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Former New Zealand batsman and captain

The Tendulkar debate

Pace a worry in Tendulkar's twilight

Sachin Tendulkar can't escape the fact that his body is naturally slowing down, and his feet will find it increasingly hard to move quickly enough into position against the quick men

Martin Crowe

September 6, 2012

Comments: 174 | Text size: A | A

Tim Southee bowled Sachin Tendulkar, India v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 4th day, September 3, 2012
In Bangalore, we may well have seen for the first time Sachin Tendulkar's nerve show signs of twitching © Associated Press
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Sachin Tendulkar's instant angry reaction to being bowled by Tim Southee in the second innings in Bangalore was revealing. His raising of his bat as if to strike out at something appeared to be a show of anger at committing one more mistake: missing another straight delivery. Not only has he never before committed mistakes one after another to such an extent, he has also never shown such emotion upon dismissal. It was indeed a striking moment.

For the first time we may well have seen his nerve show signs of twitching. What has been his greatest strength for well over two decades - his mental toughness and calm under pressure - has finally been exposed ever so slightly, leaving him questioning something deep within.

However, it's only the first sign and means his nerve, theoretically, should hold up for a lot longer yet. The problem is, like with many fine players before him, once it starts, it can all come crashing down in a hurry if awareness is not first embraced. As Sanjay Manjreker rightly pointed out, Tendulkar should work his way out of this hole he is in. That's on the mental level, but what about on the physical level?

Let me explain this hole I refer to. As we all know, Tendulkar is in his 40th year, having endured 23 years of constant grind, scoring the ultimate achievement: 100 international centuries. It's remarkable, really, that he has even lasted this long, just as it was that Richard Hadlee did amazing things in his 40th year too.

That Tendulkar has lasted is due to his astonishing, insatiable love for the game. The hunger to continue to score runs for India, the desire to train just as hard as he used to, the mental toughness to put the unprecedented expectations aside - they are all phenomenal attributes.

His other incredible attribute is his eyesight. For those who might say it is failing him, I will challenge that right here and now with a bit of personal scientific fact. Last year when I visited my optometrist to get proper reading glasses, I expressed disappointment that my eyes were failing. He disagreed and asked me if I would undergo the exact same hand-eye reaction test he put me through 20 years ago in Christchurch. I agreed and five minutes later he pulled out the result sheet from 1992 and compared it to the one from the 2011 test. Staggeringly to me, the results clearly showed that I was 25% faster in 2011, at age 49, than I was at 30. Simply put, the eyes had got better, despite my need to have a lens to see the page a foot in front of me.

Hand-eye reaction is not Tendulkar's problem; he probably is better and faster with his hands than he was in 1992. But the one thing that he can't escape from is that the body is naturally slowing down. Firstly, the back and hamstrings are probably 10% less flexible, and his agility and speed down about that much too. Therefore, while the eyes see the ball and the instinctive mind makes the right decision upon seeing it, Tendulkar will naturally find that he is not as quick as before. In particular, it is against fast bowling that his feet and body will find it increasingly hard to move quickly enough into position.

 
 
Turning back the clock physically will call for a major sacrifice, one that would need total dedication to get there and then maintain it. Question is, will Tendulkar be prepared to do that at this late stage of his career?
 

Against spin he is absolutely fine and as good as anyone in the world. But despite batting brilliantly against Australia's fast men at the start of the year, a pattern began to emerge in his dismissals: playing on, lbw, clean-bowled. Now, nine months on, every team's analyst will tell every fast-bowling attack that, as New Zealand showed in recent weeks, anything over 135kph pitched up full and his feet and body won't respond quickly or for long enough anymore.

Since Melbourne, where he batted like a dream, like a 29-year-old Tendulkar, it feels now as if the secret is out, and the angry moment from him in Bangalore was a small indicator that he instinctively knows something isn't right. With that moment revealed, everyone bowling to him from here on now knows.

Technically his back foot, and in particular his right heel, is planted in the ground. It is not moving with his front foot; it is arriving too late. His front foot moves and hovers forward as the ball is released, therefore both his feet point to the off side, not straight to the ball, and then inadvertently he starts playing around his front foot and either misses it or gets lbw.

But he can fix it. He can get up onto his toes more and he can start to move his back foot fractionally up and down to get it activated. This will help him to start to move both feet when the ball is closing in.

There is, though, no getting away from the probability that his days of playing fast bowling successfully for any decent length of time are coming to a close. Unless he finds some extra agility and speed, his feet and body will simply not get quicker, or be quick enough. Turning back the clock physically will call for a major sacrifice, one that would need total dedication to get there and then maintain it. Question is, will he be prepared do that at this late stage of his career?

He isn't a chaser of records, so that can't be a reason to stay on. He isn't the captain, with his team in dire straits, needing him, so that can't be a reason to stay on. He doesn't need anything, really, as he simply has it all, so that can't be it either. So what is it that will keep him going?

Only deep down will Tendulkar know, and playing South Africa next year, the No. 1 Test team, with the best fast attack in the world, will not make whatever that reason is any easier to deal with.

The god, I sadly suspect, is in the twilight of his career. But maybe Manjrekar is right and Tendulkar will be fine. Maybe, it just takes him a little bit more time to hit his stride these days. And if Tendulkar needs a bit more time to get the body striding forward again, we all have the time to wait and watch in awe, even if it's only for one more magic century moment.

How some of the greats fared in Tests after the age of 35*
Batsman Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s Career ave
Don Bradman 23 1903 105.72 8/ 5 99.94
Sachin Tendulkar 76 3751 54.36 12/ 16 55.08
Steve Waugh 56 2554 53.21 10/ 8 51.06
Brian Lara 45 2296 51.02 9/ 5 52.88
Graham Gooch 96 4563 48.54 12/ 21 42.58
Sunil Gavaskar 40 1728 45.47 4/ 9 51.12
Rahul Dravid 85 3493 45.36 12/ 13 52.31
Viv Richards 53 2107 43.00 4/ 17 50.23
Allan Border 66 2473 42.64 4/ 15 50.56
Ricky Ponting 48 1865 40.54 3/ 13 52.75
Javed Miandad 19 578 32.11 0/ 4 52.57
* Includes all matches that started after the player turned 35

Martin Crowe, one of the leading batsmen of the late '80s, played 77 Tests for New Zealand

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Posted by EnglishCricket on (September 9, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

I don't understand why he doesn't quit because he has achieve everything you couldn't ask for and needs to give youngsters a chance now instead of going for more personal glory i.e. 200th Test match. Just an ordinary player should look upto players like Lara, Dravid etc :)

Posted by warneneverchuck on (September 8, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

@kiwi rocker. Sachin has dominated bowlers like warne murli etc. Who r far greater than Ajmal. Sachin don't need advise from u or me to decide wen to retire

Posted by tommytucker on (September 8, 2012, 18:34 GMT)

Most selfish player to play the game and he is still at it!!! Time to call it quits 10dulkar. Fall on your sword gracefully like real legends like Gavaskar, Dravid and VVS.

Posted by Jerseyite on (September 8, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

Superb article by a world class batsman. And its not like Crowe is a Sachin critique, he is one of his biggest fans but facts are facts. Crowe is a master batsman and a master technician. I have always regarded Martin Crowe as a world class batsman on pure game. Forget records. Records mean nothing to me. I would rather hear him than some idiot like Harsha Bhogle ramble about the finer points about batting.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

What else a cricketer needs in Life? Even if other team members are failing to same attack, critics are eager to concentrate on Sachin. That itself shows the greatness of Sachin. He used to reply with his bat n we are waiting for that.. :)

Posted by jay57870 on (September 8, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

Martin - Yes, Tendulkar's "angry moment" was uncharacteristic. He's now the lone man standing from that iconic quartet that lifted India to the top. Ganguly was the first to go, but nobody's replaced his No.6 slot as yet. With the recent departures of Dravid & Laxman, the batting void has become bigger. As former coach Gary Kirsten observed: "Look, if Rahul, Sachin or VVS decides to retire it is a major blow", more so if they went all at once. So, Sachin's left carrying the burden "for the team to integrate and groom the younger players". His reassuring presence is most needed now for rising stars Kohli, Pujara & Co. Sachin is not a quitter. What makes him tick & turn back the clock? It's his Staying Power! He's an Outlier! Like Russell Crowe's (Martin's cousin & famous actor) "Cinderella Man": a boxer who beat heavy odds to defeat an invincible opponent & reach the top - The last man standing! Sachin may look cool outside, but he burns for Team India inside! Angry moment indeed!!

Posted by 1977Ibrahim on (September 8, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

Why tendulkar is not playing his natural game ???? His batting is very slow & too defended.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

Sachin, All the Best! http://kmurthy608.blogspot.in/2012/09/all-best-sachin.html

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (September 8, 2012, 1:33 GMT)

I disagree with MC who is starting to sound more and more like an Indian journalist. Saeed Ajmal has shown that self proclaimed God of cricket tendulya is equally clueless against quality spin bowlers! tendulya can continue playing cricket and taking a bow to Asif, bouletts and Southees!

Posted by RAJA_06 on (September 7, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Yes!!!!! TIME has come to hang up.....it's a rule that's bee followed everywhere, be it in jobs, the older makes space for the younger ones n sports is not an exception. It's team game, so much of young talent is knocking the doors. It's high time selectors dare to take some bold decisions.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

Sachin will ROCK BACK in as always he has and always will.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (September 7, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

SRT is fading like the Cheshire Cat. Soon, only the smile will remain. And he has much to smile about. Seriously though, it is time for him to move on. A great player should always sense the moment to leave the stage; it ensures his proper reputation for posterity. If a great player's decline is attenuated, so his reputation diminishes accordingly.. The longer this goodbye goes on, the less he will be missed when the day does eventually come. At least no one, least of all SRT himself, will have left anyone wondering whether he had anything more to give. We know that down to two decimal places. Rather, they are saying, even now: 'Oh why didn't he go out on a high?' Now he's tarnished his reputation - hung around too long.' And it's sad because it was totally avoidable. All the highs have come and gone; now you too live on the flat plain of mediocrity with the rest of humanity, Sachin.

Posted by Wisi on (September 7, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

Sachin has been been a phenomenal performer and a great entertainer for years but I don't understand why most of the ppl r searching for a more sophisticated answer for his lack of performance in england and NZ series other than "age factor". No great cricketer including bradman retiring when his average was 99.94 or any other sportsman has been able to defy this fact of life. Even if he scores against eng or sa he will b leaving cricket very soon to the obvious disappointment to his fans all around the world, so ppl should start accepting this reality rather than resisting the inevitable. I think from here onwards his future will b assessed on series by series basis and obviously sachin's own realisation that it's time to hang up his boots.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (September 7, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

There are 2 things that have to be done: Firstly Sachin should go back to the weight he was when he was in top form and secondly the selectors and Dhoni should pick all players on merit including Sachin and Yuvraj but Harshe. However I suspect politics and business interests would determine otherwise in which case the only way a batter can get into the team is if another player is dropped or Sachin retires and I don't see the latter happening.

Posted by xylo on (September 7, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

if only selection could be made on the basis of 'love for the game'.... we would have harsha bhogle padding up. as i have been saying all along, asking someone to retire is not right (manjrekhar might disagree on non-SRT batsmen like VVS). but picking someone based on their past glory and not current performances is wrong. just drop him from the team, and let him choose which domestic matches to play, prove that he can play the straight ball, and then put his name into the ring for a series that he decides to play, and justify his place in the XI.

Posted by rajnish.sinha on (September 7, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

at what age does body become slower? any slowdown has to be gradual only. 2 years ago he was icc cricketer of the year. in 2 years he must have slowed by 2 years only and not 39 years. 3 dismissals in same style and experts are out dissecting him. having followed his career like millions of you, i know one thing, from next series on, whatever happens, he will at least not get out like he got out in this series. i read this somewhere, it was said by Richard Branson, any fool can complicate matters but you need intelligence to keep things simple. Sunil Gavaskar should read it. complicating things does not make one a better expert.

Posted by hnlns on (September 7, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

His angry reaction shows how frustrated/annoyed he was at repeatedly getting out the same way, i.e., stumps getting clattered by three different bowlers but in almost identical fashion. English and Aussie bowlers are much more incisive than Kiwis and would have clearly watched this with great joy since they know his most glaring weakness now. He is bound to get more and more criticisms, and calls for retirement will get louder and shriller by the passing day. He was the rarest great talent discovered at such an young age, no doubt about that, but equally true is that he is well past his peak now and sliding downhill at a breakneck speed with regard to his batting abilities. It is time for him to leave the scene NOW on his own with his awesome records intact rather than spoiling them just to play a few more months/matches. Hope he learns from Dravid and Laxman how to leave the scene gracefully.

Posted by Nampally on (September 7, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

An excellent analysis of Hand-eye-feet & Reflex coordination, Martin.I agree with your assessment of slower reflexes & footwork with aging.If fast bowling is showing this limitation in SRT, his batting on the Aussie pitches against all pace attack was great. I saw his SIX off Hillfenhause over the third man as a superb stroke which any 20 year old would be proud of. Changes do not occur within 6 months!.From the stats you have put for the batting averages after age 35, Sachin still leads all the greats except Don Bradman with 54 !.Dravid's average is at 45. Sachin's lifetime batting average is slightly higher @56 . My own analysis of SRT is slight loss in concentration & thought process of stroke selection. These aspects are prominent when the ball comes thru' faster & hence his recent failures. His annoyance with himself may be due to missing the ball due to sudden change in thought process in stroke selection. Let no one forget he opens ODI's & flays the pace bowlers all over!

Posted by S.Jagernath on (September 7, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar can't be chasing records if he refuses to tour places like the West Indies,whom he could score heavily against & boost his averages,his run & century tallies.Jacques Kallis gets bounced out all the time but nobody says he is too old.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (September 7, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

Rahul Dravid played 85 test matches after the age of 35,thats a huge amount considering how much India tours & he still averaged 45 batting in the top 3,just solidifies his greatness.Sachin Tendulkar needs to work harder if he wants to continue,he needs to play first class cricket instead of playing cricket for India with big breaks in between & then putting out mediocre performances against a mediocre team at home.Touring South Africa is a bad idea,playing England & Australia at home is understandable as he toured there.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 7, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

He should go get some advice from New Zealand's Chris Martin. Chris has batted his career with 'concrete feet', and has more test not-outs than Sachin! Ought to be great advice from one legend to another...

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

My younger brother was born one year after Tendulkar made his debut,1990. Just imagine that a baby born, completed his education and is doing his job. On the other hand, Tendulkar is still playing. Now you people decide whether he should be playing more?

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

Dont worry guys..Sachin will Back!! the people who are aksing for his retirement...will Say...Thanks God for wonderfull inning.

I can not understand why people pointing out Sachin Only, while sehwag and Gambhir are also not making runs. is it just because of Sachin's age ? SO here is Sachin for you who will change your mentality in upcoming Series .

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

Cricket pundits/writers seem to have an obsession with Sachin's age and failure. It is important to understand that Sachin still holds the Indian middle order together. As the popular dialogue (Troy) goes it is very early in the day for a prince to die. Stop making money writing about Sachin's footwork, reflexes, eyesight, hand eye co - ordination etc. Sachin R Tendulkar the king/god of cricket will decide the day he would quit. Stop writing his obituaries and find a better job.

Posted by rsurya on (September 7, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

Sachin is not that ordinary to be discussed like this. He will come up proving this arguments funny. After sachin Indian team will go to bottom of the ranking.

Posted by ansram on (September 7, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

I don't understand the "passion argument" at all. All great players had immense passion for the game, not just Sachin. He is free to desire to play till the age of 80 but only if he is good enough. Will WI include Sobers now because Sobers is very passionate about the game?

Posted by sweetspot on (September 7, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

It is really not about Sachin being shown respect and therefore whether he deserves his place in the side with all that he has done so far. It is whether we would select a youngster who gets out like he does nowadays. The sooner we bring in a replacement for the little master, the fairer will be the opportunity for a younger player. Just because Sachin loves the sport doesn't mean he should play at this level. Even Gavaskar loves this sport, no doubt. Shall we ask him to pad up?

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

He is arguably the greatest cricket player and a sporting icon. He knows when to hag his boots. Support him please. His passion for the game is unbelievable and i doubt with so much glamour and big bucks surrounding cricket, we would ever see such a game lover.

Hats off Sachin... you are an inspiration to all sports persons and keep on going as long a you can please... you are still the best batsman in the world and I think once you play freely without any overburdening responsibility you have the best chance to score runs and many many more centuries for our Tendlya fans.

Keep going sir.. keep scoring...we all want you to be here for long...

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 9:36 GMT)

OMG! such ignorance! Can't these people see sehwag ,gambhir,dhoni,raina,rohit etc have been failing for so many years...still they want sachin to retire who was the distant best in last 4 years...no one can replace him even in his so called bad form.... By the way,were you people sleeping when dravid was out of form for 4 long years from 2007 to 2012..??? why people like them jump the gun only when the name mentioned is sachin ramesh tendulkar...? For goda sake,he has just failed in 3 innings realtive to his team mates..he was 2nd highest scorer in eng for india after dravid..the top performer along wid kohli in aus... Just get a life !

Posted by AazerDurrani on (September 7, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

No doubt about his greatness and the records that he has set. For sure, these records are beyond being broken. However, i would say that his time is up and he should leave the game for good. He has achieved everything and its time that he gives his place to some deserving candidate.

Posted by thalalara on (September 7, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

@Imsrk, which is important? Sachin's love for the game or the team performance? All cricket fans love the game no doubt about it. Do you mean to say that the Indian fans should wait until he gets bored of the game?

Posted by warneneverchuck on (September 7, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

To those who r saying he is chasing record. Can anybody tell me which record he is chasing. He has most of the batting records which r never going to be chased. he is still playing because he loves this game. That's it

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (September 7, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

England at home would be a wonderful farewell to the great man. I hope he takes it so he goes when people are still wanting more.

Posted by thalalara on (September 7, 2012, 6:56 GMT)

Hi Mr.Martin Welcome to the bandwagon of ( Gavaskar, Shastri, Harsha, Arun Lal and latest inclusion Sanjay Manjrekar ) all praise Tendulkar, Hip Hip Hurray! Hip Hip Hurray!!!! I really loved the last part of the article

" He isn't a chaser of records, so that can't be a reason to stay on..... So what is it that will keep him going?

When you can give so many answers to his batting flaws, why cant you answer the question you've asked for!!!!

Posted by Bytheway on (September 7, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

To watch Sachin, for even a single waft of the bat, is to see grace that transcends a 1000 runs, a 1000 mighty wins, a 1000 moments of parochialism. Sachin's timing at the crease, or in life, is no mortal's concern. When Sachin bats we are all winners. God bless you all.

Posted by SCC08 on (September 7, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

Please show Kallis's record since 35.... Will be best next to Bradman.

Posted by trinath.p on (September 7, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

May god bless u all with +ve mind set :)

Posted by patrin on (September 7, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

Indian cricket fans always blame on legends like him, two unsuccessful innings and all hate comments. Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman, Kumble all retired having still lot to give for good of cricket...A single game when Virat Kholi doesnt perform and Team india crumbles like zimbawe. The youngesters have so much to learn from this living legend, so much of moral support, so much of confidence in the team just because he is in the team. Performance wise he is not going bad either. Give him a break and something called RESPECT for legend who is going to win you games

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

An oldman standing in the shoes of a boy, the bat is too heavy for you Sir, you fielding speaks for itself. Let a youg person like Rehanee to play and learn. You have enough records which I don't believe its breakable some day.

Posted by smartsagy on (September 7, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

get the answer! who is better! he is DON SACHIN!!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 5:32 GMT)

Don't understand why all this debate....when somebody does well we shower them with praises and if somebody does bad we criticize to bottom...thats very bad....he is a legend of the game and he has coped with all criticisms before and proved his mettle...he will prove all again....he is a fighter....he will use his bat to silence every critic.....all the best ....Sachin paaji.....

Posted by Mervo on (September 7, 2012, 5:13 GMT)

The time has come. He is almost 40. In fact the time has passed after the all the recent series whitewashes overseas. Why does he stay? He has the records, his team is not in trouble in batting really, he's not captain ... Is it desire to keep a young batman out or fear of life after cricket? Anyway blind idolatory does not help. He should retrie now and retain more of the respect that he is due.

Posted by arunsudha on (September 7, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

Dhoni plz expell 10dulkar from the indian test team. and bring unmuk chand to the team

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

Tendulkar should retire immediately gracefully like Dravid did. Dravid afterall is a graet self evaluator. Dravid can be a very good counseller for Tendulkar. Any more time Tendulkar will take to correct his mistakes will only mean he is spoiling an upcoming cricketers prospects. Hope Tendulkar calls it a day without wasting any one time. I think his time is over now and he has played enough.

Posted by veerakannadiga on (September 7, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

the picture says it all.I have been following SRT from the start. He was never one to emote visibly. The will & the inclination is there,mentally, but unfortunately the body is not willing.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

Why is he still continuing? A player who has achieved all there is to achieve, a legend like no other, the mainstay of India's hopes in the past, etc. etc. See Dravid and Laxman, who just decided that they had enough 'been there done that'. Sachin has really been where no player has been nor can hope to go in the conceivable future. No use doing pointless analyses and talk of his being the only experienced player in the Test XI. Bringing in Rohit or Badri or Manoj in his place will not make a huge difference. They have proved themselves in one form or the other of the game and will learn from experience. Blocking them is neither fair to India nor to them. When voices have become louder against Tendulkar, especially when people can see that he does not cut the mustard against a relatively weak attack, is it not time to go? No one is indispensable, not even the God of Cricket. His greatness will not diminish if he decides to walk away, but will actually expand.

Posted by kapsy on (September 7, 2012, 4:08 GMT)

Dear Martin, Be prepared to be surprised by Sachin very soon. The sheer will to succeed overcomes deficiencies. Remember Tiger Pataudi, Chandrashekhar & the whippy Pakistan quick with one short arm (his name evades me)? Also, remember Bobby Simpson & Graham Gooch who played into their 40's? It's SRT that you're writing about. Not some ordinary bloke. I think you'll soon be chewing your hat, mate...

Posted by frankjose on (September 7, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

Just one blip and the green eyed people around the world all already descending upon him with their "expert" views!! I challenge them now. If Sachin doesn't score a century in each of his next 8 tests (against England and Australia) then come back and talk.

Posted by CricFreak87 on (September 7, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

@pulkit : Dravid's average was 76 in England!! He went to Australia and suddenly his runs have dried up and he started getting bowled!! Your argument of saying that his performance till the second match being an indicator of his form doesn't seem right!! After that tendulkar played Asia Cup, IPL. and didn't play matches for a while when India was in Sri Lanka!! A lot might have changed since then!!Why check his record after 35?? Why not check it in the last two years!! That record includes an excellent 2009 and 2010 which masks the bad recent performances!! He is slowing down and that is reality!!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

wow those stats are amazing, next to the great Don...it would have been even higher if you take out the last 8-10 innings. I will stick my Manjrekar and I believe Sachin has at minimum one year of top cricket left!

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 3:28 GMT)

BEWARE FAST BOWLERS - God is not happy with himself.

Posted by SangakaraFan on (September 7, 2012, 3:05 GMT)

Amazing Article by a great former player and one of the finest brains in world cricket. Age is a factor but Tendulkar will hit a century in the 3rd test to silence all critics.

Posted by El_Toro_Loco on (September 7, 2012, 2:55 GMT)

Great picture in the article, middle stump up-rooted.....

Posted by PKDaruwalla on (September 7, 2012, 2:46 GMT)

SRT has to use lighter bat, change his stance to little more open like M Amarnath,

Play strictly in the V and more on the off side with bat open strokes, no more ( or less) leg glance to a ball pitched good length or over pitched balls.

That should work

Posted by no_second_chance_for_batsman on (September 7, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

Beautifully written article Martin ! Great analysis of Mind & Body. I believe if Sachin gets bowled like this or gets plumb LBW decisions against pace, I am sure he is intelligent enough to retire. Only time will tell....I am sure, very soon we will come to know. Cheers, kumar

Posted by here2rock on (September 7, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

Very good article by Martin Crowe. I have to agree with his observations, he should really make a way for a youngster. Tendulkar has nothing left to prove in the game, he should retire and enjoy the love of the game being an observer from the outside.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 1:58 GMT)

I can challenge you guys that any fast bowler coming to bowl at Sachin in the forthcoming matches with the impression that they can get him with full length delivery are going to pay for it. The reaction he showed in the second innings of the second test says that he is going to come out strong.

Posted by gummadv on (September 7, 2012, 1:47 GMT)

If fit Sachin is good for India in Australia for world cup. If we had to win that is the one to win. World cup in Australia is bigger than every thing. You don't make great players in factory. Its foolish to assume you are going to get six players who are going to be better than Sachin.

Posted by mukesh2147 on (September 7, 2012, 1:42 GMT)

if sachin still having his skill and worth,he should saved four of those eight consecutive defeats abroad.still Dravid looks worther than sachin.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2012, 1:12 GMT)

Shouldn't kallis be in that over 35s list?

Posted by pulkit10 on (September 6, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

I don't see the reason behind panicking here? Just a quick looks at the stats will tell you that he is doing better than any other batsman did after turning 35 (Bradman doesn't count) and he is hardly doing bad.

He was incredible in Australia (up until the 4th test) and it was a real pity that he didn't get his 100th ton there - that alone throws the "slowing down with age" argument out. He hasn't aged much in the space of 6-8 months so it is hard to buy such an argument. Not trying to say that he isn't aging or slowing down - I'm merely stating that such factors haven't started pulling him down yet. He has barely played any cricket for the last 4/5 months so I think we should give him some benefit of doubt and analyze the next couple of games before drawing up conclusions. It is also important to note that it wasn't too long ago when he scored the first 200 in ODIs, his maiden T20 100 and sneaked away a ton from what seems to be the best spell Dale Steyn has bowled till date.

Posted by Vikum72 on (September 6, 2012, 23:22 GMT)

All I can say is please don't be another Sanath Jayasooriya. Retire with dignity when the time comes.

Posted by NRPOnline on (September 6, 2012, 22:54 GMT)

Lack of availability of youngsters cannot be a reason for Tendulkar to stay on. We are missing the point here. We are talking about the demi-god who should sign-off on a high note. It will be painful to see him struggle and especially for those who made him demi-god, none other than spectators. now the second issues is, how many youngsters do we have to fill in those big shoes of quartet. It requires match practice and insane amount of defeats to be someone like Sachin. in Sachin's initial days (or for that matter for all 4 stalwarts this is true), indian team primarily worked towards saving games. Sunny Gavaskar spent his entire career saving defeats. So don't even think that the show will stop. Show will always go on.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

those who are asking sachin to retire for the sake of youngsters ... Plz show me the youngsters for the three slots left by Sourav,rahul,laxman..... Only kholi shows the promise that too after four years of sourav's retirement.. Pujara yet to prove... No other youngster who has played test for india in last 4 yrs has shown the gate for the seniors... If sachin played for india at the young age it was hardly earned and not gifted..Any player has to grab the opportunity given to them which we saw sachin, sourav,dravid,laxman do in their early age.. Sachin was the second highest run scorer for india in the tour of england after Dravid(Not the youngster).. and again in the tour of australia he was the second highest run scorer after kholi (Just Three runs behind).... So plz dont make the indian team more weaker by asking Sachin to retire... (God knows when to appear and when to disappear)...

Posted by Arun14 on (September 6, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

"He isn't a chaser of records, so that can't be a reason to stay on"... ** rubbing eyes in disbelief **

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (September 6, 2012, 21:35 GMT)

What a loser! He should have quit on a high after World Cup 2011.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (September 6, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

10dulkar is finished - he knows it - all fast bowlers know. They will be licking their chops for a chance to clean bowl him. Shame on all those people who want 10dulkar to continue to play so that he can get humiliated by every fast bowler in the world. We have no shortage of talented batsmen in Rahane, Badri, Tiwary, Pandey, etc. Even lower order batsmen like Dhoni, Irfan and Ashwin can bat better than 10dulkar.

Posted by Anti-idiots on (September 6, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

Sachin has expressed disappointment in a similar way many times earlier too. Its just that the author is too ignorant. Did not even feel like continuing reading after first two paragraphs. Showing a little emotion doesn't mean he lacks mental toughness. I sincerely wish for better articles from knowledgeable authors with at least a little intellect

Posted by plow on (September 6, 2012, 21:26 GMT)

Great article Crowey, its nice to see someone knowledgable talking specifically about the technical and physical issues, not just worn out cliche's from start to finish and trying to create debate for the sake of it.

You really nailed the issues, and was a very interesting read. I agree about the back and hamstrings, Sachin should try other things like swimming and yoga to get the flexibility, balance and speed back into his whole body. Then again we might get to see some more Sachin magic!

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (September 6, 2012, 20:29 GMT)

Sachin will answer you guys in next series..so hold on to your comments.

Posted by ovzdatta151 on (September 6, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

Seriously I wanted Martin Crowe to be the coach of Indian team after Gary retired. He was a fantastic captain as well as equally fantastic player. How he played 1992 WC was just amazing. His tactics to open the bowling with a spinner was a master stroke. He would do much better job then our current Indian coach Fletcher.

Posted by rtruth90 on (September 6, 2012, 20:18 GMT)

Tendulkar can play more cricket. He will add some more stats to his name but he cant win matches for India.

Posted by Angry_Bowler on (September 6, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

Sachin has achieve everything and he has got nothing to prove. Said that, I want him to realize that he got opportunity at such an young age he should be thankful for that and in return he should retire and let another young guy play in his place. He should not be selfish in just making spurious records. As MP, he can continue serving the country perhaps in a different role for the betterment of sports in general. He has gained so much from this sport that he should utilize his time and reputation for right purpose.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Since last July Tendukar averages 35 in Tests, however it is better than Sehwag - 30, Gambhir - 24, Raina - 15. Only Kohli with 52 average has done better.

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (September 6, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

Replace Sachin with youngsters like Sir Ravindra jadeja,Sir viv raina,ever talented Rohit sharma...shame on you people who call for sachin's head after three bad innings..

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

well my dear critics remember that this is the same tendulkar who scored the max centuries in2010..reflexes dont slow down in just less than 2 years ..leave the great man alone for some time and everything will be all right..

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

sachin should play at least 8 home test against england and australia and then decide on his future . ms dhoni should not quit test cricket he should be captain of the team for atleast 2 years so that virat kholi is fully prepared to take the captaincy from mr.cool if this happen then indian cricket team will be successful.

Posted by fahad369 on (September 6, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

i dont know why people are wasting there time on ths topic.tendulkar is slow...he is not slow...he is old...not old......as long as india is winning he can stay in the team.once india start loosing ,tendulkar will be the first to be kicked out of the team.if he is not slow today...he will get slow with time....he is a human being and thats natural

Posted by rajeevjayadevan on (September 6, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

WHY THIS FUSS? IT IS SO SIMPLE!

There is really no need to split hairs or give expert opinions on his form or ability. In fact, Tendulkar is the only player in the Indian test team with half-decent ICC rankings, and his post-35 record is better than younger days.

It is quite simple, he has been away on holiday for a long time, and tactically it is not right to walk back directly into a test match without good warm-ups.

Feet may or may not move better or worse with age. Even as a twenty year old, if Tendulkar took off on a 6-month vacation, he would still find the same outcome.

I am a doctor who does intricate technical procedures, and I find it difficult to gather speed with procedures as soon as I return from a vacation, so why blame poor Tendulkar.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 17:13 GMT)

i just want him to retire from all formats i had seen enough of people obssesed about him he is done if he scores even after this with 45 avg it is just waste of another youngster

Posted by Sultan2007 on (September 6, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

In my view Sachin is still a glorious batsman and there is no question that he continues to be the heart and soul of the Indian Test side. Interestingly, with the advent of age, he actually needs to play more cricket to keep his cricketing reflexes sharp. Is the body good enough for this? Probably. Importantly, there is no half way house here. Either he remains fully committed to the game (and I, as a die hard fan of his, will be delighted) or he checks out. But he cannot just play Test cricket only and hope to succeed to his lofty standards. He must either play domestic first class cricket or play County 4 day games. All this Rajya Sabha business cannot be good for his cricket. No matter what he might say. He now needs to prepare for Steyn and Morkel with the same laser focus intensity as he did when he welcomed Shane Warne to India.

Posted by bhaaskarnbr on (September 6, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

It's been 2.5 years since Gautam scored a century in test cricket & 1.8 years since Sehwag scored a century in test cricket but the world talks about only Sachin's poor performance !!??!!?? Guys, Sachin may not be in good form but he will bounce back..........

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

@ Gaurav Vishal & RaRaV appreciate you for giving cricketing logic & I totally agree that u got to be in match practice & surely he did not get late on ball at least in NZ series just that he has developed this bad habit of closing face during his time off cricket...........besides when he is in good form his technique is so simple with very little movements that practically even a 50 year old can play 150 kph delivery with his technique......But he needs to recall his technique of playing with straight bat with front foot pointing towards bowler..........I will disagree with Crowe & will have to say that back foot has nothing to do with full length pacy deliveries .. It is only the front foot position (forward in front of middle stump) and front foot orientation (Pointing bowler), head position (on top of front foot), straight bat with face open & straight bat flow that matters for full length deliveries....If all these things r correct u can never miss the full ball.

Posted by dr_saaj on (September 6, 2012, 16:41 GMT)

First of all, I respect Mr. Crowe for his record and suitability to write this column. It is a peer review of Tendulkar's situation. He has made valid technical observations. But he makes a few assumptions along the way in justifying his comments.

Mr. Crowe is assuming that Tendulkar's hand eye reaction is unaffected but neuromuscular reaction time is slower due to his age. This is pseudo-science. Both are linked. Every sportsperson is different and you cannot apply the law of the averages to an individual without assessment. Crowe knows well from his runs of poor form between phases of excellence, that there are multiple reasons beyond physiological to explain performance.

Tendulkar and his excellent support staff is in the best position to do this assessment. He has been challenged and he has responded by reinventing himself so many times. Just a year ago he scored a one day 200 after all; not bad reflexes at 38!

Posted by satanswish on (September 6, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

World Cup winning night of 2011 was the best moment to announce retirement for Tendulkar. If not Test Cricket, quitting limited version would have been the most sensible decision that time. He made a mockery of himself alongwith his team during England & Australia tour. And when you taste two consecutive 4-0 whitewashes against premier teams, this was gonna popup anytime. Extending career for tons of centuries showed his selfish motive if not anything else. Very often Indians love to cherish personal milestones rather than team achievement. Its high time Tendulkar to announce retirement else he is gonna lose more than he achieved during first 22 years of his career. Last two years are totally horrible and rust have started accumulating on his career.

Posted by SnowSnake on (September 6, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

I reviewed the highlights again and I think Tendulkar is fine. He was playing well and even better than other batsmen while he was scoring. Tendulkar's reflexes are faster than Gambhir, Raina and Shewag. I think Tendulkar had too long a break. He should start playing ODIs again. The shot he got out, he was playing it too casually. I think it was underestimation of bowler that got Tendulkar out.

Posted by riyaz6399 on (September 6, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

no way, SRT should continue. really to see him playing like an honor (although he scored his last century against Bangladesh). want to see him playing as an cricket fan.

Posted by sandeepintp on (September 6, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

Nice stats presented by martin but he missed dad of all current players the greate kallis he averages more than 71 after 35. surely, atleast for me the greatest cricketer ever born on this earth. hats off sir

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

It's been 2.5 years since Gautam scored a century in test cricket & 1.8 years since Sehwag scored a century in test cricket but the world talks about only Sachin's poor performance !!??!!??

Guys, Sachin may not be in good form but he will bounce back..........

SACHINNNNNNNNN SACHINNNNNNNNNNNN :-)

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

it is very easy to critise a great like tendulkar but everybodies comments are not valid.this is not first time for srt getting criticism even ur indian captain msd also criticise himindirectly byb saying i need only youngster before 2007 autralia series at that time sachin is the only senior player in triangular series for that criticism sachin answer it nicely by scoring two unforgetable knock in both the finals and in the ceremony he said i am still youth.that is god u all who critise him will also get reply soon in england australia south africa and pakistan series................wait for it buddies

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 15:37 GMT)

well now Sachin is going in max 2 years, then sehwag in three so India need a new opener with Gambhir, maybe try sending virat in at 2? or rohit at 3? then manoj at 4 and Dhoni has also said he's he's retiring from tests in 2014.....

Posted by Anwaruzz on (September 6, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

The article is more of a wishful thinking then proper analysis, It is about time BCCI and the agency he sold his right to, to show the gentleman some respect and let him go. Hasn't he done enough for India and the cricketing world ?? Why then BCCI has to drag him what we do not want to see ??? We surely will miss him

Posted by JerryV on (September 6, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

I think that the perfect time to retire for Tendulkar has come and gone. It was after his visit to our shores for that 4-0 loss, in a series in which he mostly failed while Dravid didn't.

The retirements of Dravid and Laxman have made it hard for him to retire right now. I think that the earliest he can retire is perhaps after the first Test of your South Africa series. I adore Tendulkar but I greatly fear that he is simply not the equal of the likes of Steyn, Philander and Morkel on South African pitches at this time.

Very few truly great batsmen have really timed their retirements correctly. The Indian selectors are as much to blame for this sorry state of affairs as are the pressure of Indian commercial interests. Given the involvement of some of the BCCI in the IPL itself, is there a difference?

Posted by anilkp on (September 6, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

@RaRav: It does not matter how (in)frequently India plays International games. Because, SRT has started an unprecedented trend of pick-and-leave. He chooses which games to play (SAf, Eng, Aus) and which ones to sit out (WI, BD, SL). So, even if he has the opportunity to keep playing, he will play only those he wants to! Everyone will agree that such pick-choose-leave attitude of a senior player is NOT a good lession to the youngsters. The other illogical arguement is "we should leave him alone, let him decide his fate". Why? No other player enjoyed that freedom; why SRT? And, mind you all, SRT became "the best; the greatest" only because he was granted unprecedented support for his failures. Lesser mortals disappeared with lesser failures.

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (September 6, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

tendulkar was the highest run scorer in Australia and second highest in England. One bad tour does not a finished cricketer make

Posted by SPS1 on (September 6, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

Disagree with Martin Crowe here. He says Tendulkar does not chase records or is not records conscious. On the contrary, he very much is. The hundredth century was prime example - he was stuck on 99 hundreds for several months, and then when he eventually did get his 100th hundred, he played so slowly for it and consciously that was one of the main reasons why India lost to Bangladesh in the Asia cup league phase. Tendulkar is playing on for personal gains and BCCI is also not wanting him to retire for monetary interests.

Posted by Cricketfan101 on (September 6, 2012, 15:09 GMT)

i agree with sachin retiring from odis but in test i would keep him because if retires guess who will be our new no.4 batmen dhonis favorite suresh raina and i'd rather have tendulkar any day at 4 rather than raina

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 6, 2012, 15:07 GMT)

In fourth innings especially even a club level bowler can out him easily. Even he is vulnerable playing spin these days. Especially playing off spinners.

Posted by WC96QF on (September 6, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

SRT has nothing really left to play for. He has every batting record in the book. He finally won the World Cup last year. He has been part of the Test No.1 team. Only thing i can think of is that young players who are coming in now can learn from him. But they wont learn much from him if hes getting out fast ! Thanks to the poorly planned transition in the Test team, young players now wl not have the opportunity to learrn from Sachin at his best. That means you just apply the same yardstick to SRT as any other player : performance. DOes it look like hes going to perform in the tours to come ? if the answer is no, drop him. As simple as that. Even Steve Waugh (who was the AUS's greatest batsman when he retired) was dumped by his board when they thot he was past his prime.

Posted by chitraj on (September 6, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

Tendulkar is a player that at least 2, if not 3 generations have grown up watching and admiring. He was immortal, nothing phased him. But time is no ones friend. For me, his past shields the present- it is impossible to admit to weaknesses in his game. But the current generation, who know very little about sharjah, about sydney, about a bleeding 16 year old battling the likes of wasim and waqar will be far more unforgiving. The pressure will continue to build. To them he is a good batsman, aging and possibly out of form. But I agree with Manjrekar and Crowe- he just needs to reinvent himself and find his new equilibrium. Even heros have the right to bleed. Give him some space and time. He's earned at least that much.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

Is He playing for the Nation or Indian Team? He is only playing for his own records and advertisement revenue. He is not an match winner. I dnt know y media people kept silence even his 100th century costs the Game and India went out of Asia Cup.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Lara's performance shoed that one can play after 35..............but will sachin be able to do now

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (September 6, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

Pointing should retire first before Sachin..Sachin still has couple of years and Pointing maybe one..BUT Nobody is talking about Pointing..becasue he is not so great..

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

Please do check last 2 years of great players who retired after 36 years... This might give us some indication/trends :)

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 14:04 GMT)

God...what is the problem with everyone's life...Let him do what he wants...why a person need to be told after every innings that he should be retired...if he scores a century, if he goes out for duck, if india wins because of him, if india doesnt win because of him, if india lose....ohh people...get a life and let him live his. The only person who knows best is him...and when he decides is when he leaves. Fullstop.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

@all tendulkarcritics-let you all repond and show your face whenhe hits 2-3 centuries !!!

Posted by ProdigyA on (September 6, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

I agree with most of the people here. Its just 3 god damn innings. As the above stats clearly show, he's got the second best avg that too after playing 76 innings. Give him a break and leave him alone.

Posted by Sheela on (September 6, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

Critics and former players should allow same treatment and condonaations for youngsters. Why not same yardstick is not applied to Rohit Sharma or Suresh Raina and others.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

As some one suggested here, he should play the forthcoming Irani trophy match. He, and every one else will get a better assessment, whether, he can continue to play at least in India. But, the question remains. Should he has to, or need to, play any more? Can he not enjoy and contribute to Cricket in in many other different ways?

Posted by RaRaV on (September 6, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

I am really sorry to read one more article with pure SITUATIONAL and not thoroughly analysed. The root cause is that INDIA is now playing very limited Intl matches and if they play they have a very long gap between the test series. The last series played was in Oz in Jan 2012 and after a gap of eight months India is playing a test match. In between IPL which has really taken a toll for all the players and then ODI's, next is T20 WC and then comes continuous series. If Sachin fails in that series, then I will surely admit that he has past his prime. He is still one of the fastest runner between the wickets and his shots whatever he played during the NZ series were confident except that he missed out totally twice. He was too early and closed the face of the bat but he was not late to play the ball so there is no question his body is moving slowly. I love when everyone write out SRT in all newspapers he comes back with the bang. I am sure and confident he is not a quitter but a winner.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Leave him alone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by woodhaven on (September 6, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

Senior citizen of world cricket need to retire,, time for new blood

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

from around last 10 years or so.. i kept hearing similar comments about tendulkar after some bad performances but sachin kept bouncing bak wid grt performances.. n dis tym too.. same story

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

The question is- What Sachin expect of himself 4 SA tour(if thats the reason he is continuing)? Can he help the team draw or win the series in SA? From what happened in last 8 overseas matches, it doesnt look like happening. I fear SA tour can prove an anticlimax to his career. I salute him if he doesnt fear it happening and takes the risk 4 the cause of the team. But his presence making any difference against SA in SA is almost impossible to me.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

Bye BYE SRT give chance to youngsters follow the foot steps of RSD & VVS .

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (September 6, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

Sachan YOU R HERO...DON,T RETIE YOU BETTER THAN RAINA,,,JEDEJA,,,AND MANY MORE..........INDIA NEED YOU

Posted by criclogics on (September 6, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

With due respect, Sunil Gavaskar has opened a pandora's box. For the last 10 years I have been hearing,reading that Sachin is finished. And he has answered his critics every time. Hopefully this time too. When players like Manjarekar, Shastri, Crowe, et al say that he still has it in him and others like McGrath and Lillee say that he should be the one to decide when to hang his boots, who are we to demand that he retire?

All his life we have put pressure on him. Cant we at least NOW leave him alone?

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

Great analysis of Tendulkar's game by one of the greats of cricket. Martin Crowe knows what he is talking about. Even he tried to make a come back to first class cricket and his fitness, or the lack of it let him down... so he knows. The problem is Sachin seems to get out anytime now, the solidity is gone. One way of overcoming this is to be more aggressive. If he can intimidate the bowler by getting after him then he has a chance. If he tries to build an innings brick by brick he is never going to make it. If the bowler is allowed to settle down then Sachin will get out. In the beginning he has to stick to the 'V' and once the bowlers become tired he can come out with all guns blazing. But the Sachin we see today is workman like and the flamboyance is missing.As a grafter he will make a few runs but the bowler will get him with a good ball. If he chooses to attack the bowler will find it difficult to bowl the better stuff and become defensive.

Posted by Ayas on (September 6, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

Of late one can surely notice one thing in Sachin's batting... he is reading the ball more from the pitch rather than bowler's hand. That is the reason why many times you'll see him making last minute adjustments to play the ball & it doesn't look pretty most of the times. And because he is a great batsman he is able to do it at such age, other might have fallen if we put them in that situation. But the Sachin we loved was not this Sachin, thats why it is a pain now-a-days watching him bat... every time it looks like its just a matter of time when a ball will breach his defence...

Posted by jass_jason on (September 6, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

he should play regular cricket if he still wants to play, his form is always plays up when he skip series in between

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

Let's wait and see, I'm not knowledgeable enough to judge his abilities and even If I were, I won't do so because there are only few people around with unquestionable commitment towards what they do in their lives. He is one of them and we are just observing him as we have done for 20+ years, that is to enjoy his game. He possess enough awareness to decide when to retire and he will do so before he feels that he can't anymore contribute to Indian team.

Posted by Vkarthik on (September 6, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

Don't care if his reflexes slow down or body slows down. If he is going to be a liability and canb't be useful abroad just retire him.He is 40. Odds of him being at the top of his game for long period is less. We don't want to see another great player limping out of the scene.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (September 6, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Martin makes some good observations about SRT, especially on his dismissals over the last 18 months, it started in England where he was out a numbe rotimes to pitched up bowling that had late swing. Also one name missing from that list is Boycott, who scored 3535 runs and an average of 47.77 with 10 hundreds and 16 50's, which is a better record than Gaveskar, Border, and Ponting.

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 6, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

@Sarangarajan : I would like to disagree to reject the Reflex claim at first. Certainly when you get old, your reflexes do get a bit slower and the batsman while playing bowlers who bowl at 140 on middle stump can't turn it to offside. Even then, it will cause slower reflex and lead to dismissal. Best thing for Sachin would be is to counter it with his will power. Will power can control but not conquer the age factor.

Posted by Anees_Daudpoto on (September 6, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

I don't know why people are pushing Sachin Tendulkar to retire, As he has clearly said that I am still enjoying my cricket. So he is the candidate to play for India now it is the job of Selectors to select him or reject him he is not enforcing Selectors that select me as I am God of Cricket so if Selectors feels he has still enough to deliver for India then they can select otherwise they simply drop him so it is not the decision of Sachin but it is decision of Selectors. So anybody has objection then he should criticize Selectors not Sachin.

Posted by magic8ball on (September 6, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

I actually find this article to be quite good...This isn't some random dude like us commenting like a know it all...According to Wasim Akram, Martin Crowe figured out how to play the reverse swing before anyone else did (by anticipating every coming yorker as inswing)...So, he knows what he is talking about...He clearly identified the scientific reason behind Tendulkar's current pattern of getting out, and in no way he dismissed the possibility of the great man's return to making runs...It's nice to read an article written by someone who knows about cricket far better than us, so that we can actually learn something...

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

I see some comments about this article making a decision in these three innings. As usual our memories are short, very short. Look back at what happened in England and Australia. There is a lot Sachin has to do to be up there. I am surprised at everything.

Posted by kb_joker on (September 6, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

Wow! A look at the list shows how good Sachin has been compared to all recent batsmen! Only the Don outruns him ( outruns him by a mile). Still, analysis aside, it is time for Sachin to consider whether he can be part of SA tour. If not it is time to retire. If he can make to SA, it will be a big bonus. But only if he is fit.

Posted by bigwonder on (September 6, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

@datewithdestiny, I think you are a fan of Tendulkar - its hard not to be one. I think everyone is missing the point presented in the article - pace. In last couple of years, how many times Tendulkar has gotten out against a pace bowler Vs. spin. Check the stats and you will see a pattern.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

He should retire from all format of cricket. He is legend and genius. Should take a leaf from other legendary cricketer like Bradmen, Sobers, Gavaskar etc... Make a way for youngster knocking the door.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

@likeintcricket : check the stats mate. Sachin has been successful in SA in the past. He had scored as many as 6 or 7 centuries in SA consisting of top-class bowlers. Allan Donald remarked "I felt like clapping when Sachin hit me for fours and sixes on the on-side". What more can you ask for? I consent that he will not be as good in the next year 2013 series, as he were in the past. Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar are remaining two greats of modern-day cricket and they will not be as dominating as they were in their pomp. But I believe they still can make contributions. It is a challenge to Tendulkar and lets see whether he can find a way out of it.

Posted by kharidra on (September 6, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

The player statistics does not provide the character of the innings. Was it Dominant innings like in their prime time or was it more workman like in character. The experience and talent and efficiency will enable overcome the minor issues that creep in with passage of time.The key thing is identification of the methods, planning and adopting the methods in the innings. Just as T20 style of batting is not justified in ODI and ODI style is not justified in test matches. A parallel can be drawn and Similar adjustments be planned and executed. Variety is spice of life and variations among generations, variations among contemporaries and variations within an individual are all part and parcel of the game of cricket and how well any individual adapts and manages the changes will determine how well one performs.

Posted by serious-am-i on (September 6, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

One thing that's important as u age is to keep yourself playing regularly. He is not in his younger days where he could come in and start scoring runs even after long breaks. His body will get more rusty when he takes such long rests, he need to be playing domestic matches to keep himself match fit. If he can't do it on a constant basis then its better to retire.

Posted by ArjunVS on (September 6, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

The God lives on, and a Demi-god just said so. Sachin is far too much a perfectionist and with an exceptional work ethic to allow this to linger. I would wager that he has analysed the series of dismissals in far greater depth, and has worked out the remedial action a long time ago already - which is perhaps why his bat raised in frustration. Sachin will correct what is a minor flaw - and will come back a great deal stronger. You can bet on that - and I am not even the big Sachin fan in the family !

Posted by James.The.Ripper on (September 6, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

I don't understand why some people think Tendulkar has still got it in him. Face it people he is old, his reflexes are not up to the mark, so stop using shot selection as a scapegoat. Stop living in denial mode.

I respect SRT for all his contributions both for the Indian team and the game of cricket but he needs to understand he is not the same batsman he was 10-15 years ago.

Sometimes I get a feeling that ex-cricketers are afraid to criticize Tendulkar, anybody who criticizes SRT has to face the wrath of his fans so they try to avoid criticizing him.

Time has come for Tendulkar to say adios.

Posted by ElPhenomeno on (September 6, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

There is nothing like oveanalyzing things in jounalism. If only SRT had gotten caught behind instead of bowled none of this simplistic sports reporting would exist. Poor thing!!

Posted by sony_sr on (September 6, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

Guys!!! I can only say poor Anderson and co are going to suffer lot. Lets wait and see.

Posted by Amit_13 on (September 6, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

How much of an effect has the change in his game itself had on this mode of dismissal? He is now an accumulator and a clever one at that. He now rarely plays a square cut of a fast bowler but simply pushes him behind point for four or over the slips. On his legs, unless its a dead cert four through square leg, he improvises. I believe the reaction was not that he was missing the ball but that he was trying to push a ball on the stumps through mid wicket. Can anyone, who saw those innings, say where mid on was? Few people in world cricket get a mid on as straight as he does. Was the mistake then that he weighed up a good shot for a single or none against an across the line shot for four? And yes he was bowled but he never claimed to be invincible. Nor did the bowler. A bowler does get a batsman out in a game.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Sachin is still one of the best batsmen in world cricket.Merely failure in two matches does not mean his career is over.he has to do some minor adjustments in his technique and then he will be the same genius scoring runs against all the attacks.We know that certain ex players and scribes are after him and they voiced for his retirement in the past too but he staged the comeback with the flying colors. The time is not far and one will see him scoring tons of runsin the upcoming series.Let him enjoy his cricket and please stop talking about his retirement.

Posted by zoot on (September 6, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

What's wrong with Tendulkar ? He's over the hill. It happens to all sportsmen and most of them know when to quit. Andrew Srauss knew it last week and quit.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

A well written article.Sachin is well past his prime from an average cricketers point of view. But, Sachin is not an average cricketer and has acieved Mt Everest of cricket many times over.That is what legends are made of.Giving the Devil his due, do not be in a hurry to write him off yet.I would not personally like the treatment like what was meted to greats like Kapil Dev or VVS and am sure that he will understand his limitations and know as to when he has to hang his boots. So till he decides to do that, he be given the the freedom to play and not be massacered by those stalwarts who are not even 10% of Sachin. God Bless the Hero.

Posted by Philippe on (September 6, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

He is the greatest & will always be.. doesn't matter what difficulties he is facing now in his career but it was always beautiful to watch this man play in last 22 years.. hats-off to him..

Posted by moBlue on (September 6, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

crowe was an amazing batter (and took one of the best catches ever in an ODI)... so he knows what he is talking about! but i disagree with him in that sachin did play the quicks well in the first 2 tests in AUS, and more importantly, sachin is sachin... there is no one like him! ...which is why it galls me to read some of the comments of the armchair critics of his on this site who likely have never even played first-class cricket! i mean, only sachin knows what is really going wrong! ...and like someone pointed out above, sachin is the genius that - recognizing the cover drive made him vulnerable in AUS in 2003 - completely gave up the cover drive (?!?) and yet scored a double hundred in a test match!!! so... he has already figured out what he is doing wrong, i'll bet you anything, and chances are that that problem will be history the next time he comes out to bat! to those who clamor for your rohit sharmas and suresh rainas to be let in, in place of sachin - say what?!? are you sane?

Posted by vs2012 on (September 6, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

This guy used to come forward and hit pace for sixes but the longer he is playing the more damage he is doing to his legacy. Really sad to see such a talent beeing dragged and pointed out of faults which he originally dint had. Is it money, pride or ??? which is making him do this. Remeber One thing for sure its not how u start but how u end you will be rembered for. 40 is a big number no matter how good sportsman you are.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (September 6, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

In short, 10dulkar is finished. Nice knowing you! Kohli is now the top Indian batsman and 10dulkar is frustrated that he can't even score a fraction of the runs scored by Kohli and Pujara.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (September 6, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

The emperor has no clothes. He should be dropped from the Indian team. If he loves playing cricket so much, he should play in the Ranji Trophy and prove himself.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

We can't judge based on the two tests failures. If we look at the top 10 batsmen in the world, everbody are having the ups and downs... May be sachin in downs now.. but I am sure he will definitely gives the answer with his bat. Coming to the retirement let us give him the option to retire. We cannot force such great batsman to retire.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

Sir I think you missed a basic point before spending time on this article! Its the first series of the season and its the longest break Sachin took in last five years. He was holidaying in London until 10 days before the series. No wonder he was rusty. There's nothing more to it. He seems a little out of shape as well. If I'm Sachin at 39 I wouldn't sweat much for a two test series with NZ which is followed by a 2 months break. I'll buy your point if his ways of getting bowled continue in the England series.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (September 6, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

it was an ideal time for him after world cup win to leave cricekt or even after making 100th century. Great statistics.. greater Human being but i think time has come to say goodbye.

Posted by DIFLEY on (September 6, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

Now, Great sachin can not say that he will paly cricket as long as he enjoy's it. I think he should now say if I score at average of 50 and above in next series, then only he will play the a series after that.

Posted by chapathishot on (September 6, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

This is all making a mountain out of an ant hill.Though I am not a Sachin fanatic,The question to be asked is that is there any one in India who at this time can play better than him with all those limitation discussed .If there is one the selectors can bring him to the team.But the answer is no so he will play against England and Australia.

Posted by datewithdestiny on (September 6, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

Am not a Tendulkar fan... But this is pure rubbish... Everyone wants to write about Tendulkar and his age now.. Sharda Ugra will surely write one more... All he needs to do is cut out the shot to mid wicket to a striaght delivery like he cut out the cover drive in 2003 against AUS... End of story, Tendulkar quitics go home...

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

@ likeintcricket - Mate, he scored one of the best centuries in the recent times during India's previous tour of South Africa!! Secondly, true great players are those who somehow manage to emerge victorious when all the odds are stacked against them. The way players like Sachin or Federer have battled through tough times is what makes them great... so the way Sachin deals with this test is actually going to be interesting :)

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

This is what happens when u play no first class cricket as you get older. As good as you are you need match practice. In all these years he has only play 30 FC matches in Indian domestic cricket if so many ...no ODI and no 20/20 other than the IPL in recent years. Tendulkar is in good touch but he needs to play some first class cricket.

Posted by face2faceuni on (September 6, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

It's true that age effects the performance. It was perfect time for him to say goodbye cricket when India won the world cup. He should give chance to youngsters as Dravid and Laxman done.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

You cannot analyse this kind of great man with 3 match innings. You are questioning about mental and physical strength of Tendulkar? Please be ready for dynamic article when Sachin will score heavily against South Africa-Aus-Eng coming series.

Posted by smartsagy on (September 6, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

he is great batsman..u can't judge him on 2 tests..at the age of 38..he scored first double ton in one day cricket...!! so he will back!

Posted by Naresh28 on (September 6, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

Good analysis from Crowe. Sachin should play his last series against England in India. As Crowe says there is nothing that can be done about his physical aging. Retirement is now on the cards.

Posted by DuncanBrown82 on (September 6, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

Lets not forget one of the other batting greats who is also over 35, Jacques Kallis, who has played 15 matches (25 innings) since turning 35 on 16 Oct 2010 and has averaged 75.75 with the bat (versus a career average of 56.94). See he stats here: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/45789.html?class=1;spanmin1=16+Oct+2010;spanval1=span;template=results;type=batting

Although, perhaps, his bowling average of 52.42 (versus a career ave of 32.63) does show his age?

Posted by Sanash on (September 6, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

I feel Sachin should play Irani Cup match and Mumbai's first Ranji Trophy match to be in shape for England series. It would have been idle to play Duleep Trophy matches for West Zone but he will be busy in CLT20 in that time. Or who knows if fast paced T20 game may be the right format for him to get back in touch....Hope he comes back strongly and stays long enough to score a century at Lords.....

Posted by akbarbirbal007 on (September 6, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

know tats wat we call an interesting read. Unlike the other when saying...when you played with some one who is still at his prime and raring to go why some people feel jealous.I can still recall the article were he criticized him in the past.Accept the fact that u were not the best.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

I think we all know that reason. He definitely wants to go out on a high. He wants to avenge the defeats in England and Australia. Ideally he wants to see India again on the top of test rankings. The God is on a mission! Tough Mission.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

well written article, its true that eventually your body weakens, possible this is the right time for Tendulkar to retire from ODIs and prolong his test career for one or two years, he has acheieved whatever he can in the ODI format, and him being picky in the ODI series takes a toll on Indian batting order, but we still need him the longer format as Dravid and Laxman have retired, and India havent yet found a replacement for Ganguly in no 6 slot, that suggests that India havent found replacements yet, so he has to stay on the the test arena.

Posted by likeintcricket on (September 6, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

All the greatness comes to an end. I saw Federer loosing yesterday in the US open against a player he thrased so many times. The people who are advising Tendulkar to go to South Africa are not well wishers. He has never been succesful there before as he is in sub continent. Against an opposition of high class pace and fast wickets he is going to struggle. He should follow Dravid and Laksman example and should retire rightnow before ruining his career.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

sachin now retiede in indian cricket

Posted by claimsindexing on (September 6, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

It would have been much better had there been an additional column that showed the batting averages UPTO the age of 35, After 35 and the Overall average. It would have made a more interesting comparison.

Posted by haseeb on (September 6, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

i think after South africa series that would be the best time for him to retire ..as india just lost two established batsmen dravid and laxman they need to give more time to youngsters .. i would say he can come and bat at no 5 ..that might help him ..

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (September 6, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

I find it insulting, and demonstrable of the lack of knowledge that most cricket fans have about the game, that people accuse tendulkar of chasing records. As Martin rightly points out, that has never been his aim. He holds every record there is. He is better than anyone any other country has produced and will ever produced. Please, most cricinfo posters, try learning something about the game

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 6, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

Well.. Somewhat true because spinners will be slower and for a batsman of his caliber, he will do it against spinners unless his name is Ajmal. Ajmal always outfoxed Sachin whenever they played. But apart from him, i don't see much spinners to trouble Sachin that much. I guess England series will give him enough evidence and the way he should proceed.

Posted by Sarangarajan on (September 6, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

Reflex has nothing to do with Sachin's getting bowled successively.It is just a case of wrong selection of shots- he was trying to turn the incoming balls in the off side to leg side.I was watching the live telecast on all the three occasions.Do not worry about his reflex . It is as good as ever. Wish he had played more Ranji trophy matches before coming to test matches.His policy of skipping matches is proving a set back to him.It is too early that the knives are out at him.Leave him- he is a genius and he knows what he does and what he does not.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

Having watched this innings live - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPd8M6PCgkI - I don't understand why people are making such a big deal about his slow reflexes, bad eyesight, etc. He just needs to get some match practice under his belt and that's about it. He certainly ain't finished yet!!

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

Picking and choosing matches is not helping Tendulkar. He needs to play all tests and ODIs (may be leaving certain ODIs but not the whole series), this help him keep updated in movement. The gaps are leaving his body too relaxed. At 40 he needs to be more on the game rather than off, as doctors will say, staying away only helps in making the body lazy.

Posted by TATTUs on (September 6, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

Martin Crowe! Good to read. But would have been great if you had that successful comeback. As far as Tendulkar goes, I believe he fights more than any one as we have seen him emerge from the disaster that was tennis elbow. He changed his game completely for that. So there were Tenduklar V1.0 and Tendulkar V2.0. Now lets hope for a Tendulkar V3.0 , even if its for a year.

Posted by analyseabhishek on (September 6, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

Lest we forget, the knives were similarly out in 2006 when Mohammad Asif cleaned him up and he landed on all fours on the pitch, having toppled. However, beginning 2007, he turned it around and moulded himself as a more solid player. Sachin's fans only wish he knows what he is doing. They also wish he finds yet another way to reinvent his game, if possible and find a way of scoring runs again. For that, however, he will need to give first priority to test and 1st class matches. One reason he failed against New Zealand was that he hadn't played any cricket after IPL (which never is Cricket to begin with!)

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