Ramachandra Guha
Cricket writer and historian

The joy of Sachin

For what Sachin Tendulkar has given me over the years, I remain deeply, profoundly, grateful. Those calling for his retirement should be too

Ramachandra Guha

September 8, 2012

Comments: 165 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar hit the winning runs for India, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 5th day, October 13, 2010
Bangalore 2010: vintage Tendulkar © Getty Images
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As Sachin Tendulkar walked back to the pavilion after being bowled for a low score in the first innings of the second Test against New Zealand, I heard a man in the row behind me say: "Time to think of retirement." This was a heartlessly cruel remark, especially in Bangalore, where India's greatest batsman has played some magical innings over the past 20 years.

There was worse to come. In the second innings, when Sachin failed again, the murmurings became louder. More people in the pavilion began voicing thoughts unthinkable a year ago, when, after India's World Cup victory, there was a widespread demand for the Bharat Ratna to be immediately conferred on Sachin.

The Indian cricket fan is notoriously fickle. No doubt the middle-aged men in the pavilion of the Chinnaswamy Stadium calling for Tendulkar's retirement earlier this week had been the most vigorous advocates of his being awarded India's highest civilian honour a year ago.

I am proud to say that I stood apart from the herd then, and I shall stand apart from it now. The Bharat Ratna should be reserved for great scientists, statesmen, scholars, social workers, and - at a pinch - classical musicians. As mere entertainers, cricketers can't and don't qualify. On the other hand, when this remarkable batsman is experiencing a lean time at the crease, it behoves us to not call for his retirement but to recall his better days.

In the early 1990s I lived in Delhi. I first saw Sachin in a match at the Ferozeshah Kotla, soon after his debut tour of Pakistan. He did not bat in that game but I remember, most vividly, his alarm and nervousness when hordes of fans rushed towards him as he went out to field, clutching at his sleeve, his cap, his foot, his arm, as is their wont. Three years later, by now an established Test star, he played for India against Zimbabwe at the Kotla, where he was involved in a long stand with his childhood friend and schoolmate Vinod Kambli.

Zimbabwe had one top-class spinner, John Traicos, who, although then over 40 years of age, had a fine high action, immaculate control, and subtle changes of flight. While Kambli came down the wicket and drove Traicos hard and high, Tendulkar stayed in the crease and deftly worked him past slip and behind square leg. When he had reached about 60 he mistimed a cover drive off the other spinner, a journeyman named Ujesh Ranchod, and was superbly caught at cover by Traicos, diving full-length in front of him. Kambli went on to score a double-century.

Soon after this Test, I moved back to Bangalore. The first time I saw Tendulkar play in my home town was in a match against Sri Lanka. Muttiah Muralitharan was then new to Test cricket, and the master took apart the novice, treating him much as he had done the veteran Traicos, with a series of cuts and sweeps. When the second new ball was taken, Tendulkar hit the fast bowler Pramodya Wickramasinghe for a series of cracking boundaries through the off side. He had got to 96, when, trying to cut that other journeyman spinner Don Anurasiri, he lost his off stump.

Four years later I returned from the west coast of the United States just in time to watch a Test against Australia. In the first two matches of the series, the Indian batsmen had comprehensively dominated Shane Warne. Navjot Sidhu, Tendulkar and Azharuddin all made merry at his expense, albeit by contrasting methods - Sidhu by lofting him straight, Sachin by sweeping and pulling him, Azhar by guiding him past point and flicking him through midwicket.

By the time of the third and last Test of the series, Warne was wholly demoralised. India batted first in Bangalore. This day, too, Sachin was in complete command, hitting a series of searing straight drives off Michael Kasprowicz while picking the spinners for twos and threes. He went on to make what at the time was his highest Test score, 177.

Fast forward five or six years, to another India-Australia match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, a one-day game this time. I was sitting in the galleries, where the mood and spirit of the crowd is at its most revealing. The visitors, batting first, scored in excess of 300. India lost a couple of wickets, but so long as the great man was in, the game was not hopelessly lost.

 
 
The Indian cricket fan is notoriously fickle. No doubt the middle-aged men in the pavilion of the Chinnaswamy Stadium calling for Tendulkar's retirement earlier this week had been the most vigorous advocates of his being awarded India's highest civilian honour a year ago
 

Sachin played a series of magically inventive shots, inside-out over cover, paddle sweeps behind the keeper, sublime late cuts, testing the anticipation and athleticism of some of the world's finest fielders. With every four he hit, the men (and boys) around me would raise their eyes to the heavens, and intone: "Sachin! Sachin!" They were privileged to have seen the divine in the flesh, performing acts of heroism and devilry more innovative than our gods had thought of, and against more devilishly asuric enemies too. It was a truly fabulous innings, made more remarkable by the timid showing of the batsmen at the other end. Sachin got to 89 off about 80 balls before he tried one late cut too many and was bowled.

Shortly after this innings he was afflicted by tennis elbow. This affected his mobility and his shot-making, so much so that in a column I wrote that the genius had become a grafter. Rest and expert treatment, however, cured him completely. In 2010 I saw him hit a magnificent double hundred in a Test against Australia at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, where he unveiled his full range of strokes - cuts, pulls, cover drives, leg glides, and sixes into the stands.

Six months later I saw Sachin score another sublime hundred in Bangalore, in an early match of the 2011 World Cup. Once more, what stood out was his mastery of spin and pace. He demolished England's best bowlers, James Anderson and Graeme Swann, the former through flicks and glides and the latter through drives over and into the straight field. His innings was superbly paced, being matched in this respect by Andrew Strauss, who scored an equally fine hundred in England's chase, which ended in a rare tie.

I watched my first Ranji Trophy match in 1968, my first Test match four years later. In these four and a half decades of cricket watching, live, at the ground, no batsman has given me as much pure, continual pleasure over such a long period as Tendulkar. Not even GR Viswanath, the hero of my youth, the first Test cricketer I shook hands with, the jewel of my home town and my home state, and whom (unlike Sachin) I also often saw make runs (and with what exquisite grace and subtlety) in First Division cricket (for the State Bank of India) and the Ranji Trophy (for Karnataka) as well as for India.

For what Sachin Tendulkar has given me over the years, I remain deeply, profoundly, grateful - and so should those foolish and fickle-minded cynics in the pavilion of the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Historian and cricket writer Ramachandra Guha is the author of A Corner of A Foreign Field and Wickets in the East among other books

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Posted by Nampally on (September 11, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

@adityasarin:You call Mr. Guha "Out of touch with the Cynical Fans". But you are also forgetting that there are real fans of Indian Cricket who have the same feelings for Sachin as the author!, These Fans are prepared to wait for Sachin to announce his retirement when he feels ready to do it rather than being bullied into it. Here is a truly great batsman who gave it all for the Indian Cricket & helped them reach #1 spot in Tests + world cup in ODI's. Huge progress from Post Raj British era!. Sachin brought the Bombay stock exchange to standstill when he came to bat. He was so popular. Now we see a whole bunch of "Cynical Fans" (as you call them), crying out for Sachin to quit - just because his last 3 innings were 19, 17 & 27= total 63. The very same guys forget that the young (25) & "most" talented Rohit Sharma totalled 15 in 5 innings in SL!. They are not bullying Rohit to retire, Are they?. With Indian openers faring badly Sachin is needed more then ever now - "Agism" must stop!

Posted by SatyajitM on (September 11, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

@jay57870, sensible comment. Sachin's presence is required more now that Rahul and VVS has retired. The young Indian middle order with some talents like Kohli and Pujara do require some more guidance from a stalwart. Coming to Ramachandra's qualification list which in a way subscribes to what was orginally written by constitution makers, I beg to differ. Pre independence India and right through consecutive decades till 80's continued ignoring sports as an important aspect of life. That resulted into poor sporting culture and sportaman getting neglected. Indian constitution is not something written in stones and that has been proved by multiple constitutional amendments. Time has come to make changes into this outlook. Sportsmen of the highest order need to taken as seriously as achievers in other fields. Yes, it should not be cheap and very few sportperson should get it(Anand and Sachin are two names coming to my mind). Also, for sportperson you can always wait till they retire.

Posted by adityasarin on (September 10, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

As mere entertainers, cricketers can't and don't qualify. ??????????? Are off your rocker mr. guha? you admit " I am proud to say that I stood apart from the herd then, and I shall stand apart from it now. ' , i think that all you want to do, be different.

"For what Sachin Tendulkar has given me over the years, I remain deeply, profoundly, grateful - and so should those foolish and fickle-minded cynics in the pavilion of the Chinnaswamy Stadium" - since when did you become what a sachin fan should be....just because you have the privelge of being read/heard does not make the 'cynical' ones irrelevant.

absolutely out of touch with the 'fans'.

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

When you're young and with great hand- eye coordination, you can get away with playing across the line. Not so much when you get old. He needs to stop playing across the line. Look at all his dismissals in the last three test series. Always caught behind/clean bowled/lbw while playing across the line.

Posted by Santhosh3186 on (September 10, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

Is this really Ramachandra Guha?

Posted by jay57870 on (September 10, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

Listen to what former coach Gary Kirsten once observed: "Look, if Rahul, Sachin or VVS decides to retire it is a major blow ... But as long as the retirements of these players are staggered, rather than everyone leaving all at once ("triple whammy"), it will be a little easier for the team to integrate and groom the younger players"! Sane advice! Yes, Sachin's reassuring presence buys valuable time for the youngsters to develop & mature. This transition has to be carefully managed, not rushed. Best it's staggered, series by series. Yes, we should all be "deeply, profoundly, grateful" to Sachin for being there for the team when it needs him. Peter Roebuck called him "public property, India's proudest possession"! Is he deserving of the Bharat Ratna? It's India's highest civilian award for "performance of highest order in any field of human endeavour". Clearly Sachin fits the bill, notwithstanding Guha's elitist BR qualifications. But it's a topic for another day. Only after he's done!!

Posted by jay57870 on (September 10, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

Guha is writing as if Sachin is history! Yes, flashbacks of "joy" do validate Sachin as "India's greatest batsman"! Likewise Guha's "fickle-minded cynics" with selective snapshots of the past year/series/innings are also depicting Sachin as history! Sadly it's riled their "herd" instinct to pile on! Emotions aside, but is Sachin really done? Let's pause & reflect on the situation as of NOW. Reality: India's batting has a big void. The "generation of gifted & selfless cricketers, among them Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly & Kumble, but perhaps Tendulkar the most" (per Guha) is virtually gone. Saurav hasn't been replaced at No.6 as yet. With Rahul & VVS exiting, it leaves Sachin as the lone man standing - as it was in his earlier years. Full circle: he's carrying the burden of India's batting at No.4. With rising stars Pujara & Kohli still settling in at Nos.3 & 5, why risk destabilising the batting order with a triple whammy? And sink the team, knowing its bowling is still the Achilles' heel?

Posted by indianpunter on (September 10, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

for someone who wrote a masterpiece titled " a corner of a foreign field", Guha comes across as completely disconnected with reality. He would know by now, after reading the comments, that he got the pulse of the public completely wrong. The indian fan is forgiving, but is not an idiot. Thanks, Mr Guha.

Posted by alikhan224 on (September 10, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

@Chetan Asher..Absolultely correct..in my view, the coming series against England, South africa and australia will be much more difficult than the one india played against a very weak Newzealand side...sachin will be facing bowlers like Anderson, broad, Flynn, onion, bresnan, starch, Cummings, Johnson, sidle(may be), Patterson, steyn, morkel, philander and swann....all these bowlers are far better than the NewZealand's pace bowlers and they must have monitored sachin's ever existing flaw against a delivery which nips back in to the right hander after pitching. After all he is a human too and in 23 yrs, he has still not been able to counter this flaw in his batting. medium pacer like abdur razzaq had got him out bowled on numerous occasions in this way...but the caliber sachin has, one expects him to be tough against the tougher oppositions, although his age, reflexes and power are all against him and he is not going to get younger anymore...so fingers crossed.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 10, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

Sachin's attitude towards game is worrying sign. He says he loves the games so much, but playing IPL is more important than representing a country for him. It shows he loves cricket, but he loves playing whichever he likes to play. After IPL he skipped SL tour. His interests have never been committed to Indian cricket. His place is now guaranteed in a team for many financial deals with companies Sachin has under BCCI who earn money. So, well it's a human tendency to live in the glory and so is Sachin doing that. It has been trend after World cup 2011. May be he have felt that's the final destination he reached that relives him of stress and after that can play freely whichever he feels. Wait Sachin, this is not a Mumbai cricket team to get and go out.Worst attitude towards team is what is worrying sign. He has no plans on how to move forward with India and talk on his plans. It's the simple escaping answer in front of media is always with him. When there is no dedication don't play.Go.

Posted by AjayB on (September 10, 2012, 3:24 GMT)

A lot of cricket fans cannot read, if they can, then they cannot comprehend. The author has provided a very valid basis and explanation for why we should not be offering opinions on how Sachin should bat or when to retire. I would like to say some more in the great man's defense, not that he needs it. For a start even today, not many people care capable of offering advice to him. Even today he is better than most players. People with common sense - Gavaskar, Crowe - have only offered insight into what could have changed for him, but not said - retire now. We, who probably do not have half the talent of his left toe nail offer opinions - nay make decisions for him. My guess is, each of the players is extremely proud, which means they will not hang on when their time comes. Have we not already bullied two greats into inglorious retirements? Is that not enough? This man has done enough for us to decide when he should go. Our ignorance of our ignorance is what makes us talk non-sense.

Posted by   on (September 10, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

I have been listening & watching cricket since the 1959. Seen many a great players come and go. One thing is for sure Sachin Knows Cricket more than any one of us and as a keen student of cricket he exactly knows when to stop. I am not saying shut-up to all those calling for his head. Give the GREAT MAN his due. We have a long way to go before we can suggest some thing about cricket and Sachin's capabilities to him. However Keep the bud-bud going! Malladi

Posted by Rahulbose on (September 9, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

Well we all should remember and celebrate his career forever. But that does not mean we have to support his playing into the 40s. I said it last year and will say again. Sachin should have bowed out after the WC win, that was the right moment. Everything since then has been a drag. Although, he may yet play a few great innings. There is no denying now that his retirement will come with more people saying "finally" rather than "why now".

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

Gentlemen, there is no doubt that Sachin was one of the best I have seen batting. However, his inability to protect his stumps from straight / near straight balls is causing a huge gap @ # 4 in Team India. I would understand a one-off, but 3 out of 3 & that too in Indian conditions against NZ bowling (with all due respect, Tim Southee is no Dale Stey). If at his level, he is unable to protect his stumps from straight, good-length to over-pitched balls that most marginally above average batsmen would hit for 4, I feel his days are clearly numbered. You can count on more over-pitched in-dipping balls coming to him in future as bowlers of the world learn that the difference between Sachin Tendulkar & B S Chandrashekhar are reducing. Before Sachin snatches the maximum 0's for India record from Chandra, I suggest he retures (if he has not been able to rectify his technique in 3 games out of 3 against Southee, I shudder to think of what Morkel, Steyn, Anderson & co. will do to him).

Posted by kristee on (September 9, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

Well, if he can 'come back' so could Dravid and Laxman. Why there was no clamor for their continuance? His fans' arguments are laughable. He had been bowled in the past too. Had not Dravid too been bowled? SRT had slumps in his career before. That means they accept Laxman and Dravid had no slumps before, thereby admitting they were superior.

Posted by Biophysicist on (September 9, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

@buntyj: I am sure no one could have predicted that Sachin would play this long and achieve so much when he completed 5 tests; similarly, no one can predict what Pujara and Kohli can achieve in the future. For your information Kohli has already scored 13 centuries in 90 ODIs. Sachin's first ODI century was scored in his 79th test match. Based on this information can you predict how much Kohli would achieve in ODIs? We cannot extrapolate current performances to find out future results.

Posted by rugveda78 on (September 9, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

3 dismissals (bowled out) are not a worry for a batsman of his class. He has always looked to score runs even when they dry up & that creates gap between his bat & pads costing his wicket. But what worries me is that everytime he walks on the wicket, we expect him to score century just because he has scored 100 of them, just because we want him to give us our money's worth, just because we feel he owes that to us as a return to our love & affection. Yes, age slows the person & he is no immortal GOD. But his failure seems to be more to do with lack of match practice. Due to rigors of cricket schedules, he is choosing his matches. If there's anything wrong, it is this choice, he then lacks the important match practice. Thats what happened in England/Australia. It is therefore, I feel he should have played against West Indies. The monkey of 100th ton would have gone off his back, if not, atleast he would have had some runs behind him before the real test.

Posted by buntyj on (September 9, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

pujara, kohli etc wont be in sachins class after 29 tests and yes sachin provided great joy for years but all good things come to an end, mortality is the fate and perhaps beauty of humanity otherwise sachins seniors like sunny etc would still have been playing and we may not have had the chance to enjoy sachin for as long as we have it is not fickle to state the truth what dissapoints most though is some of sachins statements and behaviour in the past year- a bharat ratna is inappropriate at least till posterity has a chance to view him in perspective; joining politics while still playing was also inappropriate; statements were shocking such as- i. he felt he was batting well in eng n australia but was unlucky ii. he felt the gap between india and australia was much more narrow than apparent to viewers or recorded in the scores and india were unlucky; and, iii. that it would be selfish of him to retire at this point- have each tarnished his reputation for posterity rather than present

Posted by Ajay_Gupta on (September 9, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

@McGorium, Agreed that being bowled is not a gr8 mode of dismissal but it doesnt always mean that there is something wrong with the man's ability/capabilty. i am sure everyone who has shared the dressing room with Sachin (and i know a player who has done it for few years) will bet on their A$$ that he will be right this point working on this mode of dismissal. Dravid was out contiuosly like that over the span of 8 matches, let Sachin fail through a season in that mode then i ll think abt ur argument. The point i was making is jus coz 3 failures so many unworthy ppl are starting to talk abt his ability. they forget that they are talking abt a man with 100 centuries not long ago. i am sure Sachin has at least 2-3 yrs of top class cricket left in him. even 75% good sachin is better that most players in the dressing room. I am waiting for England . mark my words guys.. SACHIN WILL BE BACK WITH A BANG!d

Posted by sweetspot on (September 9, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

Kapil also gave us immense joy! Let's bring him back!

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (September 9, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

There is no denying the fact Sachin has given US ALL GREAT MEMORIES. That doesnt mean he should not retire when its time. He has been struggling after the world cup, period. He played a few test matches to score that 100th ton and had to play the one day (which prefer these days to avoid) against Bangladesh to score it at the end. There were two tours (eng and aus), where he could prove he still got it and he failed miserably. Yeah, he is our Hero and its heart breaking to see him struggle against below average opponents and then talk about playing for another 5-6 years more - LIKE THIS? I mean if he gets back to form, let him play but for almost two years he has been grining and grinding and there is no "tennis elbow" for excuse now. So when its obvious, just call it day. We all cherish the great memories Sachin has given us, nothing will change that.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

For all, this is not about emotion. The way the little man carried the burden on his shoulders for atleast around 15 years upto now. I dont think anyone in the world ever done it. To satisfy 1 billion people is not an easy thing as we all know people expects every time to perform big. Thats the thing differentiates him from others, doing what u like all day is fine. But with pressure every one gets frustrated at some point, but not this man. He deserves a spot in the test team atleast. Even he is ready to call it a day at some point (i.e. around 2 yrs from now), the BCCI and the sponsors wont leave him to do it. They all know in india cricket will be a dying sport after sachin (atleast with the fan following and the TRP). These recent jokers wont win u test matches (dhoni, raina). People of this generation dont know much about pressure of performing as they see there is always pressure in T20s. Respect the man. Give him what he deserves.He knows when to retire.

Posted by kristee on (September 9, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

His and his fans' sole concern seems batting out other contenders in terms of stats, at least as long as he, or perhaps his reputation, is alive. No matter it costs the team's interests in the long run.

Posted by cheguramana on (September 9, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

Dear Ramachandra Guha : I can understand your fine sense of perspective when you look back at Sachin's career. After all you are a top historian. I dont dispute your sentiments towards Sachin. We shud all be grateful that Sachin has been a part of Indian cricket. But that takes nothing away from the fact that there is a time to go, for everybody. By the way, I never thought he shud be given Bharat Ratna. Indians, driven by emotions go overboard, like making him a 'honorary colonel' in the Indian Air Force !! what for ? if he had contributed as a civilian in a time of war, its a different story. I dont see how he will contribute to Indian cricket going forward. Will young guys really benefit from his presence ? Lots of young guys hv come and gone in the team in his presence. Will the 'old guys' benefit ? Gambhir, Sehwag, VVS, Dravid, Sachin included, all failed spectacularly in Aus. Its time to call it a day on a fantastic career.

Posted by kristee on (September 9, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

The write-up is misguiding, in the first place. The clamor for an aging player's retirement is mistaken for criticism of his career. Were not players like S Waugh, Lara, Gavaskar missed after their exit ? They too were obliging to calls to quit. And they too could have made some extra runs, if allowed to continue.

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

Ram, I completely agree with your sentiments and am one with you in my unabashed admiration for the best batsman the world has ever seen. However that should not stop us from asking the hardest question of them all "Is it time for him to go ?" The manner of his getting out in his last three innings, clean-bowled to an average pace attack is worrisome and very reminiscent of Dravid in Australia. I would absolutely hate for such a glorious career to end in a limp drizzle of runs and forgettable innings, the adulation of his myriad fans turning to resignation and then inevitably resentment. Far better to go when people are asking why rather than why not - as Gavaskar himself has said. And I would fervently want for Sachin to receive the final accolade that he so richly deserves of a swansong Test series ending with a final match at Wankhede stadium. Look what happened to Laxman ! Didn't he deserve a better send-off than what he got ? We cannot let that happen to our crown jewel Sachin.

Posted by McGorium on (September 9, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

@Nampally: There's no denying he's been great for India in the past. However, I don't see him punching at that weight in the current scenario. Getting bowled to a second-rate bowling attack, on a flat wicket, thrice in a row (not one-off like Bradman, but repeatedly, like Dravid in Australia) is the sign of a batsman in decline. Of course, as Mukul Kesavan wrote on this website, unlike Dravid, there's too much money riding on SRT to allow him to retire quietly. Everyone, from sponsors, to the BCCI themselves have an interest in motivating him to continue. As I stated, he's useful as a mentor to the young players and isn't entirely without use in the current set-up. However, to argue that there's nothing wrong, or that he's better now than the new crop is wishful thinking at best (I'd say he's equal). It's not about the technique: it's whether his reflexes are quick enough to apply the technique effectively, and recent evidence suggests otherwise. He is at or past his sell-by date.

Posted by rtruth90 on (September 9, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

@the_predator:- This is what you didn't understand, Tendulkar Averages 50 against Eng and Aus. What KiwiRocker wants to says is that Tendulkar cant play match winning knocks. It is absolutly great someone has great average with match winning knocks. But KiwiRocker is right in his view that Tendulkar has won nothing with his batting performances except the good average. Best examples are Benson&Hedges 1992 World Series Second final Tendulkar got out when 15 runs needed. Sharjah 1998 got out when 40 runs need on 143. Got on when 17 runs need against Australia in Hyderabad on 175. Got out when 16 runs need against Pakistan in Chennai 1999. Got out When the target was only 56 runs to win Delhi Test 1996 against Australia. World Cup 2003,2010 Finals. The bottom line here is Tendulkar cant take India home . He might have best technique and best average. The Summary here is he chokes big time when it really matters.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

His reflexes are slow and its better For Sachin to retire on a high point in his career rather than a low. Would Australia have gotten such great Bowlers such as Michell Starc and batsmen like Shane Watson had gilly, mcgrath and co not retired. But prefer he retire afte December series against Pakistan. A pak fan.

Posted by Biophysicist on (September 9, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

@Nampally: Sachin's average was in the low-to-mid 30s after 8 tests. Although it crossed 40 in the next test, it stablized in the 40s only after 23 tests. It crossed 50 only after 29 tests. Now you can see how long he was persisted to come good on a regular basis. Of course he lived upto the expectations and justified the faith reposed in him by the selectors. Now you cannot say Pujara and Kohli are not in Sachin's league because if you take the performances based on first 5 tests (since Pujara played only 5 tests, for fair comparison you should take into account only the first 5 tests for everyone), then Pujara averages 40.25 whereas Sachin's average at that stage was 29.87. Further Pujara scored a century (159) and a fifty (72). Sachin had only one fifty (59). Now based on the above tell me who is better, Sachin or Pujara? If you were to compare Sachin and Gavaskar after only 5 tests, Sachin would be considered an utter failure. Even Raina had a better average (49.14) at 5 tests.

Posted by deepak_sholapurkar on (September 9, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

an emotional article by a Great writer. yes Sachin would have played some great knocks, but with out of form should he continue playing..? With the same yardstick we need to call back GR Vishwanath, Gavaskar,Soberse,Viv Richards etc

Posted by HarishVS on (September 9, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

@Natx - you have put it right on Rohit Sharma. Reading into this sentimental article I too remembered the days when this master batsman used to toy with the greatest of the bowlers all over the world. Anyway Focus is now shifted to Rohit Sharma, my most favourite young batsman of India, who has got all the class, grace, elegance, mastery, technique to be a great test batsman plus all the innovating, big hitting and match finishing skills for ODIs and T20s. He should have given a chance for Test matches two years ago when he was consistent in ODIs during the WI tour. Anyway Raina was tried out in the Test teams then. I think Rohit should not have played so many T20s and 80+ ODIs at all by now. If he were to play Tests his career figures would show up with better numbers than what it is now with ODI/T20s. He is a too precious species to loose him for Tests. Hope he does good in whatever T20s he is going to play from here on and gets into a Test 11 for India sooner than later.

Posted by cricketsage on (September 9, 2012, 2:32 GMT)

You are missing the point. He has been playing for almost 20 years. The person sitting behind you was right. It is time for Sachin to consider retirement. It will be best for him and for Indian cricket.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (September 9, 2012, 2:32 GMT)

The reason I watched cricket after Kapil Dev's world cup victory..till today..

Posted by PG65 on (September 9, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

This post is really not about Sachin bashing but rather about a fairly nondescript batsman who goes by the name of S. Badrinath. There are a number of posts calling for his inclusion in the team. Frankly this has shocked me no end. First of all when we need to be focusing on youth to lead Indian Cricket into another era (following the quick retirement of greats like Dravid & Kumble& impending retirement of Tendlya coupled with decent blokes like Ganguly,Laxman & Srinath) why are we even thinking of inducting a 33 year old like Badri into the team. Even if selected & assume his performances are half decent he will be rendered impotent in an important series like S. Africa in 2013. By then he will be pushing 35 & seriously considering retirement. Badri was given his chances in West Indies which he did not grab otherwise the no. 6 slot was his. Further he does not enjoy the confidence of his skipper MSD in the test arena & plays under him in the IP too. Time to look ahead please.

Posted by indianpunter on (September 9, 2012, 1:10 GMT)

sachin may still score some runs, as long as he plays. but, do we need these meaningless 30's and 40's from him? Is he the future? Is he adding value to the team? Indian fans have to take away emotion from this and not lose perspective. Fine, England was an aberration and in Australia, he was weighed down by the pressures of the hundredth hundred. But whats the excuse now? The england series will be a watershed one for him, and unfortunately might end up being his waterloo ( i suspect). Elite sport is about performance, not emotion. And @Nampally, it was Eric Hollies, not Malcolm Hilton.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

Mr. Guha, I believe his highest score at that time was 179 scored against the West Indies at Nagpur. Just a humble reminder to edit a minor inconsistency! Nothing more. You, Sir are truly a living legend!

Posted by kristee on (September 9, 2012, 0:41 GMT)

Seems like his and his fan's sole concern is batting out other contenders in terms of runs/ centuries/ whatever stats even at the cost of sacrificing some careers or even the most important objective- winning. About some smug claims as to the number of comments he elicits even when he 'apparently' fails: it's not just about the expectations he personally raises, it's more about the failure in an important position in important situations in important games. Compare Ponting's career saving ton in WC to his 200th ODI loss cum 100th century in AC. Oz would have ended up on a lesser total but for his effort whereas, given the Indian middle order exploits in SC, India should have posted a total apparently beyond BD's reach but for his anxiety for the landmark.

Posted by abmughal on (September 9, 2012, 0:32 GMT)

i have read that many people are comenting that indian cricket is in save hand, but i m not fully satisfied with these comments because when i see the team india i find out that there is a lot of batting talent out there in a shape of kohli tiwary raina which can make india a strong bating side for many years but if you look on the bowling department, you would not find any special fast bowling and i must say that for proving urself a number 1 team you must have good fast bowling atack like SA or PAK

Posted by   on (September 9, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

Why everyone forgets that noone leaves his or her job just because that anyone talented is waiting around the corner? Now even if some experienced one leaves team or job then they make sure that legacy is transferred, what do you want to say when people like Pujara, Kohli , Dhoni, Yuvraj,Raina, Rahane,Rohit all think Tendulkar is walking manual of cricket and they learn from it. Sachin will be the first person to leave cricket when he would feel like that he is not contributing to the nation, Why all of the one against Sachin are bashing him , have they done what Sachin has done , do they know it what it takes?. Quoting another example, Phelps was not considered wonder in this olympics till his first medal , so was Boult. There has to be a process ,why CA did not throw Ricky, why RSA not throw Kallis , why Vaughan, all of them were performing little better than Sachin when they were out of form. There is a process to change , we need team India, it needs a change not revolution.

Posted by Nampally on (September 8, 2012, 23:25 GMT)

@McGorium: While I agree with you that India has lot of batsmen who are talented, the reliability of the young batsmen is still a big question mark. Kohli & Pujara are the best batsmen who have shown a degree of reliance. But they are yet to put together a streak because of their youth. Also both of them in very few innings played to date in Tests have theior average around 40. Sachin has a lifetime average of 55 spanning over nearly 2 decades. Even his average after the age of 35 is around 54. So all the Sachin bashing is uncalled for. Finally I disagree with your comment "Good Batsmen do not get Bowled". Even the greatest batsman ever, Sir Don Bradman, was bowled for a duck in his final appearance off a slow left arm spinner, Malcolm Hilton!. So being bowled is part & parcel of getting out. Sachin's average of "getting Bowled" over his career is comparable with all the leading batsmen world over.Sachin will still score Plenty of runs because his technique is sound!

Posted by Naresh28 on (September 8, 2012, 23:21 GMT)

NO DOUBT THAT AT A YOUNGER AGE AND IN FACT NOT FAR BACK HE WAS GOOD. I FEEL THAT INDIAN CRICKET IS IN GREAT HANDS. THERE IS ALREADY SOME U19 and A-TEAM PERFORMANCES THAT SHOW THIS (WINNING GAMES OUTSIDE INDIA) TO ME I COULD LIVE WITH MEMORIES OF A 200 THAT HE MADE IN AN ODI.SACHIN TRIED TO PLAY A DIFFERENT ROLE IN THE LAST TESTS vs NZ. HE WAS MORE DEFENSIVE THAN ATTACKING. COULD IT BE THAT DRAVID AND LAXMAN ARE GONE????????

Posted by priyanks11 on (September 8, 2012, 22:47 GMT)

Must say ! you have been really lucky to see Master Score his best !:)

Posted by McGorium on (September 8, 2012, 21:52 GMT)

@ Ajay_Gupta: I would have thought it's plainly obvious, but let me explain the reason for the fuss. Good batsmen do not get bowled. In the hierarchy of the worst ways for a batsman to be dismissed, clean bowled is only better than being timed out, obstructing the field, handling the ball, and hit wicket. Being bowled, in other words, is the worst common mode of dismissal for a self-respecting batsman; even being bowled played on is slightly better than clean bowled. To make it worse, SRT is getting clean bowled to straight deliveries on docile subcontinental wickets against second-rate bowling; even R Ashwin didn't get bowled. You may recall a similar ruckus about Rahul Dravid's modes of dismissal in Australia, and his almost immediate retirement. He's more useful to the side as a mentor at the moment, but a transition plan to phase him out by the SA tour 2013 must be created now.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

Lucky me! I've grown up in an era where I saw a wunderkid take on Waqar, Wasim, Imran (those great pace demons with no mean skill), almost couldn't believe this was a 16-yr old. More than two decades later his shots still remain pure, if tempered with more skill and a touch less hand-eye coordination. That Tendulkar is a legend, and a master of a game remains undisputed. That said, even in early 2011 he was handling top pacers like Steyn and Anderson with certitude, and scoring comfortably. Also, there was none in the fringes as a likely challenger. Today however, with heavy heart I've to admit, the best all-round batsman in the team is Kohli, and there are men like Rahane or Badrinath who need to get a look in. The wishful, sentimental me would want him to carry on ... but the realist would say that he's had his fill, and if a 23/24 yr old kid doesn't get a look-in now, when would he get a chance to build a legacy of his own, where would we get new heroes from. For the game will go on

Posted by Natx on (September 8, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

Agreed he is a great player. So you want him to play until he turns 100? What is your logic here with a sentimental article. I would rather have him call it a day when he is clearly found wanting by fast bowlers for the last 10 tests. Show me 1 century since SA tour. Writing accolades is one thing. Producing results with that talent is another. Do not get caught in emotions and sentiments. Let another deserving youngster get his place and prove his worth. Believe me - give a Rohit Sharma (who in the first place shouldn't have played T20 and 80+ one dayers) or Unmukht Chand or Ajinkya Rahane his place. They will shape up to a decent test batsman in the next 3 years. Blocking a spot is not hallmark of any great player. Beyond a limit, it looks very uglier. Get out of sentiments and support another youngster to grow in his spot by having some one come and play 10-15 tests, than applying extreme pressure on everyone and calling for their heads.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 19:34 GMT)

every thing has a shelf life..........Surely Sachin's self life has expired as well........He has got to go otherwise we will never see another youngster emerging.

Posted by anjee on (September 8, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

if atll someone has to be dropped for non performing ,,,,its raina,,and infact our captain dhoni ,,,who has done nothing in test matches over years...just bcos he scored 2 fifties in this series,,,it doesnt mean he is a good test match batsman..whats his average over the last 2yrs ?did he even score one good innings in the last yaer or so against aussies or england ? just bcos he wins ipl cup for csk and he is a good odi batsman,,he is till leading the tet team..! its sachins curse that people doesnt see anything other trhan a sachins hundred as a contribution...he scored high quality 50s against aussies and england..!its not noticed at all..when did gambhir score a hundred last time ?when did sehwag scored last time ?gambhir,sehwag,dhoni,and raina can play in team India without contributing..but sachin despite the leading scorer for last 2yrs shudnt play or what ??what nonsense is this ?Dear "attention seeking self proclaimed half baked cricket fans"..pls go get ur facts right...!!!

Posted by anjee on (September 8, 2012, 19:14 GMT)

thnaks for writing this article...kindly pls dont read any of the comments from the so called "intellectual" cricket experts...as it is absolute waste of time..sachin will score match winning & match saving hundreds in the eng&aus series and all these "experts" will run away then..these are all 'halfbaked experts" who watch cricket for ipl kinda stuff..so no point in explaining them..sachin has the highest no of runs over the last 2 yrs for team India..these "self proclaimed cricketintellectuals'...doesnt even know that fact..!!its Indias curse actually...most of our people lack gratitude,as well as practical knowledge..they just wanna comment about everything without knowing the facts.funniest comment is one fellow has told "sachins movements has slowed down"..couldnt control laughing on reading that..wondering if he knows what is movement while batting .!!if allowed these wisemen will teach sachin cricket..!! Sachin will play atleast for another 2yrs and will help India win tests.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

I can't believe how people can have a serious case of short term memory when they say that we need to look at the future and that its time for the grandfathers (a cruel reference to the author and to Sachin) to leave the game. Let me ask you guys a question. Do you guys live your life with not a single happy memory of your past or are do you just blindly live in the present? I believe that its the past and the present that shape the future. Sachin still has a lot to offer to the team as he is the last of the seniors still left in the side. If anyone still has arguments about Sachin being an oldie still occupying unwanted space in the team, I suggest they try and look at the present Australian team. They too, at one time had a bunch of remarkable seniors which included Warne, McGrath, Gillespie, Martyn, Hayden and Gilchrist. They all retired around the same time. Now people keep saying "We wish we had those kind of players." Sorry!!! No refunds!!! Be careful what you wish for!!!

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (September 8, 2012, 18:47 GMT)

No doubt 10dulkar at his peak was a great batsman. But so were Gavaskar, Viswanath, and Azharuddin. Do you want them to play for India now? You don't have to be an expert to realize that tendulya is finished. He should have retired on a high after World Cup 2011. But greed and ego consumed him. Now most people pity him, rather than respect him. Virat Kohli is much better than what tendulya was at this stage in his career. Kohli should take tendulya's spot. Pujara looks capable of taking Dravid's spot. We have no shortage of talented young batsmen in Rahane, Chand, Tiwary, Badri, Pandey, etc. How do you know they can't bat better than tendulya if you don't give them a chance? In last 2 test matches even lower order batsmen like Dhoni and Ashwin batted better than tendulya.

Posted by toopSTARS on (September 8, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

going by the writer's logic, even sunil gavaskar and kapil dev should return to the indian team as even they have given meritorious services to the team. frankly speaking, it was painful to see him labouring to his 100th 100 against bangladesh at the expense of india's spot in the final.

Posted by Nampally on (September 8, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

@Kapil_Lara: You say Einstien did not retire because his brain was functioning. What is wrong with Tendulkar's brain? Has it stopped functioning? He is physically fit & his batting average after the age 35 in Test matches is about one point behind his lifetime average - which is best in the world, apart from Bradman's. Just because he gets bowled thrice, suddenly all the Fans & Media become Judges & jury. Was Einstien bullied into retirement because he was getting old! Both Tendulkar & Einstien are geniuses in their job & they will function as long as they think they can contribute. Brain function starts deteriorating as person goes beyond 50 due to dying brain cells not being replaced. Hence there was greater justification for Einstien to retire at 70 than Tendulkar to retire at 39. A genius, because of superior skills & work ethics, is nuch better than an average person in the same profession at a given age! Sachin will decide his exit as gracefully as he came in.Pl.Don't bully him.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

The day Sachin retires will be one of the saddest in Indian history. I cannot believe that people are asking for that day to come soon.

Posted by sameer111111 on (September 8, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

am very grateful to gavaskar for all those runs. why don't we all just call him to join the indian team too.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

Loved this piece. Just one thing - when Sachin scored 177 against Australia, it was his second highest score after his 179 against WI in 1994. He also had scored 177 against England in 1996

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

sorry Mr.guha..... u are not seeing the future.... we cannot keep everyone in the team... some body else should go... some will come... thats life.... thats cricket.... we dont need grandfather's to play this game.... sir, dont really need these kind of articles....

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

It is a very balanced article. Tendulkar is gong through a very bad patch. He is the best judge as to when he should retire. One century from him will silence his genuine critics. Even Dada has mentioned that Sachin will bounce back. So let us hope for the best and enjoy Sachin's contribution to the Indian cricket. I watched him a few years ago playing a test match against Pakistan in Delhi--He was just super. My best to Sachin

Posted by thalalara on (September 8, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

Age has caught up with the writer as well as the player being referred, being emotional and sentimental of past glory is a clear sign of age factor. Both should retire from their respective profession....

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

Whenever the questions asked to Master he will reply with the bat..not by words...That is the trade mark of great sports athletes...So whoever pointing at him shortly you will be getting the feedback from Master...So don't ask retirement to SRT....he knows when to step out...

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

@arun14...have you seen performance of Sehwag and Gambheer ? do you want them to retie also ? I think you also want Kalis should be retired because he had onlye one good inning against england. and also you meant everybody should be retired from the international cricket if he cant preform in one series ? I think you should think about it. anyways best of luck for your comments ...but I am sure you are going ti praise Sachin after England series..he will bounce back for sure. he is still the best batsman in the team,

Posted by McGorium on (September 8, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

I'd argue -- like many others here -- that there are multiple players who can take SRT's place in the team and do at least as well as him. The frequency of his centuries -- at one point, one in slightly under 3 games -- has fallen considerably to the level of mere mortals. On current form, Kohli is India's best batsman, and Sehwag can go at #4 (his dream spot), with say Rahane opening. However, SRT's value in the team is that of a mentor for rookies like Pujara and Rahane, especially given that Dravid is gone. For that reason, and that reason alone, I'd put up with SRT being in the team. He'll make the occasional half-century, and the increasingly rare century over the next year or so, but I hope that he'll be a reasonable mentor to the young-uns. Even Australia, which in the past would boot captains out of the team once they reach their sell-by date, is persisting with Ponting owning presumably to the inexperience in their batting.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

Cricketers are mere entertainers? What a fickle and ill-judged comment. They are most certainly sportsmen first. Given how proud Indian's are of Sachin's achievements, how he has conducted himself over the two decades, and how he is moved the sport of cricket forward, a bharat ratna is certainly well deserved. Maybe not just yet, but eventually, most definitely yes.

Posted by CricketChat on (September 8, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

The author got his emotions in the way of logic. No one who understands the game of cricket will ever deny SRT is one of the top batsmen to have played the game. The point being made by many of his fans these days is quite straight forward to understand: Sachin is getting on in age and the lack of runs coupled with the manner of scoring (dominating vs laboring) in the past few years is indicating the time has come for him to hang up his boots. Simple as that. The author wants the rest of world to believe that if you had a hearty meal last week, you can go without food now!. It is a clean sign of maturity that Indian fans appreciate performance of today, not live on past glory!.

Posted by Arun14 on (September 8, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

Mr. Guha, are you saying that because EVERYTIME you watched a game in Chinnaswamy and SRT scored big, no one should ask that he retire. Then XYZ (any famous personality from Calcutta) will demand that nobody demand that VVS retire because of his great record in Eden Gardens !! This article is absurd.

You as a sports historian should know better. The shelf life for a sportsman is determined by a sane set of individuals called selectors (in cricket) or General Managers (in American pro sports) who decide when a sportsman's time is up. That is provided the sportsman himself has trouble deciding. Our spineless selectors abviously are insane.

And btw, the 177 he scored in B'lore back in 1998 was NOT his highest score back then. He had already scored a 179 against the West Indies in Nagpur.

Posted by krik8crazy on (September 8, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

Sachin's greatness is undeniable. He has enthralled fans for a long, long time with his exquisite batting. However, that doesn't mean that he can continue forever in the team. As the saying goes, quit when people ask why rather than why not? If he were in great form, no one would have questioned his presence in the team. However, when he fails his failures will be magnified and people will question his presence. This is the price he pays for continuing to play at his age.

Posted by shadab732 on (September 8, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

@ansram here is the list of some overseas innings played by sachin that helped india to win:117 vs wi,193 vs eng @headingley,194 no vs pak@multan,160 vs nz @hamilton,91 vs eng @trentbridge,71 vs aus @perth...now dont ask for the overseas odi innings that has helped india win..there are countless no. of innings from that category...

Posted by ManiAjayJadeja on (September 8, 2012, 15:46 GMT)

Manjrekar rightly said about tendulkar, "as long as he plays, he will score runs". thats 100% true. there is no form slump, no slowness of body movement, nothing. It might be the pressure that we put on him. Even if he scores back to back hundreds, we still want him to score a hundren in the third match. Thats the kind of pressure he was in for every match he plays, for the last 15 years atleast. Please stop putting pressure. let him play his own game.

Posted by ManiAjayJadeja on (September 8, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

Like Dhoni said, whenever his form comes under question, he gives us brilliant performance. The thing most of them point out now is that his lack(slowness) of movement to the pitch of the delivery. Remember, 3 of his last 7 odi hundreds were 150+. When he can score 200 at 38, why cant he score now. He loves playing cricket like anything else. He is still the best batsmen in our team. In 20 years of cricket, he was never dropped from the team due to his form. He is a master. Media only putting more pressure to him.

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

so is he retiring or not?

Posted by xylo on (September 8, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

cashing in on the sachin mania. in my opinion, RD, vvs, and sachin should have made way for the younger crop ahead of the Australia series given that there was going to be no away tours for the next year. but, they had personal milestones to look forward to. question marks were hanging over them since the disastrous England tour with the exception of RD. With the Aussie debacle though, the professional that he is, he decided to call it a day. VVS' retirement was politically influenced, but the gentleman that he is, he showed his resentment by retiring ahead of the test series, but was back to showering kudos on his erstwhile team-mates at the end of the match. that leaves us with one last standing legend. has he scored a test century in the past 500 days? no. has he batted convincingly for a full day? no. is there a fresh face that can match his current 'performance'? more than one. i have no authority to suggest retirement, but the given situation calls for him being dropped. simple.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

let everyone be clear about one thing in their minds. whether they just want to see Sachin's back or they are genuinely concerned about the betterment of Indian cricket. if all the people want to get him out of the team just because he's not performing then i'm sorry to say that these 'well-wishers' of Indian cricket are at best, HYPOCRITES. even on current form sachin's better than most other batsmen in the current indian line-up BY A LONG SHOT. if you want to make indian cricket better then start by leaving out the worst players. rest assured sachin isn't one of them. there are many other people worse than him who deserve to be kicked out before Sachin.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

Amitabh is the best actor ever to play the angry young man. He has given so much for us to enjoy. I don't understand why he is not doing it anymore? .... oh, right, because he has aged. Now, the roles he is playing are more dignified. Imagine Amitabh still playing those roles. It is really sad that people still are stuck with history and not looking forward. I grew up watching Sachin. His innings at Sharjah, Chennai, and his last over bowling in the Hero's cup finals. So many memories. But that does not mean he has to continue playing like this, bringing himself down... sad, that people like Mr. Guha does not even realize that and are writing about it, blaming us for the poor state Sachin has put himself into. Greats should remain greats and leave as greats. Look at how Gavaskar left with dignity, but how Kapil left. Those who don't see history, will repeat its mistakes.

Posted by the_predator on (September 8, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

@kiwirocker: according your logic. Shane warne is a lolly pop bower (since he was virtually murdered by srilankans and indians in spin friendly conditions), By the way do you know how Mcgrath performed in INDIA. HEHE. Chcke record of (so called talented) INZAMUMUL HAQ in australia and SA. check the record of so called MIANDAD in west-indies (who had the contemporatry best attack). So according to you all these players deserve to play only club cricket. Is not it? check record of UMAR AKMAL (who certain pakistani great calls to be gratest talent of modern generation). What about Mahila jayaardhane? check his records under seaming conditions. also what about pointing in spin friendly pitches? what about brian LARAS record in india? At least sachin averages more than 50 in AUS and in ENG.

You tell these thing because eth country you belong to must have not produced a single player who has the quality to even tie sachin's shoe less. crickinfo obviously wont publish my cooments.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 8, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

@Jitesh Talwani on (September 08 2012, 11:13 AM GMT)..Everyone accepts Sachin is pure class in batting and i accept it too. I am right senses to say that he batted slowly when he approached near centuries. Whatever reason you may point out to me. This so called legend is slowest of all in realizing he is playing for India so need to increase the run rate but instead walking at duck's pace near centuries. Didn't you watch Asia cup Sachin century, how slow it was?? And please don't live in past glories and show them to say that Sachin is great and should be in team.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 8, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

@Jitesh Talwani on (September 08 2012, 11:13 AM GMT)..Everyone accepts Sachin is pure class in batting and i accept it too. I am right senses to say that he batted slowly when he approached near centuries. Whatever reason you may point out to me. This so called legend is slowest of all in realizing he is playing for India so need to increase the run rate but instead walking at duck's pace near centuries. Didn't you watch Asia cup Sachin century, how slow it was?? And please don't live in past glories and show them to say that Sachin is great and should be in team.

Posted by vipneh on (September 8, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

I will stop watching Cricket if this master thinks of retirement. Waiting to book tickets to Australia for next World cup if he agrees to play.

Posted by Kapil_Lara on (September 8, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

@Nampally, Einstien did not retire because his brain was still working and knows whether he can do justice to his work. I am not sure it is the same with Sachin!!

Posted by candyfloss on (September 8, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

Totally agree, He is the best batsman India has ever produced,Period !

Posted by mucheemaann on (September 8, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

Professors don't have to run around everyday like cricketers need to. So while professors may never retire, but players need to. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Posted by Ajay_Gupta on (September 8, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

i am sick of reading so many articles on Sachin's (only 3) failures.. every batsman fails like this once in his career... why all the fuss abt Sachin. all the TV channels' useless non worthy ppl in the studio talking abt Sachin's technique and his lack of footwork etc.. and how his time is up. Wasnt Gavaskar/Manjerakar/Shastri etc ever bowled by a full delivery when they were in their 20s.. did they stop playing cricket then? how cheap and inhumane of them to be picking on the greatest batsman of all time like this. they just want to recognised in the media and earn some money...CHEAP people... mark my words "Sachin will come back with a Bang!! in Ahmedabad against england...i would like to listen to these cheap ppl then....

Posted by Nampally on (September 8, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

Mr. Guha, Sachin has thrilled millions of Cricket fans throughout the world with his batting genius. I watched him as a 14 year old boy playing at Dome stadium in Canada getting about 70 runs with timing & stroke play which amazed one & all. We all said this boy is going to be a great cricketer one day!. Indeed he did. He holds almost all World records & has made greatest contribution to the Indian batting over a quarter of a century. Hence he is fully entitled to decide when he wants to retire unless the Indian Selectors decide his fate. So let him decide his own retirement date instead of bullying him into it. Admittedly the Australian tour exposed poor Indian batting but even there he was the leading batsman. His recent failures vs. Lowly NZ was partly due to media pressure & partly due to lapse of concentration. Great scientists like Einstien never retired!. Prof. Hawkins despite being severely crippled still contributes.Why should Sachin be a victim of "Agism" by the media & Fans?

Posted by MAK123 on (September 8, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

One sees there have been too many sponsored articles on Tendulkar over the last few days - first comes Manjrekar with his nuggets, followed by Martin Crowe (God knows where that comes from) and now this. The motives are clear: either these are aimed at smothering the public opinion arising against a very greedy player who wants to keep on playing till eternity or these are efforts to make Tendulkar realize that enough is enough, move on and give a chance to a younger person FOR GOODNESS' SAKE!!

Posted by cricraz on (September 8, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

I am sick of every writer rising to the defense of Sachin Tendulkar. He has been been wonderful over the years but over the last 2 yrs, he has shown clear decline and it is not getting better. Why cant he have the better interests of India and let the young guys get in some experience? There is almost a fear for writers and the retired sports commentators to call for Tendulkar to step down because he might threaten them with their jobs using his connections. I have wonderful memories of Sachin but it is time to RETIRE!!

Posted by WEXI on (September 8, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

Yes I also Agree.We should remeber Sachin has given Many Moments for us to chear.In our Bad Days he was the Only Hope for India.When India was known as One Man Army at the time of 1996 World Cup.Chennai Test in 1998.

Posted by ckrish51 on (September 8, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

Disappointing that even a writer of Ramachandra Guha's reputation is living in the past. Obviously, all of us are blessed to have witnessed Tendulkar's wonderful batting over the last 23 years. That is why we would like to remember him for all the great innings that he has played and not the painful 20s and 30s that he is contributing these days. Even a die-hard fan like Gavaskar seems to be suggesting (for the first time) that the master's best days are behind him.

No individual should be above the team, not even a Tendulkar. One should look ahead professionally. It would indeed be very sad if more and more people start looking at him as excess baggage and start saying so.

Posted by ansram on (September 8, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

@ShankarNarayanan Ram - Match winning innings means playing the most important part in the win, not playing to second fiddle to Laxman or whatever. Sachin did not play enough of that in test matches, especially in overseas matches. Why don't you name one Sachin overseas innings that came in a winning cause that could be compared to Dravid's 233 and 72 at Adelaide or 270 at Rawalpindi?

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Nostalgia and emotion getting the better of a seasoned writer like Guha! Did the sight of a 40 yr old Sachin in the recently concluded series evoke the same emotions in him? How long does he want Sachin to be around? Like many others,I am also an ardent admirer of Sachin,but like anyone who has played any kind of sport knows,there comes a stage at everyone's life,where the mind is willing,but the body just does not agree..I support calls for SRT's retirement bcos I am his fan.Do people still remember the famous headline in the HINDU newspaper"Kapil,please go",for the simple reason that Phil Simmons had carted around the ground like a spinner? Do we want to remember for his sublime mastery with the bat,or as a person who refused to acknowledge that his time was over? More importantly,what's his present commitment to Indian cricket? Does he need Indian cricket or is it the other way around? Dont we need to give youngsters a chance on the relatively easier home series?

Posted by adnan_rifat84 on (September 8, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

my comments for those who want to keep watch playing sachin then keep watching he is bowled every time and making less scores so he decrease his value he earned since 1989.. people will keep abusing and keep demanding him until he get out without scoring.

Posted by Gizza on (September 8, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

No @moBlue, SRT failed in all four of the England tests, the three West Indian tests, all four of the Australian tests and the two New Zealand tests so that's actually 13 tests and 24 innings of failures. There were a few 50+ scores there but none of them dictated the match in any shape or form. Having said that, maybe he can continue Tests for one or two years max as long as he retires from ODI's. There's no way at his age he can bat with any success if he plays both longer forms of the game. Skipping one third of the games here and there is quite selfish of him. Retire from one form (or both) or don't skip at all and ensure team stability.

Posted by bismoy on (September 8, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

sadly for sachin one of his greatest innings argubably the best innings played by any indian was in loosing cause.The match vs pakistan where he single handly trash like of wasim, waquar, saqlain .

Really like to know how many quality bowler like this so called dravid and laxman faced in there life??

Fact of matter is dravid and laxman scored heavily when sachin has tenis elbow, apart from that there is now way this 2 were better comapred to great sachin

Posted by tntn on (September 8, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

There is a good chance that even Sachin is not as much impacted by the remarks as these writers and commentators are. There are bigger fans out here who wish Sachin well and are just worried that he does not end a career pale but times his exit himself. Thats all. Its the criticism which hurts more than the act itself. Here, it has hurt the writers more than Sachin.

Posted by bismoy on (September 8, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

Asia cup india scored some 289 runs, if they can't defend that score vs bangladesh then bowler should be blamed.

what india needs to score 400 to win match vs bangladesh?? because no one blames bowlers the standard of bowling in india is abysmal.

Instead of blaming bowlers some so called cricket lovers blame sachin, what a irony!!!

Posted by kristee on (September 8, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

There'd be at least 10 Lara innings I'd prefer watching to any of his. Period.

Posted by bismoy on (September 8, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Great article.. Those who wants sachin to retire just because dravid retire or laxman retire have not seen sachin in 90 era's.We simply can't ask game greatest run scorer odi+test included to retire .

No offence to dravid ,laxman but they were never the same class as sachin, so the parameter here is completely different.Any one who follows sachin career from beginning will know that talent will conquer the age.Wait for the england and Australia series...The real fun will start ,,,

Posted by guest12345678910 on (September 8, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

I firmly believe thaat those who r not accepting tendulkar..... is ur problem age?.... then is sachin the only one to sacrifice for youngsters??????? And wat makes me feel is that youngsters r of no use..... u hav many eg... I don't want to take any names here... Sachin will play as much as he likes......... Who r u to say to him abt retirement????? But one thing... dear sachin the day u will retire we indians will be sad cuz we want our darling to play FOREVER...,,

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

Sachin is Great - no disputes! Those calling for his retirement are his greatest fans, and that is not disrespectful. Matter of fact, that is showing the ultimate respect to the great man. The day will ultimately come, why not now, when he is still capable, and has given his all to the world. Nothing Sachin can do now will surpass what he has already accomplished. His continued linger on the international stage exposes his weakness to be decisive in the ultimate decision...

Posted by truebleue_cricfan on (September 8, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

What exactly is the purpose of this article, Mr. Guha? Are you suggesting that Sachin is beyond criticism just because he provided all of us with joy over the years? That, I am afraid is nothing but emotional outburst. I am sure there are plenty of us here in this forum who have been big fans of Sachin , but do feel that he is not as good now as he was perhaps a few years back. And we surely have a right to feel that way. We dont look back at all the joy he has given us over the years and think 'Oh, he has given us such wonderful memories. Let us all pretend he is batting just as beautifully as before'. And that is exactly what you seem to be doing here. in fact, we all may be doing Sachin himself a great disservice here by praising him when what is needed is a honest evaluation.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (September 8, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

contd.That was in the summer of 1990. Then came Australia and the 148 at Sydney and India came within an ace of winning that match. Shane Warne made his debut in that game. Then the Perth hundred which is part of cricketing lore. Though India lost I remember Dean Jones and Alan Border running up and shaking the hand of a future legend when Sachin got out. His 100 had come against the likes of McDermott and Whitney at their peak on the frighteningly quick WACA ground. I remember Sachin was 88 not out overnight in a Test in New Zealand. He tried getting to three figures with two sixes. He got out and walked away almost in tears.That is the Sachin I have followed all his career. I have seen this supernatural human transcend all really. He was not a great captain as we know but I cannot believe that there has been a greater batsman in the game ever. He has the unwavering ability to examine himself and find answers when needed like no one else before him. And I am sure he will do so again.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (September 8, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

I waited for Sachin Tendulkar to make his debut in Tests after he had scored a hundred in his debuts both in the Ranji Trophy and in the Irani Trophy. It happened in Pakistan in 1989 against a Pakistan side that had perhaps the most formidable bowling in World cricket. Imran, Wasim were fully established world beaters and Waqar Younis was just beginning to turn into one. Abdul Qadir was the leg spinner who was no respite though. After his short debut innings of 15 I think, he got hit on the nose by Waqar in the next Test. Though bloodied,the world got a glimpse of the future genius when he hit Waqar in the same over for 4 fours upon getting up.On that tour,Sanjay Manjrekar was the one who made big news. Sachin's heroics were of course about the fifty he got in one Test and the four sixes he hit of Abdul Qadir in an over in an unofficial ODI upon beig taunted by the leg-spinner. It was a big thing for me when he scored his first 100 at Old Trafford in 1990 and saved the game for India.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

Give Sachin a Dale Steyn, Cummins, Ajmal or even Umar Gul in his team and watch how many matches he wins for you... Cricket is a TEAM sport!!

Posted by mucheemaann on (September 8, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

I also remember one of his greatest innings played for Mumbai against Rest of India for Irani Chai Trophy against world class bowlers. Well, let's just call them bowlers who played international cricket. I am disappointed that Guha missed recollecting this. I also remember his golden short innings during 2003 and 2011 world cup finals. How can anyone forget those golden innings?

I was in the stadium right next to Guha, and I heard him say 'time to write some stupid article'. Is that cynical enough?

If I am allowed to be less cynical, I am grateful that we have Guha writing for cricinfo and that you should all be grateful that I don't qualify as a writer. I learned something from this article - next time when India loses, I will remember some of Sachin's greatest innings and spread some waves of happiness.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

@praveen4honestremark on (September 08 2012, 09:01 AM GMT) Its we the indians who wanted sachin to take responsibility.I dont know your age so that i can infer how many matches u saw at that time but exactly 90s was the time when sachin gave us the joy & relief by carting world's best bowlers all over the park in evry condition.It was our sachin vs the rest of the world & mostly sachin triumphed only to be ashamed by the incompetence of his team mates especially overseas.Game used to be alive until sachin was there.if sachin got out,most people switched off their TV sets & rightfully so..Slow batting??who,in his senses, w'd associate sachin with slow batting?? The reality goes like this: when sachin fires & team wins,its the whole team performing. If sachin fires & team loses,its bcoz sachin was playing for records, which costs india & if sachin fails & India loses,its bcoz sachin didn't perform & the new in thing:if sachin fails & india wins, then sachin s'd retire.Pathetic hypocrisy

Posted by Kaare on (September 8, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Sachin hasn't really performed in test matches in a year. Shouldnt that be reason enough to call for his head? (as it should be for sehwag and gambhir) And why oh why does calling for him to retire mean someone is fickle or disrespectful or sacrilegious?

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

One man one country one game. GOD of Cricket.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

This is an emotional topic I just want to put in a point about matchwinningness. Matches are won by the team. Not single handedly. People talking about Laxman and Dravid winning or saving tests, please go back in time befor1996, when Tendulkar was the only guy battling against all odds in all places. Onlly in home ground did the other support actors came into play. Please recall innings where Sachin is out and then the team just folded up. The pressure was just that much. Only when Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman settled into their roles that this pressure came down and India became a fighting side. So just dont just comment that Sachin did not play enough match winning innings. I reiterate that this is a team game. Just for example, if Ishant had got out would LAXMAN Won the match against Australia??? You require two to tango

Posted by moBlue on (September 8, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

...(continued)... the following are facts: sachin's test match record is as follows:

1989-9/2012 190 314 32 15533 248* 55.08 51 65 9/2010-9/2012 21 38 3 1696 214 48.45 3 9 9/2011-9/2012 9 16 0 568 94 35.50 0 4

SRT's runs in his last 10 test matches have been as follows: (23,91) in ENG; (7,76), (38,-), (94,3) vs. WI at home, (73,32), (41,80), (15,8), (25,13) in AUS, (19,-) and (17,27) vs. NZ at home...

so, the facts are that SRT's 2-year average is 48 as opposed to his career ave. of 55. since 9/2010, SRT has over 30% [12 out of 38 innings] 50-plus scores which puts him in the not-just-good-but-great category!!! it is true that SRT has averaged a - by his lofty standards - pedestrian 36 since 9/2011, but even there, he has only failed in the last 2 tests in AUS and in 2 tests vs. NZ - a grand total of 7 innings!!! now... you want a genius like SRT to retire on that flimsy a basis?!? do you understand test cricket?!?

Posted by N.Sridharan on (September 8, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

Sachin is a great batsman no doubt. He has attained great heights alright. All great players have to retire one day. It is better that they decide to quit the game before they are hounded out. After a fantastic show in England, Dravid was forced to quit because of repeated failures in Australia. Laxman was praised as Very Very Special for his elegance in stroke making and his contribution to the team cause in winning or draws from impossible situations. He was also forced out for failing to live up to his own high standards, in both England and Australia. The difference between Sachin and the other two are: Sachin played mostly at no 4 position in tests and opened in ODIs and he was a permanent fixture in the team. Dravid was asked to shift from his no 3 position and open in many tests. Most of his career Laxman was never sure of playing in the next test and was shuffled from no 1 to no 7. Many of his great performances have been in the company of tail enders when his back was hurting.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

dear mr. guha,sachin's highest score in 1998 was 179,which he scored agaist west indies in '94,atleast get the facts right

Posted by ansram on (September 8, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

An emotional outburst. Nobody is beyond criticism, Mr.Guha. It is the fans who pay to watch matches ( without which cricketers would be nobodies) and they have a right to eulogize or criticize players. Sachin is not a superman who has descended from Mars, he is a human being and the day will come when he will not be able to play cricket well. The day may have arrived already, and if it has not, the day is not far off as Sachin is nearing 40.

Recognizing Sachin's past achievements are one thing. And calling for his head now is a different thing altogether and does not mean disrespect to him. We must put team India and her victory over individual milestones and records. If Sachin keeps struggling he is a liability to the team and his place can be given to a worthy youngster who will represent India for many years to come.

Posted by moBlue on (September 8, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

to all of you who insist sachin should retire: why, exactly? give me cricketing reasons why he should not be playing test cricket for IND - his age is not a cricketing reason. just because *you* think he is old is no reason for him to retire!

first of all, your rohit sharma's and suresh raina's can't even hold a bat properly in test cricket - so they are simply unqualified to be playing test cricket both by virtue of their technical skills and definitely by virtue of temperament. so don't make sacrilegious statements like sachin should retire and make way for them! no one needs to make way for those two in the current IND test team. besides those two, there are indeed two other talented cricketers [rahane and that dude from TN] who are fit to play test cricket right now for IND but neither is better than sachin yet. in fact, in the enitre IND team, *no one* is better than sachin even now, k? not when it comes to facing steyn, philander and morkel in SA!!! the following are facts: ...

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

The sport should always be ahead of individuals...i dont agree with Mr. Guha that Indian fans are notoriously fickle...Indian fans are well informed and know the game in and out...after all Cricket is our national past-time. Sachin is not the same as he was in yesteryears...he is not the same in one dayers nor in test cricket...when one sees him playing now, you get a feeling that he is just buying time....time to bid good byes' boss...Sachin is a national hero - world hero. I hope that Sachin himself retires than being shown the door by the selectors...that would be bad for the God of Cricket.

Posted by Ribs on (September 8, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

Another article advocating SRT's prolonging his carrier. He was past glory you people still wants him to live with that. We need to have standard rules and regulation whether the player playing his first match or the player playing his 500th match. You can't allow anyone walk in to the team whenever he wants, for sure it will affect the team combination, I don't think people have some cricket knowledge accept that. He is not in the shape to play for India and his fitness level far behind the situation demanded. RD having better fitness than SRT, if he retired at this level means SRT doesn't have a place in the playing XI. How many people we lost Asia cup because of SRT's 100th century?

Posted by A.S.K. on (September 8, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

More hero worship on Sachinfo. Ramachandra, are you Sambi(go)t Bal's love child?

Posted by bxveer on (September 8, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

There is no question that all Indians should be grateful for the joy and entertainment SRT provided over the last 20 years or so. But that doesn't mean that you cannot call for his head when he is not performing. Everyone knows that his 100th hundred cost India a match and potentially the Asia cup. Of late he picks and chooses the matches to play which doesn't help the team. Selectors should chart out his exit when he is on a high. Nobody is beyond the team and the game. Past performance should only count so much.

Yes, fans are fickle but when you are making sacrifices to be at a stadium and expect a performance but do not get it you have the right to criticize. Also SRT has the right to fail like all sportsmen but he is also expected to perform at a certain level. If past performance gives you privileges it also enforces upon you certain obligations.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 8, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

@coolindianfan on (September 08 2012, 07:01 AM GMT)..I was talking in context of Bharat ratna and it's not an ordinary award to give to whomever we call as GOD. I respect Anna and i follow him but it doesn't mean he speaks correct in context of cricket. Anna might have not seen other players. May be he should see other players like Dravid, Laxman who played great knocks in tests before he might have commented. Greatness doesn't only come with how many runs you score always. It also counts how much good you were when you played to save a test match. Win it. Dravid and Laxman have done this many a times.

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

Mr. Guha I don't think the fans are "foolish and fickle minded". No one is doubting Sachin's greatness. People are feeling that perhaps age has caught up with him. This is based on his current mode of dismissals rather than his past great efforts.

Now, going by what we saw, he played several fluent shots in the second innings in Bangalore. Tim Southee bowled the first three balls at around 82mph. They were on or outside off stump. The third ball was hit to the point boundary. Tendulkar, I suspect, was feeling he was getting into the groove he was before the rain interruption. Next Southee bowled a slightly faster (86mph) fuller length ball on middle stump angling towards leg. Sachin picked the line but not the extra pace of the ball. The ball struck his pad before it struck his bat. We all know where the ball went next. Sachin was very angry with himself for not picking the faster ball. That shows the desire is still there to triumph. Hope he comes back strong.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 8, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

@Jitesh Talwani on (September 08 2012, 07:40 AM GMT)..Well who said Sachin to take responsibility. Get down if cannot take responsibility for team.. Dravid and Laxman retired when felt they cannot play longer , as they felt unfit and also thought of Indian future. What's wrong with this guy Sachin. You call this guy a legend who don't know where does he stand??. Picks and chooses matches as he wants. And after comes into team fails miserably and still all should keep silent, is it?What is his answer on future of him?? He says, i will play as long as i feel. His feeling is not needed. He played well, no body is disrespecting for his past glories, his mile stones in name of centuries, whatever may have costed team for his slow batting at 90's. I said it is in tests Dravid and Laxman played more better and are real greats, about ODi's Dravid had to play anchor role and Laxman got very less chances.. Sachin will be exposed completely in up coming series. Watch it.

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

People who are writing against Sachin do not have any idea about what Sachin is Made of , he is made of Comeback and how many do you need? Ponting layed three years after his best of the form so did Vaughan and so did Kallis, People who are commenting against never acutally respected him they just enjoyed him as a player and will treat him like and entertainer. For those who feel Sachin is made of a different wood then what these silly commentors made of they are not commenting against him. Please think if you are asked to leave your job in this manner will you leave it for a newer generation?

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

Going by your logic Mr. Guha, these cricketers should also be playing till now..Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, K Srikkant, M Amarnath, G Viswanath, Madan Lal, R Binny, Kirti Azad, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, V V S Laxman, D Vengsarkar, S Manjrekar, B Bedi, E Prasanna, S Kirmani....that it..my fingers hurt..just like your never-ending article!!

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

how his critcs can forget his magestic batting against aussies during last australlian tour,those wonderful cuts at mcg,those on drives and cover drives in scg still giving me goose bumps,it is just ridiculous to bring his age as a depriciating factor because only 6 months back he was as solid as ever and these are not my words but of great cricket critics like ian chappel and tony creig,it is a matter of just one good inning and we will see our champion again as the most promising and wonderful cricketer ever in the history of world cricket;

Posted by rohit453 on (September 8, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

pls check this b4 commenting on sachin's performances under pressure http://sachinandcritics.com/sachin_in_pressure_situations.php if u still think sachin is bad player under pressure then u donno nething about cricket.

Posted by rohit453 on (September 8, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

http://sachinandcritics.com/sachin_in_pressure_situations.php pls check this b4 commenting on sachin's performances under pressure..some pple donno any facts but still comment

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

To all those people who stamp out stats that sachin has not won anything for India, Answer this: Why is it only sachin's responsibility to win 4 India? Why other 10 people are in the team? It has been too easy..when we win,our team has improved & when we lose,Sachin is responsible? where will these double-standards end?? in every team game, individual brilliance can bring you closer to the finish line,but to cross it, others have to contribute also! Sadly, evry1 remembers that how many times sachin has failed to cross the finish line, but nobody wants to see that he,more often than not, was the one who took India closer to the brink of victory!!!

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

Dude, no body is taking away his greatness...I have not personally enjoyed anyone more than tendulkar batting...most of us are suggesting it is time...I personally respect his decision..but it is better to go rather than asked to go!

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 8, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

@Pranav Joshi on (September 08 2012, 06:51 AM GMT).. In ODi's he is failure when India chased. This doesn't mean all the time, right. But when compared with many Indian greats he has failed miserably in second innings in tests and in ODI's. Period.

Posted by Kulaputra on (September 8, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

The only thing Mr Guha is right on is that no sportsman should be given Bharata Ratna. This is for those categories that have been mentioned eloquently. Ian Chappel very graciously conveyed on commentary that cricketers are at the end of the day entertainers and such awards are for people who achieve in more serious fields. Mr. Guha - you are more a candidate for this award than Sachin, in a manner of speaking.

I could have been the man behind you, except that I was sitting in the next enclosure. By way of sentiment, yes, I think I have a right to call for Sachin's retirement just as I called for Dravid's retirement and for Ganguly to be kept out of coaching and selection committees.

Every product has a use-by date and once it is passed, it is not of much use, despite all romanticism that we attach. Some products outlast us and are inherited. These are usually inanimate objects like compressed carbon t precious metals, never living things.

Sachin's useby date alas is over

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

@Pranav Joshi - Spot on Pranav. Look, internet has grown to a great extent that people who hardly watch cricket just read some crap from somewhere and jump into judging Greats! I was very much upset when Ponting was shown the door from ODIs. A legend like him truly deserved more respect. I am sure BCCI would never do that to Sachin because Indian cricket teams got respect around the world only because of having Sachin with them

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (September 8, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

Its so pathetic to see the way some people or most think here. I think most people here don't know how privileged they are to see a once in a lifetime batsman like me and trust me no other in last 20-30 yrs even comes close.

People think Sachin plays for records and is selfish....if scoring that many runs was just as easy as being selfish than politicians would have had a average in 200's per inngs.

Its very easy to be disrespect other's work. People will realize his value when India would have to depend on like's of Sehwag/Gambhir who go around for 2.5 yrs without scoring a 100.

Posted by coolindianfan on (September 8, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

@praveen4honestremark speaking of bharat ranta i think there are better contenders like Azim Premji , etc but think about even anna Hazzare wants a bharat ratna for check thishimhttp://www.mid-day.com/news/2011/nov/161111-Sachin-Tendulkar-Bharat-Ratna-Hazare.htm. about his cricket of lately he is not performing well . but that is a part and parcel of cricket he has been through such periods , same way like other greats like dravid and poiting. who says sachin did not stamp his authority in team wins he has more runs and more importantly a higher average in indias victories. he is a fail when india chases . thats because when indian team chases big targets there are ocassions where all 10 players combined couldnt make as much as sachin did . for eg rawalpindi 2004, sachins 175 vs aus in 2009 and sharjah qualifying vs austalia his 143.have dravid and laxman ever achieved anything like that.by the way one more stat sachin has more runs in chasing then anyone else .

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

I do not know how the Bangaladesh innings can be called selfish! We were playing first and were poised to make a big enough score to worry any opposition, leave alone Bangladesh... it is only fair that Sachin took his time to ensure the 'monkey' is off his back so that a nation can get back to its business... how is he at fault if our bowlers cannot defend that score! From the way we bowled, another 30 runs also would not have made any difference that day... I'm also not sure about the 'facts' thrown in here - even if we agree to those for argument sake, without knowing how they compare against others, they are only mere numbers. Ram is only asking one and all to maintain some kind of balance between our views- we cannot swing from being a staunch devout to an atheist in a matter of few months - definitely not based on few innings!

Posted by viswanav on (September 8, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

I don't get it...So, Sachin should be allowed to play till 50 if he wishes (even if he does not perform, the memories are enough), but other (Indian) cricket players should step aside once their standards start dropping? Why this double standard? It's high time someone told Sachin that he is a mere mortal and that he can't play forever...Any other player would have gracefully retired after the WC victory, but this guy's penchant for fame and records made him continue...I can understand (and even sympathize with Dravid and Laxman) if they wanted to continue playing past their prime as they came relatively late onto the international scene...But we all know when this guy first started playing...The author just doesn't know how to separate emotion and bias from objectivity...

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

@Chirag Doshi

You corrected the mistake and made another. Sachin's highest score until 1999-00 was his 179 against West Indies at Nagpur in 1994.

Many vitriolic comments on this article too. Another thing I would encourage people to do is to verify facts before making sweeping statements like "Sachin always failed when India chased in ODIs". The stats tell a different story.

And for those who say he failed under pressure, here's a stat: He played 40 ODI finals, and made 10 fifties and 6 centuries at an average of 54. India won all 6 finals in which he made a century. 3 of the centuries were made chasing.

His best performances abroad in Tests also came with the series 0-1 down, or 1-1. Incidentally, the last time he scored a test century in a dead match was against WI in India in 2002. Since then he has scored 20 test centuries, all in live series.

Posted by SamRoy on (September 8, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

Hey Mr. Guha, which logical person will have a problem with Sachin Tendulkar being awarded Bharat Ratna? He is the most deserving sportsman and third most deserving Indian after Dr. Swaminathan (father of green revolution) and Dr. Kurien (father of milk revolution) who have not yet received Bharat Ratna. But, he needs to retire as his reflexes have slowed down and he is currently not even among the six best batsman in the team (Dhoni and Ashwin are better than him). Ideally, his retirement should have come at his peak, immediately after 2011 World Cup.

Posted by ashankar on (September 8, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

Okay what the writer is trying to prove is the question raised by many here. For me it sounds like he is trying to prove that Sachin is beyond critics and he is just not saying that because he loves Sachin. He says that because Sachin is indeed beyond critics. Who are we to judge Sachin? forget about GOD and stuff that we call him. Look at people who critices Sachin. Who are they? for me Greats are Don, Viv, Sobers, Lara, Ponting, Warne, Murali and Inzy (Maybe i missed some names here). Check the current and past comments that these Real Greats have told about Sachin. I agree with them and not any other critic. And yeah Bishan Singh Bedi is a good critic (Bold and Accurate). see what he has told about Sachin.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

So many people have this exaggerated sensitivity over Sachin Tendulkar. Yes, he is a national treasure, and yes, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest batsmen to have played the game. This does not, however, make him above criticism, and make fans who believe he should retire fickle or small-minded. In fact the telling irony in this article is that it is written by a sentimental fan instead of an objective journalistic judge of a sportsman's shelf life.

There have been many sporting geniuses who, despite being unmatched in attainment and talent, did not know when to quit. The Greatest, Ali, boxed relentlessly despite waning eye and faltering arm, a pale shadow of his former self. Others, like Cantona quit at the height of their powers and left us wanting more.

Sachin may yet have some remarkable statements to make on the cricket pitch. Genius, after all, can never be predicted. But the evidence for now, and the objective case, has got to be for him to bow out.

Posted by Rumy1 on (September 8, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Well Mr.Guha we all agree that India's greatest batsman has given us immense joy over the last two decades. But he is nearing 40. His body movements are slowing down. Reflexes are also not getting better. His skills may remain but he is getting comprehensively beaten on Indian tracks by likes of Bracewell. Well if a keen cricketing eye like you Mr.Guha can not sense and observe this then who will. Your article has a touch of emotion which is clouding your logical and rational side. IT IS CLEARLY TIME FOR HIM TO GO...AT THE TOP. I will not like him to leave under either media pressure or humiliation. He is our jewel and he should remain there at the highest pedestal. He got a chance at age 16. He must clear the way for a youngster now. Heavens will not fall if he leaves. Indian cricket show will go on. Dravid and Laxman aren't there but things are moving on. Right?? SACHIN MUST RETIRE NOW before he is further taken on by the pace and swing of likes of Anderson, Broad., Starc, Hilfenhaus

Posted by ChiragDoshi on (September 8, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

small mistake..sachin's highest test score was never 177..he had made 179 against england in 1996.

Posted by KRISCO on (September 8, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

hi sir, as a passionate follower of cricket over the years, frankly tendulkar has overstayed his welcome perhaps out of insecurity over his records he continues to stick around neither enriching team or givin it a security of his presence. Imran khans farewell, so does that of Mcgrath murali will forever be etched in memory. but i doubt sachin's will.. the writing is loud and clear we all have our favourites and of course memories last.perhaps in future we should remember his straight drive standing up tall rather than to see him struggling to get ball away. BCCI should make a brave decision.. i just hope his end doesn't tun out like sanath's or being elbowed away. That would be a shame and it will b him who is to be blamed. I hope he will be mature and let better sense prevail and retire asap. It is an SOS...

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 8, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

Contd...When he has so many negatives in approaching and playing for team win then how should he deserve Bharat Ratna.? Shame awards are given to entertainers but not real match winners.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 8, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

Sir Ramanchandra Guha can you tell me whom words have you listened in coming to conclusion as if all India is asking for it??. It is shaming Bharat ratna(BR) is you give award to Sachin. Sachin is great entertainer in cricket. You see him playing great shots but cricket is not all about playing great shots. t's also about showing character on field, on how to handle match situations and savour India from crisis on field. I am not saying he has not done anything. He did played good cricket, if not why so many would watch his bat. But he had to never shown character to play well under pressure. BR is given to people who are Ratnas. Not just gold. Ask any cricket lover from when he started feeling that India can win any where in world and from any position. It is only after 2001 kolkata test people of India. Sachin with so many great stats couldn't even stamp his authority on Indian cricket for Indian team wins more than Dravid and VVS in t tests. In ODi's he is failure when India chased.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

lovely article, but I agree with those who say that there should be a plan to gradually phase Sachin out of the team. at present he is the experienced core of the batting, which looks fragile without him. at the same time, there are other potential superstars waiting in the wings for their chance. as amazing as his achievements have been and even though they will never be matched, young potential should never be sacrificed for keep an old veteran around even if he scores a century or 2 more. Sachin has had his time in the sun; he needs to retire or be retired soon.

Posted by joshilay on (September 8, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

I donno what the writer is trying to prove? So what if the guy who shouted out wanted him to be conferred a Bharat Ratna. That was a year back, since then Sachin hasnt contributed to the team enough. You just cant cling onto past laurels and that too for this long.

Sachin. Thank you for all what you did, but now, move on, before a push comes to a shove.

Posted by thenkabail on (September 8, 2012, 5:53 GMT)

DROP SACHIN: I am extremely sorry to say this. My respect and love for Sachin is second to none. But Ramachandra Guha is just writing some sentimental nonsense. Yes, what Sachin has given us is immeasurable. But, there is a time to leave the stage for everyone. Indeed, that time was some time back for Sachin. He overstayed because he is sachin and no one dare touch him. Yet, how pathetic Sachin has become. We lost to bangladesh. But Sachin scored 100th and all he was concerned was his 100th. Sachin's 100th was actually an act of selfishness. He was not concerned about India's loss to Bangladesh, but came out arrogantly about his 100th. That was also time sachin lost it. Lost the character we all loved from him. He is actually blocking a place. How about getting Unkud Chand- new star on horizon in his place and Rohit or Yuvraj in place of Raina and India's batting will be settled. Sachin may not want to retire. But selectors must drop him, because arrogance has become hallmark of sachin

Posted by VJ_IND on (September 8, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

silly you say cricketers are mere entertainers !

1. they represent the country in peace-time-battles/human-physical-mental-skills-challenge with other nations.

2. they represent the energy and passion of the nation and give reasons to strive harder, motivate and live.

Posted by ab_cricket on (September 8, 2012, 5:42 GMT)

We all share the emotions of the writer BUT sometimes people have to move on which they do not realise. I don't think Sachin is doing any good for Indian cricket by prolonging his career on the sheer weight of his legacy. I'm sure that the future generations will always remember him as the greatest but whenever the present viewers will think of him the the sour taste of his delayed resignation will always remain with his legacy.

Posted by HundredPercentBarcelonista on (September 8, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

I'm curious. Is it impossible to be grateful for all the memories Tendulkar has provided us and still want him to retire, or expect the selectors to atleast take a call on whether he should be in the side? Because it seems to me that even suggesting there should be a question mark on his place in the side is taken as blasphemy.

Posted by criclogics on (September 8, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

Spot on, Guha. All I say is, LET HIM BE at least now and let him enjoy his cricket without more pressure from us. Enjoy his game whilst he is playing.

Posted by Biophysicist on (September 8, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

I enjoyed reading your prosaic article as much as I did Sachin's batting. While I am grateful to him for his batting exploits, I must say that the time has come for him to give way to a youngster. After all, SRT got a break at 16 which gave him the opportunity to play for the country for this long and entertain us. Despite his poor run of scores in the last 18 months (avg. ~35 as against a career avg. of 55+), he is still clinging on to the test team. If he is unable to decide, it is the responsibility of the selectors to tell him to gracefully retire. After all, in the last few months two other batting greats who have contributed as much to India's test wins in the last 16 years as SRT, decided to hang their boots. If there is any truth in the rumours, Laxman was hinted by one of the selectors to retire. I am sure they can do the same job with Sachin, and they should, because their job is not to appreciate Sachin's past batting exploits but to look at Indian cricket's future.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (September 8, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

The Greatest Cricketer ever in Cricketing History. Sachin you deserves to go on your own, See Media created Hype Made Rahul to retired, if laxman would have retired rat the end of Australian test series. We would have fortunate to see Rahul playing and Kohli and Pujara Devloping around the two great Sachin and Rahul. There was no need of instant swapping to replace seniors with juniors evry year we would have got 1 new good batsmen then we would have find another but now situation is worst and Dhoni is giving chance to players like Raina and Gambhir after continuous failure India have to look After Rahane, Rohit, Pandey, Tiwary, Chand, Surya and Mandeep for next batting sensation, Enough of Gambhir and Raina. Sehwag is also not scoring big but still he is coring some runs and is a biggest impact player all over the world.

Posted by boredkumar on (September 8, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

A request to cricinfo and Mr. Guha.. Please make Mr. Guha's articles a regular feature. And sir thank you for standing out from the crowd... It pains ,e to see how we treat our sporsmen even some one like Sachin in a sport so popular as cricket. I at times tend to agree with the 'other' cynics who say we do not deserve a tendulkar.. Probably they are right

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

Well....whether you're a good cricketer or a great one, you do need to think about retirement, at some stage. Better to do it when you're on top, performing for the team, and on your terms. I'm sure Tendulkar grapples with this question every day.

Posted by sweetspot on (September 8, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

Why should those who call for Sachin's retirement be called "cynics" Mr. Guha? Shouldn't some of us wish to remember the great Sachin and not want it tarnished by a pathetic ex-titan in distress? If anything it shows greater respect when we want to remember our idols for the best they were, instead of watching them grind on. If we want to see Sachin playing purely out of respect he should be in the Indian team till he dies. Is this reasonable?

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

Strange argument. As a Tendulkar fan, I prefer to remember him for his dominant batting; and it is precisely for this reason that I would like him to call it a day.What is Tendulkar trying to prove? More to the point, what is left for him to prove? Indian cricket will ultimately have to face a post Tendulkar era -and we might as well buckle down to it right now and at least TRY to find adequate replacements. No one is likely to forget his mammoth contributions to cricket in India and indeed the world over, but that does not mean cricket lovers should be addressed as 'foolish' and 'fickle minded' when they request to be spared the pathetic sight of a once dominant and majestic batsman being reduced to an average plodder by even ordinary attacks.

Posted by D.Sharma on (September 8, 2012, 4:35 GMT)

I just wish there were similar articles for Laxman and Dravid before they retired. They are the true heroes of Indian cricket. Majority of this talk about Tendulkar retiring came after Dravid and Laxman retired. Rahul and VVS clearly masked Tendulkar's poor displays over the last year and a half, and now that they are gone, Sachin is exposed on and off the field.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 4:33 GMT)

The indian cricket fan is truly fickle. But I am glad that I am not alone in not conforming to those norms. Very nicely worded. It does seem foolish. The fact remains that there isn't a better "youngster" suited for his position in the Test team. Thats a fact that nobody is even trying to accept. Age has nothing to do with ability has he has shown all through the years. People have been calling for his retirement since the Tennis elbow years. That was back in 2003-04. That australian series, the crowd there gave him a standing ovation in sydney when he walked as they thought it might be his last test in australia. He visited them twice after that in 2008 and 2011. So that says all that needs to be said about how meaningful these cynical remarks are and have been over the years.

Posted by cgs2606 on (September 8, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

I was sitting in the N stand. When the stumps were broken down there was silence and people were more than any thing else disappointed. But I get your point. It applies to lot more foolish and fickle-minded cynics than those just inside the Chinnaswamy stadium.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (September 8, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

Indian fans have a short memory. They make ordinary players as God's and Walls, while some fine players disappear after few disappointing knocks. A perfect example is Rohit Sh., an ordinary player who is touted as 'talented' but never performs.Another example is Sehwag who never won anything for India and is a bonafide flat track bulley but fans just are happy when he goes around scoring worthless runs in India. Suresh Raina is another non performer who is a laughing stock against fast bowlers in test matches, but fans like him for his ODI few hits here and there. Same is the case with Tendulya. This man has been crafty and over the years has never performed when it really mattered! Be it a test match in Madras against Pakistan or be it a world cup final. His 4th inngs average is a mere 32. He averages 33 against McGrath, Donald, Wasim And Waqar .Runs that do no win matches mean nothing. Sadly, Tendulya can continue bowing Southee, Asif, Ajmal and Boultt or follow Dravid gracefully!

Posted by   on (September 8, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

Every batsman, in his career, faces lean patches. And with a career as extensive as that of Sachin's, there is bound to be ups and downs. Sir, you said it right. Indian fans(not only in cricket) are really very fickle. We cheer our heroes, admire them, respect them, but where is the believe in them? Fans should stick with their heroes; no matter what. Sachin is not an ordinary player. He is regarded as one of the greatest, if not the best. He will surely comeback strongly. Sachin has the team's interest in his heart. If he feels he has become more of a liability than a necessity, he will certainly call it a day. And I don't think that day has arrived yet. So, Support your hero, he needs it. You can keep the bashing to yourself.

Posted by RajitD on (September 8, 2012, 4:09 GMT)

Ram, am a fan of your writing in general, but I have to disagree on this point. Without doubt Sachin is the best batsman since the great Don. I for one have long felt that he should have retired on 2April 2011 after we won the World Cup. In his case, it is mind willing, but not the body. It is sad to see him consistently lose his stumps to bowlers who are not world class - not yet at least. Nothing takes away his past, which we all will forever cherish, but you don't want to remember him for his last 2 years like some of us remember Kapil and his agonising quest for 434.

Posted by PKDaruwalla on (September 8, 2012, 4:06 GMT)

We are mortals, so is Sachin. One should be clouded by nostalgia. Time is a very cruel master, it levels all into posterity, so will Sachin. SHould he retire, I am not sure but one thing for sure , he has bat lower than 2 down, probably 5 down or even 6 down like Gary Sobers used to do and yet score centuries. He should switch to lighter bats, take leg stump stance, play mostly straight bat in the V, he has cut many strokes out of his armory since he began. He has probably a year or two of productive contribution left in him.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (September 8, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Nice article, Mr. Guha. But if mere memories ensured a place, then SMG and GRV would continue playing for India. It is time to move on. SRT has to retire.

Posted by Jose on (September 8, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

Wow... too harsh comments on the supporters of "Sachin should retire"campaigners. However, knowing the cheap attitude of this writer, these comments (like foolish & fickle-minded cynics etc) are expected to come out from him.

Posted by Aristotle01 on (September 8, 2012, 3:48 GMT)

Absolutely wonderful article for one of the top 3 greatest batsmen of all time. All the hacks, who dont know anything about the game can take a trip to brainland. There are some ridiculous fans on this page who, just because they are from the same region as Rahul Dravid, try and bog Sachin down just because their hero doesnt thave that style, ability and charisma that Sachin has. I am an Indian and I am one of Dravid's greatest fans, but its sad to see some narrow minded people who have regional bias overriding cricketing judgment. Sachin critics , in my view are probably unsuccesful in their careers so they are always gonna be rooting for the less fashionable- by nature. They are probably jealous, ans seething with measured admriation of SRT's success. They have no idea in what high regard SRT is held in other countries.

Posted by badalrocks on (September 8, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

A true article Mr. Guha. I have the same thankful feeling for Sachin for giving me so much joy in my entire childhood and early adulthood. When he comes out to bat, he disconnects me from all my worries and problems in life. Feel so privileged to see his career rise and rise over many many years. Just can't get enough of GOD.

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