (April 9, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

Thank you Mukul for putting things in perspective. That Sachin is a genius is a truism and his ability to keep the monster of fame from affecting his game has been remarkable (as Sharda Urga so beautifully wrote recently). But Mukul's lament speaks for many middle or soon to be middle-aged lovers of the game, especially of Tests, who despite their love for Sachin's game feel extremely uncomfortable with the recent script that Sachin is now part of. Maybe it's got something to do with our belief that cricket (esp. Tests) ought to be pure, maybe it's about feeling that cricket is losing its soul, maybe that the game is being taken over by Mammon, or whatever. But as Mukul put it, many of us do wish that Sachin, at the end of his career, does his bat do the talking. He's given us far too many wonderful moments on the field - only thankfulness and on that count. It's just the blatant acting out of the corporate-orchestrated script that we find distasteful. p.s. Thanks to Cricinfo too.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 9, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

Very good article, i am the biggest fan of Sachin but he handled the post match interview very badly and put his own achievement above the team, the way India played in Australia was terrible as Australia lost 3-1 the season before to the English. Sachin needs to realise that the team's achievements are bigger then his and take example from Dravid who was a true team player and champion. Dravid unlike Sachin did not put so much emphasis on averages and statistics which is why i say Dravid is a true champion respected all over the world more then Sachin is.

Posted by kasyapm on (April 9, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

@mukul.mantri, brilliantly need to add more to that..and for all sachin bashers, he endured the same criticism in 2007, that he was playing for himself, that he should retire (and many elite men concurred). But we knew what happened. What was the strike rate of Kohli in that match? 2 more than Sachin! Who was the second highest run getter in England? - SRT. Who was the second highest run getter in Aus? - SRT (by 15 runs, thanks to Virat's century in the last test). And he looked sublime in Aus, but was not able to convert that into a big score. And we forget the previous overseas tour, in SA, when he was India's highest run-getter (of course VVS and others played critical knocks). Right, he must be sobbing, banging his head on the floor and crying like a baby who lost in an exam in a press conference. Is that what we expect of him?

Posted by prakash_ajp on (April 9, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

All those Sachin fans, I just have one question for you: Do you think Sachin has the right to play the way he wants regardless of the team's position whenever he is in 90s? If you say 'yes', obviously you know what like more, Sachin or Indian cricket. I am not Sachin is fully responsible for the defeat against Bangaladesh. But I am saying that when Sachin was between 80+ and 100, he didn't care about the team's total as much as his century. Can anyone argue with that? If you do, you must be blind. For someone who keep boasting about selfish and altruism, Sachin is the most selfish of the Indian players. Even the young players, who are trying to establish themselves in the team play according to the situation. For a man with so many runs behind him, to do that, it's a real shame! But now that he has got his 100th 100, I don't think Sachin really cares about what people think about his attitude.

Posted by Quazar on (April 9, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

@Nag Pavan... you too are completely wrong on the facts. The Ambani felicitation was on a totally different day to the BCCI-organized Dravid felicitation. Tendulkar had already informed Rahul Dravid that he had a specialist's appointment in London and so would unfortunately miss the Dravid function. Dravid in fact blasted a journalist (see the ToI story on google) for insinuating a rift between Tendulkar ("very good friend," in Dravid's words) and himself.

Posted by dork29 on (April 9, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

Over the years, Tendulkar had built a kind of goodwill around himself, as a modest, God fearing genius and has always been a great ambassador for the game. In the last one year, he has ruined all that he has built so assiduously.There were essentially three aspects that stood in stark contrast to the image he has set for himself : a) He said ' why did it take so long?", when he got his 100th. never did he say, it is a milestone but I am not happy, because India lost. b) While he lords over series and decides which tour to play and which to skip, he chose Bangladesh!! Clearly a case of opportunism, after failing miserably on lively picthes and top class bowlers. c) " I will not retire because I am at the top of my game". Top of the game?After England and Oz series? After losing us the match against Bangladesh? Tendulkar is now a poor caricature of his former self. He has become a PAWN in the commercial money games. He dare not retire. Mukul Kesavan has written a fantastic article. Bravo

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

Well said Mukul Kesavan.. the 100th 100 celebrations created a nationwide nausea! Looks like he's going to retire the Kapil Dev...Not like RD or SMG or for that matter Javagal..

Posted by harsh88j on (April 9, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

@Nag Pavan: get your facts straight. the dinner at Ambani's house was on Sunday, whereas Dravid's felicitation was on Tuesday. Sachin missed it cause he had a prior appointment with a specialist in London. please think before commenting and do your research.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

very well said, Mr Dr_No. Indeed it was a poor bowling.

Posted by Biophysicist on (April 9, 2012, 10:06 GMT)

@TrexTrainer: You did not read carefully. What the author says is that Sachin's average was 35 over the 8 overseas tests, which is 20 runs below his career average. You also say "He is also ignoring the fact that in all of those tests the only person who looked like he was in good touch was Sachin...". You got it wrong again, in all the 4 tests in England, the only player who not only looked like but was also in good touch was Rahul Dravid. And in Australia, the only batsman who performed well, besides being seen to be in good touch is Virat Kohli. Sachin was good touch (and performed well) in all the earlier tours to Australia, but not in the 2011-12 series. He is sadly in decline and he and his fans should acknowledge the fact.

Posted by Quazar on (April 9, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Mukul's credibility and keen grasp of facts are established in the rigour exhibited in the 1st 3 lines of this piece! "After winning the World Cup last year, India endured their worst season of Test cricket in 50 years. Tests played overseas: eight. Tests lost: eight." Er, Mukul... India played 11 away Tests. :) (The same WI that have made 449/9 vs Australia lost at Jamaica to India, and were greatly benefited by rain and bad light to escape defeats at Barbados and St. Lucia.)

Posted by Fifthman on (April 9, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

When a cricketer starts being regarded as a 'Brand' rather than just a cricketer, that's when the rot starts. The money men and the merchandising take over and all of a sudden the 'Brand' becomes 'too big to fail', as we've seen here. The achievements of Tendulkar the cricketer have been tainted by Tendulkar the Brand, unfortunately.

Posted by cam_lon on (April 9, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

Seeing so many people are focused on statistics, here's one that may have escaped some of you. Of all of Sachin's 53 test centuries, only 14 have come in victories against tier 1 test playing nations (Zimbabwe and Bangladesh excluded). By contrast, RT Ponting has 28, Don Bradman 23. Even the constantly under-rated Jacques Kallis has 17. One can draw many conclusions from these facts, but the most obvious appears to be that for all his runs, it hasn't meant much for Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

For those who defends Tendulkar's century against Bangladesh - a. Tendulkar knew beforehand India is not Pakistan in terms of bowling ans so getting a huge score was mandatory. We do have a pathetic bowling line up and bowlers are fairly blamed but Tendulkar had the luxury of knowing this before hand and so only blaming bowlers doesn't ash in this case. b. On such a flat pitch in that match if not Tendulkar some one else would have propelled the score to beyond 320 given that we lost so few wickets. Generic comments - c. All his career, Sachin has batted at convenient positions - no 4 in Test matches where more often than not you are shielded from both the first and second new ball and he used to open in one days. So his statistics should also be seen from this perspective. d. Not just batting positions, Tendulkar has been allowed to choose the tournaments he play. He does not play 20/20 for India, but plays for IPL .

Posted by caughtatcover on (April 9, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

A very well researched article Mukul..My Congratulations and kudos to you for being able to see and boldly script out what most of our so called "cricket-crazed" junta cant fathom..Everybody's aware that the great man has served the nation with upmost integrity for an eternity and its time for him to step down from the pedestal with poise and grace that he so truly commands but sentiments and emotions make their judgements opaque (even the selectors)! Ricky needed to be asked to step aside..hopefully the great man know that this is his time..just a suggestion for some of the readers..emotions are one thing while facts are should try avoid "fuddling" the facts when overcome with emotions while commenting as the end result can make one look like a clown

Posted by rohanbala on (April 9, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

Truth is bitter... even before he could write the first alphabet of the current article, I am sure Mukul Kesavan would have anticipated the reaction he would receive from SRT fans. It would not be surprising if out of 339 comments posted so far, a majority would have chosen to attack MK for choosing to write the way he did. Probably, MK also knows what writers like Ian Chappell and Sanjay Manjrekar faced for expressing their views about Tendulkar. It is clear that SRT cannot take a decision on his own on his retirement because the Corporates do not want to lose the Goose which lays the golden eggs.

Posted by likeintcricket on (April 9, 2012, 9:26 GMT)

Dravid has been a gentleman and a real professional all his life. He knows that he could play cricket 10 years more but not the cricket he used to plat as a ROCK. Tendulakar can play for 10 years more but can he score a century in Australia again?. That is the question he needs to ask to himself? He probably could not realize that his captain is also fed up with him and some other seniors. Dhoni wants to develop a young team but he could not do say until these gladiators are still around. Tendulkar's record is awesome but there are players who can still go pass him some day like Kallis who has a better allround record.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

Mr Kesavan, I am not sure how much cricket you have watched or followed. If you are talking about skills of the match and technicality then its the most flaw-full writing I have ever seen. Warner score 100 of 140 balls in 2nd final of VB series and AUS lost that match. No one pointed out Warner was the reason behind the failure. At one point you are saying SRT dint have a century with him. Any player in this world is playing with out a century for a long period then definitely he will try to score a century against any minnows. If a bowling unit is unable to restrict to a minnows to 290 I doubt they could have done that for 300 also. Even PAK managed to restrict them below 240. Dint they??? So stop blaming the person for that loss. And also if you are talking about a large corporate fund is behind him then its not his fault. He has earned it over the last 22years and he deserves it.

Posted by anantbio on (April 9, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

More than the article, i enjoyed the spirited defence put up by "God's Devotees"; I pity them, for they know not what they are doing. Keep it going, you GOD is the best :) . For those who are not aware, Mukul has excellent knowledge about cricket and its nuances. He is entitled to his opinion, he does not need cricinfo as a platform to garner cheap publicity aka "100 centuries coke, shampoo, toothpaste, etc etc. "

Posted by ravicrao on (April 9, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

So what is the solution Kesavan after such an mind numbing analysis? Don't tell me bringing in fresh talents into the test team to play in offshore games. That never worked in Indian cricketing history. Except Sachin,Dravid and Laxman, we still don't have a batsman who can play outside the offstump. We don't have a bowling attack which can take 20 wickets. Don't get sucked into individual players statistics and press conference statements in microscopic vision. The value of experience, motivation and energy which Sachin, Dravid and Laxman's presence bring into the Indian dressing room cannot be measured by any of your statistical analysis. I do agree that as a team we failed but that doesn't mean we need to start predicting or even forecasting individual players retirements. Players like Sachin come once in 100 years. Perhaps most of the indians cricket fans and columnists like you need another 100 years to realize this fact.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

Hats off to Mukul for exposing the obvious (for non-indians) truth that India lost the Bangladesh becuz of Tendulkar. It takes a brave and a honest man to point that out.

Posted by Quazar on (April 9, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

Very sad to see Mukul twist numerous facts to traduce Tendulkar. 1) Tendulkar didn't order a media blitz; please don't deny the primary responsibility of the Tendulkar-hungry media of India and the wider cricket world (including CricInfo), which leverages Tendulkar's popularity at every opportunity. 2) As a modern professional sportsman, how can Tendulkar not honour his professional responsibilities to his sponsors? Would Dravid or any other modern player refuse to attend felicitations organized by his sponsors? 3) Tendulkar has already indicated that he turned down media interviews in Australia as he very well knew that they would keep raising the 100th hundred topic, which he was already being drowned in. As for post-match appearances, it is ALWAYS the Indian norm to send the MoM or the captain to attend those. 4) Indian bowlers conceded 116 runs in the last 12 overs to B'desh, and you blame Sachin! They fail to defend 290 against a lower-ranked side, and they escape all censure!

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

we never seem to be a cricket loving nation...we are always a cricketer loving nation.,...I agree the 100th century was achived at the second lowest strike rate of his career in odis among all the odi century. What was the need to attend an AMBANI function when on the same evening we had a felicitation for Rahul Dravid??Oh becoz Ambani is a Business Tycoon and Dravid is just a retired cricketer?? That was really one sad thing tendulkar was part off....couldnt he even attend a function of a person with whom he score many partnerships....couldnt he request AMBANI to re schedule the pompous felecitation for the 100th century which eventually failed to contribute for team's benefit in ASIA cup?

Posted by Dr_No on (April 9, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Mukul's article is a breath of Foul air (instead of fresh that some may say). Absolutely disgusting is the way he handles this topic. The fact that india lost to bangladesh n that game should be attributed to the poor bowling (as has been many times in the career). If india loses the game despite putting up 290 as target, they didn't deserve to win. Put any other batsman in his place : 100th century just few runs away, would he go for big shots with so many balls to spare? going ballistic in 90's with aerial shots would be "Herogiri" instead. He missed his 100th in Australia due to bad umpiring decisions & he did was just smile. Would u ?

Posted by skepticaloptimist on (April 9, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

@Vijit Coomaraswamy - You've got the entire thing wrong, I'm sorry to say. The Indian upper-class was the first one to embrace the new world values, that, as history of the world shows, are far more rewarding and accomplishing than are the old world. I'm not advocating, one should embrace the former or stick to the latter, but to refer to one as the "dark side" is pure non-sense. As far as uniqueness of India the abstraction is considered, it will last forever: culture is always a byproduct of socio-politico-economic happening. Culture evolves, and Indian culture evolving, as does every other culture.

Posted by harsh88j on (April 9, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

how can you consider Sachin's drop in run rate as one of the reasons for India's loss to Bangladesh. nowhere in your article have you considered Bangladesh to be a competitive team that played well on that particular day as a team, so it can be safely assumed that Bangladesh are the underdogs. now to win against an underdog do you need to score above 300 every time, when above 250 is considered to be a fighting score against any team. and have forgotten the fact that Sachin was the only player who stuck to the crease and saw India to that score. so please before posting such comments get some knowledge on cricket apart from just statistics. it is well known that every batsman gets a little slower when nearing a century, and this was the hundredth hundred for god's sake.

Posted by TrexTrainer on (April 9, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

Mukul Kesavan clearly doesn't care about facts or reality. In his article, one place he says Sachin 35-20 runs below his career average. 35-20? Any common sense person a with decency knowledge of stats would say either 35 or 20, even more so not use two numbers that are so far apart. Another place he says he averaged 35. Going by that Sachin's average is between 75-50. Does that even make sense?

He is also ignoring the fact that in all of those tests the only person who looked like he was in good touch was Sachin, he played beautifully before he got out. Many times because he was trying counterattack as his teammates were falling like a deck of cards to push the opposition on backfoot. Now we all know that has been Sachin's mantra all his career barring some hiccups. Of course, you could use the fact that he couldn't push onto bigger scores to argue that it maybe the sign of his decline. But, it seemed more bad luck than bad form.

Posted by maheshunni744 on (April 9, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Mr Kesavan, I thing you have written this for getting a cheap fame and abhorrant publicity and not sure whether you have written this with your sense. I have read your statement and unfortunate to see any word praising Sachin, the man who scored over 33000 international runs.The endorsement of Coke and Adidas shoe in his hand is due to his performance in cricket.Our captain accepted UB group ads after sachin rejected liquour ads as part of his promise to his dad. People may forgot one thing, Kohli can bat in only one position at a time if one player playing well that doesnt means the contribution of other player should be in the same level of kohli. We need a gradual transition not all in a sudden. Dada Kumble Dravid have gone to rest one by one.We cannot afford to loose Sachin Rahul Viru and Laxman on the same day. Apart from Kohli, Rohit who else made a big impact to the team after giving them enough chances.

Posted by SportsAce on (April 9, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

Thank you Mukul for articulating the views of the entire country in such eloquent language. For people like me who had adored Tendulkar ever since his debut in 1989, the past few weeks have been very painful. We are seeing an exercise in self-promotion at the cost of the team. Sachin would do well to remember that while he can unabashedly promote his commercial interests, he would not longer enjoy the same adulation that he has evoked all these years. The fall from grace should be worth more than the combined rakings of him and his sponsors over the lifetime of Sachin.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

I like your comments and frankness. Most people would have fought shy of criticizing God . I am sure your inbox is full of vitriolic hate mail of people who are more passionate about the great man than himself. I was really upset that during the entire tour of Australia he did not speak to the media once and often it was poor Ashwin in his first year of test cricket answering the failings of the greats and a team that was in complete and total disarray. The problem is our national malaise of putting individual achievements before the team's collective failures and Tendulkar has furthered this with his phenomenal individual achievements which will never be overtaken I am sure. Who are we to comment on his retirement date but if the selectors had the courage of Inverarity et al he would be constantly looking over his shoulder like Ponting . Amidst all this Dravid stands out . What a model! Sadly who is to follow him !!! Ramanujam sridhar

Posted by Sunman81 on (April 9, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

bitter truth.. Well Said Mukul!!!

Posted by Farce-Follower on (April 9, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

India loses...Yawn....India behind in rankings...Bigger Yawn...Indian bowlers do well...Who cares? Sachin hits 50 against Kenya...Fantastic achievement, even better than Armstrong on the moon. Welcome to Indian cricket, Mukul.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

I wish he retires.... been playing for 20 long years .... 10 years is satisfactory.... another 10 ... he just has shattered the dreams of too many aspiring youngsters ....its a 10 men selection squad for the past 20 years...not fair he should pave way for the younger generations rather say he is fit ...or the BCCI & Endorsements should take the big decision of dropping him, respect for the man and the country's sport for need is different he would have his due respect whether he plays or not....its a 1.22 billion of population .... create more opportunities.....A Kholi,Sharma,Raina,Uthappa,X,Y,Z is the need of the hour ......we are populated with talents....

Posted by karthik_raja on (April 9, 2012, 7:04 GMT)

@gultistan & D.sharma. Well, u call Sharjah finals(thats on '98 not '96) as ancient history and the scores by Lara, Lax and Dravid in 99,01,03 are current happenings.. Woww.. wt a knowledge on timeline.. Just one question.. Wt would hv Lax and Dravid done if they had not supported each other in Kolkata and Adelaide respectively..? The result will b very similar to Chennai '99 Test. Isn't it.?? Centuries in losing cause.. Get ur mind right, my dear frnds..

Posted by Alakshyendra on (April 9, 2012, 6:47 GMT)

Absolutely spot on!!! It has been embarrassing to see how Tendulkar has gone to town with his 100th ton; as if nothing else -- not even the loss to Bangladesh, which was the direct result of this trying to get to the milestone -- mattered. Neither has he spoken about India's dismal performance over the last year, nor has he appeared apologetic about his own mediocre form during this period. I guess he realizes that the end is nearing, and is trying to make the most out of whatever's left of it.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

I fully disagree, 'Tendulkar unwillingness to share responsibility for defeat' what sort of statement is that? If you think hes sitting in the changing room looking round and refusing to admit he under-performed your dreaming? The fact he doesnt front the media and put blame on himself doesnt prove he isnt taking responsibility. Everyone who has played sport at a high level knows one person doesnt lose any game? 11 players play and no matter how badly one person does the other 10 can still pull the team through

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

Well written, pretty much what I had in mind, for some peoples who are sachin fanatics and degrading dravid, I would say dravid has always scored meaningful runs which helps teams cause and not stand in the way of the team if he can't help the cause he will just move out of it, all through his career he has done the same and not just lapping up 100 after 100 for commercial reasons. For people who are bringing up stats to prove a point about sachin's supremacy, I guess this article is a waste of time for them because for them a 100 in a losing cause is same as a 100 in winning cause.

Posted by manya248 on (April 9, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

Kesavan, your article is hurtful and quite irresponsible, largely because you have made far fetched inferences to conclude the master's legacy is being cheapened. Sachin is an icon with no need to build his brand. All these felicitations were surely garnered by his sponsors. He is intensely private and never 'milks' fame, he doesn't need to, so I would be surprised if he initiated the post 100 100s frenzy. As for not speaking to the media in Aus, what was the point as inevitably any press conference would have focussed on this landmark rather than the ongoing series. By saying sachin did not share responsibility for the Aus loss is wrong. To avoid criticising the team, he gave a diplomatic answer, which agreeably was a frustrating one for cricket followers. He didn't blame others so where did he not share responsibility. It is laughable that you think that Sachin needs to maintain his popularity. Ironically, relatively unknown journalists can gain popularity by targeting icons.

Posted by ITJOBSUCKS on (April 9, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

@gultistan buddy just take a chill pill!! According to the cricinfo stats, Sachin has got the "Best" record in Finals(barring Viv Richards).. Most no of 100's(couple of 90's) All have resulted in Indian victory:) Most no of runs(Even though Ricky has played more finals) Most no of MOM.. Dravid has pathetic record when it comes to "BIG"matches(avg27)... AFAIK, there are lot of Jaw dropping innings played by Sachin 153* against AUS on a turning chepauk & 103* against Eng on 5th day of Chennai track.. 162 against NZ(India won the test after 40yrs in NZ)..List goes on... Please check statsguru for more & i'm sure that u would find plenty:)

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

Mukul Kesavan is a breath of fresh air. Great intelligent writing and someone who has clearly articulated the shift in cultural attitudes of India via cricket. Dravid is truly represents the old value system and out, while Sachin has embraced the seductions of the "dark side" and now represents in some ways the new attitudes. India with its huge emerging middle class has clearly embraced the US and Northern European punk culture. I like the old-school upper class, to which I assume Mukul belongs and I like the lower class majority. They still make India uniquely India, but for how long?

Posted by ITJOBSUCKS on (April 9, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

@gultistan buddy just take a chill pill!! According to the cricinfo stats, Sachin has got the "Best" record in Finals(barring Viv Richards).. Most no of 100's(couple of 90's) All have resulted in Indian victory:) Most no of runs(Even though Ricky has played more finals) Most no of MOM..Best Avg(barring Richards).. Dravid has a pathetic record when it comes to "BIG"matches(avg27)... AFAIK, there are lot of Jaw dropping innings played by Sachin 153* against AUS on a turning chepauk & 103* against Eng on 5th day of Chennai track.. 162 against NZ(India won the test after 40yrs in NZ)..List goes on... Please check statsguru for more & i'm sure that u would find plenty:)

Posted by moBlue on (April 9, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

sachin's legacy cheapened?!? because of his "media blitz?" what nonsense! first of all, having observed how humble sachin has been over more than 20 years despite his astronomical achievements, i suspect his "media blitz" is a result of his corporate sponsorship. isn't sachin allowed room for that? how on earth would his cricketing legacy be cheapened by what happens off the field? secondly, yes, he took a little longer than he normally might have to get to a *mind-blowing* landmark. you don't expect he would be nervous - and ultra-cautious - after missing the landmark so many times? "it is a team game!", you all say. yet how many of you have routinely blamed sachin for scoring hundreds when the team lost on this very forum?!? wasn't it the team's fault then, as opposed to y'all hanging the monkey on sachin's head in such instances as i have seen regularly done here? the fact of the matter is sachin is a once-in-a-lifetime player and an exemplary human being.

Posted by GayathriVenugopalan on (April 9, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

Thank you Mr Kesavan. For a whole lot of us Indians who are invariably Sachin fans, this balancing of perspective consisting of bitter truth is necessary.

As fans, it has been disappointing the way senior players like Sachin and Dhoni have gone out denying the slide in form & not taking responsibilities.

It is also important to ask if Sachin is critical to our ODI team now that we're in the process of rebuilding. He is at the moment denying a place for a young talent like Ajinkya Rahane who has shown enough glimpses to be backed to perform.

While retiring is very much the players' prerogative, who gets picked for the team is the Selectors' choice and we do not see any perspective - short or long term in the way the teams are currently being picked.

Posted by msm29 on (April 9, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Finally someone had the guts to say what millions of Indians around the world felt, in a public forum like CRICINFO and ESPN. Hats off to Mukul. Yes, we should celebrate him and his landmark but not at the cost of loosing to Bangladesh and getting knocked out of the Asia cup. Tendulkar, the player, is not bigger than India.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

Well said! But rest assured that the Crickentertainment will come up with abuses which has hardly to do anything with cricketing logic :)

Posted by Trickstar on (April 9, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

EXCELLENT article and needed to be said.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

Another imp. thing that the writer says about Dravid choosing to call it quits despite doing exceedingly well in England. Please do not forget that Dravid spent entire 2010 & early 2011 without scoring much - was woefully out-of-form before the England tour & his Avg. was much lower than SRT's. Why no calls for Dravid to call it Quits' then? so much for his selflessness. The point is players go thru' slumps in form- & decision whether & when should one should hang his boots should be best left to the Individual & the Selectors but what is actually to be seen is SRT's avg. of 33 is poor by his standards but is considered decent one for a majority of batsmen. Undoubtedly, SRT is a multi-million dollar brand & Dravid is no comparison & decision to quit will have to be taken keeping SRT's Sponsors in confidence, that's Thorough Professionalism & not ' Cheapening' of legacy as Mr. Kesavan calls it. Sorry Mr. Kesavan, u can criticise SRT openly but not be diplomatic.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

I'm an Indian supporter. Sachin fanatics will never understand this article. For them talking anything even remotely against him is blasphemy. Well written article. Kudos!

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

As much of a legend as Tendulkar is, his continued presence in the Indian team is harming their long-term progress. Certainly no reason for him to be in the ODI team, especially after India won the last World Cup. His Test career is on the wane, and the fact that no young players are putting pressure on his position (the impressive Kohli will replace Dravid) and the Indian selectors fear of making a tough decision, means Tendulkar will hang around as long as he likes. India have created their own mess by not managing the departures of Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar (and eventually Sehwag) better.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

Though article points out several facts say, SRT's Avg. during 33 innings & his reluctance to address the press in Australia in India's losing streak, the article is merely a writer Mr. Mukul Kesavan's opinion on SRT's behaviour post his 100th ton. So many people have actually written about Tendulkar being solely responsible for India's defeat to Bangla & elimination from Asia Cup, that they have missed certain key facts. If one observes closely the Bangla game, SRT had a big partnership with Virat Kohli, unarguably - the most In-form batsmen in ODIs in recent times & during this partnership, Virat's strike rate was surprisingly lower than SRT (both of them doing a their scoring in singles/twos) which means the Wicket was not easy to play big shots & if both decide not to take unnecessary risks for laying a foundation for the lower middle order to launch an assault fora 300 total, its very unfair that SRT alone be blamed. Its been a habit to blame SRT/his ton for India's loss recently.

Posted by mrgupta on (April 9, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

Mr Mukul, i accept that you are trying to convey a message but to say that India lost in Mirpur because Sachin took 10 extra balls to score his 100! Against SL India made 304, 15 more than what they manged against BD and i believe most will agree that the way BD thrashed Indian bowling 10-15 more runs would not have made any diff specially given that BD also thrashed SL and nearly defeated Pak too. Give them some credit saying Sachin's slower batting cost India a match is an insult to the way BD players pulled off an incredible chase!! Our bowling was pathetic, and you are blaming someone who anchored the inning. Sachin may have his flaws but you are going overboard to criticize him.

Posted by AjayB on (April 9, 2012, 4:33 GMT)

Even the hard-core jingoist in me agrees. Well written and articualted.

Posted by kristee on (April 9, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

I agree with the writer but for his concluding remark that he's the greatest of his time. 100 centuries is great. And he has contributed handsomely to Indian cricket. But there have been other greats who've contributed as much, if not more, to their respective sides.

Posted by Donald_Tendulkar on (April 9, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

mukul is just too p!$$ed that his fellow southerner Dravid's thunder gets stolen even in retirement. but obviously he is not courageous enough to say it.

Bradman, Tendulkar - they are GODs of the game. other mortals have to sadly live in their shadows and Yes, they are even bigger than the game. People come to watch Tendulkar. If tendulkar played football, most Indians would be watching that and not cricket. so please get real and come out of la la land.

not a peep about how dravid was miserable in australia - a place where he scored only one century as opposed to 6 by tendulkar. look at the no.2 cricket country of this era - south africa. dravid has 1 hundred. tendulkar has 5. dravid feasted on mediocre cricketing teams like WI and newzealand and pakistan (post akram/younis era) the only decent team he scored against is england of 2011. england before that was a pathetic bowling unit. go chek the stats!

but hey, why bother with facts when fiction is more intresting.

Posted by Legionnaire on (April 9, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

Finally someone had the audacity and courage to speak the truth!! 100th century sums up Tendulkar's entire career. Flat track, ordinary bowling, wasting overs upon approaching century and then the entire Indian media and Tendulkar fanatics celebrating his century, with a small matter of India loosing the match.

Posted by Ramfromlanka on (April 9, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

Good one Mr.Keshavan... Very refreshing and talks precisely of how India should get away from idol worship to more of appreciating the team

Posted by Biophysicist on (April 9, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

It is a great piece of writing and I congratulate Kesavan for pointing out the facts so straight. In fact, if we were to extend the international average concept, then Laxman's average of just under 37 in tests for the last 12 months, would be above Tendulkar's average of just under 33!

Posted by Mid-off on (April 9, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

Cut Sachin some slack Mukul! It is not becoming to be as critical of him as you were. I'd like to know how you would have handled the pressure to get to some of the milestones he has passed! Players don't choose the opposition, nor where they fit into a batting order. Sachin was, as ever, doing the job! As for his recent performances, he was easily the best of the 'old brigade' in the last Australian series, and some of his best innings have come against Australia when they were the dominant team in world cricket. He has always handled himself with poise and humility. Cutting down tall poppies is easier than facing the pressuire he has been under during an OUTSTANDING career. Give the guy a break, and wake up mto yourself!

Posted by Dr_No on (April 9, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

This is to Dr. No : 1) Mukul doesn't praise SRT. check out his article "why the 100th doesn't matter" written in december. 2) SRT is not a farcical entity by any means. everybody has opinions & they should be respected. There's nothing absolute, right or wrong. while the article in december was a vitriol attack, this one is more held back. Nobody should have a say in asking tendulkar to retire except the man himself. The indian cricket & by extension international cricket itself today is what it is, thanks to SRT. It wont be far fetched to say cricket would not have been that wealthy if not for the phenomenal person we are discussing (Mukul acknowledges this in the article). SRT provided us with something to watch & cheer when there was nothing (in sports). Mukul, on the other hand, wants to earn his bread by smearing greats. There is no comparison between Bradman & Sachin & there shouldn't be. 2 totally different cricketers, 2 totally different eras. Better compare him to Schumacher

Posted by Analyst_83 on (April 9, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

Even the biggest supporters of tendulkar like me wont disagree to this. Hope now the hurdle of the 100th 100 is crossed, we can see some vintage tendulkar before he hung up his boots......

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

The author is conveniently ignoring the fact that it's not Sachin's form that caused his average to drop but the anxiety and expectations of the milestone. With the way Sachin was playing it can clearly be seen that if the landmark hadn't been there he would have scored more freely and much more runs. It is clearly know the anxiety Sachin has nearing 100s. It's each Individual and Sachin can't handle captaincy and so after initial attempt he himself withdrew from it. That is clearly the reason Sachin is saying he is in good form. Just wait for the next few Innings (now that the milestone is out of the way) I am pretty sure the author himself will have to swallow his own words...

Posted by crazyuddie on (April 9, 2012, 3:23 GMT)

And by the way, it's not as if other players achievements are not celebrated; culturally there is a tendency to over-celebrate, and nothing in Tendulkar's past suggests that he's above such celebration. He has always turned up for such media blitzes (and he has also appeared for APNALAYA -- that is a difference I think, from many other celebrated individuals), so why should that suddenly change?

The ridiculousness of that logic is what is most middling about this article.

You can argue about whether or not such media blitzes should occur at all, but that isn't the point of the article is it? that is an argument I would be willing to participate in.

Posted by thenkabail on (April 9, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

DROP SACHIN: This is by far the best article I have read after a long, long time. Mukul, thank you for being honest. Like everyone else I have the highest respect and love for Sachin. But, he has become selfish and has lost himself. What happened to that great personality of Sachin?. Was it bought by over by Coke and Adidas?. There was one person I thought was above all that. But, look at what Sachin is doing: complete disregard that India lost 8 tests in a trot, we shamelessly lost to Bangladesh.....yet everyone start beating the drum of Sachin's 100th Hundred. This is getting to a point of absolute rediculous. My respect for Sachin won't chance a drop whether he has 99 or 100 centuries. But, he lost a great deal of my respece for the arrogance and selfishness. Is sachin real when he says "one should not retire when one is on top"?. Is he on top?!!!. Look, selectors must drop sachin just like Australia dropped Ponting. This is no direspect to sachin: Just country over even sachin!!

Posted by crazyuddie on (April 9, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

SPOT ON, @mukul.mantri, really appreciate your comments.

Those of us who have seen Sachin bat in the 90's, and then suffered through one humiliating defeat after another despite Sachin's heroics will always be biased. I admit I am biased, but there is a justification for that bias, we have seen him play, even through something like match-fixing.

As for Australia, absolutely Sachin was in excellent form in the first 2 tests. Where is the evidence that he has been scratching around. Form has dipped, over 8 matches, but ONLY 8 matches, and even then there have been flashes of brilliance. It's only a matter of time before it comes together again. At least in the case of Tendulkar, the doubters should wait and see whether or not the lean patch continues unto oblivion. He has been in such patches before, and yet his average is 55+.

Posted by hamqad on (April 9, 2012, 3:09 GMT)

Great article. There is no doubting the fact that Tendulkar is one of the greatest batsmen to have ever played the game. That does not mean he can continue forever. Immortality does not exist in this world. It is time to retire.

Posted by jay57870 on (April 9, 2012, 2:30 GMT)

Mukul - Modern cricket is not your brand of Pandara Park gullie cricket. It's big business. It's entertainment. Like it or not, it's as much about men in colours as of men in white. One-day cricket, especially IPL, draws in big dough. Brand Tendulkar (yes Coke, Adidas) is a huge revenue generator in all formats. Importantly, he's cricket's Brand Ambassador. Fans crowd grounds just to see him play, in form or not. He's the big ticket item! All stakeholders get a share of the money pie; columnists too. Yes, he's a public figure, open game for criticism. But he's also a private citizen of the world's largest democracy with the inalienable right to express himself in any forum he chooses to. Noisy celebration? What else do you expect from the vocal 99% cricket-lovers vs 1% nitwits? Sachin puts it so succinctly: "My critics haven't taught me my cricket ... None of them has been in my predicament and it's impossible for them to understand what I have been thinking & feeling"! Get it, Mukul?

Posted by Biophysicist on (April 9, 2012, 2:02 GMT)

@bchopr: The last 12 months performance for SRT in tests is 11 tests, 778 runs, 0 hundreds, hs 94, average 37.04. Corresponding figures for RSD are 14 tests, 1225 runs, 5 hundreds, average 51.04. What one did more than a year ago doesn't count for much for someone who is approaching 40 years. Although SRT claims that he is on top of his game, based on the last 12 months performance he is declining from average to poor.

Posted by naveene on (April 9, 2012, 1:39 GMT)

Great piece Mukul. Can't agree more!

I do believe Tendulkar's achievement is great. 100 international 100s is awesome, no doubt. But if you are a team man, the loss to Bangladesh should have hurt. Over the 2 days after his 100 it never felt like it did. That bothers me.

Another thing that I felt was that Dravid's retirement was received very well in the press and for those 3-4 days Dravid was "Tendulkar" for India. indian cricket was synonymous with cricket and suddenly Dravid was being showered with plaudits usually reserved for him. It did not sit well with the great man. nothing wrong, most sportsmen have massive egos. Tendulkar did not like it. It showed in how he celebrated his 100th 100.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 1:37 GMT)

i have read this article when there were no comments and decided not to comment on such useless piece as i dont understand the sense of this article at all. But, i think after seeing 270+ comments i do see what the author was/is looking for and i think he has got the publicity for Criticizing Sachin (+ve or -ve) who cares, right Mukul. The point that i dont understand is why people cannot live their own lives and let others do what they want. If Sachin wants to play, let him play. if he is earning money, what is your damn problem? Who are you to blame him for earning money? Like every individual on this earth, which includes you, he wants to earn as much money as possible and with God's grace he is lucky enough to do that...may be you are not..and that is why u r pissed off with him?? And regarding the performance of his for past year or so, yes it has dipped, but i think you forgot he is the same man written off by critics a few yrs back too and how well he has answered is to be seen.

Posted by xylo on (April 9, 2012, 1:34 GMT)

Finally, a voice of reason when everyone feels compelled to be carried away with the "momentous" occasion. The fact that most of these press conferences after the century were held by his marketing agencies only deepen the mystery. I would not be surprised if his retirement is tied with some lucrative contracts with some corporations. And, endorsing of every product lying around is getting very bad. And, this is not about just Tendulkar, but every cricketer. If Sachin is so intent on endorsing Coke, make him drink it for a week non-stop whenever he wants any fluids. He knows that the product is not something that he would encourage his kids to drink, and yet he endorses it. I am sincerely waiting for the day that Sachin retires, and all the Sachin fans are filtered out of the game. That it has got to this point is very disappointing though.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 1:28 GMT)

thank God Sachin doesn't read these kind of one sided articles...the problem with the so called critics is that they haven't seen someone as good as him playing for so long that it is new to them and they are not able to fully understand that. Mukul, the celebration is not about the 100th century rather the 100 centuries. first understand the enormity of this feat, then you'll understand the pressure he goes through. Anyway, he is truly there and will entertain millions of us till he is motivated enough.

Posted by kh1902 on (April 9, 2012, 1:28 GMT)

Poor article by someone trying to draw attention to himself. Anyone who defends Tendulkar is abused as a one-eyed fan. The real problems lie with bowlers who can't take 20 wickets or defend 289 against Bangladesh. The BCCI is responsible for the development of the game but has failed the fans and the game. The author doesn't have the courage to write about that. He knows that bad-mouthing Tendulkar will get him a following of people who don't understand the real issues, just like him.

None of my previous comments have been posted despite being non-abusive. I suspect this one won't be either.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 1:23 GMT)

I share the anguish of the author that Tendulkar doesn't seem to accept his part in the failure of India in England and Australia. It's even more sad, if as mentioned corporate pressure plays a part in what Tendulkar is doing. As the great man said, indeed it is just one big partnership the differentiated Indian and Australian innings. BUT that goes to credit the Indian bowling effort or to dis-credit it (how ever one may wish to see it). It doesn't explain why such a partnership was far from possible from the Indian batters. Tendulkar has always been criticized for prizing his landmarks before the team goals - mostly wrongly. But Mirpur 100 was done wrongly. Apart from the fact that I hated Tendulkar to have gotten his 100th 100 in a losing cause that too against Bangladesh (2012 world cup final would have been more appropriate), more important here is the fact that India lost due to slow scoring by Tendulkar - now why he scored slowly is a question only he can/should answer.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 1:21 GMT)

I think part of the problem with Indian cricket is that it seems that whether Sachin plays or not is up to him, not the selectors. I'm not saying Sachin should retire now, and a player of his quality deserves the chance to retire at the right time, but if in the future the selectors feel he has carried on too long and it is in the long term interest of the team to bring in new batsmen then they have to take the decision out of his hands, otherwise why have selectors?

Posted by Woody111 on (April 9, 2012, 1:19 GMT)

From what could have been an interesting piece about a tricky topic you failed miserably

Posted by Chakri77 on (April 9, 2012, 1:14 GMT)

I agree with Mukul that Tendulkar should have come out and spoke during his failures in Australia. In England, there were a couple of good innings he played, but, either way, his career averages and recent averages have not been in synch. As far as retirement goes, no one should tell him when to retire other than the selectors. He is not above them, the problem is, nobody from the selection team has enough balls to stand up to him and say, Sachin we do not think you are being much of a help to the team. They do not want to become a national villian, but, their allegiance is to the nation not to an individual. Of course, there is going to be hue and cry, they can cry all they want. Sports and anything for that matter is show me what have you done lately business. I understand that he has accomplished what many cannot even think of and I as a fan relished his each individual feat, but, if you are not adding value, you step out, as simple as it is.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 1:13 GMT)

Thank you for having the guts to speak the truth. The jokers who keep harping that the bowlers lost the game for India need to understand that it is not about the contributions but the intent that we are talking about. The bowlers didnt give runs away on purpose...they tried their best and are just not good enough. sachin on the other hand could have scored faster and missed a hundred because of the risk but he decided that the Asia Cup was not as important as his 100th 100. Period.Forget about stats...nobody denies how good of a batsman he is. The question is one of priorities.

Posted by ruester on (April 9, 2012, 0:58 GMT)

Very good article, I believe Sachin is not the only selfish player in the team. Sehwag's approach to test cricket is inexcusable, he NEVER plays conservatively when the team needs it. BCHOPR you posting stats of Sachin and the rest. You seem to of missed the point. The INDIAN team has been humiliated in eight tests in a row. Sachin is the best of a FAILING line up. Sport is about winning, not about an individual. Sachin fans really need to get over him. He is a fading fast great player, how many more defeats can you accept as long as Sachin plays?

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

Another armchair analysis of Tendulkar. Millions of analysis on Tendulkar. Every writer wants to sound different.

India may have lost tests and Tendulkar may have averged very less, but he reached a land mark and is going to inspire many more young cricketers and keep First Class cricket alive for a long time to come. Isn't that a victory he achieved for India!!!

Posted by Ajayvs on (April 9, 2012, 0:49 GMT)

Great article Mukul. You hit the nail on the head. To all those who say if Indian bowlerd could not defend 290 then why blame sachin, all i have to say is as team man, it was his duty to accelerate around 35th over depending on the match situation and not slow down the runrate for his personal milestone.If the indian bowling is pathetic then its the duty of the batsmen to put as many runs as they can to give cushion to the bowlers. Everybody in India loves Sachin including me but you cant condone somebody even when they are wrong.

Posted by biasreporter on (April 9, 2012, 0:49 GMT)

Great article Mukul. I will be blunter than you. Sachin is a media whore -- shame on him. I will concede that the England and Aussie losses could be attributed to the team but being knocked out of the Asia cup is entirely Sachin's fault. Now, I don't know the man personally and may be he is being managed (to not give media appearances during losses, etc.) but his farcical statement about retirement being selfish is just that. I really wonder if he has any integrity left. The question of if there is anyone in the Indian team is interested in Indian cricket is worth asking -- now that Dravid has retired.

Posted by Kabs on (April 9, 2012, 0:40 GMT)

Excellent article. Amidst all the celebrations, articles like this stand out as objective analyses of the fact that Indians are so obsessed with Tendulkar and this made-up record that they completely failed to notice his abject failure to lead our batting through 2 tough series.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 0:40 GMT)

What an excellent article. The photo of sachin with the shoe and the can is priceless. He is parodying himself,great comedy in India.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (April 9, 2012, 0:38 GMT)

You can't blame the fans. Bollywood movies and the distorted Indian Media have really poisoned the minds of many Indian fans. They always look for that perfect hero who saves the day and can always get a century every match. To many Indian fans, Tendulkar has filled the shoes of this hero. These fans romanticize Tendulkar to be something close to a "God". If Tendulkar doesn't do well, it is because he is distracted (in these cases his 100th century) or because he didn't want to get it. When Tendulkar does good and still loses the game, they refuse to accept it was their beloved hero's doing and point fingers at other members of the team (another batsman/bowling attack/dropped catches/etc). When the "hero" gets another milestone, they celebrate it 100X more than any other country would for their batsman. Many Indian fans do not live in this distorted fantasy and the author is one of them. Finally an Indian writer who has open eyes and is trying to share enlightenment with others. 10/10

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (April 9, 2012, 0:23 GMT)

Reading some of the comments... Too many die hard Tendulkar fans who are blinded by their love to see the truth. In the Bangladesh Game, Tendulkar reached his century in 138 balls. Meaning it was at a strike rate of 72. A strike rate of 72 runs is pretty bad in the current days of One Day cricket. Maybe back in the 80's, it may have been competitive, but in this day and age, especially on a flat track which they played on, a strike rate of 72 is selfish and unacceptable. If he had his strike rate up only 8 points, it would of been 8-10 runs more he made and would have posed a more threatening target for Bangladesh (they won with only 4 balls remaining). India's loss against Bangladesh IS Tendulkar's fault and look at his track record of scoring centuries and losing the match in ODIs. Its not a coincidence. Open your eyes Sachin Fans, he may be a great batsman, but a selfish great batsman at that

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 0:14 GMT)

very well written article

Posted by   on (April 9, 2012, 0:08 GMT)

What about THE SELCTORS? they can drop him. That is the simple, normal solution. Since we are keen to apply 'normal' standards to Sachin why not that? Why are we depending on him 'once again' to make the right choice? And then criticizing him when it is not what we want?

Posted by bchopr on (April 9, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

check out last 12 months or 24 months averages...dravid stands no where in comparision to SRT. SET is no 1 in test for last 12 or 24 months in indian team.

Posted by bchopr on (April 8, 2012, 23:59 GMT)

some stats for last 12 i the best..dravid will remain second

Overall figures Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s SR Tendulkar 22 40 3 2023 214 54.67 3859 52.42 4 11 0 249 12 R Dravid 25 46 4 1893 191 45.07 4376 43.25 7 5 0 219 3 VVS Laxman 24 44 6 1645 176* 43.28 3293 49.95 2 13 2 183 1 V Sehwag 20 37 1 1487 173 41.30 1701 87.41 3 11 5 226 10

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 23:48 GMT)

Mukul is becoming a very impressive writer, I have to admit!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 23:46 GMT)

How refreshing to see an Indian cricket fan who can put Tendulkar into context. He was a true great but yes it is time to end a career. He isn't a god, just a very very good player who has had an exellent career and needs to retire before he is remembered for the wrong reasons as a corperate brand rather than a man

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

When your articles dont get much attention, criticize sachin. i still could not get the point of the article? Does the author know it is a team game and when a team loses, it is because you have 10 losers who dont know how to play, not because one guy took 10 extra balls to score 100th 100 which has never ever scored in the history and probably will never be made again

Posted by Dr_Who on (April 8, 2012, 23:28 GMT)

I find most comments by sachin fanatics really amusing. Especially the one who wrote like 4 articles supporting SRT. It was fun watching him wince in pain, stung by this gogeous piece of artful writing. He obviously did not get the conext of this article. Mukul actually praises SRT, but righly points out his flaws as an individual by drawing attention to his post 100 100s circus of a celebration.

Thanks Mukul for blowing the cover off this farcical entity called SRT.

Posted by ashokFL on (April 8, 2012, 23:25 GMT)

Mukul Kesavan is clever. He wants to bash sachin but unable to do that fully. So he adds plenty of adoration too. If you have guts please stick to one side. Have courage for your convictions. If you are a true cricket follower and a fan you can understand that you can't hide from media after getting hundred tons. He simply didn't didn't want to pressurize himself more between 99 and 100. Is that had to fathom? yes, after constant media bashings and speculations, he is bound to be irritable and reactive, as would any other human being. Nothing cheapens his legacy (like you say) if you understand the game and are a true follower.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 22:45 GMT)

I totally agree with your article.After 8-0 loss ,cb series loss and asia cup loss.Every one forgot and celebrating Sachin 100th centuries.

Posted by goldeneye075 on (April 8, 2012, 22:43 GMT)

Hat's off to the author, who had the courage, to write up such an article, and ESPN to publish it. It would be a good opportunity to think differently and look at this in a different angle. As a race we need to look in the opposite direction to find some answers, to come up with brilliant ideas that has served the human kind. Nice to see some of us have different view points.. which shows the intelligent cricket lover indeed

Posted by nageshadiga on (April 8, 2012, 22:18 GMT)

I am a Sachin fan. He is a great sportsman, and carried India by himself for nearly a decade I agree with Sachin's reluctance to be the face in press when India looses. Also, he was very right as to when he bats during ENG tour. (1) I remember India being asked to follow on. Dravid, who batted from start to end (and scored a century) had to bat immediately, and did not last long. Sachin did not change his batting position then. (2) I remember numerous occasions when India was in tricky situation (quick wickets, difficult to bat) he dropped down the order, sending Laxman ahead of him

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

Kudos to the Author and Cricinfo first up. Sachin definitley has to be blamed because he played slowly to reach his milestone which is nothing less than a STONE as India lost the Match due to his MILESTONE hunting. he took 38 balls to reach from 80 to 100.

To all blind supporters,

Anyone who is in mid 80s strikes atleast run a ball unless a situation demands or cluster of wicket falling on the other END. Our So called God of Cricket took 37 balls to score mere 20 runs against Bangladesh. Be honest with yourself.

Team India is alwasy > SACHIN.

Posted by Mr_Anonymous on (April 8, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

Its a good article and one that I am glad someone had the guts to write about on Cricinfo.

I think all players have bad patches and so let's give Sachin a chance to show us that it was a bad patch for him. Frankly, we need him in the test side until the next generation is ready to take over and he and Laxman are important cogs in the wheel for the transition over the next year/year and a half.

Having said that, I don't understand his desire for wanting to continue in the ODI side after the World Cup win. What does he hope to achieve there? I do think the time is ripe for him to consider retiring from that format. He can continue to get his limited over thrills from playing the IPL for as long as he wants. Retiring from the ODI format will also help him get adequate rest between tours and allow him to stay fresh for Test cricket (and the IPL).

Posted by S.Jagernath on (April 8, 2012, 22:06 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar has truly been an amazing batsman.His technique & ability in all conditions is excellent.The current situation is that for the next 2 years,India will not be away from the sub-continent.Why would Tendulkar stick around?There are quality replacements available in Ajinkya Rahane,Cheteshwar Pujara & Manoj Tiwary.It is time these players get oppurtunities.The idea that the bowling attack is allowed to concede scores of 500-plus regularly is nonsense.Ishant Sharma averages just under 40,he needs to be replaced.

Posted by balajeev on (April 8, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

In the 90's used to watch Tendulkar batting with a lot of hope and optimism. Thats all changed now. Surely, if a player generates so much cynicism there is something wrong with him ?

Posted by gangadincongo on (April 8, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

Hey Mister, why do want him to retire? There is hardly any player in India to replace him at number 3 position. He is a class act! Leave him alone, when it's time to retire he will do it himself in a graceful way. Needless to say he deserves the Bharat Ratna for his services to the nation.

Posted by krik8crazy on (April 8, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

Excellent article which sums of the feelings of many cricket fans. Hats off to the author and cricinfo for publishing this sensible article. The quest for a personal landmark has hurt Indian cricket IMO. Now that the 100th hundred has happened, as a cricket fan I feel a sense of relief more than a sense of euphoria, which is what Tendulkar and his sponsors seem to be soaking in. Tendulkar's comment about not wanting to retire when on top certainly smacks of self indulgence and shows a lack of balanced judgement on his part.

Posted by Harmony111 on (April 8, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

I find it funny that the author questions the meaning of One Hundred International Hundreds. Clearly, he is not used to seeing and interpreting new terms. Presumably he has no issues if a player's domestic 5 day record (i.e FC record) is counted alongside his Test record even though there is a huge difference in the quality of the two but finds it meaningless to club together ODI and Test Hundreds when obviously most of them would have come against the similar set of players. The author also fails to understand that it is NOT Sachin who is celebrating his 100th hundred but the corporates behind him who are either too big a fan of him or want to monetize the achievement, Sachin being contracted to them has to attend those functions. The author seems to suffer from the notion that if anyone is seen in the media too much then he must be over-celebrating whatever he has achieved. The article is badly directed and criticizes Sachin on wrong assumptions. I wish I could have a debate on this.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 20:41 GMT)

As objectivity goes this article is spot on. For our generation we are privileged to grow up with Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman & Kumble, excellent athletes all, and role models for kids. It is sad to see each one of them retire. I wish Tendulkar and Laxman follows the path of his great colleagues Dravid, Kumble and Ganguly as well as Gavaskar from the past to retire on a high rather than Kapil Dev who in my opinion missed a trick or two on calling the time to quit. While it is ok for the fans to crave about corporate made goals such as 100 100's even when India loses, but the institutions that run cricket cannot get their objectivity shifted drastically. I think Sharda Ugra has nicely put why Tendulkar does not deserve the Bharat Ratna as yet.

Posted by niraj13 on (April 8, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

@dork29, In the same series, in the final, Pakistan was able to defend a 240 odd score againt B'Desh. And we cannot defend a score of 289??? You guys have to get real. For some people, it has become a habit and a pastime to blame Tendulkar. Recently, I have seen such lame reasons/arguments to blame Sachin. Even if India would have won the game, people like you and Kesavan would have found reasons to blame him. And why? because you are jealous of the little master or you want to prove that Dravid or Ponting is a better batsman. And another funny thing is that SRT has not even closed his career. Kesavan would have been better off wirting this article when Sachin actually retires. May be Sachin will retire on a high and I am sure he will close his career in as spectacular way as his entire career has been.

Posted by gothetaniwha on (April 8, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

Great article backed up by the numbers , It sad when a player continues past his prime , he should retire but he won't, he will probably carry on past the next WC ,

Posted by hjbhatt_14 on (April 8, 2012, 20:14 GMT)

It's great to see that more people are in favour of this article!! I wish there were Cricket-lovers and not the blind followers of an Individual. Superb stuff!!

Posted by khps on (April 8, 2012, 20:06 GMT)

Don't blame Sachin, any school team would have scored 300+ on that day against India. Something should have been said at-least about Indian balling on that particular day against Bangladesh. 290 was big total for any team, its shame it they can't defend 290 against Bangladesh.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 20:00 GMT)

What is most annoying is to see the dismissive nature of some these comments. Mukul has an opinion, and he has the right to express it. Most people can't handle the slightest criticism of Tendulkar. I didn't think the article was scathing, Mukul could have taken his criticism further.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

Though I am a Sachin fan, I was waiting to see at least one good and truthful measurement of Sachin's recent achievement(so called) from a media person. The reason is simple, I am his fan but I love the game more than Sachin and I like to hear the truth. I had almost given up the hopes of finding a person who has courage to write the fact and face the criticism from millions of blind followers of Sachin. All my favourite column writers were just licking Sachin's feet due to fear of criticism, including the high profile columnists of ESPN-CRICINFO. I was waiting to see your article as I had earlier read your article here about 100th hundred and its hype. Hats off to your unbiased writing because it take a lot of courage to write the bitter truth openly like you have done. Keep it up... :):)

Posted by hhillbumper on (April 8, 2012, 19:41 GMT)

over rated egotist more interested in his own records and no fighting spirit. Not fit to lace Pontings boots and Dravid was better of Indian batsman. Retire now mate because you ain't got anything left to give

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

Finally, someone in the media has the balls to talk about the Emperor's clothes. Good job Mukul!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 19:37 GMT)

Retire already Sachin!! I used to like him more than Dravid, but the way Dravid bowed out, hats off to the great man!!!

Aptly pointed out by the writer, something I have always been saying:

"There were a series of press conferences and public events starring Tendulkar immediately after his 100th hundred at Mirpur. In none of them did Tendulkar spend much time on the fact that a) India actually lost to Bangladesh, b) that one of the reasons India lost was that Tendulkar was so focused on getting his hundred that his run rate dropped as he approached this landmark, leaving the team short of the 300-plus target that was there for the taking, and c) that India were eliminated from the tournament before the final."

Posted by Mr.Bedi on (April 8, 2012, 19:33 GMT)

Numbers never tell the true story. Arvinda de silva doesn't have test/odi record that would establish him as great batsman but he is probably among top ten most dashing batsmen who ever graced the game(most of cricket fans can disagree). Tendulkar no doubt in twilight of his career but to say his 33 or so average presents him in poor shade is a bit too much. The way he played was far better than the way Dravid or Laxman batted in Australia. Only a batsman can tell whether he is in form or not able to time the ball or not. Getting out on couple of times can be attributed to many factors. The way Tendulkar batted and now gonna bat after getting his hundred hundreds, is going to be a treat to watch...About this journalist, just see how he changes his colors if Sachin becomes able to strike the ball just like he did before having his 99 hundreds.

Posted by bvnathan on (April 8, 2012, 19:21 GMT)

Hello Mukul, it appears you have been in a deep slumber and pouring over other editorials before coming out with your own punch-line. India defeats 4-0 both in England and Australia, yes, were in very bad and INDIA as a team collectively were poor in all departments of the game. As a team it was a total failure, but do give credit to England and Australia having done their home work well to succeed. Dravid scoring 3 hundred in England did not salvage the 4-0 result, yet Dravid performance was the single silver lining of Indias batting performance. Why you are having jealousy and such hard feelings about Sachin 100th 100 celebration - what Sachin has achieved is a truly remarkable achievement in CRICKET thru 23 years of his playing time. All Indian editors on CRICINFO have developed such a negative feeling about our players achievement and it is an utter shame that such articles continue to be published. Have you ever seen any article from other writers of other countries?

Posted by AncientAstronaut on (April 8, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

This is another brilliantly honest article by Kesavan - an article that needed to be published. I'm huge fan of Tendulkar, but this article describes *exactly* how I felt about the whole 100 hundreds affair. I desperately wanted Tendulkar to reach the landmark, but not in the way he finally did. I wanted him to get the 100th hundred saving or winning a test match for India, not selfishly against Bangladesh. In the light of the fact that we lost the game against Bangladesh *and* didn't qualify for the final because of it, the 100th looked incredibly cheap. The least that Tendulkar should've done was go underground and not talk about the 100th hundred. He's, unfortunately, lost a lot of my respect in the last few months. To people who think otherwise, wake up. Sachin's always been obsessed with records, and it was bearable, because he never crossed that fine line between personal and team achievements. Until now, that is.

Posted by John80 on (April 8, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

Excellent piece of information. Tendulkar has contributed a lot for India by his bat but its time to move on. Aging is part of life and its the time to accept the fact like the greats of Lara, Ponting, etc. His time is up now and he should retire gracefully before its too late. Let an young man get his opportunity and strengthen the team like Tendulkar did in the past. His explanations for continuing his career now doesn't make any sense at all.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

This author has no idea what he's writing. Cricinfo should make sure they read first what they publish.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 19:07 GMT)

This is precisely what I would have said, if I was a good writer!!! For others who criticize articles like this, please wake up, I am a believer that, some one else waiting in the wings, who comes in, if and when Sachin vacates the place, may not score even 20 hundreds, but I am sure, he could contribute immensely to India winning. Who are we and Sachin to say that some one else can not perform better for India's winning cause? As the article puts it, Sachin is not at the top, and by his definition, he should retire, from ODI right away. Tests, sooner than latter. Even if Sachin scores 2 100's in the next matches and at the top, how can we say some one else can not better him. Selectors have some guts and speak with him and work towards No.1 in Tests and ODI.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 19:06 GMT)

I have been a Cricinfo reader for last 6+years. This is the most courageous article written in cricinfo's history. Hats-off to the author. Being a Tendulkar fan myself, I'm happy that someone has b...s to speak up in the media. This is definitely in sync with, what all the Indian cricket fans think.(doesn't matter if you are a Tendulkar/Dhoni/Yuvi fan).

Posted by scorbos15 on (April 8, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

In none of them did Tendulkar spend much time on the fact that a) India actually lost to Bangladesh, b) that one of the reasons India lost was that Tendulkar was so focused on getting his hundred that his run rate dropped as he approached this landmark, leaving the team short of the 300-plus target that was there for the taking, and c) that India were eliminated from the tournament before the final.

If you are reading this Tendulkar - these lines should matter to you more than 100 hundreds - please think logically what author is trying to arrive at, am afraid you wouldn't get it at this time too, but sincerely suggest you try to acknowledge what Author and million others are trying to arrive at - play for making India win, am sure you will boast about your winning % in your hundreds matches, but most of us know what matters to you and what matters to rest of playing 10 - records for you and winning matches for your mates who share the dressing room with you !!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

I could not agree more with the article. I know he must be under an obligation to endorse companies which might have been waiting for a year to reach there. But then a) Though India loves him, we suddenly find that the guy is busy parading the products though India lost (which is like you pop up a champagne for winning a business deal while your mom is home sick) b) The journey to milestone itself was a disgrace and proved that Tendulkar does get bogged down by personal records. I think he should have at least acknowledged that (and not said that i have lost 50 Kgs because it is now over and no one from my room service will bother me now)

Posted by marutijha on (April 8, 2012, 18:54 GMT)

I am sorry , but the writers dont have an attitude of sportsmen , they can never live up to a challenge, they dont think they can ever deliver when it comes ,in contrast sportsmen can never take defeat and that differntiates them from the lot, they will put up their hand for a challenge and will deliver .

Posted by on (April 8, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

All those who don't lie to themselves would agree that this article throws light upon some unspoken truths. But it's a bit too mean; in fact, it is illogical to call Sachin fame-hungry. Yes, his anxiousness to end this drought of 100th was apparent recently in a few circumstances: most prominent being his appeal against the run-out, which was allegedly caused by Lee in the VB series; but people give him some air to breathe! Tendulkar has never been a sort of batsmen to complain against umpire's decision, or say, he never needed to complaint against umpire's decisions for he hardly ever faced such a pressure from media and the world around him. Yet it is insolent on author's part to call that selfish. He has completely disregarded Tendulkar's personal ventures as well as the service he's delivered to his nation throughout these 23 years. Sachin is great, in his individual self, irrespective of any cheeky comparisons, and will continue to be great. in the future.

Posted by akpy on (April 8, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

Sachin bashing is the new formula for a few pitiable souls like mukul...every point he has made can be attributed to every cricketer.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 18:47 GMT)

Absurd! His performance is still better than others in the line. Although he is one of the greats and India have been counting on him but cricket has always been team sport and the failures were collective team failures. Aging shouldn't be only reason to retire, have you seen him running between the wickets lately?

Posted by dreamzunlimited7 on (April 8, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

Bravo Mukul at last some one has the courage to write a article like this. No doubt one thing is proved that in India and it's gutless main stream media is not concerned with Win or loss but SRT and his glorified career records. Asia cup loss to B'desh which was supposedly breaking news WC losing to minnows was a back burner but SRT's labored, toiled, boring, dragging 100th ODI was like a Tsunami event all over media. The fact is SRT has never played when India needed and to show 1 WC win in 6 appearances contrasting that to Ponting's 3 WC wins in 5 WC's and that too 2 as a captain speaks volumes about the latter's persona. The fact that SRT plays for records and likes to be the darling of the masses is pretty evident.

Posted by kiranlegend on (April 8, 2012, 18:34 GMT)

Not just this author, i am afraid to say that many of the media persons.. many of the indian cricket followers don't understand cricket. They don't understand sports because they never undergone the grind of any serious sportsman would go through. People make reactive comments and statements. Just look at cricket objectively. I love and have immense respect for Rahul Dravid but look at his one or two years before England series. In England, he was our best batsman,but he was not looking fluent. yes, i repeat that he was our best batsman just because of his experience and his class which were good enough to make him our best batsman in England. In Australia, he was awful. Sachin was our 2nd best in England. In Aus tests, eventhough Virat was leading Sachin by 15 runs.Sachin was our best batsman in Australian series. His 100th century was the ideal way of any youngster to imitate to get out of the form. He gave us good launch pad and bowlers?. IPL and Indian pitches killing our bowlers.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

sachin fans will never ever change in their life.... they r blaming bowlers for the defeat vs bangladesh.... some 1 said if the bowlers cant defend a 280 odd target against a team like bangladesh is it sachin's fault.... let me tell u 1 thing.... even sachin batted against bangladeshi bowlers then y did he took 140 balls to reach his 100 after all he is not up against brettlee,hilfenhaus,johnson or siddle and a score of 288(thanks 2 some late hitting by msd n raina) on such a placid surface is not at all enough.... 300 plus is a must....wake up...sachin fans world is laughing at u..... it is obvious he played 4 himself....

Posted by Beef_ on (April 8, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

This easily has to be the best article I have read on Cricinfo in the last one year. Mukul, hats off to you for showing the guts to call a spade, a spade. Totally agree with you that Sachin conveniently forgot that we actually LOST to Bangladesh in the sub-continent despite being World Cup winners!!! Also appreciate the fact that you highlighted Sachin's absence from press conferences during the defeats in England and Australia... Wonderful article sir!!!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

li just say ...wait and watch sachin"s answer with bat......sachin's devotee..

Posted by ListenToMe on (April 8, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

At least one has got the courage to say that "The King is Naked"!!. Until now I was a great fan of Tendulkar, but after his remarks about his 100th and 100 and his attitude towards India's recent defeats and his own disappointing performance, I now believe that he is really selfish. How can he say that he is on top of his game? He is not performing well as per his standards. There are several players waiting to take his place if given enough opportunities. They have far better averages in domestic cricket than his recent average in tests. I am not asking him to retire anyway. But the selectors should drop him with courage if he is not performing well. If you look at Sachin's performance recently, we can understand that he performs well only in subcontinental wickets and is a big failures any where else according to his own standards.

Posted by kristee on (April 8, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

Tendulkar has contributed handsomely to Indian cricket. But I disagree with the view that he's the greatest of his time. He was not even vital to India's WC win as much as it's made out to be. Maybe his fans were carried away by the fact that he scored his 98th and 99th 100s in the process. Neither fetched his side a win. And his 100th 100 only improved his opponents' chances. Ironically, two opposing sides were celebrating the same event; one, his 200th ODI loss and the other, his 100 th 100!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

Totally agree with Mukul's article and he should be commended for speaking the truth while most other columnists have focused on how much the country and cricket fans all over the world have craved for this milestone. Truth be told, that the milestone becomes much less significant, if not irrelevant, when the great batsman chose to play against a much weaker opposition on home conditions and that India most probably sacrificed the match and the series for the sake of his personal achievement. I wonder as a cricket fan what would have made me happier, a Tendulkar retirement announcement after the debacle in Australia tour or a meaningless century which resulted in India getting knocked off the tournament. What a contrast to see the way Dravid handled his retirement as against what Tendulkar is upto, We all have admired Tendulkar not just for his cricketing ability but also for his on and of field behavior, but he's fast loosing respect in the twilight of his career.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (April 8, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

As cricketing legend Imran Khan said - Sachin should have retired on a high after World Cup 2011. By continuing to play (and fail) he's degrading himself, and in the process, Team India. On the other hand, selectors should have the courage to drop a non-performer, even if that non-performer happens to be a super star.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

Mukul Kesavan, I clearly remember that on wake of stinging criticism on your outburst on SRT, you vowed not to write a cricket article again. What happened to your retirement? Your love for Laxman and Dravid AND your hatred on SRT over many years is very well know to keen cricket enthusiast world wide. Except you, Ian Chappell and Sanjay Manjerekar, the world world adores the little master - critics and followers alike. Shut up & move on

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

Totally agree with Mukul's article and he should be commended for speaking the truth while most other columnists have focused on how much the country and cricket fans all over the world have craved for this milestone. Truth be told, the milestone becomes much less significant, if not irrelevant, when the great batsman chose to play against a much weaker opposition on home conditions and that India most probably sacrificed the match and the series for the sake of his personal achievement. I wonder as a cricket fan what would have made me happier, a Tendulkar retirement announcement after the debacle in Australia tour or a meaningless century which resulted in India getting knocked off the tournament. What a contrast to see the way Dravid handled his retirement as against what Tendulkar is upto, We all have admired Tendulkar not just for his cricketing ability but also for his on and of field behavior, but he's fast loosing respect in the twilight of his career.

Posted by dork29 on (April 8, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

Nirj, get real. Mukul Kesavan is one of thev most respeted journalists of our time. Tendulkar lost us the match and potentially the Asia cup. He was not just concerned that he was not getting his hundredth: hr wasvSCARED.So he goes to Bangladesh, and takes 30 balls to move from 90 to 100 and says he will notretire because he is ay 'the top of his game'.India does not need him. He will not retire. HE SHOULD BE DROPPED.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

Can't believe some losers are still blaming the Bangladesh defeat on Tendulkar. If youy can't defend 300 runs in an ODI, you've got no right to blame a batsman.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

Fascinating article. You will be run over by a number of Sachin fetishers who know little of cricket. But, you have spoken the truth. If Sachin has any shame or pride, he must retire now.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

Thanks to the author for his bold and clear analysis for last one year of Indian cricket. This article seriously endorse my though as well. This author is not like other, He can't praise a player for all his wrong deeds. Hats off the author, It's courageous and to the point.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (April 8, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

Thank you Mukul for being a voice of reason and sanity. I never expected 10dulkar to act in such a disgraceful manner. With 10dulkar it used to be - how high can you go. Now a days it is - how low can you go. He has sold out his soul for a few million dollars. He reminds me of that Clint Eastwood classic - For a Few Dollars More.....

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

To some extent I do agree that the celebrations of the "so-called" hundredth hundred was way over the top, but still, just going by the numbers, it is a monumental effort by a person who has dedicated his whole life for a cause. Instead of criticizing Sachin, it should be appreciated that he devoted his whole life to cricket and we should never forget the immense benefits the game of cricket has got in India, just by virtue of him only. He has has full rights to earn his bread & butter by playing a game he has so loved and lived all his life. And any ways, if his performance is not up to the mark, it is selectors job to decide whether he should be in the team or not. It is the same as Mukul Kesavan has every right to voice his opinions in the write up as these.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

dear mukul kesavan, do you really think that you can just gather few numbers and tell everybody that a player like sachin tendulkar should retire??? You are telling about the stats between tendulkar's 99th hundred and 100th hundred.. but have you forgot a year prior to that??? it seems that you just want to criticize him and want nothing more than that.. i agree that he has not played a match decisive inning in mentioned period nor scored a century.. but he came close to the century on few occasions.. also though the stats are not up to his standards, they are far better than most others.. so please don't spend your time in writing such articles.. in fact the person about whom you are talking is of far greater status than you.. n if you think that he is in team bcoz of his endorsements, then let me remind you that since 2007, he is the most consistent player in indian team.. never try to swallow more than your capacity, you end up on loosing note.. n you trying to do the same..

Posted by harshaj.22 on (April 8, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

The author needs to ease up on the Sachin. This is the 2nd article I am reading from him towards Sachin with this tone. I can understand how one sees that it was Sachin's batting that lost us the Bangladesh match, but what about our sorry excuse for bowling that match. Somehow that seems to be missing from your account. If he was missing from the press conferences, it was to avoid talking to ignorant media men like you who were more bothered to ask him about his 100th 100 then the prevailing match situation. A historian should realize that test matches have changed.Most tests played today have decisions. You either win or lose. Hardly any draws. So losing 8 matches to me is the same as losing 4 and the series. Sachin brings a lot of joy to me and the nation. His success fills me with pride.Its posers like you that take away his joy and make the nation cringe. Articles like this are a reflection of what is wrong with society today where nothing below perfection from Sachin is acceptable

Posted by Abhi83Blr on (April 8, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

Thank you Mukul, you are indeed brave to call a spade a spade. We Indians dont have many heroes. We make anyone who is slightly successful a hero and whos very successful, a God ! Once hero worship induces blindness, what ever the God does cannot be wrong ! Some fans wont realise this even if the great Sachin comes and takes their head off with his bat .. they will still be chanting Sachin !

Posted by CricOr on (April 8, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

Mukul Kesavan, nice article most of them fitting all Indians mentality along with Tendulkar (Iam an Indian too).So we dont find any fault in that. Now some batting in Asian Grounds(specially Indian Grounds) a couple of centuries in these grounds which does not favor bowlers and that will be enough to serve the batsmen for two more series and then the greats have the liberty to take a break and join for 2 more series maybe and that earns how much for the batsmen and the country. By the way cricket is not a national game to be sentimental about, it is just a money game.

Posted by mukul.mantri on (April 8, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

To make matters worse, there are nut heads who just want to see Sachin fall, so desperately that they start posting what they wish instead of what it is. Like I said earlier, I am not a blind supporter but I am a believer, Tendulkar has experienced it all, the early fame, the match fixing goof-up, the loss of form in 2004 when everyone was on this tail literally forcing him to retire and guess what happened next they all disappeared in thin air with not a scent of their last presence and not a sound as soon as he hit back form, now with the world cup in his kitty he has experienced it all for India and for us. Don't discount for one moment that he has been "the ambassador" any country could ever dream of, so stop writing articles just for the sake of more hits on the link and write something with substance.

P.S: Dravid said it himself he decided to retire because he has lost the zeal to come out and play, he doesn't feel the same way and not because of bad form or one bad series.

Posted by mukul.mantri on (April 8, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

Let's face it Bangladesh batted brilliantly and we didn't bowl to our potential. Even if India had scored a 300 do you really believe that it would have had been enough on that day. Bangladesh still had 5 wickets and 4 balls remaining and had already scored 293. Had the score been 300 they would have shown a little more urgency upfront and most likely would have hunted down that target as well. I cannot believe I am actually taking the trouble of responding to such a stupid article but it hurts me to see that a Cricinfo writer has come up with this article. I am a fan. I don't even know what else is there for cricket online. It's such a shame.

Posted by mukul.mantri on (April 8, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

Asia Cup: He slowed down the run rate, I am sure you would agree Kohli was in top form coming into that match with a century at an alarming strike rate against Pakistan. What was his strike rate in that match 80 and Sachin was at 78. Is that really that big a difference? During the innings break when no one could have known the outcome of the match Sachin said it himself that Kolhi told him that the wicket wasn't as good as the previous match so they decided 280 should be a decent total. I am not denying that more runs couldn't have had been scored but all I am trying to say is it didn't matter. The reigning world champions weren't able to defend 280 against the next to the lowest ranked ODI side.

Posted by mukul.mantri on (April 8, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

Let's not quote what Tendulkar sighted as the reason for their poor performance in Australia. You are the expert you look up and enlighten us all when has India done well in Australia, England or South Africa OR WAIT let me take it to a different plane when has Australia, England or South Africa done well in India without a solid opening stand. 1 in 10? If I'd guess even less. Wake up! This is test cricket, and it is no rocket science and what Tendulkar said is what it is. You might be thinking ah! Another blind supporter, but trust me I am a Tendulkar fan but I am not a sheep that walks in the herd. I observe, analyze and then make up my mind and your job is the exactly same. Don't write articles when you don't have data supporting your claim.

Posted by mukul.mantri on (April 8, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

Australia Tour: Déjà vu, You might have managed to overlook this as well but Tendulkar again is the second highest run accumulator and is only 13 short of Kohli, that too thanks to Kohli's knock in the last test where he scored 116 of his total tally of 300 in the series. So, obviously Tendulkar should retire because there are so many better players waiting in the queue. Makes complete sense! Those stats were to answer your statements as quoted below: "When you are at the top, you should serve the nation. When I feel I am not in a frame of mind to contribute to nation, that's when I should retire, not when somebody says. That's a selfish statement, that one should retire on top. To appreciate the tin-eared narcissism of this, bear in mind that Tendulkar had averaged 35 in his last eight Test matches".

Posted by Dr_Who on (April 8, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

Delectable article. It couldnt be more closer to the truth. Obvious corporate shenanigans and Mr. SRTs complicity to boot. I recommend true cricket lovers to simply trun of your sets when SRT come out to bat(lke I do). I just can't stand shamans, and the depraved who are anointed titles like God of cricket and other misnomers, not befitting someone who plays for records and records only. I'd prefer cricketers like Dravid who feels a loss, geniunely. Not even Dhoni comes close to expressing it. Well, he is another coroportae blue boy, isn't he.

Posted by mukul.mantri on (April 8, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

England Tour: Per you article Dravid was the highest run getter in England: TRUE. Sachin scored at an average of 35: TRUE, way below his career average: TRUE. But do you realize that even then he was the second highest run accumulator for India in that series? Doesn't this establish that there isn't a soul in the current Indian team who can match up to 50% of Tendulkar? I will not bring up the pressure of the 100th century and all its hype it was all uncalled for an unnecessary and only the media can be blamed all of that. Moreover, we are talking about Tendulkar and he is anything but human so it shouldn't have mattered to him. Now then, with all your cricketing knowledge and experience you have managed to deduce from this tour is that since Tendulkar has not lived up to his high standards he should retire, even though there isn't anyone even half as good, in the current Indian batting lineup. Interesting!

Posted by mukul.mantri on (April 8, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

Seems like I'll have to make multiple posts because the space is not enough :(

I don't mean to sound condescending or dismissive because everyone has the right to express his or her belief but what really bewilders me is that a "Cricinfo" writer has posted an article of this nature. I tried really hard to not respond but seems like I won't find peace unless I write. Please allow me to highlight several facts in case you happened to overlook them and please correct me if I state anything that is incorrect. I would love to learn.

Posted by NikhilNair on (April 8, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

WOW! I thought I was unfair to Sachin when these thoughts passed my mind... but yes, Sachin has been taking too many decisions for himself over the past few years. He has to realize that he was elevated to such high positions because he played for the team for a long time... and suddenly he's choosing the games he will play, whether to captain MI or not... it's not at all right for anyone to do so... shouldn't matter if it's a small time player or someone as big as Sachin. And the celebration after the 100th ton left me appalled... the newspapers ignoring the embarrassing loss and concentrating on his personal records were OK.. because I don't expect anything professional from them... but Sachin himself coming out here and there... interviews, press conferences... I'm sorry but it doesn't suit you Sachin. The last line says it all...

Posted by BeeHarry on (April 8, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

How i wish someone who had actually achieved an iota of what SRT has already achieved critically tried to analyze SRTs motive,intention and wisdom.If the critics had their way SRT would be a loser in every situation.

Posted by Dr_Who on (April 8, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Only Mukul Kesvan could do this. I have read other authors, but none like Mr.Kesavan who says it like it is, unmindful of other parameters around him.

Delectable article. It couln't be more closer to the truth. Obvious corporate shenanigans and Mr. SRTs complicity to boot. I recommend true cricket lovers to simply turn of your sets when SRT comes out to bat(like I do). I just can't stand shamans, and the depraved who are anointed titles like God of cricket and other misnomers, not befitting someone who plays for records and records only. I'd rather prefer cricketers like Dravid who feel for a loss, geniunely. Not even Dhoni comes close to expressing it. Well, he is another corporate blue boy, isn't he?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

thendulkar is the greatest cricketer ....and so great that cricket, team, sports look timid in front of him...... he is so great that if he will play ,he will play only the way he wants and he likes not the way team demands.....he can play only as an opener in ODIs and not at lower order where as when it comes to toughest format i.e. Test matches he can never even play the part of makeshift opener in the absence of sehwag and gambhir.....he loves the game and loves his own comforts more....he plays good but that good should always be in accordance with team's benefit... he can play IPL but not in West Indies... IPL duties are important than team duties and that too on the excuse of FATIGUE.....

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

Mukul is spot on. This article was not based on a single event, but Sachin's performance over the course of the last 1 year. Even his giving a miss to Dravid's BCCI farewell suggests he did not want anything to spoil his 100 100s party where he might have been under an uncomfortable spotlight. No one doubts Sachin's greatness, but the nation is larger than any individual, and by most yardsticks his productivity has declined. I think Indian cricket can do without the next big distraction, the question of will he or won't he retire.

Posted by niraj13 on (April 8, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

As far as the loss to B'Desh, it was due to the below par bowling. Come on, we cannot defend 289 and then blame a batsman who scores the century. That's a shame!. The way our bowling was, even a target of 320 would have been low. This reminds me of the game against Austalia 3 years ago in Hyderabad when India were chasing 352. Tendulkar made 175 in 141 balls and India lost by 2-3 runs. There were people blaming him for not seeing through. Are you KIDDING me? I am not sure if anyone could have done anything more than what he did on that day. Also, the average of 35 is still a lot better than most players. We cannot ask a legend to retire just because he had an average year (compared to his own standards) and the fact that he is in his late thirties and just because Dravid decided to retire!!! Come on Kesavan, wake up. Perhaps, it's time for you to retire. No point to re-kindle your journalist career by wrting such controversial articles.

Posted by csowmi7 on (April 8, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

this kind of flak towards Tendulkar is uncalled for. This is the guy who has every batting record worth achieving. There is no comparison with him and any other cricketer at the moment. Find me one great batsman who has scored 100 centuries, a double hundred in ODIs, 20 centuries against the Aussies, multiple centuries in every country, 34000 runs, scored centuries at the age of 17 against the best, been invited by Bradman himself to his house, served his country for 23 years, all at an average of 55 and an ODI average of 45 at a strike rate of 85.

Posted by niraj13 on (April 8, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

It's a shame that certain sections of the media are posting such scathing remarks about the little master. I could have seen this coming from someone like Ian Chappell, but this coming from an Indian journalist, all I can say is its a big shame. I am not sure what the authur is trying to prove here-that Dravid is a greater batsman that Sachin or Sachin is a selfish player who has spent 23 years of International career just for his own individual inetersts. If in the next few months, Tendulkar has a golder run, we will see loads of praises from this very same guy. A few days ago a cricinfo journalist Ugra wrote a scathing article about Sachin and she was one of the first ones to pay tribute to the master following his 100th ton. If anything, this lesser-known author is cheapening his own image by writing such articles. Or is he trying to get the same limelite that Shoaib Akhtar was trying to get when he said that Sachin was scared to face him.

Posted by grizzle on (April 8, 2012, 16:42 GMT)

Thanks to the author for saying everything that I wanted someone in the media to come out and say. All the hype around Tendulkar's hundred was a disgrace. Tendulkar's own demeanour after he reached his `landmark' does him no favours either.

Posted by Engr.Ikramullah on (April 8, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar is just going crazy by talking about his retirement and all stuff.. He is indeed, just ruining his name and fame by acting so childishly.. I would suggest him to please leave the team so that India can do well as a team again abroad especially..

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

I really have to question the credentials of the author for writing an article like this. He said "The English and Australian tours made it clear that on lively pitches against quality pace attacks, they couldn't collectively deliver any more" I would like to understand where the author was hiding when with the same batting order, we won tests in Australia, England and South Africa on bouncy pitches during the previous tours. Also, another comment is worth noting "one of the reasons India lost was that Tendulkar was so focused on getting his hundred that his run rate dropped as he approached this landmark". If the bowlers cannot defend a total of 280 odd runs against a team like bangladesh, is it Sachin's fault? This clearly shows the authors inability to analyse situations before writing his views. Cricinfo, our request to you is please review the articles and publish them on here. Please dont entertain such one sided reviews to be published in your website.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

To quote Roger Federer, after his [rather unexpected] Miami loss to Andy Roddick - "I was playing a former world #1. Enjoy him when you still can."

Likewise... Enjoy Sachin while he still plays. 'nuff said.

PS: I agree - the fanfare around his 100th was totally uncalled for, but what can you do?

Posted by insightfulcricketer on (April 8, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Last decade and a half has been a fascinating story of the two Maharastrians Dravid and Sachin. Dravid a stone-waller and Sachin the more flamboyant one. Dravid won by wearing the bowlers down while Sachin thrived by taking the attack to the very best of bowlers.His dismantling of Warne on helpful wickets when Warne was at his very best is stuff of legends. Just for that reason alone Sachin is a legend.That he scored in all wickets in all conditions is the second.Yes-Sachin went through a tough year but for a discerning cricketer you could stil see the gulf between him and the rest(incl opp) when he scored those knocks in Oval, Melbourne and Sydney.A pressure of a billion people will wear you down and it all proves Sachin is human.Numbers will never tell the true story.Give it to the man - he never played for himself in two decades but for team. Mr Mukul you are just one of those fair weather people who take pot-shots when a man is down it sadly shows your judgement the lack of it

Posted by cric_22yds on (April 8, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

Good article. The amazingly surprising thing is the parallels there seem to exist between the twilight years of SRT and another former captain and middle-order batsman, Sourav Ganguly. The assertions that the batsman is still at the top of his game, the taking recourse to random stats - all reminiscent of SCG's last few months before he was dropped. Of course, SCG was 32 then, and he did make a comeback. And he retired finally on a rich vein of form. SRT needs a reality check, I hope he hits a similar vein of form, and then does what he wants to do. Importantly, score some runs, and meaningful ones.

Posted by YNS_GoIndia on (April 8, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

I have been a big fan of his. But the last few days have left me disappointed. I sincerely hope he does not drag his career like kapil dev.

Posted by balajik1968 on (April 8, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

I don't think the author is being fair. Tendulkar is human. More than him, it was the media which obsessed on the 100th ton over the last year. At some point it did get to him. He met some commitments post the 100th ton, so what. Maybe he was getting irritated over the media focus and let fly. Cut him some slack,he has been living in a goldfish bowl for more than 22 years. As for the comment about retiring, he never said a word about the selectors, he questioned the credentials of those who had been hammering away at him. What is wrong in that? People blame him for getting angry, have they never got angry? The question of whether he is good to play for India is between the selectors, the captain and the player. That's what he implied. That's the way it should be. Let us not ask him to retire just to make way for youngsters. None of the younger players have made a strong case for themselves except Kohli. Let them do that and we shall see. Nobody is indispensible, not even Sachin.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

Sachin - wake up! Please retire gracefully from ODIs. Your endorsing should not hinder Indian cricket.

Posted by PrasadRao on (April 8, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

Sachin has been a painted a Villain here, it has been forgotten that he was in good touch in both Eng / Aus, and was out on occasions whne in great touch, what about the others barring Dravid and Kohli - they too failed, and the bowling was simply pathetic - worse than club class! The great Kapil Dev - took more than 15 matches to get to that record of 431 wickets and his fielding during that time was torrid! I think the only thing I agree with the writer here is that Sachin should become more media savvy!

Posted by vjagatha on (April 8, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

Well this article represents the facts. just look at Australia. Despite his good performance in the tests and being a match winning captain.. they haven't considered Ponting into the team..keeping in mind about their cricket future. That lacks in Indian Management. Who knows there is a player like Kohli awaiting an opportunity to back fill Sachin...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

Oly kohli and dravid was having avg above sachin . But when you see the innings he played against Pakistan you can see that he s still at the top of his form . That's the natural way of playing his game relieved from pressure . And coming to Bangladesh match - s India such a poor side ? Leave we didn't score 300 plus but can't they defend 250plus score against Bangladesh . And if u talk about the strike rate even the inform and dangerous kohli had strike rate less than sachin in that match . You should see pitch conditions also . The pitch seemed to be slow if sachin and kohli didn't steady the innings then we would have faced a worst defeat . Listen to what kohli said after the match . During sachin kohli partnership the pitch was getting more turn and it was damn slow to play . In such kinda pitch a century with 77 strike rate is really not a poor innings .

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

This kesavan measured sachin's form in terms of number or averages . There is difference between pressure and not in form . Sachin really started off the season well both in England and Australia but something was missing . Extravagant pressure on him . One side media pressure for 100th 100 other side billions of fans expectations and other side a completely low confidental team . When you see he created a partnership with mishra in England and in Australia he really started out in a great form but unluckily the entire team was not performing well . But keep a note that he was not technically down . He was still seeing to be dangerous but was unlucky and pressure bounded . But when you see dravid in Australia series he got some pressure in technical wise . 6 innings bowled which made him to think about his career but for sachin it's just pressure and expectations . When you go by numbers sachin's average was 33 I accept what was the other Indian team player's average during those times

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

Thanks for the wonderful wonderful article! As someone else has also hit the nail on the head. Great summation of the events since the "100th"... Mr. Kesavan rightly explains (in a way) why we are poor team players. Maybe we ought to have John Wright again...

Posted by prashu.rp on (April 8, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

If corporations want to use Brand Sachin, what's wrong in that. Is it not sufficient that there are articles about Sachin's on field work that you want to know start about what he does off-field as well and then the effort to link these. You got to be kidding me. Sachin has scored 100 centuries. That is a big deal. And it needs to be celebrated and recognized. Understood that the century came in losing cause. But blaming one person for the loss is pure ignorance(which is very obvious in this case. Did you know that the team consists of 11 members) and to an extent arrogance. It's true that we Indian fans have a very short memory. A few good innings from Sachin and I am pretty sure all the article writers and self proclaimed gurus, pundits and experts will start praising the legend. So till that time Mr.Writer have a blast

Posted by Kays789 on (April 8, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

finally an objective appreciation of the kind of joke that tendulkar has now become and better yet from an indian perspective. he's not the first to have lost all respect towards the back end of his career. but he certainly seems to be the one doing it with the most amount of self-delusion. it's a pity that self-less team-players like dravid who have been far better ambassadors of the game for india have been over-shadowed by utterly selfish has beens like this guy.

Posted by Pras1501 on (April 8, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

Seems funny how people are ready to jump upon Sachin so easily. If runs scored in a season are anything to go by then Dravid should have retired an year ago and Sehwag must never be a part of the team. Anyone who followed India's matches after the WC, it was quite evident that Sachin, though he was not scoring heaps of runs, never struggled. He is human after all. Its we who put the pressure on the 100th ton. Just for a second be in his shoes and perceive things. Its all easy with pens and keyboards to criticize. Yeah he did slow down during the 100th ton. India could have got 20 runs more. But does that ensure victory. When you allow Bangladesh to score 290 in 49 overs then, its common sense that bowlers had an off day. If Sachin scores an amazing, quickfire 175 and gets out just short of target trying to be aggresive, he is at fault. If he scores slowly he is at fault. And he was correct in telling that he was playing well. Any GOOD cricket analyst will know that.

Posted by Roosters_3579 on (April 8, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

Questioning Tendulkar's integrity is a mistake. If he had to score 100 hundreds...he wouldn't have missed large number of ODIs in last couple of years or so. Yes it was quite evident that he played Asia Cup to get the monkey off his back but to blame him for India's recent debacle is like making him scapegoat. If seeing is believing, then Tendulkar looked in good touch in most of the innings in Australia...Perhaps some other day he would have ended up scoring 150-160 rather than an enterprising 80.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

PREDICTION : As India is not scheduled to play any tests outside India, SRT will reassert his demigod atatus with a series of scintillating innings on flat and friendly home turfs. Come end of 2013 and we will see him hiding behind youger lot outside India and exhibiting his post World Cup "top" form.

Posted by mrmischief143 on (April 8, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

"you either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain" suits right for SRT now.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

Country's glory vs Individual glory; Hero worshiping; Zero tolerance to contrarian views...haven't these been characteristics of Indian cricket over the decades. Yes, there have been the occasional exceptions...hope sense prevails and a cricketing maestro gets his "timing" right for which he has been adored and has been a delight to watch.

Posted by lazyplayers on (April 8, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

Sometimes I feel all this hyberbole of Bharat Ratna and God of cricket - is it showing inferiority complex of a country which has always been shorn of stars.

Posted by balajeev on (April 8, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

I completely agree with the views expressed in this article. The fact is that India lost to Bangladesh in the Asia Cup because of Tendulkar's go-slow in the slog overs. It was a shame to lose that match and end up celebrating the hundred . One can only call it clutching at straws. People who jumped on the Tendulkar bandwagon and organised crass celebrations seemed to have forgotten that cricket is a team game and that India has endured one of its worst years in international cricket. The whole episode left a bad taste in the mouth. The immature Tendulkar has a lot to learn from India's greatest no.3.

Posted by ad-infinitum on (April 8, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

Nice try Mukul. Read the first comment to this article, esp the last part again.

These functions are to celebrate all those hundreds down the years - so why bring the team's recent performance into the picture at all.It wasnt just Tendulkar who didnt come to the press conferences at the English and Aus tours. The seniors usually never came. Further, 100 100s was weighing him down (he acknowledges that) - so coming to the press conferences wouldnt have been any good - media would have reminded him of it leading to more stress. While batting against Bangladesh, Tendulkar and Kohli had decided that 280 would be a good score on that surface. The previous match, India made 300 and won comfortably vs Lanka. So 290 against Bang should have been a winning score. The bowlers (as "modest" as they are) should have defended that. The batsmen (Sachin included) did their job.


Posted by aliofvmmc on (April 8, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

Tendulkar is selfish himself. He terminated his deal with airtel because he expected airtel to "meet his expectations" much for patriotism.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

It is not only completely artificial to add ODI centuries to those in tests. A hundred has no mathematical significance whatsoever but simply reflects the fact that we have ten fingers. If we had twelve then Tendulkar would still have 44 centuries to go for a nice round figure. The only truly significant aspect of the match was the outstanding victory by Bangladesh and some brilliant performances by their batsmen contributing to the team.

Posted by aschisch on (April 8, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

the day is not far off when sachin will be compared to mahatma gandhi or mother teresa and then will be declared the greatest human being ever walked on earth. jai tendulkar! har har sachin!

Posted by vertical on (April 8, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

Its funny how some people make personal comments ...Oh you have never played cricket what do you know? ....You are in now position judge a player(God in this case). So I cannot make criticism of a political figure because I have never been in politics. Is it blasphemous to criticize SRK(another so called God) because I have not acted before.I hope all columnists and reporters are unfurled by these Ad hom. attacks and keep coming up with articles like these

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

Always interesting to read an objective piece about Tendulkar rather than the usual articles glorifying his every move. Tendulkar's test and ODI form over the past year has been relatively poor. He didn't even manage a 100 against a workmanlike - but limited - West Indies team in a three match series when even Ashwin managed to get one ! Tendulkar does not seem to be a team player either; when Gambhir couldn''t open against England (for whatever reason) Dravid opened as he's a team man but Tendulkar never moved up the order to bat at 3 and expose himself to the newer ball. Knowing when to bow out is difficult but as Dravid demonstrated it can be achieved with class, dignity and an understanding that you are not immune to the ravages of age and time. I certainly think that Tendulkar has nothing left to achieve in ODI's and should retire from that format. As for tests, it might be time to entrust the Pujara's, Sharma's and Kohli's to try and rebuild India's shattered reputation.

Posted by LillianThomson on (April 8, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

This is an excellent article which emphasizes why has-beens need to retire before they embarrass themselves. In a fortnight Tendulkar will be 39, and his standards have slipped from "superb" to "very good" to "quite good" to "would be dropped if he was English or Australian or South African or Pakistani". The article and SRT's interviews and all the posts highlight this major failing in Indian cricket. Has-beens don't get dropped. But they should be. Dravid retired when his standards declined - and when in the last year he was averaging 45 to Tendulkar's 33. It beggars belief that the selectors haven't dropped Tendulkar yet. A player can choose his exit, but if he stays once his average has fallen 20 below his career average he has missed his chance to retire and needs to be sacked by the selectors.

Posted by SanatAttavar on (April 8, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

Also the decision to handover captaincy of MI to Harbhajan - who are they (Sachin, Harbhajan and MI Management) trying to fool. After last year''s performance in the Champions League it was obvious that Harbhajan should be the man. Couldn't they have handled it the honest way and Sachin stand up and say "Harbhajan has done a great job and i wish him to continue" rather than all the crap they dished out. Does it make Sachin smaller to accept someone can be better than him - i guess its about knowing how to communicate which he lacks and add to that the people around him make such an issue of everything he does that he starts to believe them rather than his ability which he has got in plenty. Sadly seniors such as Gavaskar / Shastri have added to the cause than ease him into accepting his present age / form and guide him into the sunset in all glory which he so much deserves.

Posted by Mr.Shrek on (April 8, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

Well said Mr. Mukul Kesavan, SRT its time you had a retro on your carrier and and trace out what you did best, without mincing words. It pains us to see you doing what you are doing right now.

Posted by CricketChat on (April 8, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

What is odd about the picture is that Sachin is neither drinking nor wearing the shoe he is supposedly promoting (neither the guy on his left holding another shoe). It shows ho much he actually believes in those products. That Sachin has been playing for himself been since around 2005 when he came back from an elbow injury would be evident to any serious Ind cric fan. Being a non-controversial star that he was, he was easy to sell to Ind people with new found wealth, thanks to IT outsourcing. Let there be no doubt that Sachin will not retire for another 2/3 yrs until he can milk as much money out of the game as he can and no one Ind board, selection committee nor the captain can do anything about it.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

Everyone wants to think he acted selfishly to score that 100 at Mirpur but no one wants to address the question why he did so. West Indies, England or Australia, the only thing Sachin kept hearing about was the innumerable questions and bizzare expectations of that 100 as if the other 99 never mattered. Nobody thought about just enjoying his batting for whatever little time he's got left on the field. Wake up kiddos, Sachin alone isn't responsible for every defeat of the team. Not that he isn't open to any criticism, but blaming him alone is just foolish. And if you really wanna blame someone for the defeat against Bangladesh, blame the bowlers. Batsmen did their job of putting up a good total, unless anyone has the balls to say that 289 against Bangladesh wasn't good enough. Sehwag's been worse than Sachin by a LONG LONG WAY! but I don't hear any calls for his retirement!

Posted by vertical on (April 8, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

SPOT ON!!! a) India actually lost to Bangladesh, b) that one of the reasons India lost was that Tendulkar was so focused on getting his hundred that his run rate dropped as he approached this landmark, leaving the team short of the 300-plus target that was there for the taking, and c) that India were eliminated from the tournament before the final.

Posted by Cool_Jeeves on (April 8, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

But Mr.Kesavan left something unsaid. On Indian tracks against easy bowling, Tandulkar is going to feast again. So no real need to retire.

Posted by Shantan on (April 8, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

I love that... finally someone has the courage to call it like it is. I don't want to denigrate Sachin's performances or the man himself, but it was crazy. Did his 100th hundred really mean so much? The man once said it was just a number! But he didn't seem to play like it was just a number, cost us a match and probably a tournament as well. Contrast what he did to what Kohli did in the very next match. They played the same number of balls but Kohli scored 70 runs more. And Kohli was batting against a much better attack.

It's really sad to see Sachin milking an individual achievement when his team is probably at an all-time low. Hope he doesn't go the "Kapil" route in terms of retirement.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

If Tendulkar really wants to play cricket till he enjoys it why doesn't he play domestic cricket (Ranjee, Duleep, Deodhar, etc)

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

An utterly brilliant article. Kallis, Dravid, Ponting and Lara were and are still better all-round team-oriented cricketers than Tendulkar. He has become blind selfishness personified.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

Fantastic article, Mukul.

Everybody bashing this article please note the last couple of lines. "Tendulkar doesn't have to brief us about his retirement plans; he is the greatest batsman of his time and he ought to play for as long as he can hold his place in the team. But he should, as he did in his pomp, let his bat do the talking."

The article isn't saying Sachin should retire right now. It's just saying he should concentrate on getting runs instead of pandering to the hubris around his 100th. Corporates and hangers-on obviously want to milk him for all he's worth. Sachin's been a model of humility, professionalism and all that we've admired for so long. For him now to be hijacked by others' agendas pains those of us who really care about him and his legacy. One can feel the pain in this piece.

And pls note that this is NOT about Laxman or Sehwag. This is about Sachin and Sachin alone.

Once again, brilliant and bold piece, Mukul. Hats off to you!

Posted by waspsting on (April 8, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

Wouldn't accuse Tendulkar of "tin-eared narcissim". He might be exaggerating when he implies that he's on "top", but I think the main point is - the benchmark for retiring is if the team has better alternatives than you. And i don't think Tendulkar has fallen to that level yet. Do you think Raina or Yuvraj could score more runs in tests than him, even now? If not, then Tendulkar deserves his place in the side. Doesn't matter if he's not as good as he was 10 years ago, HE'S BETTER THAN HIS POTENTIAL REPLACEMENTS, so having him in the side instead of them is BETTER FOR THE TEAM than not having him. Hence the "unselfishness" of the whole business. Not being as good as he was, he invites articles like this one attacking him, but he's still doing what is BEST FOR THE TEAM in a broad, general, RIGHT NOW sense.

Posted by buntyj on (April 8, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

pps- this would require re appraisal with benefit of hindsight and perspective of srt performances and may lead to downgrading of his rank amongst all time greats as well as even amongst all time indians to below rather than above gavaskar. its true that srt isnt the first indian cricketer to cling on way past his prime and have his stats deteriorate as a result and standing in pomp to be overtaken by deteriorated career stats and may well not be the last (vvs, viru etc at present- remember that vishy retired long before sunny- talent usually fades sooner with age than technique does) but apart from gavaskar srt is the only indian batsman to be in reckoning amongst leading batsmen of his age. so it will attract more attention. and most imp since srt has himself made 'selfishness' an issue, he will be judged on this issue by posterity not on the basis of his averment but on the basis of his and india's performance in rsa in late 2013. was he inferring that dravid was 'selfish' ?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

This article seems to have ruffled some feathers. But I really enjoyed it and thought that the author hit the nail on the head with some of his points. Tendulkar is a genius, that is true, but you should never let one player become larger than the team as a whole, and with all the frenzy about his hundred, that's exactly what we have done. While appreciating his mastery of the game we must also remember that the game will continue on without him and we must also remember that hero-worship serves no-one; far better to enjoy and still be able to understand weaknesses. I hope to see more of mr kesavan's articles.

Posted by tpjpower on (April 8, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

India played Tests in the West Indies before the tours of England and Australia. Tests played overseas: 11. Tests lost: 8.

Posted by Chakma64 on (April 8, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

well said sir, well said indeed. for those critisizing this article, they probably dont have the depth of english or has a impermeable membrane in their head....this is not an article critisizing tendilkar, but just expressing what many people feel and what tendulkar should realize sooner rather than later that someone of his stature talent and achievements including the oft mentioned "shouldering the burden of the team" it would be shame if he has to be "phased" out of the team or "rested" indefinitely....and as far as replacements are concerned, not everyone is tendulkar....people with start performing once having a decent continuous run in tests, rohit sharma, manoj tiwari, ceteshwar pujaria are all talented with no doubt will start performing once given the long run, remember even rahul dravid took his time....thanks Mr Kesavan for this wonderful article

Posted by buntyj on (April 8, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

an excellent article; overlooks only 3 points- oz is still to find a successor to the don (who couldve well have averaged a 100 by playing 1-2 more tests), windies to sobers or richards, but the great players must go even if there are no replacements; other, the 'selfishness' issue- is srt's advert commitments and reluctance to go or for india to build a team for the next away series in rsa in 2013? if srt carries on 'at the top' he owes it to the team to perform about the same as his past performance in that country; by and large rsa has had the best pace attack for much of the past 20 years and this is reflected in the below par test averages of most of india's celebrated batsmen including srt in rsa, spread representatively over many years, tours and tests and with the odd century interspersed so neither an off series or loss of form an excuse. simply an accurate reflection of their career test averages against quality pace on pitches with a bit of life in them.

Posted by SamRoy on (April 8, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

Today I read Gavaskar article where in he was reprimanding Rahane for not playing for personal landmarks. To say I was stunned is an understatement. I can imagine the level of selfishness present in Gavaskar and Boycott. These are the kind of guys who should never be allowed near any talented young cricketer. They foster wrong kind of attitude in youngsters.

Posted by 88whocares88 on (April 8, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

As if mind-numbing cricket commentary and pathetic-tv-commercials-that-appear-before-the-over-has-ended were not enough, we now have to deal with articles bashing players who their authors think should call it a day. Particularly the ones written by those who have never played professional cricket (and that too when faced with the expectations of a billion people).

Reading such stuff on cricinfo of all the places makes me want to take a 100-feet-thick wall and hit my head with it. Several thousand times, no less.

If I had a penny for every headless chicken running around disguised as a stats-obsessed media-person / former cricketer/ cricket 'fan' / cricket 'expert' with a hit-every-ball-for-six-or-retire / India-must-win-at-all-costs / I-know-it-all mindset, I'd be a millionaire.

Posted by R.Sankar on (April 8, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

Mukul is right. The quest for individual glory has trumped team performance. It's trime Sachin went. He may be statistically the grertest ever but for me Lara and Ponting are the greater batsmen. Besides, he is not a patch on the great Sir Viv. He is a phenomenon only because he was a child prodigy and has played for more than 20 years at the highest level. In other words, he owes his success to his longevity but credit to him for retaining his fitness and his undiminsihed passion for the game (and for individual glory) over such a long period. It is nothing short of a travesty that he should be considered for Bharat Ratna.

Posted by SanatAttavar on (April 8, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Good article. Yup time someone questioned Tendulkar and time he answered them as well. Simple things go to show the difference between a Tendulkar and a Dravid and them being complete team men. Take this recent scenario, opening matches of IPL for MI and RR, Tendulkar and Dravid are opening with relatively young guys Levi and Rahane, Levi new to Indian conditions, Tendulkar lets him take strike while Rahul not a natural big hitter takes strike to let Rahane ease into the game. In the same match Rahane is blazing away and Dravid could have easily played around him but instead Dravid sees it important to up the tempo and in the process perished and as is been rightly pointed out by the author in the Aisa Cup against Bangladesh Tendulkar did no such thing, the 100th 100 seemed more important than the posibility of India losing a match which we eventually did. While Tendulkar has been great it has almost always been him and then the team while it should have been the other way round.

Posted by baskar_guha on (April 8, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

Tendulkar can be happy while you are sad, Mr. Kesavan. Your grief about Indian cricket is not his problem. Cricket is unusual in that a player may achieve a personal milestone while the team is not performing well. To Tendulkar's credit, he did not jump up and down and gesticulate to the pavilion or whoever else when he reached his 100th 100. There was a genuine sense of relief etched in his demeanor. He didn't hold the press conferences in Mirpur but later in Mumbai after the Team India season was completed. I am quite sure these press conferences were as much driven by the world around him (sponsors, BCCI, etc) and not by him. We have just witnessed the still #1 English side get thrashed by Pakistan and only manage to eke out a series draw against the rebuilding Lankans. So India's troubles abroad should not be made to be a sign of dark and doom returning to Indian cricket and the your ensuing expectation that Tendulkar should be solemn and sad until India does better again.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

I am impressed. Someone had the galls to say it. Criticizing the great SRT for acting a bit superior. Quite frankly, if anyone could earn that right (not to say he does) then he should be given a little bit of slack. That being said, that picture is rather appalling, he looks like a corporate bunny, but then quite honestly, nowadays, who doesnt. He shouldve addressed the media during the Aussie and English tours, atleast once, just to take a bit of a hit like other senior players did. What I do make of the article is this. He shouldn't justify retirement or non-retirement, he should perform, period. Also, its rather unfair to criticize his batting for the Bangladesh debacle. India, after all, did score 289, which is a very defend-able score. The bowling let us down in that one. The team's core is disturbed, I am fairly certain that there are clashes between the players. And also, why is Sehwag still playing? I find him to be more cocky and arrogant than any other player on the side.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

The article doesnt have any merit. I have read his earlier stuff as well and he seems desperate to criticize everything under the globe just like in the book he had written. The author perhaps must have forgotten that when Sachin was asked if there would be a party, he replied that India lost and so they wont party. Also the loss was more due to India's poor bowling. The pitch was tough when India were batting in the first half and not just Sachin but even the others played a slow game as the ball wasnt coming onto the bat, but perhaps an author who doesnt have much cricket sense and doesnt know the difference between a good wicket and a bad wicket would find it difficult to understand. Perhaps Mr. Kesavan you should start writing more articles about Gilli Danda coz perhaps that is the only game you will understand and write decent stuff on

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

let the guy play as long as he can....

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

cant remember sachin thanking even once the selectors, who had faith in him when he was only 16, after scoring 100th 100. His attitude towards current selectors is not any different. his words make one feel as if cricket is his family business.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (April 8, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

Well, Thank god that at least one notable Indian writer in Mukul had guts and willingness to state the fact about Sachins 100th ton. The whole circus that was going on following much anticipated ton was bordering on ridiculous. Funny or may be interesting thing is hypothetically if Indian cricket fans had to vote weather they want an Indian victory against Bangla boys or Sachins 100th ton I am not sure weather overwhelming majority would have voted in favor of Indian victory such is a fascination of hero worship among us Indian cricket fans.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (April 8, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

Its a shame really the way indians themselves find ways to "cheapen" the legacy of their greatest sportsmen.

Captain and coach are head of any team management, has anyone of them accepted moral responsibility and quit?

As longs as sachin plays other batsmen and our club bowling will never be held accountable.

Posted by gultistan on (April 8, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

@Tx D.Sharma . The problem with Indian fanboys in general and Sachin fanboys in particular is that they tend to forget that the game of cricket is best enjoyed with a healthy dose of criticism and without bringing in unnecessary over the top patriotism and hero worship. Only then can one appreciate the entire hue of brilliant performances whether by the home team or opposition team. Unfortunately we Indians, as a nation are losing the ability to appreciate a great performance by the opposite team's member which only displays a sense of insecurity that we have. Adding to that, the importance given to individual achievements rather than team's achievements is a shame. I wish Indians go back to the days when they used to applaud the brilliance of King Viv, though Indian bowlers were at the receiving end of his punishment.

Posted by crazyuddie on (April 8, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

Sachin's career is not over yet. Not for a couple of years at least. So: keep watching!

Posted by AKLO on (April 8, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

Mr. Sambit Bal.... we need to have articles who looks at both sides of the coin. Gambhir, Shewag, laxman all so called matchwineers must be laguhing all the way.. since SRT is the only point of of discussion for all the so called cricket expert...... why do we need to single our SRT for all the praise and criticism....It is a TEAM game if I am not wrong....

Posted by cricket_wins on (April 8, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

This is the best article I have ever read on Cricinfo..!! Kudos to Mr. Kesavan for a superbly written piece on belling the cat. Tendulkar is not beyond criticism. He is human and he is an Indian cricket player, just like Ravi Ashwin or Virendar Sehwag or anyone else in the XI. He represents my country. And that is enough reason for me or anyone to comment upon Tendulkar. Tendulkar has the choice of acceoting the criticism, rejecting it or ignoring it. Mut it is my right and Mr. Kesavan's right and any other reader's right to comment or post views, unless it is personal. You don't need political knowledge to comment on whether the PM is doing his job. Same way, you don't need to have played cricket to comment upon Tendulkar or Gavaskar or Richards or Bradman. I commend Mr. Kesavan and Cricinfo for this lovely piece...!!

Posted by CanTHeeRava on (April 8, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

Provocative MK.I started reading this by nodding (top down) after I saw the title and the two liner. I agree that Tendulkar's press conferences and the celebrations by obscure corporates did not represent any of the real Tendulkar phenomena we have known over the years. However, your entire argument seem to stand on meaningless numbers,which are at best partial indicators.Dravid would have retired from international cricket even if had scored 8 centuries in 8 innings against Australia. His average might have been 47 since England but his form in Australia suggested that (and in his mind) he was averaging below 4.7 (not 47). Cricketers only survive on averages and they triumph only when they are in form.While an avg of 33 does not fit Tendulkar's bill, his form has been sublime.In his press conferences Tendulkar tended to be pompous at times but as the cliche goes we should give him some benefit of the doubt since he is a (the) batsman.No wonder unfair critics of Tendulkar love Mukul.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

It is a sad fact that we prefer individual brilliance and flair over team effort when it comes to sports in India. Sachin is an amazing cricketer and a more amazing human being. When you start branding him 'God', then it becomes necessary to argue irrationally to defend his mistakes (for only humans err). It is a fact that Sachin tends to put brakes on India's scoring rate when he is in 90s. Due to all the media hype and irrational behavior by fans, people tend to hate Sachin himself. It is unfortunate that a great man is robbed of admiration, by the very people who elevated him to great heights. Without swinging to extremes, let us accept and celebrate the greatness of 'The Master Blaster'. He has made mistakes and his nervous 90s may have robbed us some matches, but that is a part of being human. As long as we don't imagine him to be something he is not, we can always enjoy his cricket.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

Lets get the fact right

1)Sachin played well against ENG and AUS. He was not struggling. Dravid was clearly struggling in Australia.

2)Every player slows down when he is near 100. Sehwag or Gayle or Dravid everyone slows down.

3) Sachin cannot be blamed for loss against Bangladesh. When Sachin got out and 3 or 4 overs were left and so called greatest finisher was on the crease.

4) Did you see how Ifran bowled that day and Dhoni's captaincy?

5) How can a batsman be blamed for a worst bowling display?

These so called great writers earn money by writing rubbish articles like this.Sachin will remain as Sachin. No matter what you do.

Posted by rishabh_krishna on (April 8, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

Very thought-provoking article by Mr. Kesavan though most of the PATRIOTIC people will not agree with it. As you rightly said there has always been a lingering feeling of "me first & team later" with sachin. He seems to be trying for a certain stature a serenity with his persona that's why you can never see him taking a stand. At last he is taking a stand but alas.... it is all for the corporate honchos who are paying him hefty pay-cheques per year. He is out to defend him against VERY GENUINE & LOGICAL CRITICISM. better he should see the signs & hang his bat. Some folks here compared his 33 average with the likes of jayasuriya, mahela & sangakkara. First mahela & sangakara have 50+ career averages. And as far as jayasuriya is concerned he got the chance to bat in top order too late. moreover he was not in sachin or dravid's league. So we can not hide sachin's inability to score big under this veil. And his LANDMARK against bangladesh will remain a BLOT on his career.

Posted by premsachin on (April 8, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

Some of the points u have raised are pertinent.But what you conveniently forgot was that Tendulkar's average was poor in this period because of those overseas tests played on the most sporting of pitches seen there in the past two decades, which explains why the mediocre bowling prospered...It's true that Tendulkar was slow in his 100th ton against Bangladesh but u sd also be questioning the bowlers who dished out full-tosses and lost it after the 35th over in the Bangla run-chase and also give some credit to the poor Bangladeshis...I would have appreciated more if u also had given credit to his majestic batting to help Kohli dismantle Pak in the final league match...If Dhoni had handled his bowlers a bit better against Bangladesh or Sri Lanka had beaten Banglas, then India may well have returned home champions...and dont forget India went out on stupid head to head rule in single league format. U also chose to overlook the fact that Sachin looked his old self at start of Aussie tour

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

Just another Tendulkar bashing article with no real insight. Its not the Tendulkar - bashing I mind, we all like to do that in our free time; but a cricket columnist should put something into the article that gives us an expert insight that most normal cricket fans wouldn't have thought from themselves. Unfortunately, this one doesn't.

Posted by piratedpc on (April 8, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Yea Mr. Keshavan! You truely know how to draw attention.. You can become famous now.. This is what you want? haha then good job done. You mentioned about India losing to Bangladesh because of Sachin's slow scoring while batting!! Oh com'n! This is so funny to say that India lost because of 20 odd runs!! If any team knows who much to score while batting first, then they score those many.. How do you know that if he score more runs, india will win?? In the hypothetical case, India scored 310 runs and then lost.. will u stop saying that there is again 20 runs short!! Very simple cricket knowledge is While Batting First, after scoring some runs, it is bowler's job to defend that total. Infact if you notice, Banglash was in need of 33 runs in 3 overs!! And they scored.. Tendulkar dint bowl those three overs.. or he was not involved in any miss fieldings!! I am very sorry and pity on u to think in illogical layman manner.. I am sorry buddy.. Try to know abt cricket n then write something.

Posted by SachBro on (April 8, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

For the record again, India lost to Bangladesh because they bowled poorly. Since when a target of around 280 is not got enough to contain Bangladesh? Indian bowlers were clueless that day, what makes you think that Bangladesh couldn't have chased down another 15-20 runs if India had scored them? Even Virah kohli's strike rate was below 90 that day, what about that?

Posted by sachin1111989 on (April 8, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

Well, India lost that match not because of Sachin's slow batting, but because of the toothless bowling. But, in pursuit of the last 20 runs of the 100, he used up 36 balls which included a batting powerplay. If this had happened somewhere during 25-30 overs, thats no problem.. but this was during 35-44 overs...with 2 wickets down and a power packed middle order waiting to fire...whats clear here? obviousness of the bitter truth?? Sachin was bogged down by the media, the hype of a nonsensical was such a pressure on him that he just wanted to lift that off, whatever the results be...or else probably he thought that 280-290 would be enough to contain the opposition..either way u look at it, it was evident that he played for his century leaving aside the interests of the team. A Carnal mistake.

PS : Even with those extra 30-40 runs, India would have lost the match, thanks to the pathetic bowling, but thats out of context here.

Posted by on (April 8, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

Tendulkar who was no where to be seen when england and australia were ripping apart Indian team was back after he scored his 100 , like you said it would have been much better had he kept quiet and let his bat do the talking.. and why is everyone blaming Indian bowling , we know it is not our strong point and as such its our batting which should give us that extra cushion of runs , and even Pakistan bowling attack struggled to contain the runs on those pitches, so no point blaming Indian bowling attack

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

Sachin's innings against Pakistan AFTER getting his 100th 100 shows that he is still the man of 1998 or 2010. But the criticism is just and correct. Sachin also did not farm the strike against South Africa in the 1st Test at Centurian when he got his 50th Test century resulting in India losing by an innings. Graeme Smith said he was surprised at how easy things were for South Africa. That burden of 100th 100 was what was responsible for Sachin's low average, not a decline in ability. As for the Asia Cup, India indeed paid for slow scoring when Sachin neared his 100 but that wasn't the only cause. After Sachin and Raina got out 2 overs saw only 8 runs score by other batsmen. Had they scored quickly, India would have got 300-310. And 290 too should have been defended. SACHIN SHOULD BE CONDEMNED FOR NOT FARMING THE STRIKE IN CENTURIAN against South Africa, that was a far bigger crime. And Sachin is absolutely right, retiring at top is SELFISH, nation should be seen. He will again go top.

Posted by on (April 8, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

Well done man , you said it , finally someone has the guts to say the emperor is naked ! , of course 'god's' fan brigade is going to come after you.. but they like their hero is blind to the fact that his pathetic 100 effectively kicked India out , i have red in comment section so many 'Indians' PROUDLY claiming that they switch off tv when sachin gets out and don't care whatever happens to team India

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

y do people love to hate the great man? a couple of seasons back it was all about sachin's resurrection after his 200 and now a bunch of popularity seeking addicts start questioning the motives of a man, who has been serving the nation continuously for the past 22 years. probably Mr kesavan needs a better way to pass his time and very disappointed at cricinfo, u guys know it best, until now

Posted by HarishVS on (April 8, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

I can't find a single thing wrong in Mr.Kesavan's article though I am a fan of one of the greatest batsmen of all time to have played the game. Some people like @Ajit Singh have gone emotional and raised some points which too can't be negated like BCCI earning crores of rupees thru these sponsors some of which have been directed to retired cricketers' funds, etc. But many of the facts about Tendulkar that Kesavan brings out here is very timely and echoes the views of any cricket followers in India or elsewhere. Also he has clearly said that this is not to belittle the greatest batsman of his time. I guess that Tendulkar has due plans to get his bat the talking and win some of the matches for India in the last leg of his career.

Posted by cjakaraddi on (April 8, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

Well observed Mr. Kesavan, he is like sugar, the more there is the more ants/flies you find around it. His records have begun to have the same effect that diabetes(sugar) does to the body. Although there is plenty of sugar in the system it is practically useless and in the long run leads to ,most often, gangrene and a slow painful death . It is a very sad situation when millions of people who , like me, have cherished his journey through cricket from 1989, now start doubting their own initial judgment of the boy wonder. I pity his helplessness in this commercial world.

Posted by vrn59 on (April 8, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Fantastic article! Although I agree that Sachin Tendulkar should be allowed to retire on his own terms, he really must put in more significant performances. I disagree with the comments on Tendulkar being a selfish cricketer who plays for records only; he was made innumberable match-winning and match-saving contributions. It is true that he slowed down before he reached his hundredth century, but isn't that natural? I think the Indian bowlers must be blamed for failing to defend 290 against Bangaldeshi batsmen, who are useless with the exceptions of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib al Hasan.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

And here I was thinking the rest of the world can stop thinking about the 100th 100 and move on. Evidently not. While I agree with a lot of what you said, the most we can do is drop that topic. It annoys me some marketing guy's idiotic brainwave has generated so much of comment and analysis. I've become slightly ambivalent towards Sachin in the past few months and this campaign has much to do with it.

PS: to the guys saying Mukul can't/shouldn't comment on this because he isn't an ex-cricketer, that token of logic, if followed through, would mean that we (readers and fans of the game) shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion on cricket because our contribution to it is nothing more than sitting at a stadium, watching it on TV and reading post-match analysis on sites like cricinfo.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

Dear Mukhul.You have put your foot in the prohibited territory.Admire your bravo.Sachin is undoubtedly one of the greatest world has seen.International cricket is performance based and however legendary you are your days are numbered if you are not living up-to this standard.Ageing,physical fitness will dictate one's career span and it is important to bow down when that day is reached.It may not be the case for Sachin yet but the signs are clearly visible though most of the Sachin fans are in denial.However, Sachin has kept a huge imprint in Indian cricket and wish he will retire gracefully one day without damaging that hard earned image.Best wishes from a Sri Lankan.

Posted by AKLO on (April 8, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

hey....this article is going to break all the records of comments in cricinfo...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

Seems like Mr.kesavan has played more international cricket than sachin to teach him how to play test and ODI cricket...Sachin's humility & unselfishness is a well known thing in the cricketing world...So when sachin does think that he is not helping his team succeed he will retire that time...Mr.Kesavan seems to be tarnishing sachin's image by pointing out that he is playing only for brands and ad's..He should go through sachin's life properly before writing something like this...There never will be another sachin so lets enjoy him while he lasts...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

if that is a case then,dhoni must retire too,"ravindra jadeja(who is annoyingly been a part of the team despite too many irresponsible performances)" must retire too,all the bowlers should retire too.SRT made a comment and u got enraged by that.i think u didnt understand what meant when he said.he wants to serve his nation as long his body allows him and he is totally in that place to do so.considering his form,then some have poorer form compared to him,so do u want a person out of the team if he is the senior most player,that does sounds biased and if the selectors do not want him out of the team,then why do u? i think we all know how humble this man is,and why wouldnt a person think about making his century when whole nation is tormenting him for one long year so that he cant play freely.he did a gud thing.bangladesh won that match by bad bowling and there good performance or u dont want to consider that bangladesh can play well too

Posted by sweetspot on (April 8, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

It is a fact that India was willing to sacrifice the Asia Cup for SRT to get to his notional 100th international ton. Not a bad gift to a batting great who has played many great innings. After all the Asia Cup can be won anytime, if we have already won it 5 times! If SRT had done the same thing in a World Cup encounter, there won't be very many Indian cricket fans willing to forgive him. But then, Sachin himself wanted the WC win, so he played for the team's cause in that event!

He is a clever fellow, and can always find a way of steering clear of trouble, on and off the crease. But the legions of great Sachin fans were not won with his scratching around in the 90s batting. They came and joined the religion after seeing his masterly exploits in which he held the game supreme. Kapil Dev was always the stuff of legend to me because he reached for something immense. Sachin on the other hand is fast becoming a product of merciless management and marketing at this point.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

This article is total non-sense, I must say, Mr.Kesavan. You've got it all wrong...

Let me sum things up: Tendulkar referred to the time when India won the world cup as "at the top", and not the time after that.

And Karn has presented the reasons for the Indian defeat against Bangladesh. It wasn't Tendulkar's fault.. How could you possibly blame him there!

"There's a bizarrely funny photograph... help of unlike fetishes." -I don't understand what you mean by this... Sachin's feat was acknowledged by the two brands, and there's nothing wrong with that. You're totally offending the Little Master by your poor comparison between him and a Shaman. Please do understand what you write, before publishing such CHEAP articles.

Other than that, there is no content in this article, and whatever that has been written, has no base...

Overall, I'd rate this article as a poor one.. It isn't just because I'm a fan of Sachin's game, but because the article really is a poor one.

Posted by rookie4u on (April 8, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Another article on SRT. Again, not courageous enough to say "thanks n good-bye" to SRT. But, he did raised some real tough questions to SRT psycho fans. And, I'm sure that none of them has enough answers/justifications for those. We all appreciate SRT as a batsman but calling him "all-time great cricketer", "god of cricket", "greater than Bradman", etc .. on mere run statistics is not only naive but also laughable. Cricket is a team game and every player is expected to contribute towards WINNING the game and NOT just creating fruitless individual milestones. Finally, the article fails to question SRT's place in the playing XI. Is he there to contribute towards winning or taking-up an equally talented youngster's place just to keep piling-up records for himself without caring abt teams cause. He still talks abt patriotism.. funny Little "flat pitch" Master .. i wud say ..

Posted by SachBro on (April 8, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

This article is stupid, biased and full of opportunities to have digs at someone who is going through tough times. Its amazing how the author pins the whole blame on Sachin and suggests he should retire, however no such suggestions have been made to the other 10 players who did not do anything in recent times. He cleverly left out South African series from his Stat dish where he compared Sachin with rest of the team, it was a series where no one barring Sachin and Laxman, scored runs.Why is it that when a player is in his late 30s and struggle with his form should be asked to retire?If a 25 yr old can make a comeback, so can a 35 yr old.Why no one is taking about our top/middle order,our pathetic bowling line-up, our Great Captain?While the entire team was mud-slinging at each other down under,Sachin was the only guy who remained calm. By the way, just like these brands,you're also cashing-in on Sachin popularity, if it wasn't about Sachin, no one would have posted any comments Lol

Posted by nair_ottappalam on (April 8, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

At last a real view of the selfishness of SRT posted through cricinfo. I had time and again mentioned the same and cricinfo had ignored altogether. His absenteeism at the Rahul Dravid felicitation ceremony at Mumbai is a sheer example of how selfish and jealous he was! He could not bear praises being showered on Rahul Dravid. SRT in his post 100th 100 addressed a press conference vociferously criticizing cricket lovers (whom he called critics). How much he struggled for his 100th ton? In the meantime India lost matches after matches including the one in which he achieved that feat. Still he is hanging on and wants to stay there till 2015 so that a seat for a prospective youngster is blocked. BCCI has no courage to show him the door as CA did with Ricky Ponting (Ricky has no mean achievement). Thanks Mukul for posting a wonderful article.

Posted by Ragasudhan.G on (April 8, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

Tendulkar is a legend. He will let his bat do the talking when england comes back to india..! Mr.Mukul Kesavan is just a writer..! Go to the field and face the fiery pace bowling,then u will know the pressure building up within u. Tendulkar has carried the burden of indian team all these years..! This is not the way to criticize him.! He is The GOD..! The Little master is as hungry as he was in 1989..! Am sure he will do his bat talking in response to this article especially..! Mark my words..! His blade will answer with centuries that will guide india to victory!!

Posted by D.Sharma on (April 8, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

@gultistan..."they have to dig up ancient history like 1996 Sharjah cup finals" hahahaahahha. Good one. Take a bow, superb comment!

Posted by D.Sharma on (April 8, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

@bismoy: "why dravid fans brings dravid in sachin article??".. because Dravid is thoroughly mentioned in this article.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (April 8, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

@Bismoy : Dude, relax. You are absolutely right. Why compare SRT and RD? It is pointless. True, SRT plays all the three formats. Logical, since there are records to be set in all three. Hope this is also, the last time you will make an attempt to tarnish RD's name and reputation. Meanwhile, it will help if you appreciate serious cricket journalism. Cheers.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

It is really a sarcastic article. I have true respect for Dravid. Since, the author has compared both, i m forced to do the same. Dravid performed badly in SA and WI away series and there were calls for his head even at that time. Why Dravid retired after oz series is, if not he would have been dropped. I agree that sachin was slow in completing the century against Bangladesh. But, don't attribute that loss with sachin's 100. It was due to our incompetent bowlers. Pakistan was restricting Bangladesh well within 260 twice. For the endorsement part, it is here the author is completely out of mind. Why does dravid plays in IPL? Why does he advertise kingfisher ( atleast, sachin have the guts to reject it). Why have to Amitabh perform in IPL opening ceremony, just days after undergoing a surgery(Even here sachin have guts to stay away) ?? Why does Dhoni still prides about his T20 world cup achievement in McDowells ad even after 5 years and that too losing the next 2 wc ???

Posted by SRT_211503 on (April 8, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

It's true that SRT's s/r was low during his 100th 100 v Ban but if u hv little knowledge about cricket than u would see that other greats like Ponting,Ganguly,Kallis and many more batted with that s/r throughout their career. SRT avrgd 33 during his lean patch but again other greats like Jayasuriya,Mahela,Sangakarra and others batted with this avg throughout their career and regarding Kohli i would say that its too early to judge the greatness of Kohli...even if today wen india bats,we hv more more expectations for SRT than VK and any other batsmen in the history .

Posted by Sanjeevakki on (April 8, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

@@@@ Sree Harsha Well Said Bro..... One Line Comparison of Dravid and Sachin :- " Sachin, MAHATMA GANDHI of CRICKET and Rahul Dravid, Bhagat Singh of INDIAN Cricket"

Posted by FoollyFedUp on (April 8, 2012, 7:23 GMT)

Great article. I have yet to meet a Tendulkar fan, who can objectively sustain a critique oriented conversation for over 5 minutes. After that it usually becomes a 'you hate India' or 'you try playing cricket' diatribe. His fans fail to realise that we don't need to play cricket to criticise him. Like we don't have to waltz to criticise Shahrukh's dancing or get a Grammy to disapprove of AR Rehman's tunes. This is a sure sign that his fans understand very little of the nuances of the game.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

And what about selectors? not unusual to see srikanth getting angry at media whenever a question on sachin,s retirement is asked. but this doesnt surprise me. i still remember srikanth selected aniruddh (his son) who was performing poorly ahead of other deserving players in a 15 member squad for team india(cant exactly remember the series). how can you expect this sort of guy to understand the importance of selflessness. no surprise he is defending sachin religiously.

Posted by shrastogi on (April 8, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

Mukul Kesavan I salute you sir for seeing this side of Tendulkar and having courage to express it. Is Don Bradman not an all time great becuase he doesnt have average of 100 ? In a team sport there should be no place for individual records as winning is the most important thing. Articles like yours would bring a change in the sports culture of our country (India). Bravo.

Posted by malhoaj on (April 8, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

This is by far the best article I have read on CricInfo in a few years. The most important thing to look at when judging a player in test cricket is to see how many times was he the Man of the Match in victories. Do this simple math and you will know who made India win over the last couple of decades.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

"that one of the reasons India lost was that Tendulkar was so focused on getting his hundred"..... Bangladesh needed 33 to win from last 3 overs@11RPO..... and you mean to say , Sachin let the game down? Awesome...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

Hi Mukul, Its because of people like you that Sachin spoke up. Those who sit with flowery vocabulary and statsguru and try to pin the blame on our batting. When a team's Batting..Bowling and Fielding fail, its not right to put the blame on batting. I would have believed what you said if the Indian team would have defended 290. I would have believed what you said if Ricky Ponting and Kevin Peitersen hadnt revived their careers by preying on our indifferent bowling. Putting all the blame on a batsman is wrong.

And forcing our greats out of the team is not something that'll go easy. Look at whats become of West Indies cricket. Look at the Australian line-up today and the people who walk in today at positions held by the Waughs, Damien Martyn, Justin Langer etc.

and maybe you would stop writing soon as you win a pulitzer (if you ever did), but then again, that should be your decision, not something that others force on you.

Respect Sachin, we'll never have another like him..EVER!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

Thats a pretty great article...I appreciate your courage Mr Kesavan...Told all the shortcomings of a legend in a unique way...SUPERB

Posted by wiserack on (April 8, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

Extremely appropriate and relevant article which reflects the state of affairs arising out of the Tendulkar achievement. Frankly, the No 1 tag in tests in between was a blip and we remain a country looking for individual brilliance which overshadows team failures. The commentary on the commercial notoriety and brazenness of brand Tendulkar is the best I have read.

Posted by Kale on (April 8, 2012, 7:09 GMT)

I have been a great fan of SRT. For the first time in two decades I realize that he is becoming selfish by not putting team cause behind personal milestone. Because of his slow scoring, India lost the match and was booted out of Asia cup, and he comes out, conducting press conference after conference as if India had won the cup. Where were he when India needed him in England and Australia where he treated media like a plague. He was not even in Rahul's retirement function. No person is greater than a team. Sooner he realizes this, the better!

Posted by Farce-Follower on (April 8, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

Mr. Kesavan...SRT's fans will accuse you of blasphemy. They cannot recognise his greed and selfishness. Why Cricinfo also may not publish this, as the media is also afraid of offending SRT's fans. True fans of the game, as evidenced in Cricinfo comments have long ago given up on SRT and his supposed 'carrying India's burden on his shoulders'. Please give up that burden.

Posted by skepticaloptimist on (April 8, 2012, 6:54 GMT)

Opinions are like bellybuttons: everyone has one, as does Mr. Kesavan. Let me start off by clarifying, I have no problems whatsoever with his expressing his opinion, for or against Tendulkar - or any other player, for that fact. What I do not like about his article is, it's trying to blow things out of proportions, such as Tendulkar's appearance in the media. Moreover, looking at Tendulkar's low strike-rate in isolation is complete nonsense. Yes, the innings was relatively slow, at a strike-rate of 77, but it wasn't the reason India lost: toothless balling, and sensible Bangladeshi batting were. Kohli, too, had a strike-rate of 80, and Gambhir 68; what does that mean? Nothing. Again, I'll refrain from commenting about Tendulkar's retirement because that's none of my business. This article, however, is more like a work of empty-minded trolling. If you say Tendulkar should retire because of his patchy time off late, then good, this argument makes sense. But not your article, Mr. Kesavan.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

Great Article. agree with everything he says. Mr. Kesavan isn't trying to dimish tendulkar or his legacy. Sachin should merely take more responsibility and play more for the team. Hopefully since the dreaded "hundredth hundred" is over, sachin can be the sachin for 2010 and 1998.

Posted by crickeyt on (April 8, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

Well, SRT also said in his press conferences that he has been batting as well as ever, just getting out when well-set. And admitted that the century weighing on his mind was a contributing factor. But then, acknowledging the existence of those statements would not fit into the writer's narration that SRT is now a poor batsman.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

Take a bow Mukul Kesavan for having the courage to take on the "one who must not be named" . You have said all the things that everyone is feeling but doesn't have the courage to say. The corporate entities ,media included is trying to milk the last drop of money out of Brand Tendulkar. everyone is complicit in this.

Posted by SPotnis on (April 8, 2012, 6:40 GMT)

Tendulkar always had selfish motives in my view. I had lost respect for this sportsman since last 3/4 when I realized he played more for personal achievements regardless of the net end result. That's why there is class difference between Sunil Gavaskar, Sir Viv Richards and this Sachin Tendulkar. Both Gavaskar and Richards played and scored big when it mattered the most and same way they retired when they knew it was time to move on. Sachin on the other hand is completely self occupied with individual milestones that he does not understand his expiry date. By playing longer than he should he is kind of tarnishing his image. Many Indians who follow but don't understand cricket rejoice in individual milestones even in team defeat and that is what Tendulkar is all about

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

Why should we always compare sachin's record with his own past record/standard. His average as article says, is 35 in those averages where India lost. Most probably, only dravid and probably virat had better average than sachin in those tests. Sachin also occupies only one spot in the 11 like everyone else. If he was last in average in the list of 6 specialist batsman, i would understand so much criticism. His popularity or money making power has nothing to do with his spot in the 11 - he still occupies 1 spot so judge him based on 1 spot and not by any other standards.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

Sachin has come a long way & there's nothing left to prove anything to anyone. I remember once he also had a dream, beating Aussies in their own backyard; however, his hunger towards such ambition faded slowly. India knocked out of tournament because of his slow innings and how does it matter getting 100/100? Yet, he says #s doesn't matter. I've been a die hard fan of Sachin since childhood; however, I always put Test Cricket ahead of any other form of Cricket. Over the years it's the WALL who stood out above everything! Well, it doesn't matter if Sachin retires from Cricket; however, of late he is into too much of news for various wrong reasons. Also, it amused me when he opted for Asia cup and sometime back he was resting for all domestic ODIs. Now, he's a dedicate family member of Ambanis calling them Bhaiyaa and Bhabi...T20 kind of exhibition matches is not meant for steel like SACHIN. It's hard to accept so many things about my 1st love...perhaps times have changed and so as ppl

Posted by DjPriyanshu on (April 8, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

Before pointing out at the class of Tendulkar, just look at your bench strength. Barring Virat Kohli, India do not have any upcoming youngster who even averages 33! The likes of Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina have been given hundreds of chances. The big hyped "Rotation Policy" in the CB Series was just to accommodate Rohit Sharma in the team. And look what he did! After the disaster in England & Australia, Dhoni said that "I'm ready to step down from the captaincy, if someone wished to come up." That is the problem you see. India has never been a team who has replacements ready. So, We always have to bear that. So, why just point out at SRT. Atleast he's doing better than the available lot. Wake up guys. Stop expecting him to score 100's every game, score at strike rates of 150+ in every game. Atleast he's good for the team right now.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

Its an interesting article again from Novelist, essayist and historian NOT BY CRICKETER. forgotten tht cricket is a team game.if anybody is commenting on SRT they must be thankful to this guy that he has made us proud by creating history. PROUD!! must be an Indian then......abt his celebration....he had kept himself out of touch frm media till he had not scored his 100th century. off course he should not celebrate for records because HE is the GOD of cricket...he should be criticized because BCCI failed to produce enough bowlers for national cricket team who can take charge if their front line bowlers are injured. HE should be criticized because HE had recommended MSD as a captain of Indian team who just forgot that real cricket is Test instead of T20..IPL.HE should be critisized for promoting Shoe and Coke not liquors doing OOO..LALALA.. LEO kind of stuff. and just don't forget because of these sponsors only BCCI having 100cr scehme for not well off retired cricketers.

Posted by ars84 on (April 8, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

For the very first time in over 2 decades, I detect a significant number of negative voices about Tendulkar. Tendulkar's God-like popularity seems to be on the wane and he will probably retire with a little lesser respect than he has today! Both Tendulkar and his fans have to come to grips with the fact that he is no longer India's best batsman. The sooner everyone stops talking about 'genius' and starts talking about runs and wins, the better for Indian cricket.

Posted by spdesai on (April 8, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

I think Mukul also wants a share of the pie that brand Tendulkar is. These days it has become a fashion to use Tendulkar's name for getting eyeballs. First it was Lele, then Shoaib Akhtar and now Mr. Kesavan.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 6:28 GMT)

so you want sachin to come out every time in media and take responsibility when India lose.Thanks as I was under-impression that there is a captain for such case. And I think he came out in media after 100th 100 to say people like you and rest of the media( who were in race to cash sachin's 100th 100 ) that shut the **** up and now let me live cricket as long as I can. As he was aware that you guys just need a topic and your next topic gonna be is "RETIREMENT". And the case of against Bangladesh in asia cup don;t forget kholi's strike rate was 68 while sachin's was 70.You don't see there were bowlers bowling full tose when pitch doesn't come in picture. And India also lost when he score 175 @ strike rate of around 125 also not to forget same in world cup-11 during his two centuries.


Posted by 1playmaker on (April 8, 2012, 6:27 GMT)

its easy to doubt and scorn someone . to prove your arguement with the help of concrete evidence is extremely difficult . 1) " India's modest bowling attack did as well as could be expected" . india had a few genuine quicks , some genuine swing bowlers , a bowler of Zaheer's calibre . i dont think anyone who knows something about the game of cricket will term the attack as 'modest'. it was a quality attack but for reasons which only the bowlers can explain , they couldnt deliver consistently. 2) i think bringing dravid and srt together and making a comparision has become the new cool thing . we are fortunate to have 2 greats playing for the country. making petty comparision reveals the lack of ideas , quality . 3) if the media and fans were obssessed with *the* milestone , some writers are equally obssessed. i dont think there's a single line in the entire piece which is free from error and bias . overall , a nasty personal shot at a player who doesnt give two hoots at such stuff

Posted by ars84 on (April 8, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

For the very first time in over 2 decades, I detect a significant number of negative voices about Tendulkar. Tendulkar's God-like popularity seems to be on the wane and he will probably retire with a little lesser respect than he has today! Both Tendulkar and his fans have to come to grips with the fact that he is no longer India's best batsman. The sooner everyone stops talking about 'genius' and starts talking about runs and wins, the better for Indian cricket.

Posted by gultistan on (April 8, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

Mukul, how dare you write such an article on Sachin. Don't you know that Sachin fanboys will be offended and start calling you names.Sachin and his fanboys lost the sense of perspective that he has been in not so gr8 form for the past 1 year. If you ask the fanboys about dazzling match winning performances by Sachin in ODI finals, they have to dig up ancient history like 1996 Sharjah cup finals. And when asked about brilliant solo performances in tests(like Lara at Barbados 1999, Dravid at Adelaide in 2003, Laxman at Kolkata in 2001) they resort to limp answers like each one of his 50 test hundreds is a gem, or that cricket is a team game and Sachin can't help if those around him fail. Sachin is a technically good batsman, great at accumulating runs. But batting for the team cause or for saving a match, I would pick a Dravid/Lara over him any day. Technical brilliance or beauty matters only so much.Beyond that what really matters is if one can truly play for the team

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

Sachin was the second best batsman on the tour of England and also in Aus. Dravid's collective average in those 8 tests is greater than Sachin only because he had a fabulous tour of England! Dravid was pathetic in Australia! He was pathetic on the tour of SA too, where Sachin had scored 2 100s against Steyn, Morkel and co.

Laxman's performance was very poor in Eng and Aus... but Dravid's retirement was long due! Apart from the tour of Eng, he was not batting very well on even the so called flat batting tracks in India against Aus where in Laxman played a few match winning inngs and Sachin was good against the Aussies in India too!

So, if you were to compare the three greats, don't just highlight Dravid's good performance in Eng and say that he is better than Sachin and Laxman! The period when he had a string of low scores on flat pitches and testing conditions in SA while Sachin was at his usual best need to be considered as well

Posted by bismoy on (April 8, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

kholi mentioned sachin deserve everything and more..This shows how imp is sachin to india cricket team..if there was no sachin cricket would have extinct 20 year back.Long live the God.

There will be 1000 stone thrown now,but day he will retire future generation will not agree such man can exist in this planet.

Posted by P.N.Sudarshan on (April 8, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Thanks Mukul. Finally somebody came out and said that India lost a match and perhaps a tournament becuase of its (both the individual and bulk of the media) obsession with Sachin's 100th century. As a batsman, Sachin is perhaps the greatest, even as a person very few can handle the fame and wealth that he has with such aplomb but as a team man I always believed that there were certain shoirtcomings. Thanks once again for putting the matter in pespective, Mukul.

Posted by bismoy on (April 8, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

Dravid is only a great test player average ODI player and not good enough to be called T20 player.Whereas Sachin can play all 3 format without a problem.No doubt sachin is 1000 time better than Dravid and no commentato/cricket expert have ever compare sachin to dravid,it always been sachin to bradman.

Posted by tondulkar on (April 8, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

@sandeep: excellent observations. Couldn't agree with you more. This piece hurts all the not because i am a sachin fan but because i have been a great admirer of Kesavan's writing.

Posted by bismoy on (April 8, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

why dravid fans brings dravid in sachin article?? its like bringing vekatesh prasad when discussing about Ambrose and Mcgrath.

Posted by yoohoo on (April 8, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

So much vitriol against sachin !!! Frankly, after this piece, you should never write anything about him ever again, because you obviously hate him from the bottom of your heart and have no objectivity left when it comes to writing about or on sachin.

You don't like the 100 international hundreds concept, but you are fine with the concept of hundreds in the first place? What is the difference between a 90 and a 100? an 80 and a 100? a mere 10 runs, 20 runs? why do we all care if someone crosses that mark of 100 runs? It is because it is a nice round figure that is sufficiently difficult to cross. whether that figure is for runs, or for centuries. It is just a milestone. By your logic we might as well celebrate 83s, 83 international 83s, and so on.

There have always been two things in cricket, the weight of numbers and the briliant individual innings. The weight of numbers shows a team man who contributes with all those 30s, 40s, 70s, 100s even when it isnt glamorous. Sachin is that !

Posted by Kumar_SRT on (April 8, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

I have respect on cricinfo before this article was posted but now :(. Writing crap doesn't make a writer or a website more popular.I think cricinfo should concentrate on increasing the speed of live commentary which was far slow than cricbuzz and the errors they make during commentary rather than posting these moronic articles.

Posted by tondulkar on (April 8, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

To bash SRT is the in-thing. To glorify Dravid is the in-thing. Demeans both the greats. A sorry state of affairs indeed.

Posted by soumik on (April 8, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

Unbelievable!!I honestly admire the guts of both Mukul and Cricinfo to stir the hornet's nest.Also I see some hate comments has already started pouring in (which is obvious and expected).Also I'm quite sure now that Pepsi and Adidas are not giving any ad to Cricinfo for long time..:).Coming to the context,apart from a brief period in his career,Sachin,to my opinion has always played for his personal glory and it has become quite evident off late.It certainly defies logic that he was reluctant to travel to WI but did travel to Bangladesh.Reason?He thought he would definitely score the 100th hundred in Australia.However as it didn't happen,he was so desparate that he went to Bangladesh in search of achieving this feat.I would ask everybody to read this article in its true spirit.Mukul is not defaming Sachin,rather all he wants to say is that such a great like Sachin should not become so cheap for success.Probably in that way he is more of a fan of Sachin that most of you.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

I show serious appreciation to Mr. Kesavan who could stand up to this and had the guts to write the truth. We all are hurt and baffled by Tendulkar's indifference to the team's cause, and his childish celebration on achievement of a notional personal landmark. Indian cricket is going downhill, nice and fast, and there is no sign of a redemption in sight.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

M.K7 says the truth. Nothing against the geat man Tendulkar. He has reached the level of greatness from which no one can displace him. It is high time Indian fans root for Team Indiia than Brand Tendulkar.

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

This article is brilliant. Congrats - saying what needs to be said.

Posted by tondulkar on (April 8, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

The higher they take you, the bigger the fall. Pity SRT

Posted by lazyplayers on (April 8, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

@ teja454 Please don't tell me that next time when tendulkar is taking a casual stroll in field. He is doing that too India. Grow up - A country is more than cricket.

Posted by srikanths on (April 8, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

It is indeed true that the Tendulkar and people around him have been on an aggressive overdrive. Most of the blame on this type of reaction has to be taken by Mukul Kesavan and his ilk ( He himself may not have hiked the 100 100 up but the media in general had gone mad)

The media had hyped up the 100 100 a lot and then started deriding the man for not being able to complete i. Can any normal human being remain unaffected by all these. The problem is, it is not just that Tendulkar is a brand, he is also a subject which keeps the media in job for the right and sometimes wrond reasons

I just hope that Tendulkar and Co don't fall for the bait and get back to his old ways of answering back with bat , as Mukul Kesavan mentions

Posted by lazyplayers on (April 8, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

Mukul, Hats off to you for a great article!!! But be ready for the cheap brickbats coming from that swarming one-dimensional fans.

Posted by SourabhBhave on (April 8, 2012, 5:57 GMT)

Why does he go for corporate press conferences? Because he has to! It's foolish to assume that he was enjoying celebrating his 100th 100 when India were losing. He has made some commitments to certain brands and he has to honor those. He can't say I ain't coming because we lost yesterday. There are crores of rupees at stake. So he has to put his sorrow behind, wear a fake smile and pose for the cameras. I don't understand how a 'Novelist, essayist and historian based in New Delhi' doesnt understand this

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

BRILLIANT article, Mukul. You're one of the few who dares to call a spade a spade - and point out a fading superstar for exactly what he is. Accusations of playing for himself rather than the team have always dogged Sachin. In the past I argued against these accusations, believing them to be unfair. In the ODI against Bangladesh, Sachin's manner of getting his 100 definitely affected the run rate and the final total. As an Indian, I find it humiliating that Team India should lose 8 international Tests in a row and I'm embarrassed about the hype around Sachin's 100 against Bangladesh. Don't get me wrong, the man is a batting genius, perhaps the best of all time - but as Mukul points out, in the context of how badly India is doing in Test and even ODI cricket, this publicity blitz is tacky. Sachin is fading - he's no more on top, far from it - and nothing is being done, as we sit and wait and hope for the next big batting 'devta' to come and 'save' Team India again.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

Don't just write anything just sake of writing ..!!!! If you want to write on something here is list of topics for ya. 1>two new ball in One day @ same time 2>write on IPL 3> DRS 4>on switch hit (I think it shoule be illigle as bowler has set fielding for perticular batsman and also bowlers are not allowed to with different hand during runup) 5> write on batsman won't get runner while bowler is going out after their spell and also filder get injured he gets replacment. if that is the case any player is injured during game play with one less player.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

I notice there is a decline on the defense offerred to Sachin by cricket fans.Most people these days do seems to acknowledge that he is a selfish bloke who is concerned about nothing than money.Ofcourse there are irrational people who defend Sachin but if you say that Sachin was selfish, it was unimaginable to expect people to agree.You have seen Sehwag and Dhoni.They speak their mind out.Many criticize Sehwag for coming out like that and many have criticized Dhoni for speaking so badly about seniors.Atleast,they dont pretend,they dont wear a mask for 23 years.Sachin just knows how to impress people by being politically correct and run away from controversies.There are times where you have be yourself even though you will face serious controversy for that.Unfortunately this mask is coming out slowly.I'm sure after he retires,there will be more open criticism on how he played selfishly

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

absolute rubbish.. if you have ever watched any cricket in your life .. you would know that an averafe of 35 is not bad. yes, it might be be below his standards .. but averaging 35! in of of your lean patches in itself is a sign of greatness. ask your statguru to compare this to lean patches of other great batsmen of his generation and you will find that he has done much better.. and no one can deny the fact that he looked.. better than most of the other indian batsman in those two series.. and how about ur beloved dhoni.. isnt he supposed to be one of the greats too.. why dont you pull out his "test " averages... if you would have seen those matches you would have noticed how pathetic who looked.. he didnt even look like he is going to score any runs..

Posted by sachtheman on (April 8, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

"Since scoring the 100th hundred Tendulkar has been on a spree of promotional events celebrating it".............. grow up Kesavan...its Not sachin who is celebrating, its the scores of others who are celebrating on his name.... even if he does, u mean to say he shudnt celebrate such a feat like this.... u better retire from cricinfo first, sachin will also follow suit after u ... get some other job man

Posted by since7 on (April 8, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

Atlast Cricinfo publishes an article which analysed the tendulkar debate in a proper way.I have been tired sick of harsha bhogle's boring attempts to defend tendulkar and worse blaming the fan of all the people.Although I dont agree with some cricketing arguments that mukul put forth like defending India's pathetic bowling attack,its necessary to read his article from a broader perspective.The mos disgusting part of the whole "defend tendulkar" lobby is that people like shastri even went to the point of sympathising with tendulkar for allowing himself to be tied down by a personal milestone.For heaven's sake,you are supposed to be criticising.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

Spot on analysis. I was wondering for a while if these obvious things did not hit the columnists. Mukul, I admire your gumption to write about the Demi-God.

Posted by sachtheman on (April 8, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

Mr. Kesavan, good atleast some people came to know ur name...when most r celebrating, why not write something different, and gain some name out of sachins name, these days every other retired cricketer may even forget his own incidents in his own autobiography but doesnt forget to mention something about sachin, even ministers try to come in some positive news by commenting on if he retires do u know how many ppl lose a permanent agenda, n that includes petty writers like u.just for ur so called given facts why do u consider his form only for the 33 innings he failed to score a hundred and why not show the stats including may be 10 games prior to that, they'll luk better than all, why dont u identify around 10 innings out of the 33, in which he looked better than anybody else batting, just because u want to drive ur point with ur stats, stats r like that, u can drive them how u want, and then the way u hav twisted sachins comments, .. ur article - sheer misuse of the pen:(

Posted by easwarc on (April 8, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

@Jay Mahadeokar 'Probably you havent even walked on a cricket pitch for 100 days'

He doesn't need to be a player to be a critic.. excellent work Cricinfo/Mukul.. we need more balanced perspective on Sachin.. no individual cause should be greater than the team's

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:34 GMT)

Wonderfully written article. Only Indians look for every opportunity to admonish their champions so spectacularly. I suppose you cant blame the writer he is employed by Cricinfo to produce articles on specific timetable and for long tendulkar has been the easiest target for writers. It must have taken him half an hour at the max to write this through. Maybe you should try different sports too Mukul you will get a lot to write......................

Posted by akshay1994 on (April 8, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

The only positive in this article is that the point you are trying to get across is obvious. Unfortunately that point is wrong, unjustified and your one sided argument cheapens it. Your last three articles have been the worst articles I have ever read on Cricinfo.

Posted by Aristotle01 on (April 8, 2012, 5:29 GMT)

this is by far the most non sensical and rubbish article I have ever read... just another so -so wannabe journo who wants to try and gain some cheap atetntion to revive his flaggng career why dont u stick to history mate? Why do u have to talk about 1) game u evidently lack any knowledge about 2) a sporting legend-one of the greatest three of all time in his game who is has achieved 10000 times more than u have professionally.some of his statements make no sense... mukul he said he was at the top of his game AFTER THE WORLD CUP!!!! get ur facts right atleast.... and secondly after achieving sporting immortality after 23 why cant he celebrate man? India loose cause they have a WEAK BOWLING!! watch some cricket then u may understand !! he is an advertizers dream, thus the endorsements.whats ur problem U cheapen the game by such write ups?! he is a cricket fan's dream and u such articles which just have a few fancy words in them are nothing but a readers' nightmare!Please publish!!

Posted by punter18 on (April 8, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

So the writer, after having described a change in Tendulkar's methods over the past one year (dealing with media, needless anxiousness of the elusive 100), concludes that SRT should let his bat do the talking? I thought he'd rather state the obvious. But maybe, like everyone else, Mr. Kesavan is reluctant to publicly call for Tendulkar to hang his boots.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

Good one Mukul. You have what it takes to call a spade - a spade.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:18 GMT)

@sandeep1978: I agree with you. To write any article, you must first get your facts right. Yes, he did not come out to meet the press in either of these debacle, but he was the best batsman for India in England (barring dravid). He was the best batsman for India in Australia except for virat kohli in the last two tests. He has been doing okay and as he said, his feet were moving well in Melbourne and Sydney. But, with the standards he has set for himself over the past two decades, this was a bad performance. Also there is nobody in the world who wouldn't celebrate the feat of a 100 international hundreds. He and every other cricketer in the world have the right to celebrate an achievement.

Posted by rajaviswa on (April 8, 2012, 5:14 GMT)

Ufff..... cannot defendng a 289 againts bangladesh is mistake of d bowlers... how can u blame tendulkar for dat...

Posted by CricIndia208 on (April 8, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

Tendulkar is the greatest batsmen EVER. He has won matches for over over 20 years. I am happy as long we keep beating pakistan. In the last one year we knocked pakistan out of the World Cup and thrashed them in the Asia Cup. Tendulkar played a huge role in both these thrashings.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

Mr Mukul...Happy to know that you are so concerned about the Indian cricketing future..Well apart from Kohli whom do you see as the great middle order where I see you mentioning about Sachins decision to stay back from twenty 20..he plays well.IPL is a proof for that..n bout his innings in Bangladesh dont you feel ashamed to leave off the bowlers performance..Its not that Bangla batsmen r so threatening..Pak bowlers did see them off in two matches..and yet again a person comes up with the idea that india lost the match due to Sachin...mark my words Mukul..a day will come when you say "I MISS SACHIN " ...then will you celebrate with another article applauding Sachins Retirement????

Posted by svenkat02 on (April 8, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

RUBBISH article!!! You constantly refer to "Tendulkar's standards". Is that what Tendulkar is referring to? I dont think so. A 33 odd average is not bad at all when you look at batsmen as a whole (not anyone's standard). Tendulkar doesnt see standards. He stays until he feels he is on top. And he has showed lot of glimpses of that even in the whitewashes. His batting would look stunning only for one single dismissal to take away all that. He always looked in the zone only to get out at the wrong time.

His public appearences after the 100th hundred is his personal thing. That shouldnt be used as an argument to question his commitment to the team cause. This article is how a die hard Tendulkar hater would think about Sachin.... Are you one, Mr. Mukul?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

Teams win and lose, its a part of the game. Indian team has been going through a real bad patch, but blaming one man for it, doesn't at all make sense to me, and why because he is aging?, because he is the senior most member of the team and is unwilling to share responsibility? Oh come on, give me a break. Australia series, Sachin was the only batsman, who was among runs in the Test series. If you subtract Kohli's one century in the last test match, he was the highest scorer, nevertheless he was the second highest, i guess you would not pay any heed to that would you? Sachin plays cricket for the love of it, he doesn't play for himself, and I am sure for a man like him, who was served his entire adult life and the late teenage years to the service of his nation as a cricketer, he must have come across many a critics like you and just like all of the others critic, you will be forgotten in a day or two, just after FB downgrades the link to this article. SRT will be remembered forever

Posted by cork123 on (April 8, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

seems an error in statistics, after the 2011 word cup, india plaed 14 test amtches, winning 3 and losing 8. not just 8 mathces as metnioned in the beginning of the article...

Posted by CricFan78 on (April 8, 2012, 4:56 GMT)

" he is the greatest human brand in the history of Indian advertising " ---- not only for advertising but also ordinary journalists like author himself.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

Find a new profession Mukul...u need to retire from this job...u are not capable of handling this anymore.

Posted by sandeep1978 on (April 8, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

If on green tops in england, Kesavan thinks giving away scores of 500 and 700 is normal, then what does it say of his cricketing sense? We won in 2007 in england not because of any great batting performnace but cuz of the bowling( only kumble scored a hundred, i think).Dravd was in pathetic form for 2 years prior to the eng tour and according to dravid himself, he was going to retire after the eng tour.But he himself thought that the team needed his good form in eng on the aus tour and that is why he played there(in aus).Makes a lot of sense but It is in no way different from wht sachin said abt retiring at the top of the game being selfish.But the media will pick and choose whom to target, based on their own selfish needs. It is pathetic.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 4:51 GMT)

Apropos "After winning the World Cup last year, India endured their worst season of Test cricket in 50 years. Tests played: eight. Tests lost: eight. " Mukul- as a historian- do try and get your facts right, you seem to have blanked out the West indies tour in the middle. your point is well made, but the facts are erroneous. While well written, this piece is sadly a very one sided viewpoint, and lacks objective disassociation. It's like saying Leander doesn't deserve to talk about his 50 ATP victories just because India is not in the elite group of the Davis Cup or that it isn't worth celebrating PT Usha or Milkha Singh, because India was never an athletic powerhouse. People who don't play sport shouldn't comment on it because they often forget the first rule -"winning and losing is at the heart of sport". Instead - heros give us something to celebrate. and faux journos give us biased opinions.

Posted by remnant on (April 8, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

Coke and a shoe! That reference gave the picture a perspective nobody would have given a second thought!

Can't stop guffawing.

Posted by dunger.bob on (April 8, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

Three cheers for the Author. Hip, Hip Hooray. ... finally an Indian who is able to see past all the hoohaa. .... as an outsider all the rubbish that has been written and said since the "Event" has made India look small minded, narcissistic and completely self absorbed. Much like the man himself.

Posted by sandeep1978 on (April 8, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

A very pathetic article. Do these writers even read interviews properly before passing judgements on others. SRT 's comment on retiring at the top of ur game being selfish came when he was asked why didnt he retire from one dayers at the end of the world cup? Considering he was in top form then, the comment makes perfect sense, whether u agree or not with the logic of it is different.But dont twist his words.Again where has he blamed lack of opening partnerships on the defeat in australia? On the interview in this website, he said lack of partnerships on the indian end caused the losses and also tht australia had one big partnership every test which made the difference. Again,makes sense. He never claimed to be in top form now. In fact, he said, he played well in patches in england and was moving his feet well in australia in the 1st 2 tests, which again is true.As for sponsors,they r a necessary evil, if the game has to flourish. The reason we r reading this article is cuz of them

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

Absolutely Brilliant Article. I admire you Mukul, for having the guts to say what needs to be said. For sometime now, the likes of Bhogle and Gavaskar have been trying to lead us a merry dance about how great Tendulkar is and how he deserves every accolade coming his way. You are eloquent and more importantly Ballsy. Tendulkar has to realize his standing in sport as an overhyped sports icon and shove the narcissism. He pales in comparison to many a cricketing legend ala Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, Viv Richards etc and blind Indian fans need to realize that too.

Thank you so much for this article. I hope you have a great writing career ahead.



Posted by insightfulcricketer on (April 8, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

I think in hindsight the real reason of the debacle of last season was the ineffectual Indian bowling.So many 150+ scores had been created on helpful wickets and this has also never happened before. Indian batting was not great but England and Australian management played their hands well. They knew by only producing juicy wickets they had a chance and which they did.Plus Dhoni's un-inspiring captaincy and lack of application himself were other contributing factors.I recalled the 1986 tour of similar situation with juicy wickets.Aussies in downhill and England on the ascendancy and India toured England and won 2-0. Not because of our batting (barring Vengsarkar) but effective seam bowling.That same England team went to Australia and won 2-0. Indian bowling was the biggest factor in 8-0 loss and lack of resilient batting the second factor.

Posted by teja454 on (April 8, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

You call it a legacy! You call him he set high standards for himself, you ask him to let the bat do the talking, you say averaging 33 is lower according to his batting standards! Wat does a legacy consist of? Is it always pomp? Are standards set are different for sachin? Does he like any other mortal cant make mistakes? And is they are hindering a nations prospects, do you think this generation of indian cricket will allow him to stay on? I think if it occurs to his brilliant mind, just once, that his respect has gone low, his desire has died, (this can be told by the amount of energy he brings on to the practice nets, or the meetings) HE WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SAY GOOD BYE! If you want proof of that attitude, he left not to involve in twenty 20 cricket in the bigger interests of the team, remember! For him it is Country before anything else otherwise, the history too says, nobody has lasted so long in any other field which holds nations prestige!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 4:33 GMT)

FANTASTIC...this is what sets Dravid apart!

Posted by chsj on (April 8, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

Good analysis ... Sachin should remain silent on himself at this point, just like he does not do his bit in facing public scrutiny regarding team performance and his contribution(or deficit of) towards that. He is generally not very expressive as is also reluctant in giving forthright opinions, which is fine for a sporting icon who is otherwise limited. But at least there should not be such wide gulf between general opinion (public , media and possibly even other players past and present) and his own ; which I do not believe is 'denial' exactly but probably some misplaced sense of sounding positive. It is best he continued his silence or reticence than doling out such sound bites. As a Tendulkar fan, it makes me feel squeamish..

Posted by maddinson on (April 8, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

brilliantly summarized article, Tendulkar was hiding in England and Australia when Indian cricket was getting humiliated. To score a 100 against Bangladesh that too on losing cause and then attending regular public celebration about his 100th ton explain everything.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

Terrific article which clearly exposes the selfishness and material greed that has overcome a great batsman in the twilight of his career. Mukul, I applaud you, not just for the content, which is precise and objective, but also for having the guts to put down in words what so many men of cricketing stature know to be true, but are afraid to publicly admit.

Posted by prashnottz on (April 8, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

poor Mukul needs some attention.. and he's gonna get it now..

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

Averages dont always do justice to a player's form. Tendulkar's form is as good as ever to be considered "top". He doesnt need to retire now

Celebrating 100th hundred may sound selfish and he definitely rejoices personal landmarks more than team's causes. Thats how he is and no point brooding over that.

Posted by CarDroid on (April 8, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

Bang on target. I'm glad that an Indian writer called the emperor out on his new clothes instead of a foreign one, otherwise there would've been cries of national outrage by now. There's something that the BCCI as well as the corporate brand managers have failed to realise - the Sachin Brand is close to zilch in schools, colleges and offices with young employees across India, the primary "target group" for expensive sports shoes and aerated sugar water. Ask any teenager in an Indian metro and more often than not he will be up to date on the EPL points table and shrug off any mention of the Indian batting galatticos' individual records. Before people jump at me, let me say this. I'm Indian, have followed cricket from 1982 and have been spent countless hours and bunked infinite lectures to watch SRT bat. But I can tell this - that thing that's posing for a photograph, holding up a soda can looks like SRT

Posted by vidooshak on (April 8, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

At last! The fawning is over and a writer has the gumption to call this charade for what it is. I sure hope Tendulkar continues to earn his place and not simply play on reputation alone.

Posted by aschisch on (April 8, 2012, 4:08 GMT)

fantastic mukul. you certainly are the best in cricinfo. it is a pity that most of the readers are not going to like it. for them cricket did not exist before 90s and batsmanship begins and end with sachin. for pagans like them a pseudo-god has been created and most can not see through him. very soon the comments will turn into sachin-bradman debate. wish idol-worshipper develop some sense.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 4:06 GMT)

Excellent piece! I am very happy to see cricinfo carry out this one. When Sachin says it is selfish to retire when you are on top,did it not occur to him when he was more focused on scoring is 100th 100 than accelerating team's run rate.

Posted by ShivanPerumal on (April 8, 2012, 4:06 GMT)

Mr Kesavan.... You should know how to not misterpret statements. Though i do agree that we lost the Bangladesh match because of Sachin slowing down as he approached his hundred, your other observations (apart from statistical) are flawed. When Sachin said he did not want to retire at the top he was referring to a querry about his retirement immediately after winning the world cup. On his comment as to our loses in australia due to lack of parternship i believe u should read the transcript of his interview again. He said the diff between the two teams came down to one partnership and never said the failure of the opening parternship was the reason for our failures... Yes he did get caught up in the craze of the 100th hundred and he agrees to it himself and that was the reason why he did not attend all those press conferences as he knew all it would come down to would be a the circus around the 100th hundred that the media was very convenient on latching on to... Read well Mr Kesavan..

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

Yes, that interview where he said something like, "nobody can decide when I should retire..." made me cringe as I have been an avid supporter of Tendulkar not just for his on field achievements but also for how he has conducted himself so weel, off field, through out his career. Hope the great man has a good 2012 and bow out with respect intact.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

Sachin however loves Cricket. He is marketed well and may not have done so much - but he could easily have "retired" and concentrated on just T20. But he knows where he stands. He was in good form in the Melbourne test. Had only he stayed a while longer Ind would have won the test. Sachin should next retire from ODIs and then Tests. If he really is good, he can play one overseas tour and go in 2014. I just have this wish list for him in Tests: 1. Score a century to save the team when he has only tailenders for company 2. Score a big double hundred in seaming conditions in SA or Aus or Eng 3. Score a second innings hundred and lead Ind to a big win on a deteriorating pitch with plenty of pace, bounce and spin and a top attack. Then he should go.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

It was always going to be a case of the 100th ton overriding the team's performance, whenever it came for it ain't just another record. In a way it was good it didn't happen in England or Australia for it would blanketed India's shoddy performances. Yes Tendulkar wasn't scoring those big knocks you generally associate with him, but like he said we all saw that he was getting starts and timing the ball so well and suddenly something happened. This 'something' was recurring too frequently for Sachin's liking and the team's sake for he looked the only batsman in Australia to be adjusting to the conditions. It would be very interesting to see Tendulkar post-100*100 i.e. after the IPL, for that would really tell whether he is really enjoying the game. Undoubtedly he has the fuel to propel India's test side but he should look at his role in coloured clothes before it gets to a point of embarrassment.

Posted by Narbavi on (April 8, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Excellent article!! this is how a true cricket follower would analyse the game!! and this is why i personally rate Dravid above Tendulkar!!

Posted by deepblue22 on (April 8, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Glad that atleast someone has the guts to openly point out the mindblowing selfishness involved in this whole 100 100s exercise. I was disgusted when india's loss to lowly bangladesh was totally ignored by the fans and the media alike, wondering if anyone cares for the team at all. Judging by the indian public's positive reaction to the IPL, I have come to believe that the indian fan does not deserve a fighting team, they are far too happy in celebrating individual milestones.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

TL;DR. So Tendulkar should take ownership of losses for which everyone else had austriched their heads. How do you know it was Tendulkar who asked for these events to be organized. This just looks like one of those articles which bank on the Tendulkar brand to get pageviews, whether they worship him or bash him. Was hoping that CricInfo articles do better than the different '*Times*' websites in India, but does not look like happening.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 3:54 GMT)


You are a brave man to write this article and my respect for you went up quite a few notches. For a 'pure' and 'real' cricket lover, the statistics you provided post 99th should be an eye opener. Even after keeping aside sentiments (and not to blame Sach for 'avoiding' public appearances after defeats), I still feel he shud have retired at least after scoring 100th. I would have had more respect for him for boldly stating his intent for which we all have lots of respect too.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

View regarding sachin's 100th 100 is incorrect and harsh. The bowlers were responsible for defeat against B'desh. out of the last 4 ovr ie 24 balls, 10 were fulltoss!!!!!!!!!!!!!! n yes SACHIN is GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by 1MAK7 on (April 8, 2012, 3:50 GMT)

I just wonder what prompted you to bring Tendulkar down to your level Mr. Kesavan. What do you expect Tendulkar to do when he is invited for functions? Go and list out how many matches India lost when he has played well? You are that typical journalist who always sees the glass as a quarter empty. When India recently beat Sri Lanka in Hobart, Dilshan got his hundred on nearly 130 balls. So was he the cause for the defeat? The Bangladesh defeat happened because of an insipid bowling attack consisting of bowlers slower than Ravi Bopara and Mike Hussey. So get a perspective on things in life. It will serve you better. Or perhaps, you must be too old and 'experienced' to change your mindset now. Just wait for the final moment to arrive and RIP

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (April 8, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

Interesting article by a man with some guts. I mean there are far less people who can write about Sachin that boldly and survive in indian journalism. Great try. I hope you get more fame after writing this article. Good try.

Posted by amitgarg78 on (April 8, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

Let his bat do the talking. Well said mukul. However, I guess you would appreciate that no one likes being pushed around. The media and fans have takn it upon themselves to dictate that he shd go now and let the new kids in. While I don't dispute the long term benefits of trying new players, has there been any standout player who would've challenged his spot at the back of solid performances and not because they are young? Raina, sharma hv bn failures in comparison in the chances that they've got. That I think has been a factor in sachin being vocal now. He knows he is short of time and wants to do whatever he thinks is right before he goes. Who are we to take that right away? Selectors can do that if they feel he is not contributing but by suggesting that he shd go now, we are setting him targets. Shd he be concerned about legacy or his performances on the field?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

Yes, throughout his career, Sachin has been intent on records. Moreover, Sachin has hardly ever done any memorable rearguard actions. The only time was during the Chennai match against Pakistan that Ind lost. Otherwise he was good in the first innings. Yes he was a genius but compared to a Dravid, Laxman, Kallis, Ponting he has done little. Maybe there were some - like in Sharjah against Aus and with Azhar in SA and recently a fine partnership in SA with Gambir and a good tour of NZ. But he has never played a long innings like Lara or a match saving innings with only tailenders for company. But he was always under pressure in his career till Saurav took over.

He has never delivered with Ind 3 or 4 down. He has not faced some bowlers a bit more. Yet he is great. Without him Ind would have sunk into mediocrity. Looks like he will go soon - he gave up MI captaincy, did not return when he was injured (which itself is rare). But is there anyone even half as good to replace him in Tests?

Posted by shivuu on (April 8, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

I find part of article very untrue. why every one expects tendulkar to accept the reason for defeat to bangladesh. if you have watched the match carefully every one in the team has let him down. but that does not count since sachin is the favourite punching bag. this has been the story of his lifetime. what should we call a team that posts nearly 300 and cant win against a team like bangaldesh?.

it is very right of every batsmen that he should be given to post a century and aptly sachin desrves it.

why is it so happens every failure leads to sachin's name

time to rethink about it

Posted by kk777 on (April 8, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

Okay sir, so now that you have bashed Sachin and still have some time to kill, why not bash IPL next or BCCI...Seriously guys, don't you have anything better to report or discuss. If anything needs to change , its the MEDIA, which has become the curse of democracy. Just like corporates who try to wring out every last drop of profit from a situation, you too stop just short of killing the golden goose only. LONG LIVE SACHIN

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

I never comment on articles, but I cant resist this one! Just because you have a pen and paper, it doesn't mean you have the right to write anything you want! Probably you havent even walked on a cricket pitch for 100 days, and you are demeaning a man who has scored 100 centuries! Sachin has stressed for more than once that this has been the most difficult year for him and the Indian cricket team.

Also, its not how he got the 100th 100, the celebration and talk is about how he got the 99 before that. So, just switch on your brain cells for a moment and think about that!

My apologies if my language is rude. You seem to be a wise old man, but I what you have written totally contradicts that assumption! Now, thats my opinion!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

I'd like to take bets on the number of comments this post will generate.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

Brilliant article ...Gives a true account of statistical importance shown by the so called greatest player ... hats off to mukul kesevan

Posted by smalishah84 on (April 8, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

ouch....this is such a scathing outvurst at Tendulkar. I really don't understand the point of the article though? That Tendulkar shouldn't celebrate?

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Mukul KesavanClose
Mukul Kesavan teaches social history for a living and writes fiction when he can - he is the author of a novel, Looking Through Glass. He's keen on the game but in a non-playing way. With a top score of 14 in neighbourhood cricket and a lively distaste for fast bowling, his credentials for writing about the game are founded on a spectatorial axiom: distance brings perspective. Kesavan's book of cricket - Men in Whitewas published in 2007.

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Josh Hazlewood has been on Australian cricket's radar since he was a teenager. The player that made a Test debut at the Gabba was a much-improved version of the tearaway from 2010

Vijay 144, Ganguly 144

Stats highlights from the first day of the second Test between Australia and India in Brisbane

Vijay unburnt by Brisbane furnace

Brisbane was hot and humid and the insides of the Gabba even more so. M Vijay battled the hostile conditions and a testing attack to make a memorable hundred

'Forget about no-balls. Just bowl fast'

When Wasim Akram swung Pakistan to their first global title

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