Ed Smith
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Former England, Kent and Middlesex batsman; writer for the New Statesman

Should Tendulkar stay or go? The tough call may be the kindest

Conventional logic cannot be applied to players of his quality, but India will do its hero a disservice if it refuses to make a pragmatic decision

Ed Smith

December 19, 2012

Comments: 300 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar at the Wankhede stadium, Mumbai v Railways, Group A, Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Mumbai, November 2, 2012
Expecting great players to deselect themselves is as irrational as expecting modern players to give themselves out lbw © AFP
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Conventions are always changing to fit the times. Amateur batsmen used (mostly) to walk. Professionals now wait for the umpire to decide. But the old arrangement was a kind of deal, the batsman saying to the umpire: "I'll help you out by walking if I nick it, but in return you've got to trust me if I say didn't." The new arrangement, properly understood, is also a trade-off: "I'm not walking, so you have to make the call, but in return I'll respect the decision you make".

The transition, obviously, is from an amateur world based on personal trust to a professional set-up based on everyone being allowed to do the job they're paid to do. Few people in professional sport challenge that direction of traffic - from subjectivity to objectivity, from trust to professionalism, from winks and nudges to accountability and transparency.

Except when it comes to the retirements of senior players. In this area, modern sport goes all weak and wobbly, prone to fits of extravagant sentimentality. We hear the usual phrases over and over: "He'll know when the time is right… he's got to be able to make the decision himself when he's ready… after so many years of service, it's only fair he gets to choose… his home town would be a fitting finale…"

Really? Since when did the player know better than the selector who is selecting him? Since when is a batsman or bowler the best judge the trajectory of his own ability? It sounds like a highly amateurish set-up for such professional times. And why should a team organise its selection to provide "closure" for one player in the form of a ticker-tape send-off in his home town? By that logic, it is time to send home all the statistical analysts who try to provide coaches with what gamblers call "the edge" in selection. If the modern way is just to ask the star players what suits them best, sports teams could save themselves a fortune by abolishing support staff.

I offer no view on whether Sachin Tendulkar should play on in Test cricket. I'm not in a position to assess his hunger or his private demeanour. But I do challenge what seems to be the general view, that the decision should be his and his alone. If they aren't there to pick the team, why bother having selectors? Delegating selection to the dressing room seems a retrograde step, to say the least. Expecting great players to deselect themselves is as irrational as expecting modern players to give themselves out lbw.

I acknowledge entirely that the Tendulkar question is a very difficult decision for any selection panel. First, players of that quality do not follow conventional logic. The greatest players have a different kind of self-belief. In their own minds there is always a way to win, another chapter to write. Roger Federer has been urged to retire for years. But this season, aged 31, he spent another spell as world No. 1 and added a 17th grand slam title. There is honour in carrying on playing at a high level when you are no longer the dominant force in the sport.

Secondly, Tendulkar is, well, Tendulkar. The numbers - 51 Test hundreds, 49 ODI hundreds, 34,000 international runs - are the least of it. Tendulkar will always add up to more than the sum of his aggregates. They do not capture his style and majesty with the bat, nor his dignity and aura. I've heard many people talk about watching Don Bradman, and spoken to a few who played on the same pitch. With luck, one day I will try to describe to future generations what it is like living in the age of Tendulkar.

 
 
As boy and man, Tendulkar has made India feel proud. His achievements far transcend the sports field. Tendulkar has embodied the aspirations and achievements of a resurgent India
 

There are so many highlights, it's hard to know where to begin. I will mention just two special moments, taken from almost the start and almost the finish of his career - bookends, if you like.

First, think back to Tendulkar's reaction after scoring his maiden Test hundred, at Old Trafford in England in 1990. The 17-year-old prodigy brought up his century with a trademark straight drive for four off Angus Fraser. A normal 17-year-old would have jumped around ecstatically: "Look at me, I've done it, I'm only 17!" Tendulkar did nothing of the kind. He raised his bat quietly to thank the crowd, before looking down bashfully at the ground. There was, in his muted body language, a hint of a man accepting his lot in life. There was acceptance as well as happiness. He knew he was special. But special lives are rarely easy. He knew he was blessed with a rare talent, but that gift came with deep responsibilities. Greatness always exacts a price. For all the intrusions into his private life, for all the pressure heaped on him, Tendulkar has always tried to do justice to his gifts, to honour his responsibilities. It cannot have been easy.

That is why my second Tendulkar memory does not, for once, feature a great innings by the little master. When India won the World Cup final in Mumbai in 2011, Indian players queued up to thank Tendulkar - even though he had failed with the bat. "He's carried the hopes of our nation for more than two decades," Virat Kohli explained as he held Tendulkar aloft, "now it's time we carried him on our shoulders."

It was a perceptive remark, on many levels. As boy and man, Tendulkar has made India feel proud. His achievements far transcend the sports field. Tendulkar's career coincides almost exactly with the Indian economic revolution that began in 1991 with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's liberalisation reforms. Tendulkar has embodied the aspirations and achievements of a resurgent India.

India, the nation as well as the cricket team, certainly owes Tendulkar a great debt of thanks. But it will not serve its hero by refusing to make a pragmatic decision. The moment should never arrive when Tendulkar takes the field for India without being one of the best 11 players. It would be beneath him.

Sometimes the hard decision is actually the kindest.

Former England, Kent and Middlesex batsman Ed Smith's new book, Luck - What It Means and Why It Matters, is out now. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by Shan156 on (December 22, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

harmony, desperation? I am not desperate mate. Why should i be? Would i get any gain changing my prev. stance? Or am I scared of Sachin fans? Sachin debutec in Pak in 1989 the only time he faced Paks great bowlers in Pak. So it could be considered the same time. He scored his first ton at 17 and his avg. was just less than 40 in SA in the 90s.

Someone here brought in all those great souls into this. Batting is not a comparable art to music. I didnt say it was a science. The majority may not have heard Mozartbut they still must have heard some music. Music has properties that it is more than jusrt fun. Batting is not comparable. If it is for u, good 4 u.

Oh u can dispute the fact that Kallis is the better cricketer than Sachin for all I care. Stats can be used anyway. Both Sachin and Kallis have played for a long time and Kallis has the better average despite playing in tougher conditions for batting more often. If 2000s were golden age for bating, Sachin could have cashed in more

Posted by jay57870 on (December 22, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

TIME Magazine did a special story on Tendulkar a few months back. It compared Sachin's performance in cricket vs other superstars in American sports - football, ice-hockey, basketball & baseball. By comparing Tendulkar vs his nearest cricket rival Ponting, it concluded he led by a "margin wider than the gap between the 2 top scorers in other (four) major sports"! TIME proclaimed: "his ability to carry it for more than 22 years while utterly dominating his sport makes a good case that Tendulkar is the world's greatest athlete"! The other superstars who dominated their sports include names like Brett Favre, Wayne Gretzky, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Barry Bonds. Incidentally, Tendulkar is currently a full Bradman (almost) ahead of Ponting! Sachin's 34,071 international runs & 100 centuries outstrip Ricky's by 6,989 runs & 29 tons. Remember the great Don's 6,996 runs & 29 tons? But Sachin is more than just stats & records: An ageless wonder! No wonder he was bestowed the Order of Australia!

Posted by NIKHILJOHRY on (December 22, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

whatever his decision is, all we can hope is that it comes after a lot of thought and consideration not only about Sachin but also a team which is going through a very bad phase.check out what i think about sachins retirement on http://nikhiljohry.blogspot.in/ check it out and comment on it

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 22, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

@Shan156: You had said "statistics would show" and not "statistics could show". You are now desperately trying to find some extra leg room by modifying your prev comment. 2ndly, I've never claimed Sachin is God or is the greatest etc. You can think anything for anyone IDC. But if you use wrong stats then I will challenge it. Were u to say Kallis is a better bowler then I wont contest it. But Kallis the batsman is by no means even close to Sachin. 90s was not a "so-called" difficult time. Check it yourself ... 90s was the time when aggregate of batsmen avgd the least in the last 6 decades while 2000s and 10s are among the best years for batting. These are hard facts and not my spin on them.

I did not mention Mozart and Einstein first up, you did. In any case, BATTING is an art, not merely SRT's batting. If batting was science it would be replicable. The analogy of exposure was apt.

Sachin never played tests in Pak in 90s, played 4 tests in SA in 92 when he was 19, avg nicely in 96.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 22, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

@Harmony111, am I blind? no, you are the blind one. Blind in your support for Sachin. Readmy prev. posts. I clearly said Sachin is better than anyone i have seen. What i meant was statistics could show that he was a better batsman bcos of a higher avg. and the fact that he played most of his cricket in more difficult conditions for batting. That is why I said it is a fact that Kallis is a better cricketer. I didnt use the word "fact" while comparing batting skills. For some of us, cricket is not just about batting and, yeah, Sachin is not a God or even the greatest sportsman that walked this earth. He is merely a great batsman.

Re: exposure, extremely inane comparing a sports reach to things u mentioned. What r u trying to say anyway? That, Sachins batting is some great art form? Or science? Lets agree to disagree here as we will be digressing too much.

Btw, What was Sachin's avg in SA and Pak in the so-called difficult times for batting - 1990s? In the low 40s.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 22, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

@ Shan156: Statstics would say Kallis was the better batsman? How? Just cos he has a higher average? Are you blind? What about the various other batting parameters? Let me tell you one thing. Statistically 1990s was the worst year for batsmen in the last 6 decades. Only two batsmen averaged more than 50 in that decade. One was Steve Waugh who averaged around 51-51. The other one was Sachin. Sachin's average in that time was 58+. what is Kallis's batting average ? 56+? This when it is universally known that 2000s and 2010s have bee the best years for batsmen to score runs. Kallis and the likes have filled their pockets in the decade of plunder while Sachin averaged more than Kallis ever did in the worst decade of batting. Kallis's SR is ~45 & 73 and you call him a better batsman? Ha Ha Ha. Kallis is at best a steady batsman like Dravid and by no means in the class of Sachin.

If exposure is the parameter then FEWER have heard Mozart's compositions and understood Relativity, GO FIGURE.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 21, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

What a joke! Tendulkar is a great cricketer, no doubt but he is just that - a cricketer. And, to think that cricket itself is a sport played merely by 8 countries with due respect to Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands, and the likes. Tendulkar may be God to Indian fans but to the rest of the world, he is merely an excellent cricketer. Statistics would say that Kallis was the better batsman and the fact is he is a better cricketer. So is Sobers. Statistics also says that Bradman is the best. So, how come Tendulkar comes in the God category? And to be clubbed alongside Gandhi, Einstein, Mozart. Really? Silly, I say. These great people will be turning in their graves.

@Un_Citoyen_Indien, Tendulkar, in his pomp, was dismissed cheaply by bowlers ordinary than Swann and Panesar. Gloat about your idolas much as you want but why demean the efforts of these bowlers?

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (December 21, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

Drop him. For his own good. let's do it before his test average inevitable falls below 50 and he falls below the benchmark of truly great batsman (all of whom average at least 50).

Seriously, with all the times he has been getting out bowled or LBW or caught behind, all he is doing is embarassing himself.

I'm sorry to say this but this is NOT the same man that scored those two 100s against the Aussies in Sharjah (remember the desert storm?). This isn't the man who scored 673 runs in a single World Cup in 2003 nor the man who scored the first ODI double century.

Even mediocre bowlers are finding ways to dismiss Tendulkar these days. Time was when he was untroubled by the likes of Warne and Murali. But these days, everyone from Swann to Monty to Shakib have got his number.

Do India a favour and DROP Tendulkar. Make no bones about it. The message should be loud and clear. Performance Matters.

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 21, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

@Lillian...Sachin did it....When Australia visited India under Mark Taylor, he dominated the entire series...IN taylor's own words," We were not beated by India but by Sachin." He also played some wonderful knocks but then neither did he have any batsmen to support him nor any bowlers to win the matches for him. I think you can check it for yourself, he won man of the series for lots of series where India performed badly and he was the only saving grace for the entire team.

No comparisons with Viv Richards as Sachin himself considers him as his hero and I do not think any one could match his belligerance and his total dominance on bowlers. But Viv always had a good bastsmen and good bowlers to support him. This is true even when he was the captain in the fag end of his career.

Posted by jay57870 on (December 21, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

Gary Kirsten once observed: "Look, if Rahul, Sachin or VVS decides to retire it is a major blow". He wisely suggested their retirements be staggered to allow the team to "integrate & groom the younger players"! Now with Rahul & VVS gone, India can ill afford to lose Sachin - a triple whammy - at this juncture of its transition. As Dravid - whose advice Ed credits for changing his own career - emphasises: "India need Tendulkar now more than ever"! They're right. Compare with Ponting: Ricky was summarily dismissed from ODIs early this year over a phone call from national selector John Inverarity! "Tough call" indeed. But "kindest"? For an elite batsman considered Australia's best since Bradman? Let's be clear: India is not Australia. Selectors are very pragmatic. They know "Tendular is, well, Tendulkar"! Yes he's still "one of the best 11"! So-called cricket experts have been predicting his demise since 2007. They've been dead wrong. Just like the false prophets of the Mayan calendar!

Posted by jay57870 on (December 21, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

Ed - The "Mayan apocalypse" prophecies the end of the world on December 21! That's today! Likewise, the hysteria is mounting to biblical proportions over the end of the Little Master's cricket career! Ed is right: Conventional logic cannot be applied. Except that Ed's logic is questionable too. Selectors are the "best judge"? Really? Try counting all the rotten tomatoes thrown at India's selectors! Umpires decide & batsmen walk: Trust, a new arrangement? Really? Look at the clamour for DRS! Even DRS is questioned & rightly so. Science & statistical analyses don't have all the answers. That's why the Human factor is so vital to making decisions. Especially in Sachin's case. Yes, he's special. One of a kind. An outlier. His record stats aside, he's an exemplary human being: integrity, loyalty, humility. A perfect role model. A mentor. Yes, his value to the team is synergistic, worth more than the sum of its individual parts. And, yes, he's still "one of the best 11 players" in India!

Posted by megha603 on (December 21, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

sachin enjoing cricket sachin comment enjoy and play good cricket you making 1 fifty after 10 ining so you making indian ining pressure please give young player to enjoyto play cricket for u he not get is place already you enjoyed n played 23 years

Posted by CricFan24 on (December 21, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

And since I'm a bit warmed up now. I couldn't resist..Einstein also listed the five ascending levels of intellect as: "Smart, Intelligent, Brilliant, Genius, Simple.......Guess where Tendulkar as a batsman is at ?!

Posted by CricFan24 on (December 21, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

Einstein once said about Gandhi - "Generations to come will scarce believe that a man such as this in flesh and blood walked the earth"....The same will be said about Tendulkar as a batsman...However, just as certain "nations" have a "thing" against Gandhi...the same have a similar thing against Tendulkar !!...Somethings never change.

Posted by CricFan24 on (December 21, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

Seems to be a mixture of childishness and persons from certain countries who rant and rave most about Tendulkar. Once these juvenile opinions have been discounted for the connoiseur Tendulkar will rank as the greatest batsman of all time...with apologies to Bradman.

Posted by drnaveed on (December 21, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

i think , he should have retired a year ago, but perhaps for some reasons he know better , he is continuing playing cricket,without any goals left to achieve.his batting average is coming down match after match, he is getting bowled so often in the recent times, which reflects that his reflexes have become slow,he knows it as well.india was lucky that it had such a strong powerful batting line up in the recent past,like sehwag, gambhir, dravid, ganguly, laxman,dhoni and of-course tendulkar , which used to cover each other, in the sence that 2 batsmen out of top six used to score big hundreds , so team used to crossed a total of above 450 or more each time and those batsmen which didn't had scored runs were covered , but now , after retirement of some big names from the top list ,the pressure has come on tendulkat, dhoni to score runs , adding aging factor in the case of SRT.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 21, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

@KishoreSharma, Thanks for a very decent reply. Most of the times, my comments on Indian cricket/cricketers either dont get published or I get blasted by Indian fans:-) Technically, I agree with your comment that Tendulkar is the most 'complete' batsman in the world. I have not seen Bradman or Graeme Pollock or Barry Richards but I have seen Tendulkar and despite being an hardcore England fan, I have no problems in accepting that Tendulkar's technique is streets ahead of anyone else in world cricket that I have seen. But, and I maybe nitpicking here, Tendulkar, in his long career, has played very few crucial knocks, the back to the wall kinds, that Dravid and Laxman have played time and again; eg: Laxman's 281. That is why I believe Dravid is a better test batsman but again it is just me.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

There is nothing for Tendulkar or the Indian team to gain by keeping him in the team. Prolonging his 'legacy' is selfish and his poor form over the past 2 years does not justify his selection as a top order batsman any more. The Indian Test team is in decline, due to not managing the replacement of their older stars with younger players (both batsmen and bowlers), and is in for further pain over the next few years as results continue to fall well short of expectations. The sooner India accepts this, rather than making excuses, the better they will be in the long term.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 21, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

I wrote earlier that the best judges of comparative greatness among batsmen are the bowlers who bowled to them.

Forget what an 83 year old Bradman said. Bowlers like Wasim Akram, Devon Malcolm and Allan Donald who straddled the 80s and 90s all rank Viv Richards as miles above Tendulkar or Lara. They say it wasn't even close. Which matches what we spectators supported. Remember Richards two centuries converting a 1-0 deficit at home against a strong Pakistan in 87-88 into a drawn series? Tendulkar never, ever reached such heights and series-changing performances in Tests against such a lethal attack. Ever.

Posted by crh8971 on (December 20, 2012, 22:41 GMT)

There is no doubt that SRT has been a truly great batsmen but he is not even close to the best batsmen the world has ever seen as suggested by EverybodylovesSachin. There really should not be any discussion about whether he retires or not as he should, all things being equal, be dropped from the team. He has played 9 tests in 2012 for 15 innings and an average of 23.8. No test team can carry such under performance from a top 6 batsmen regardless of their pedigree and at the age of 40 it has to be accepted that this is more likely a permanent loss of ability rather than a temporary form slump.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 20, 2012, 22:39 GMT)

ELS, don't discount India's batting as needing a declining Sachin.

Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli and Dhoni would walk straight into the Pakistan team whose Test record outside Pakistan under Misbah is Played 18, Won 9, Drawn 7, Lost 2.

India doesn't need any has-beens whose reflexes and hand-eye coordination are gone forever. And that includes Sehwag as well as Tendulkar.

Posted by BilalSaleem on (December 20, 2012, 20:36 GMT)

"Expecting great players to deselect themselves is as irrational as expecting modern players to give themselves out " Well, Ricky Ponting was unarguably a great player and he "deselected" himself.

Posted by i-love-cricket on (December 20, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

Sometime you have to consider others in your personal decisions!!!!a humble request.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (December 20, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

AvidCricFan and all others showing their frustration and anger for Sachin is not retiring. I agree he did not do well against New Zeland and England in India. In England and in Australia although he was under lot of pressure scoring 100th hundred and was not complete failure. When you look at the performance of Indian batting and bowling around him it is not that easy to score runs.

Indian team is complacent after word cup win in 2011 and when team performs individual also performs. I would also like to see him score runs but that is the part of the game success and failure. Sachin has nothing to gain personally be in the team he will score runs for sure in next couple of series but again Indian team is in disarray right now and will affect his performance also.

Posted by KishoreSharma on (December 20, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

@Shan156, your points are valid. However, my argument with regard to opening in ODIs is that it did take a lot out of Sachin - especially given the seriousness with which ODIs (rightly or wrongly( were taken by the Indian public. If he was freed from this and allowed to concentrate on test cricket, his record in the latter may have been even greater, including more rearguard/defensive innings. With regard to Kallis, you may be right that he may be the better 'cricketer'. However, I have yet to see a more 'complete' batsman than Tendulkar - one that has performed exceptionally in both tests and ODIs and across all conditions and all types of bowling. Some players may be better in an individual facet of batting (eg Richards in attacking batsmanship, Lara in producing innings of exquisite genius etc) but I have never seen anyone as consistent in performing across all conditions, formats and types of bowling.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (December 20, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

@EverybodylovesSachin, don't gloss over SRT's failures. He failed most than the other failed players in the last 10 matches. He is hanging on for his own gains at this point. He very often fails to read line and length of the ball. It is clearly a sign of aging. He gracefully needed to retire but he has not done so. BCCI has no guts to ask him to make tough decision.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 20, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

@AvidCricFan, great comment. If you are an Indian fan, bravo. Tendulkar has given Indian cricket fans a great deal but has also got back a lot in return. India owes him nothing, as you said. As an England fan, I have always enjoyed watch him bat (except against England; though in the last few series, I believe our bowlers did a pretty good job against him. The only innings since the 2005-2006 series where he broke English hearts was in the Chennai test in 2008-2009) but I rate Dravid as a better test batsman. Records may show Dravid failed miserably in SA and, statistically, is behind Sachin but even England bowlers would agree that Dravid's was the wicket they wanted more desperately.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 20, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

@ KishoreSharma, I believe Tendulkar prefers to open the batting in ODIs. It may be pressure to lesser mortals but for him, it is a joy. If you remember, it was reported that he hated batting in the middle order in WC 2007 and the results showed as he made some real poor scores in that tournament. It was no secret that he liked opening. Some may feel that it gives him more opportunity to make more records, but I feel that it is the best place for him in ODIs. Your team needs a good start and no one is better capable of giving that to India than Sachin.

Re: Kallis, if you talk about pressure from opening in ODIs, Kallis has done that as well in addition to playing his role as a bowler. As a batsman, Tendulkar is more pleasing to watch but Kallis is the better cricketer. Indian fans may pounce on me for all I care but you can't ignore facts. It is hard enough being a key batsman for your side in both tests and ODIs, harder when you also have to bowl more than just a few overs.

Posted by anoop3301 on (December 20, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

@kiwirocker, it is very obvious you don't like tendulkar, but that is not my point here.Unlike several others in the blog, you do not have a valid point to bring him down.If he averages 33 against Mcgrath,Donald,Wasim,Waqar etc, these great bowlers too average 33 against Sachin,which is a far cry from their career average of low 20s.Does this make them overrated?Also, you seem to be a big fan of Dravid and Laxman.Amidst all the postmortem of India's debacle in Oz and England,what was forgotten was that Dravid does not have a great record in Australia and Laxman has a very poor record in England.Dravid has 1 century in 15 tests in Australia whereas Laxman hasn't even come close to scoring a ton in England.VVS's record in his last 8 tests is eminently laughable.Dravid's game was not made for Australia and Laxman's not for England.Tendulkar's game was made for both.He has been disappointing in matchwinning contributions. Sachin deserves to go,but for right reasons like age,form,fitness.

Posted by NairUSA on (December 20, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

A kindly written and thought provoking article about Sachin. Just like the many writers who does not want to appear asking for his retirement. However the truth is very apparent - BCCI selectors will not drop Sachin because he brings in the ticket revenue wherever he plays, domestic or international. No other player in the Indian team guarantees a 'crowd pull' factor just like him. Furthermore, Sachin cannot be expected to throw away multi year endorsements with his sponsors who mandate him to stay active as an icon player. Sachin's retirement situation is more about economics than cricket itself. Having said that, it will be a wonderful experience to watch the great man in swashbuckling form one more time.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (December 20, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

Sachin is the best batsman the world has ever seen. He should atleast play for another year maybe year and half..Most of the indian batsman and bowlers failed in 2011 and 2012. not just Sachin. and India lost badly in England and Australia..

Posted by KishoreSharma on (December 20, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

@LillianThompson, an addition to my previous email. Your point that Kallis record needs to be weghted by the fact that he played more tests on lively wickets, unlike Tendulkar, needs to be examined. First, if we compare Tendulkar's average in the subcontinent and overseas, I think that you will find there is no significant difference. Second, Tendulkar prefers to bat on true wickets where the ball comes on to the bat. He tends to struggle on sluggish ones. Third, your point could also be turned around to show that Kallis has not played enough tests on turning wickets, which should also be considered a test. No disrespect to Kallis, who is a fine player. But your analysis is somewhat loose, I am afraid. I say this as a true cricket lover who has been following the game since 1972/73 and has appreciated great test players from all countries.

Posted by KishoreSharma on (December 20, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

@LillianThompson, with regard to your earlier email, a clear example of a test that Tendulkar saved was the one where he scored his first test hundred - at Old Trafford in 1990. That should make clear his capability in this respect. I agree that apart from that he has played few rearguard innings but this may be due to the sheer volume of one day cricket that he has played, often under the pressure of opening. My theory is that had Tendulkar not played any ODIs, his test average may have been 70 plus, which would have been an exceptional average after Bradman.

Posted by qasimomar on (December 20, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

Well in reality SACHIN your time is up now at your present batting form you can even save a test match for your country let alone winning a test match i am still a great fan of you but best advice is to bow out with great dignity before a non test cricketer ask you to retire from the GOLDEN GAME OF CRICKET because i am pretty sure that INDIA will not produce another great batsman Llike SACHIN TENDULKAR (QASIM OMAR former PAKISTAN test cricketer.

Posted by AH_USA on (December 20, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

Dravid played some of the finest innings in IND's last tour of ENG where he scored quite a few hundreds. In fact, he was probably the only one who was doing something in the batting lineup, the rest of the batsmen were just showing up. Anyway, just based on that performance, he could have stayed for the next few years. But after he failed to score in AUS, analyzed himself and decided to hang his boots.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (December 20, 2012, 14:10 GMT)

First of all India doesn't owe Tendulkar great debt of thanks. SRT is what he is because of the Indian cricket. He has tremendously benefited from cricket. Now coming to his retirement, he is clearly past his prime. His performance in the last 10 matches does not justify his continued his selection not matter how great he was in he past.

Posted by CricFan24 on (December 20, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

Ah Sachin !....Only years and years after he retires will people truly appreciate him.The flashy ones, the dour ones, the doughty fighters all have their moments....Tendulkar is a Classic...and like all Classics time will treat him better and better.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

He must retire now as he he is old now,

Posted by jagatr on (December 20, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

"The moment should never arrive when Tendulkar takes the field for India without being one of the best 11 players." - I think that moment came before this series got underway...the writing was always on the wall, no one wanted to read it!

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 20, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

Something which I have been saying since yesterday...They all are greats in their own rights and we need not draw a comparative scale to compare all of them....they were all unique, with different challenges and different strengths....and we will be doing dis service to them by comparing them....

ABout Kallis....hmmm let me see how do you react to this... Many took him to be a selfish player who would always play for his own records rather than for his team......about lively pitches...Kallis did not have to play south african bowlers who were amongst the best in the business and Lillian...Sachin always had a very good record agasint Aussies except for the last series.....

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 20, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

VSharma100 Stats are very limited as a source of comparison, because you can only compare with contemporaries, and even then, for example, Kallis has had to play half his matches on lively home wickets, whereas Sachin has only had such an ordeal every few years when touring Australia or South Africa.

The richest source is what the players of the day said, and who they feared the most. And most bowlers of the last fifteen years bracketed Tendulkar, Lara, Kallis and Ponting as practically the same as one another in quality

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

Great player should have retired after his 100th 100.

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 20, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

How do you take this then? Sachin was named in all time best team...he was admired by none other than Bradman...He is rated so high by his contemporaries...be it lara, Shane warne, Mcgrath, your own Donald or any other great you can name....... He is considered a great by Sir Viv, Sir Sobers.....

I think another way of comparing the attacks would be the statistics.......give me sometime...I should be able to compile it for you....

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

It is time for him to hangup. His last ton was against Bangladesh. He struggled to reach that milestone and in the process used up too many balls that eventually caused India the game. We may see sporadic flashes if he clings on to the position but in he process he will erode the very aura that he built around him.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 20, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

@VSharma100 It is really simple to evaluate the strength of those rebel Australian and West Indies bowling line-ups.

For the Aussies, Rackemann splattered the 83-84 Pakistanis, who were the world's second best team after the Windies. Alderman's achievements are known to all - especially Graham Gooch, as is the effectiveness of Rodney Hogg. That line-up is considerably stronger than Steyn +Morkel + Philander.

For the West Indies, Ezra Mosely was so good that after his rebel ban, and well into his thirties, he was called up into the official team in 1990 when they were the world's best Test team.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

Its ridiculous to compare sachin tendulkar to roger federer...they are as different as chalk and cheese..roger is perhaps the greatest sportsperson to have ever lived...to compare him to sachin is almost blasphemous...firstly cricket is only played by 6 decent teams..whereas tennis is a global sport which is more physically taxing...even at his best sachin was a perennial underachiever..no 300 in tests..no match winning contributions against tough teams in difficult circumstances in their own backyard....on current form he is not good enuf to be in any test side...whereas roger still has it in him to win grandslam titles and beat some very fine players...can you even compare sachin on current form to kallis,clarke,amla,peterson,hussey,cook,devilliers,...????????

Posted by karthik_raja on (December 20, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

And SRT is compared for different attribute with each player. For highest average-Don,For playing long Individual Innings-Lara,For being part of winning team and captaining-Ponting,To play in tough situations-Dravid&Inzi,to play wid tailenders-Lax&Waugh,to play cracking cricket-Jayasurya,to take wickets-Kallis,best ODI player-Viv,To take away game from opponents-Sehwag,To win WC for Ind-Dhoni,Longevity of player-Miandad etc etc If we closely analyse, SRT has been the best/one among the best in almost all of these attributes. Don hasnt played against/in many countries-not his fault though. Ponting is not associated with playing with tailenders. But nobody questioned him. Lara has not taken WI to greater heights - nobody questioned him. Kallis has not scored in Eng and Aus until recently-nobody asked anything.Jayasurya cudnt succeed at test level. Same with Dravid,Lax in limited overs. PS-they hv done okay. Bt not great. But nobody raised a concern.

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 20, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

@Lillian....and Pollock was carrying hopes of so many people...and everytime he failed he came under so much scrutiny.....

How many matches did he play....number of international matches he might haveplayed might be very few but no one with a sane mind in this forum would say that he was not one of the great......

And however subjective it may be...can you please suggest me a way to compare the bowling attacks which Pollock faced or which Sachin faced....

Posted by karthik_raja on (December 20, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

@Allen Lobo on (December 20 2012, 11:03 AM GMT). You and many others here(inlcuding Ian Chappel) claim that Ponting has timed his retirement right. You even quoted him saying something. Hmm. I advice you to check his stats for past few years. He averaged in 30s for past 5 years(since 2007) except for 2008 where he averaged close to 48. Just a question. Why didnt he retire in 2009,10 and 11 when he was averaging in 30s. If not for the centuries against Ind attack earlier this year, he would hv been left "century less" for nearly 3 years as of now. Seriously, nothing against Ponting. Bt, will u guys stop comparing SRT with each and everyone in the cricket field. Thats the problem with SRT. He is compared with Don,Lara,Ponting,Inzi,Anwar,Waugh,Dravid,Lax,Kallis,Viv,Dhoni,Jayasurya,Younis,Yousuf,Miandad etc etc to Cook recently. There is no other player in this world who can be compared with so many other gr8s.. This itself speaks volume of this player's achievements.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 20, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

@VSharma100 You obviously don't know that more than two decades after his Test debut, Graeme Pollock was still scoring centuries in unofficial Tests against better bowling line-ups than any Test team has had since 2000.

The Australian pace attack was Rackemann, Hogg and Alderman - far better than the "official" line up that Tendulkar played in 03-04 when McGrath and Warne were missing.

And the West Indies had Colin Croft, Franklyn Stephenson and Ezra Moseley, again better than any line-up Tendulkar has ever faced.

Pollock was older than Tendulkar by that point, but his performances never diminished. I've never heard anyone who saw Pollock claim that Tendulkar is anywhere near as good.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

To Alvin Roberts -

Yeah, and if I can run the 100m in under 10 secs, I could qualify for the Olympics. IF is a very big word. The criticism of Tendulkar is based on the fact that he hasn't scored a test century in nearly 2 years now. 2 years! And its not just about centuries. His average has been languishing. More pertinently, he is not a young player anymore where you may say "Lets give him time, he'll come good and be part of the team for another 10-15 years". This is a man at the fag end of his career. It is only in India that such rubbish like "He will leave when HE wants to" can be said. The contrast between the way the retirement of Tendulkar and another batsman comparable to him in greatness - Ponting (who by the way was also one of the world's best fielders and captains, leading his nation to two world cups) could not be more different. Ponting was simply blunt "I could not be part of the team because I wasn't good enough anymore". Simple. Plain. Just like that. The truth.

Posted by Zuch on (December 20, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

This one is not to offend anybody. 'No individual is above the game' and statements like these are true and I respect them. I dont know if there are exceptions to these rules or laws. But there is a part about SRT saga everyone is forgetting. Its not whether he was match winner or not, whether he has highest number of centuries, runs, MoM awards, or any other such stuff and resume entries. The point here is, this man has made us very happy many times during our lifetime. He was 'hope' personified (I know I am using the word 'was'). Again no disrespect meant, but you need to be an Indian to understand what he has meant to many of us. We have numerous happy memories, not about lifting the final trophies but seeing and discussing his straight drives and back foot punches. Seeing him fighting it out for me and everyone like me. Hope and happy memories are just too rare and too valuable. And for that, if its upto me, he can play till the time he wants to.

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 20, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

@kiwirocker... I can understand your grouse against Sachin....because of his fan following Dravid and laxman did not get as much following as they could have got if they were born into a different era...but may be they were born at a wrong time.....and I also feel at times for them but I do not think any1 could overshadow Sachin during this period.......This does not mean in any way that they were not great but you do not have to prove their greatness by demeaning Sachin....may be you are demeaning all of them.......

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 20, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

@Lillian....DO you have any idea what was the age of tendulkar when he played for Yorkshire.....your so called greats were still picking up their game at that age....Needless to say Sachin managed to make centuries even at that age on some genuine pace friendly pitches..... I will give another logic...Shane warne had a poor record in India over a period of time and so was the case of Muralitharan in Australia again over a period of time ( and mind you I am not talking about a stint as you pointed out in your logic)....does that make them inferior? they are still great and considered great rightly so.....

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 20, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

@Farce-Follower Tendulkar has scored centuries against Donald, Pollack, Steyn, Morkel in SA; McDermott, Hughes, Lee, McGrath and Warne in Australia; Hoggard, Cadick and Flintoff in England; Muralitharan in SL. Cook played excellently and to score 3 consecutive centuries in India is a record achievement. But to put it in perspective, they were against Ashwin and Ohja in which case I would have to include SRT centuries against Bangladesh above. This is no exaggeration because that is how poor this current Indian bowling is. Coming back to article Sachin was once a great player and his undroppable status by the BCCI, commercial interests driven by a sizeable number of hardcore fans who are in denial about his waning powers is simply denying an opportunity to another playe. So Tendulkar has to make the the last and most difficult contribution to Indian cricket and make way for the next generation however uncertain that appears now.

Posted by pandez on (December 20, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Many of our friends have questioned Ed Smith for writing such a coloumn as he has only played few Tests, but for your kind information I will like to mention here is writing and playing are two different things. You wont have to play 150 Test to criticize Tendulkar. How many Test we most of the Indians who are lookng for Tendulkars head have played. And why cant Tendulkar be criticize. No one is bigger than the game.

Posted by cenitin on (December 20, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

See last few years performances of players : Ponting Avg was 38 in 2007, 47 in 2008, 38 in 2009, 37 in 2010, 31 in 2011 and 42 in 2012 (because of Ind tour otherwise 25). Dravid Avg was 35 in 2007, 31 in 2008, 80 in 2009, 39 in 2010, 57 in 2011 (thanx to good Eng tour) and 19 in 2012. Sachin Avg was 55 in 2007, 50 in 2008, 67 in 2009, 78 in 2010, 47 in 2011 and 24 in 2012 in 9 matches. Sachin has been consistently scoring runs except 2012. He was in gr8 form for last 5 years and now he is not in form give him some breathing space. Be patient. Dravid & Ponting both were inconsisitent in last 6 years except 1-2 year then they decided to hang the boot. And expert like Ian chappel saying that timing of their retirement is good. Also see performance of Gambhir : Avg was 70 in 2008, 90 in 2009, 32 in 2010, 31 in 2011 and 31 in 2012. Sehwag Avg was 22 in 2007, 56 in 2008, 70 in 2009, 61 in 2010, 29 in 2011 and 30 in 2012. Raina, Yuvi, Dhoni all were poor. How Sachin not in best 11 ?

Posted by wakaPAK on (December 20, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

Here are my stats for and against SRT: Against:SRT batting in 4th innings averages 35 in the matches which BROUGHT A RESULT(meaning they were not flat as flat pitches give you drawn matches) others: Kallis:40 Laxman:36Dravid:28 Ponting:40 Smith:63 ABDV:40 and in the matches which their teams lost and you were supposed to stay in crease for longer to save the match SRT's average becomes even worse: SRT:23 Kallis:30 ABDevilliers:38 Laxman:22 Ponting:18 Smith:31 When you lose the toss and you are asked to bat first, it means there is something for the bowler in the first innings especially when such matches have not ended in a draw; the first innings average in such pitches indicates a batsman's skill; SRT averages 37 on such pitches, Ponting:53 Kallis:54 Laxman 27 Dravid:23 Waugh:83 For:He averages 66 on flat pitches (that is in drawn matches) He averages 57 against australia but against Pak and SA he averages 42 each. PS:I excluded BD and Zim in all stats except the 2nd Last

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

The true genius of SRT was being unveiled when this internet trolling generation was still in its nappies. Anyone far younger than 30 at this point wouldn't fully understand what Sachin meant to the rest of us. We don't expect you to. You won't understand why the match ratings dropped the minute SRT got out.

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

If Sachin scores back to back centuries in the upcoming matches, all of these opportunity bloggers will have nothing to say but to praise him! I feel pity about all of them!

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 20, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

Do Tendulkar's fans remember the one and only time an English county employed him?

He had a poor season at Yorkshire in 1990. One century in 25 First Class innings (out for 100) and was described as not delivering anything to his team-mates in the dressing room either.

He has lasted a long time. But Kapil Dev discovered that staying five years too long just highlighted that his averages were inferior to Imran, Botham and Hadlee.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 20, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

Sachin tendulkar carried Indian teams when they were nothing. I find such comments distasteful. Its more like this, Sachin Tendulkar carried indian team when they were nothing and unfortunately Indian team is still nothing. A fluke World cup 2010 win on docile home made pitched aided by dodgy DRS biased decisions and special cricket balls does not mean much. India's progress to No.1 in tests without winning in Pakistan, SL, SA, England and Australia was laughable. Everyone knows criteria behind those ranking that were skewed due to a lot of home test matches. Reality is that Indian team with out without has achieved nothing and if anything, it had a lot to do with two sunsung heros of Indian cricket, Dravid and Laxman. They were ultimate gentlemen and actually won matches for India. Tendulkar averages less than 35 in 4th innings of a test match. It is a sin to compare Tenudlkar to the likes of Sir Viv Richards. I actually happened to see great Viv Richards batting and he was ultimate!

Posted by PhaniYannam on (December 20, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

@LillianThomson : Ok we havent heard of them, If their success was really great i would have definetely heard. Then how come you have heard about sachin, I think you are intellectually capable of knowing the difference between them. Sir Viv Richards also cherishes sachin as the greatest of all. And you know what Don Bradman wished he would have played like sachin and many compared Sachin to Bradman, I am not sure whether this is true or not, but Don Bradman wished he had a son like Sachin. So, Chill !! Did you ever heard of Brian Lara? One of the Greats, but not the Great. He has a huge photograph of Sachin right in his hall. why dint he hang the photographs of the people whom you were boasting of? Only because Sachin is the GOD of the Cricket, and for all those who feel cricket is their religion, Sachin is the only GOD!

Posted by PhaniYannam on (December 20, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

I dont think anyone over here has right to talk about sachin. No doubt Sachin is the greatest of all those who has played the game. It would be more cherished to have him on the ground rather that off the ground. I dont think India can discover such precious gem ever unitl this worl exists. I bet it ! Why should he retire? only because he is 39? No other cricketer had guts to carry on.Loss of form is what you say? I will return for sure. What you require is moral strength and encouragement around. But what are you all doing? Demoralising, Some critics go on writing coloumns for cheap publicity. There are still families in India who watch cricket to have a Glimpse of the GOD of the cricket and India can afford failures no matter how many but want sachin to be there. India in the sporting fraternity is recognised only by Sachin, and you are blaming sachin?? What the .. And you want Sachin to win match as single handedly? Then why do you need 9 others if only sachin could do it? Grow!!

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 20, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

@Lillian How many matches did Graeme Pollock played or for that matter Barry Richards played. There is nothing of course they could do as SA could not play International cricket for different reasons. But you do have to give credit to this guy for his longevity. So many times. we have seen that many batsmen at their peak average close to 80s but point is how long they are able to remain at their peak. We have seen this with Ponting,Hussey and currently the case is with Amla . Nothing against all these great batsmen but one of the achievement for Sachin has been that despite playing for so long his average has been one of the best. I do not say that he is the best coz it is not possible to draw comparison between two players of different eras with different playing conditions,different professionalism. I would raher draw comparison between Sacing, Lara and Ponting and even after making a comparison I would say all of them were great in their own ways. contd...

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

Shouldnt ruin his reputation. Time to say Goodbye sachin.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

The facts are; In the series versus England, Sehwag, Gambhir,Pujara,Dhoni and Ashwin have outscored Tendulkar. Yuvraj was dropped. Kohli was doing poorer, till he hit a hundred. Dhoni scored the runs at 7 and at 6. The team failed, but never before was Sachin the worst batsman over a 3 test series. We at least have 3 good players that need to be blooded soon; Rahane, Tiwary and Rohit Sharma. A test or two with Oz won't hurt and even if he clicks, he should step down by the end of the series. If not, yes, he should be dropped.

Posted by yoogi on (December 20, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

People just dont understand when it comes to their idol. Why have selectors if they cannot say an underperformer, to go back to Ranji and perform consistently, make way for another. Actually he did a good thing by not playing in ODI's. Actually selectors asked Dravid to play ODI's in England. when you are senior, you have to be like that. One off-series and he is gone. well, he is the sportsperson one would call IDEAL, not sachin. To me he is just another one in the eleven, because in my time, shewag was a sensation and not Tendulkar. Even shewags time under the sun is over. Just because there are so many underperformers in seniors, Tendulkar hangs on. If you look at Jaffer, he performed a lot better in his initial Tests than Shewag & Gambhir in last few. Its time for an overhaul, An Argus report.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 4:20 GMT)

I agree with Ram Narayan. Tendulkar should play as many years as he can. But make other oppositions fear for your current skill. It should not be a just another wicket. When Ten is playing oppositions captains should not know where to bury their face. Just be your own Ten. If Tendulkar plays for the sake of playing it is not going to take our team anywhere. Instead of playing for another dum ten years, Ten can play few exciting years and start coaching.

Posted by princepoddar007 on (December 20, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

Well put @misterbabbusingh, could not have put this better. This is for all those people saying that Sachin should retire and give new talent some chance and stuff like that. Let me tell you guys, you and me are very small people to judge about the matter or even advise on this. If you watch loving cricket, I can guarantee your love is gonna halve when the master leaves.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 20, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Kandu Sahib: Your comment makes no sense but I shall try to respond. Younis Khan is a far superior batsman than an over rated non performing tendulya. Younis Khan averages 54 in fourth innings of a test match and has 5 centuries. What does Tendulkar has? an average of 35 and one century. Younis Khan has scored against everywhere and everywhere ( even in Australia unlike some other Pakistani batsmen). What is tendulkar's combined average against McGrath, Wasim , Waqar and Donland..? Answer is 33. This man is over hyped non performer fooling brain washed Indian fans for years. Younis Khan is a match winner or match saved. Have you seen his epic 267 against India in India? If you have n0t, then try to see as Tendulkar in his worthless 18,000 runs has no such inning. Now, I do not mean to say that Younis Khan by any means is as good as Ponting, Inzemam, Lara, etc, but he is definitely a match winner. No one will remember what Tendulkar scored but people remember the victories!

Posted by Dockaman on (December 20, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

Tendulkar is a very good player - no doubt. But longevity does not qualify someone for greatness. His record is impressive, particularly in the sub continent, like many other modern day players, who average similar numbers. However, get them to England, South Africa and Australia suddenly their records aren't quite so imposing.

Like Ponting, he has hung around a bit too long and is tarnishing his image and record. Bow out gracefully. He wouldn't want a tour to a non sub continent country otherwise he would be made to look very ordinary.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (December 20, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

@itsthewayuplay : Sorry. Mixed the names. But I don't agree with your point on Cook's centuries. They carry far more gravitas than Sachins. He hits them in difficult conditions and takes England to a win. And of course he does not have a press that raves his style. More a substance thing.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

I like the views of the author very well, specifically the point where he said: "I offer no view on whether Sachin Tendulkar should play on in Test cricket. I'm not in a position to assess his hunger or his private demeanor." I don't think anybody other than an Indian has the right to comment about Sachin.. He changed our lives.. He makes our day and breaks our day... He makes my day when he scores a 50 till the day he makes another one... So, what right does any non-Indian have to say that Sachin should retire??? He does not represent you!!! He represents INDIA!!!!! Most of the cricketers across the world are making their lucrative deals bcoz of the demand that Sachin created.... So, if u r just a non-Indian fan, stay amazed at how fanatic we Indians are, and if u r a former/current non-Indian cricketer/sportsman, pls keep it to urself as you are nowhere near him....

Posted by BeatTheChamps on (December 20, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

@Al_Bundy: "Sachin never was, and never will be, a match winner"... I wonder what you were smoking when you wrote that. Rarely in cricket you see people winning matches single handedly...and let me tell you Sachin has done that too, but people like you conveniently forget that

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 2:49 GMT)

I kind of expected more of him in this series although he wasn't much worse than any of the others. Only Pujara was exceptional while Sehwag and Kohli only had one good innings each. I think India's problems run far deeper than just whether Tendulkar should be in the team or not. Personally I think he deserves the chance to be the first man to reach 200 Tests, however there is only so long a player can be carried before it gets embarrassing. Saying that, Laxman was carried for far longer and if he hadn't pulled the plug he'd still be in there. Dravid went out right on top - he would have been an asset in this series.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 2:04 GMT)

Its best to retire when people say "why did you" rather than "why didnt you".SRT is definitely the latter, he has had his glory days & been a great batsmen for India but no one is bigger than the game itself. It is best to retire when you're just starting your downhill journey rather than when you're at the bottom.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 2:02 GMT)

@ misterbabbusingh: He carried the burden of the Indian team when they were nothing, and he probably has a couple of great knocks left in him yet, but does that mean he should stay in the team and block the path of a youngster who is going to be there for the next 15 years? If Tendulkar was fitter, quicker and not the liability in the field that he understandably is at his age, he would still face questions about his retirement, but he is not and the questions really are justified.

It is starting to seem that he will go down the road of most subcontinent star players of the past, they go only when they are asked to leave the stage. No disrespect meant, but this is how it looks.

Posted by Peck on (December 20, 2012, 1:47 GMT)

I wish SRT retires after the sereis against Aussie. Would be a greatest moment in history of cricket.

Posted by Busie1979 on (December 20, 2012, 1:18 GMT)

Great player but his time is up. From a purely cricket perspective, there is no real need to have him stay on given his performances have dropped off. One thing India has no shortage of is talented young batsmen with strong first class pedigrees. If Tendulkar is hanging around past his use by date, all he is doing is depriving these guys from the chance to play test cricket, and the Indian test team is suffering as a result.

Contrast him with Ponting - I am guessing that Ponting hung around mainly because there was no young batsmen putting their hand up for selection. Then Phil Hughes started making runs, Ponting lost form, and to Pontings (or possibly the selectors) credit, he stepped aside, putting the interests of Australian cricket team first.

There is no need for Tendulkar to stand in the way of the future. Same applies for Sehwag.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 20, 2012, 1:09 GMT)

Have these people who call Tendulkar the "best ever" even heard of Graeme Pollock or Barry Richards? Did they ever see Viv Richards?

Each of those players averaged over 20 runs per innings higher in the fourth innings of Tests, which is the innings which determines greatness.

It seems as if having a blank expression and nothing to say is interpreted by many Indian, sorry, Sachin fans as indicating magical and mysterious depths of thought!

And ODI success is overvalued too!

Posted by Hardy1 on (December 20, 2012, 0:37 GMT)

I'm of Indian origin and lived in India in the early years of my life and took part in the Sachin hysteria when I was young. Maybe I'm just a less emotional person but I'd rather Sachin retired now. It absolutely is his own choice when he wants to retire but it's also absolutely up to the selectors to drop him and he can try and impress in the Ranji trophy if he so desires. The fact is he hasn't been good enough for a while now and being allowed to continue when that's the case is simply unacceptable, in all professions, but especially in a sport. But then I've never been a hero worshipper and clearly emotion is more important than rationality to some. Even so what would people have him do? Continue until his form just gets worse and worse and they lose sight of what made him special in the first place? There's only one correct answer for this situation and we all know what it is, whether it will be pursued is another matter.

Posted by miyabhaifromhyderabad on (December 19, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

Well, someone whisper in ears of so called GOD OF CRICKET to retire, the guys like Manoj Tiwary are being forced to sit on bench or waiting for der opportunities..The GOD OF CRICKET is in catch 22 situation now...if he retires now, ppl will blame that all these years he played for records(infact true) and if he still continue playing den the bowlers like panesar(no offence) will not allow him to score TONS :P ;)

Posted by hsitasP on (December 19, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

The decision to retire is definitely with Tendulkar and only his. However, the decision to select him in the Indian team is definitely with the Selectors and only with them. So I don't understand the clamour behind asking him to retire. Instead, we should be asking this question to the selectors whether he is still worthy of selection.

Posted by cricmatters on (December 19, 2012, 22:47 GMT)

You cannot succeed at the highest level of the game without postive attitude and enourmous self-belief. However time and tide wait for none. Sachin is approaching nearly 40 and it is a credit to him that he has kept himself in good nick however his foot work is gone, reflexes have slowed down and self-doubt has crept in his batting. His struggles to go out on a high can be summed up as the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. This selfish attitude that there is nothing wrong with me and if I keep playing the runs will eventually come is nothing but arrogance and self-delusion. I think people who are close to him should talk to him and make him see the reality and accept that no one no matter how great they are can continue forever. It would be a sad day for cricket when instead of standing up and cheering, people start to boo him when he walks in to bat.

Posted by shillingsworth on (December 19, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

@misterbabbusingh - I'd say that Ed Smith's article articulates Tendulkar's special place rather well, even for an Englishman (as you so patronisingly put it). He does so whilst still retaining a sense of perspective, something which is conspicuously absent from your comment.

Posted by EdwardTLogan on (December 19, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

To those debating Tendulkar v Dravid v Laxman v Ponting v Kallis. What is the goal? Individual greatness or team success? Ask Tendulkar whether he would rather have his indivudual record or a more wionning Test record and I'm sure he would answer more Test match wins. Yes, he may have saved a few games, but rarely did he win them....

Posted by zoot on (December 19, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

Sentimentality costs matches. India have lost ten out of twelve test matches against England and Australia.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

tendulkar needs to retire at this point, a good leader, always knows that his success will be followed by a follower, and if he really wants to hang around cricket that much retire and become coach of india, also your son has 4-5 years before he can play under 19, spend some quality time with him and make him a great cricker!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 20:48 GMT)

Whats matters the most is where you end . Examples are Dravid ( retired gracefully). Accorss the border people respect Imran Khan the most . Wasim, Waqar & Javed and no where near as respected. Inzi is very well respected in Tests because he didn't hang around to be the leading scorer for Pakistan before retiring ( he was just 2 runs short) but not being the highest scores didn't diminish the respect the people had for him infact its even more when people realize that he could have had a record easily but he didn't go for it and retired for the BEST INTEREST OF THE COUNTRY. Imran retired at the peak, after winning the WC so he is epic. Learn Sachin ... Learn from Dravid, Imran ,SWaugh & Inzi

Posted by misterbabbusingh on (December 19, 2012, 20:45 GMT)

Ed Smith - Being an Englishman, perhaps it is difficult for you to comprehend what Sachin means to us. I'm a self-confessed sports nut, ever since I was 10. Been lucky enough that I've seen Jordan, Federer, Schumacher, Tyson, Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Brazilian Ronaldo, Michael Phelps and, of course, Sachin. Of all the athletes, in any sport, in any era, Sachin, by far is the greatest of all times. He is a complete man. Never have a human being existed with such talents, such achievements, and,- and - such humility and aura. Normal rules do not apply to him because he is not a normal athlete. Those who suggest he is "just another among 11" certainly do not understand the love we have for this man. He carried us when we were a nobody. He deserves to go out on his own, whenever he wants.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 19, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

@ Farce-Follower not sure how your point is even relevant to mine or if you even read my comments carefully.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

Good Morning everyone ::

First of all very very good article by all means :: In India people always react as what they feel not what they make it in reality , and they have time to talk on other's part /other's decision :: i go with writer saying one of the all time acheiver has the capability to think and act uniquely so tendulkar will retire if he fails to hit a half century in next 10 innings but as i fan i would love to see him playing flambuoynat in last five innings and to see bowlers looking all over ::Indian economy has been greater beneficiary from tendulkar era so as indians too , i would loves to remember tendulkar batting in SHARJAH 1998 -which alone answers how capable he is with his unique ability to touch the ball with his bat ; no suggestion to people they are allowed to express as they like but request to make sure they are not biased to make their point ::

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

It is better to send sachin I dont like his records going waste...

Posted by MitenD on (December 19, 2012, 20:00 GMT)

Like Kapil Dev, Tendulkar has stuck around too long. And like Kapil, one can't help but think that he's just sticking around to pad his stats (which is currently not working). Bow out, SRT, while you still can gracefully. You have enough runs and enough money. You won the ODI World Cup and reached the #1 spot in Test Cricket. You scored your 100 100s and enjoyed the fanfare of captaining the Mumbai Indians. Indian cricket needs to nurture a new talent in your place. Someone who will be around for the next decade. Let the next generation take over and work on building the future.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 19, 2012, 19:51 GMT)

Excellent analysis by @ LillianThomson. You are a genuine myth buster. Sachin never was, and never will be, a match winner. That's an urban legend created by his sycophants. These days his batting is simply pathetic. Would you play a batsman who averages 18 in your team? I wouldn't. In fact I wouldn't even let such a batsman get near my team because I want my team to win. People who want him in their team will pay the price - they will end up losing most of their matches. That's what is happening with Team India these days. The choice is clear - if we want to win - we need to get rid of Tendulkar and Sehwag. There's no shortage of talented batsmen in India.

Posted by Biggus on (December 19, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

@Smith Robertson-Anyone who disputes Sachin's greatness is a bit of a dill mate, and no, I'm not an Indian but an Aussie. He should have left after the World Cup though, on a high. If he wants to leave on a high now he can only hope that India beat us in the upcoming tour, no certainty given the parlous state of the team now. Even as a follower of an opposing team I'm saddened to see him hang on while his once considerable gifts are snatched away by Father Time. What's the point of staying on now? I'd like to think it's to help the team while the young players develop rather than for any selfish reasons, but what he really needs now is a good friend to help him make the right decision. Sachin for Indians is much more than a cricket player, analogous to Bradman's role to Australia during his time, a living symbol of a new found confidence and self respect, proof that they're as good as anyone else and so I understand the reluctance to say goodbye and to step into the unknown without him

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

What matters is not where you begin... where you end the journey..Had Sachin called it the day at least when he slammed that 100th hundred, people wouldn't have drawn all these comparisons..Ideal would have been the night when India won the world cup.. People forever would talk about him retiring with 99 hundreds..Aravinda De Silva's last innings in test cricket is a double hundred.. His last ball in test cricket brought him a wicket and Sri Lanka a victory..People still talk how Aravinda at the age of 38 hit then the world's fastest bowler Bret Lee out of the park during his last world cup. Sachin should take a leaf out of Sri Lanka's master batsman.

Posted by Kapil.Gulechha on (December 19, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

Simply a fan of your writing.....superbly written......hope Tendulkar too believes.....He won't take the field when he thinks he is not one of the best 11 players in India.....

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 19, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

2nd post (after more reflection): the long goodbye of SRT is ultimately a tragedy. With neither the man himself, nor his selectors able to make a decision about his departure, like an end-game in chess, the King (SRT) is now being hounded about the board of Test cricket. Soon there will be nowhere to go: the king on his side. The alternative is to see that the game is up & for the humiliation to be spared. Against this, many Indians, including sane minds like Rahul Dravid, seem to think that India can take solace in the thought that the next series is against Australia! No spinners except the willing Lyon: India to win at a canter. That sounds like underestmating yr opponents! Oz will still be fitter than India & work better as a team. And SRT will be there for the taking. He doesn't want to go, but he could be hounded like the chess king. That'll be a tragedy. And as for what he'll do with the rest of his life.. What do they know of cricket, who only cricket know? That's the gter one.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

He should have retired after he got his 100th century. It's not just his batting which is nolonger good enough, but also his fielding which is poor. He is the joint best batsman since to play since 1990 along with Lara, we should leave it at that and he should retire from test cricket.

Posted by nilb on (December 19, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

@Imran Siddique Mughal you are right. Tendulkar should've retired after the world cup victory on a really big high. It's sad that such a great player continues to loose his respect among frustrated Indian fans. The years of buildup and the achievement of his 100th century in a match India lost to Bangladesh made India laughing stock in the entire world. Wow the Indians made a huge deal out of it. It's too late now damage is done, will retire anytime doesn't matter.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (December 19, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

@itsthewayuplay : Yes Sachin's 100th century against a terrific and potent Bangladesh attack, was all power, artistry and committment. Too bad we lost that too. But who cares, he is the reason for putting the TV on, the reason for opening the paper etc..etc... but not the reason for winning. Those reasons retired a few months back.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (December 19, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

@LillianThomson : You have exposed the bogey about SRT carrying the hopes of a nation. He might have, but he didn't do a good job of it in Test Cricket. VVS and Dravid did. And I doubt he would have done a good job of it in ODIs if he came in the middle order. Opening in ODIs and coming in at # 4 in Tests - a dream come true for any Statchin.

Posted by Rajesh. on (December 19, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

@Harmony111 -- Superb........ very well said :)

Posted by HumungousFungus on (December 19, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

It is always sad to see a legend of any sport playing on when they are clearly on the downward spiral, be it through age, injury, or other factors. Sachin has been an excellent player for a very long time, but I think that it is now time for him to retire gracefully. Nobody will begrudge him a rest after 23 (!) years of Test cricket, and I think I speak for many neutrals when I say that I would rather remember him as the brilliant player he was in his very long prime, than the current shadow of that player. There is something of the Muhammad Ali in his unwilingness to accept that age might finally have caught up with him, sadly. History will judge him as an all time great. The greatest? No. That still has to be Bradman. To put things into perspective, if Bradman had played the same number of Test innings as Sachin, his numbers would extrapolate to 28,783 runs and 104 centuries. But in cricket history, it must be said that there have been few better batsmen than Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

Posted by Biggus on (December 19, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

Sachin should be told to jump or he'll be pushed but that won't happen as the administrators will be dreading the consequent fall in gate receipts. The fans who say he should be be able to choose when he goes are in denial, too besotted with memories of an admittedly glorious career to see that he's had it. The end result is that instead of being renowned for an almost faultless career it will be tarnished by the knowledge that even he refused to see the writing on the wall and hung around two years longer than he should have. Wake up and smell the coffee guys, all things come to an end and the longer the inevitable is postponed the more bittersweet will be the memories, it's time to let go.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

Sachin can never be compared to legends like Lara, Richards, Sobers, Kallis and especially Bradman. His record is impressive mainly because of his successes against teams like Kenya. Namibia, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe etc.

Posted by csowmi7 on (December 19, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

To put things into perspective Lara-34 test match centuries 7 victories 13 drawn and 14 lost Tendulkar-51 test match centuries 20 victories 20 drawn 11 lost

Posted by csowmi7 on (December 19, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

@Lilian Thomson Please watch Tendulkars innings at cape town against a rampaging Dale Steyn and his 136 against Pakistan at Chennai fighting back spasms. Tendulkar played in an era where he was the only good batsman in the Indian team and when india did not have any good fast bowlers as is the case now and were incapable of taking 20 wickets. There were as many instances where Tendulkar would pull a cat out of the bag but the bowlers failed to finish the job.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

No need to make the whole Sachin retirement issue such a big thing

He will anyway go after the Australia Series if not before. He obviously cannot continue playing beyond that. The more important question is "Has India found a replacement for Sachin?"

We didnt find any replacement for Laxman yet and now we are asking Sachin to retire.

Posted by csowmi7 on (December 19, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

just to remind all the legacy Tendulkar will leave behind when he leaves. Don Bradman said himself that Tendulkar is the best batsman in the world since his time and that he was the closest to emulating his technique. People who say Cook will eventually break Tendulkar's record may be true but Tendulkar faced much better bowlers than Cook. His debut series was against the likes of Imran Khan Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis 3 of the greatest bowlers of all time at the age of 16. He has faced bowlers of the quality of Warne, Muralitharan, Pollock, Ambrose,Mcgrath, Walsh and scored century after century. No bowler in the modern era come close to their greatness barring Dale Steyn. The only other 2 players from this era that are in the same league as Tendulkar is Ponting and Lara who are greats in their own rights. Tendulkar will go down as one of the greatest batsman in the history of the game.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

i think tendulkar should decide when to go. this guy is a once in a lifetime freak meaning we will never see another one as long as we live.other mere mortals can be shown the door simply they because there is only one sachin.i still want to see which upcoming batsman really thinks that he daserve to play ahead of sachin. all of them will agree that they will wait another year or two for their chance.the people who want sachin to go are the journalists. as for records everyone has an eye out for it. glenn mcgrath can tell you who was each of his 561 victims!!! mikey holding will tell you 63% of his were bowled or lbw. so forget about this politically correct nonsense about not playing for records and playing for country.even at 39-40 opposition teams still think and plan the most for him then everyone else.did anderson and monty just run up and lob the ball to him and get him out? no it took lots of planning and execution.

Posted by St.John on (December 19, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

If anyone demands respect for achievements in cricket then its Tendulkar. His record is unbeatable. Ed writes about his dignity etc ,but although dignity and aura are still there, style and majesty with the bat are not what they were. Age catches up with us all, and with it goes the best reflexes and all important tiiming. In recent times Jayasuriya found that out the hard way. Tendulkar knows whats happening to him. He will go when he is ready.

Posted by supacodger on (December 19, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

Ed, why are you even raising the question? Anyone would think you're trying to hurry Tendulkar off the stage? Any batsman can have duff form for a while but Tendulkar's still streets ahead of whoever would replace him. Journalists depend on news events, so a stable Test team is no good to them. Isn't that why the press were falling over themselves to urge players like Strauss, Vaughan, Lara and Ponting to go? - to find an angle for their news story.

Posted by Cricketfan08 on (December 19, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

Couldn't agree more "But I do challenge what seems to be the general view, that the decision should be his and his alone". That is the selector's job not Sachin's.

Posted by stormy16 on (December 19, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

Folks if there is one man who can claim to have the right to select his own future it has to be Sachin. There are a few others, Ponting, Lara but if there was one it is Sachin. Not just for the runs but he has been nothing short of a sensation. I reckon Sachin will retire this Indian summer at the end of the Aus series. It will be a huge loss to the game.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 19, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

@EnglishCricket When you say Tendulkar's nothing special I hope you're referring to his current form and over the last 4-5 years. I suspect you've not been following cricket for very long or have no idea about Indian cricket other than its current state but I assure for about the first 10 years of his career, he was a very special player in tests and ODIs. Following a succession of injuries, one of which was potentially career threatening, Tendulkar returned more as an accumulator or runs in tests but but was still the brilliant batsman in ODIs. People rave about Pieterson and how good he is but I can assure you KP in top form doesn't even come close to that early Tendulkar. English commentators are talking about Cook has to be considered as a 'great' because of 3 centuries against a very average bowling attack in alien conditions but Tendulkar has been there and done it all over the world and against far better bowlers than the ones Cook faced.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

@EnglishCricket - (a) grow up; (b) learn something about cricket before posting an ignorant comment under anonymity; and (c) I would take Tendulkar's quantity over any other batsmen's quality over the past 25 years. If Tendulkar lacked quality then so did every bowler that conceded those 34K runs and the 100 centuries. And since no-one ever measured up to his quantity - they will always be inferior in quality. Something has to be said about longevity. I would prefer a Duracell battery over a cheap chinese brand - both provide the same current, the former lasts a hell lot longer.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 19, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

@StatisticsRocks I agree for the first part of his career, it was case of as long as Sachin scores a century, it doesn't matter if India win or lose. But there's no way the majority of people expect a century from him now. Most people just wonder how much longer he'll go humiliating himself and tarnishing the image he's worked so hard to maintain over the years by refusing to sep aside until he's scoring runs again.

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 19, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

I am afraid it is more complex than this. After the WC SRT did not play in the WI tour. Right after that India lost 4-0 to Eng and SRT would have felt too hurt to retire after such a loss. He played in the return WI series and might have hoped for a better show in Aus so that he could retire in the next home series vs NZ but then Ind lost 4-0 in Aus too. Double the hurt. He would have hoped to avenge the loss in the return Eng tour and retire in the end but then suddenly BCCI said yes to a Pak tour and SRT couldn't have let it go. Sadly, Ind have lost to Eng at home now and the Pak tour is so close but there are no tests. Also the return Aus tour is pretty close to so perhaps SRT is hoping to do well there before he retires. All this while I am sure his desire is to go on a high and not in a losing series like these. It would hurt him all his life if he were to retire right now. Is he after the 200th Test? Nope, he is searching for a tiny oasis in a desert, I hope he finds an ocean :-)

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

he has been the corner stone of indian batting for a lot of years. the best part of the whole issue for me is that it makes me wait eagerly for the next innings of sachin 'cause all his life he answered with his bat and stayed tall for a few years further. i hope that happens again

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

Well its clear in my eyes he's after his 200th test which he rightfully can by the way but seriously he will lose a lot of respect simply going for records. You got to feel with the amount of youngsters that are desperate to make their mark in the Indian side. His 100 100 was already embarrassing especially in a losing cause and now he's totally out of nick. In my opinion he's a good player but not special or anything I mean 'quantity' is nothing to be proud off and that's what he was I'm afraid :) :P

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

@ EnglishCricket tendulkar was not all quantity my dear friend...may be you should watch 177 @trentbridge,122@edgbaston,193 @headingley or 92 @trentbridge in 2002 ....the quality of strokes produced by tendulkar in those innings is matchless...its not about the runs you score..its how you score them...i dont think anyone in modern cricket apart from lara could match sachin's strokeplay....

Posted by sony_sr on (December 19, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

Most comments here say that no player is greater than the game. I must say its true for anyone playing any team game in this world, but not sachin. If you don't understand what I say, you are either not an indian or not following indian cricket from 1989 onwards.

Sachin is way beyond comparison with anyone atleast for indians.

Sachin has never been in such poor form in last 23 years. Even in this form, indian cricket will be poorer without him. But continuing in poor form is causing a damage to his name. Just for that reason, I would like him to announce retirement and am sure he will retire soon.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (December 19, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

Well its clear in my eyes he's after his 200th test which he rightfully can by the way but seriously he will lose a lot of respect simply going for records. You got to feel with the amount of youngsters that are desperate to make their mark in the Indian side. His 100 100 was already embarrassing especially in a losing cause and now he's totally out of nick. In my opinion he's a good player but not special or anything I mean 'quantity' is nothing to be proud off and that's what he was I'm afraid :) :P

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 15:14 GMT)

SACHIN you have given the world a life-time of joyful moments on the cricket field . If at this time , and in your mind you find it necessary to call it QUITS then we will accept it. thanks again for all the magical momeants . We will miss you .All the best in your POLITICAL life .

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 19, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

The problem with SRT is that he is much more than 'much more than a cricketer'. He is on a league of his own. And so, it is just impossible for the selectors to drop him without receiving violent backlash. That is why SRT has to retire on his own. It is sad but the fact of the matter is that he has carried a nation's hopes for so long that no one else but him can say "SRT is done". I am not saying that no one else has the right to say he is done, but just that the best way for this to end is if SRT himself retires, and retires soon. The burden of ending his career also falls on him. If he feels like playing on, let him play at Ranji level and the IPL. I'm sure a lot of domestic players will hugely benefit from that.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (December 19, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

When Tendulkar walked out to bat in 1989 then we Indians were expecting him to score a 100, now at ~40 we (including the fans from all over the world) expect him to score a century. Is there any other cricketer in the world who can claim this kind of expectation from him. Yes, to India, Sachin is beyond cricket but, I definitely think it's time for him to hang his boots and still contribute to Indian cricket in so many ways. Aftyerall he is human and the body can take only so much.

Posted by maeneece on (December 19, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

@gdevilliars: well said...i'd also suggest we interchange teams to see the exact implication of this comparison

Posted by CeeJ on (December 19, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

Couldn't agree more. Someone who has played cricket all through his life, it is not going to be easy for him to walk away and hence he won't be the best judge of the timing either. Selectors are paid for that job and they need to make that call, on pure rational grounds, not on petty sentiments. No doubt he has served the game of cricket wonderfully well, but that doesn't make him the owner, he still remains a servant of the game. It would be a tragedy of epic proportions if Sachin gets dropped, I believe the selectors need to talk to him and convince him that his time in the middle is over.

The only argument to the contrary is that I don't see a single technically correct batsman on the horizon. So Sachin might still walk into the team on his own merits .. not based on sentiments or because he deserves to pick the time and place when the curtain falls.

Good piece. I was hoping someone see reason and voice it against all this "Sachin knows best" non-sense.

Posted by Cric-101 on (December 19, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

Tendulkar still offers a lot on and off the field. Ammunition for statisticians, bashers and journalists, headache to the selectors and hope to millions of Indians that he will end on a high scoring runs in South Africa. Undeterred as he is, I say let the man keep doing what he has been. This fairy tale will also end in "Happily Ever After"

Posted by Aussiesfalling on (December 19, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

I think Tendulkar should be allowed to announce his reriement at a time of his own choosing. Full stop. In the meantime, of course, it seems clear that the selectors should drop him.

Posted by gdevilliars on (December 19, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

If people want to compare Tendulkar to Kallis may i suggest you throw in Zaheer Kahn to give him a fighting chance. Kallis`s domination has only begun and when he decides to give his 140kph bowling away ( maybe he could donate it to India). Then we can truly see what he can do with bat.

Posted by vipravara on (December 19, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

It is crystal clear that Tendulkar is fully aware of the fact that selectors WILL NOT drop him for the stature he acquired in Indian cricket. If he tries to take advantage of this incapability of selectors and continue in the team due to past reputation, he pays heavily for that lowering his own reputation, which is already in the downward trend. In other words, if he wants to continue, he MUST perform and any failure further reduces his reputation EXPONENTIALLY. Is he and are his die-hard fans ready for it? - a cricket lover from India.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

Now is the right time that the people of India should start looking beyond Tendulkar. The basic principle of any sport is that the player cannot be greater than the game. The selectors should start looking up to fill that No.4 spot. Players need to be groomed to be anybody's replacement. Pujara and Kohli will get good time to get settled in the team at No.3 & 5 respectively. So why not the No.4 spot also?

Posted by Nathan_R_Patrick on (December 19, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

Ed, bravo!!! And thank you for taking this issue beyond cricket. Though he is known to the world as a greatest cricketer of his generation, to indians he is much more than that. And it would be harsh to treat him just as a cricketer and deselect him. Some individuals do deserve more respect than the game itself. Sachin is certainly one of them. Since his debut in 1989, he had given nothing but hope to indian cricket in terms of becoming world champions. It finally materialized in 2011. Carrying such burden on his able shoulders consistently is not a small feat. I tink his retirement should come at the end of the season with lot of victories preceded by that. So the entire country can celebrate it for the extended period of time. I wish the boy luck. I conincidently start my first job out of college on the same day when he started his career against PAK. Something for me to cherish for years to come. A very negligible coincidence I must say but indeed, a proud one to share here.

Posted by cricket-india on (December 19, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

the problem with SRT worshippers is that they see the calls for him to go as an insult to him, as a backstab in return for all his glorious achievements; grow up guys. do you want SRT to stick around as an incompetent and wretched batsman falling to every tom, dick and harry bowler he would have bossed in his heyday? do you want SRT - who stood up to mcgrath, warne, akram, waqar, akhtar, pollock, donald, steyn and murali in their pomp - to be dominated by the siddles and panesars of today? will that elevate his stature in your eyes and in the eyes of posterity? kapil hobbled to 434 wkts but we remember him for his hobble as much as for his 434. why should SRT make the same mistake? a 50 here and a 50 there mean nothing; even vvs got a 66 on his last tour in oz but he's remembered for his epic failure there. bring out all the arguments everyone ever had for dravid and vvs to retire; apply them to SRT. if he ticks all the boxes dravid and vvs did, he's gotta go; it's open and shut.

Posted by Karnamkotil on (December 19, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

Its only after the 2012 World Cup,(mind u-he scored 2 centuries in that WC) that Sachin lost his form. It happens with all the great players. Ponting was d latest. Then y r everybody targeting Sachin ? Give him his time. If he thinks he can still make it, its just a matter of few more matches to get his form back, then let it be. Even Ponting made his own retirement. The Ausi board didnt drop him. And all those who say that Sachin is playing for stats, do u really think he is that kind of a player? Think from ur heart friends. Requesting u all to not disrespect Sachin. The Legend will make his own decision and we should respect it. Nobody knows what Sachin is goin thru, coz nobody has reached at his level of success. Even Ed Smith - infact v dont know who the hell he is, he has not even played International cricket.

Posted by Farce-Follower on (December 19, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

The Indian fan is truly remarkable - a 2-1 thrashing and they want still want Sachin to continue till maybe his 250th Test Match. Well, I guess, every country gets the Cricket Team it deserves. After all, We Are Like This Only. India will be better off dropping SRT right now. He offers just a weak sentimental value. And even that is disappearing fast.

Posted by NALINWIJ on (December 19, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

SACHIN'S greatness is unquestionable but like ALI the delay in retirement tarnished his reputation.Entering politics allows a graceful exit from cricket like ARJUNA did and SANATH JAYASURIYA should have done. Sachin had to stay while the othjer 3 from fab4 retired but with PUJARA and KOHLI cementing their spots, SACHIN can go out on his terms and the accuracy of timing is upto him.

Posted by dailycric on (December 19, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

I agree in principle with what Ed says - that selectors should take the call and that the best 11 should take the field. What Ed is missing is what all "experts" from afar who are commenting about Tendulkar are missing viz. that he still *is* one of the best 11 in Indian cricket today. While Pujara has been a ready replacement for Dravid, it took 4 years to find an adequate replacement for Ganguly. Who is there to replace Sachin at 4? The likes of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina are not a patch on him in terms of form, technique or temperament. Even a Sachin who is at half his powers is better than them. It doesn't matter whether that is a reflection on his greatness or on the paucity of talent in India today; the fact remains that Sachin is still one of the top 6 batsmen in the country. So if the selectors are to take a call, the right one is to persist with him as long as he himself has the desire, or unless someone else makes a stronger case.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

ALL Great things have to come to an end so is Tendulkar's illustrious career. As a huge Tendulkar fan its painfull to see him struggle like this, he should retire gracefully, if he is not able to live up to his standards.

Posted by Mike_Tyson on (December 19, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

As some Sachin bashers say, he has only scored worthles runs, I guess when Brian Lara scored 600 odd runs in a 3 test series against SL and WI ended up getting whitewashed, were they also worthless runs?? In which of his 2 world record knocks did the WI go onto win the match? Infact of his highest 15 test scores, only 2 resulted in WI wins as to India winning 6 of Sachins 15 highest. Is it safe then to say that Lara only played for personal glory too? I think this is absurd but unfortunately this is how many posters here identify personal glory players or one's who play for the team.

I only ask this as some say sachin only plays for records, in my opinion no record is bigger than the highest score world record. This is not to try and put down Lara as he is a magnificient player and one of the best ever (certainly one of my favourites)

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

The 2nd last para should read "... Prime Minister Narasimha Rao's liberalisation reforms". Manmohan Singh was Finance Minister at that time.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 19, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

It's not Tendulkar's perogative whether he wants to play for the Indian team or not. He does not own the Indian team!! Would you play someone with a batting average of 20 runs? That's what the so called God of cricket has been averaging in past 6 months. It's a disgrace that a top order batsman averages 20 but still gets to keep his place. Even lower middle order batsmen like Aswhin and Dhoni have better average than Tendulkar. Tendulkar should be dropped from the Indian team right NOW. He is going down and he is taking the Indian team with him. Tendulkar and Sehwag are done. Drop both of them right NOW.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

this is rubbish . no one can ask a player to retire. the selectors can surely drop sachin from the following matches and they surely will if he doesnt perform in those too . every one has lean patches. it makes sense to drop them from the team. peoples general view is that he'll know when to RETIRE. thats something totally different. i dont think that sachin knows best about his spot in the team . but he sure does know how much cricket he has left in him.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

200 Tests are the target

and the reason is as virat said

"He's carried the hopes of our nation for more than two decades," Virat Kohli explained , "now it's time we carried him on our shoulders."

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

So the question of whether tendulkar should continue or not is entirely dependent on the team management,the selectors and tendulkar,it would be foolish to comment on that.But showing disrespect to a man who has given so much to Indian Cricket and the World Cricket as a whole by calling him "selfishkar" or "Statchin" or any other such nonsense stuff is not right I feel.Give some respect to the man for what he has done till now,if you can't,atleast don't show disrespect.

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

@ TheMatch the last decade was not completely dominated by ponting or kallis...in the year between 2000-2002 sachin was still dominating along with lara...in the period 2002-2007 ponting dominated the world cricket...but between the periods 2007-2011 it was sachin again ...go and check stats ..he averaged better than both kallis and ponting in this period...post 2011 it is kallis,amla,clarke who are dominating batting in world cricket

Posted by surajpatil on (December 19, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

You are right Kavindeven. I am totally agree with you!!!

Posted by TheMatch on (December 19, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

'some' should be replaced with 'one' From my last comment. Sorry!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

And again those who call Sachin "selfishkar" or "statchin" and other such nonsense stuff and believe he has scored meaningless runs just to pile on the records and not to win games for India,can you'll please explain if in a match where he has scored runs(not necessarily a hundred),and India has won the game,if u deduct the runs he has scored from the the team score how many games would we have still won without his contribution in that match,considering the kind of bowling attack we have possessed all along??So the runs he has scored do have meaning in the context of the game.Winning a game for your team does not necessarily mean batting throughout the innings to score runs and stay till the end.It also means laying a strong platform so that the players who follow him in the batting order capitalise on it and take the team to the desired result.Sachin's role,being an opener,has been exactly this and he has done the same with ridiculous ease and consistency.

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

@ Advin sachin is a better batsman than kallis....had he fielded in slips all his career..even he would have hold on to as many kallis has got....yeah kallis has got 600 wickets in intl cricket....sachin has about 200 intl wicket..but its tendulkar's batting records that outnumbers kallis's by a long margin such as 49 odi hundreds,18000 odi runs,60 mom,200 in an odi,6 double hundreds in test,14 mos awards,most world cup runs and one mos in world cup,...and also he has one world cup title to his name....

Posted by crazy.mechanic on (December 19, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

@Advin- Tendulkar has played a hefty lot of match winning innings. The pure fact that the west were never into the sub continent matches, tells us about the perception and memories saved in their minds. Tendulkar will always be remembered as the greatest cricketer and without a doubt greatest ODI batsman ever. Kallis is nowhere near to Tendulkar. It's a fact. I for once believe that Tendulkar needs some time.He got out to some good bowls. The hunger and desire is still there. It is important for him to have a chat with the management. It is hard to understand the value of Tendulkar in our country for the foreigners!!!

Posted by 200ondebut on (December 19, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

SRT has earned the right to chose when he retires? Ponting went on too long and lost his dignity in the process - no one would want to see the same for SRT as he is a true gentleman of the game.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

That's Tendulkar is nothing without stats. Have not seen he has won test matches single handedly for India. Only 2 instances i remember was his 141 at waca in 92 and century against pakistan in chennai, unfortunately India lost the match by whisker. To me and even many cricket expert will agree that Dravid and Laxman are the far better test cricketer than Tendulkar....

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

No need to drop Sachin.. Drop Sehwag and Gambhir who are actually playing spoil sport in the dressing room.. We want fighters and not losers with full of ego..

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

I'm not saying Tendulkar is bigger than the game and all that stuff,but i'm against people who compare sachin with what dravid and laxman did and call him "selfishkar".Please if you can't respect the great man,atleast don't show disrespect.About dravid doing the right thing by stepping aside for the team's sake is concerned please check the stats before saying so.Dravid was actually going through a lean patch ever since he gave up captaincy in 2007 and dropped from the odi team up until the SA series 2010-11.But dravid was never forced to retire during this period was because Sachin was scoring heavily in this period and so were a few others in the team such as Gambhir,Sehwag etc and Zaheer in bowling and as a result the team was doing well.But now just because the whole team is struggling,tendulkar's failures are being magnified when he actually has failed in 8 tests-last 2 against Aus,2 against NZ and 4 against Eng.

Posted by TheMatch on (December 19, 2012, 13:16 GMT)

How can an age be defined after some player while others are also performing and performing when it matters most for the team. Last decade was dominated by Ponting and Kallis. The decade of 90s was dominated Lara and Tendulkar. Even Lara was more fearless and dominating than Tendulkar. So how is the author claiming the last two decades or so as 'Age of Tendulkar'. It should be stopped.

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

@ rameshcricfan if viv richards would have averaged 30 instead of 50 ....you would not have even known him..forget terming him as great...if imran would have got 100 wickets in as many matches instead of 363 you would have termed him as great as well....i haven't seen a cricketer who is regarded as a legend of the game without any stats justifying his abilities....all great cricketers have great stats and all those who have great stats are called great cricketers....when you see tendulkar you dont feel like he is a great...then there is a problem with your eyes.. you cant see the artistry that he brings into his batting....

Posted by here2rock on (December 19, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

Another good article by Ed Smith. Tendulkar has noting to prove now and should retire gracefully.

Posted by srikanths on (December 19, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

Agree . As you have mentioned, the toughest act could turn out to be the kindest. I have been following cricket for 40 years. Watching SRT bat ( major part of his career ) has been the greatest joy and there has never been a more painful sight than watching the great man struggle in the last two series.

It has nothing to do with the form. He has been on a precipitous fall after the Sydney 80. Last two tests of OZ, two tests against NZ and the recent England. One can see the decline and could also see that the decline is age related and not just loss of form. Spinners and pace bowlers , who in theor prime wouyld have been played with urtmost ease, have given him trouble. His struggle and fall of his wicket seems as inevitable as a clinical and excellent knocks a few years back from him. Noen of us want his last few innings to be the "lastinbg image" of the man. Just hope, he bows out and not carry on with the struggle

Posted by Advin on (December 19, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

Shadab 732, you don't get the point.When you say cricketer, it does not mean batsmen.Even if Tendulkar shades Kallis as a batsmen,almost 300 test wickets and brilliant slip catching makes Kallis a greater CRICKETER which nobody can dispute

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

The selectors have two questions to ask about picking or dropping Tendulkar: 1. Is there someone in Indian cricket who can come in and score runs better than he can right now? 2. Are the rest of the team overly dependent on him to turn things around and thus aren't applying themselves enough?

Posted by rameshcricfan on (December 19, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

while i agree with most of what the author has written, i dont agree Tendulkar is beyond the numbers, records , stats..

When i look at guys like Richards, imran khan, steve waugh etc, i dont look at their records.. i just know they were GREAT..

But i realize Tendulkar's greatness only on seeing the stats.. he is nothing without the stats..

Posted by BnH1985Fan on (December 19, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

More words have been written on SRT than he has scored runs

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

@ Advin i find your comments laughable...just as for you kallis is greatest of this generation..for Nazmul hassan,cricindia208,praveen and many more sachin is the greatest..most of kallis's hundreds are against westindies of post 2000era,newzealand,srilanka,pakistan of post 2000 era(without akram and waqar)...and he averages in forties in australia and england(the average improved after he scored this year)...most of his hundreds are at his homegrounds....do not compare sachin with kallis in odis at least...his strike rate is comparable to rahul dravid in odis...

Posted by stonysat on (December 19, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

HOHOHOHO!!!!!!!!! Listen I have something to say.... :) Stop RUNNING behind Mr. Master.. Give him some space... Cricketing God knows what to do when.... This is an humble request to all those media and the cricket experts who has an Opinion of Sachin's Retirement.... Agree he is not scoring as expected.. But mind you, the expectations for Sachin among all is nothing less that 100 (Century).. If the media and so called experts insists Sachin has to retire since he is 39 or age old and not scoring- for time being it is nothing but their level of confidence and state of Mind.. We really want Sachin on the ground and he has superb physical fitness and mentally strong than anyone in present Indian team.

Posted by rtruth90 on (December 19, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

@Xolile: agreed with your comment.

Posted by Webba84 on (December 19, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

@fan_of_good_cricket - You are quite wrong if you think only Indian fans want a strong Indian test team. Cricket fans all over the world are troubled by the current state of Indian cricket and dearly hope it gets sorted out soon.

Posted by Mike_Tyson on (December 19, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

I must say, some absolutely hilarious comments by some cricket "fans". Kiwirocker and LilianThomson at the heart of most as usual. Keep up with your limited knowleadged jokes, I'm having a good chuckle reading them!

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

@ Rao Naseer you have bad memories mate......there are so many memorable knocks from tendulkar....since you have mentioned ponting's 140 and gilly's 149 as memorable...what about tendulkar's 175 vs aus,200 vs sa@gwalior....both innings were against better attacks than your so called great attack against whom ponting scored 140 and gilly scored 149...what about tendulkar's 134,143 @ sharjah,and 117 no,91 vs aus @sydney and brisbane all in the cup finals.....what about 138 vs sri in compaq cup final in 2009...his 86 vs oz @brisbane,94 vs eng@oval,99 vs eng @bristol,match-winning 62 vs west-indies in the final odi in 2002(remember the series was tied 1-1 before the final match)...113 vs sri @bristol,98 vs pak@centurion,90 vs aus @mumbai,163 vs nz@christchurch,141 and 4 wickets against oz @dhaka in the QF of champions trophy,139 vs oz @indore,114 vs sa@mumbai,60 odd vs sa in titan cup final...93 vs sa @belfast,97 vs pak@gwalior,and many more.all these knocks are so memorable for me

Posted by Advin on (December 19, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

Some of the comments here justifying Tendulkar's continuation, I find laughable:

1) Nazmul Hassan " I open TV only for Tendulkar" .Right,Tendulkar must keep on playing purely for Mr.Hasan's viewing pleasure 2) CricIndia 208 "It does not matter,Sachin is the GREATEST CRICKETER EVER"No,he is not.Forget Bradman,even from the present generation Kallis is a greater cricketer 3) Praveen Survapur "He will call it a day when he feels he cannot contribute to the team anymore" Sorry ,he is not contributing to the team now .It is not his call anymore but the selectors 4) Gopzz "Tendulkar is bigger than the game".No he is not,no sportsman is greater than the game 5) Suraj "Who is Ed Smith to judge Tendulkar" .Right,only a Bradman (sadly dead) or someone similarcan be critical,what is the point of journalism,anyway?

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 19, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

Tendulkar has overstayed his welcome. He is responsible for the down slide of Indian cricket. He knows that no selector will dare to drop him, but he won't retire, in spite of his poor performances over past 12 months. Dravid and Laxman, being gentleman, stepped aside for the sake of the team. But not selfishkar - he is always more important than the team.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

The discussion is alright. But the Indian Cricket Team shoud rather concentrate on whole team and its right spirit than always focusing on Tendulkar's presence in the fields. Indians need to build up team spirit to expose an outstanding performance & bring India victories. There exists a split among the boys. Need to rectify things soon and get back to the selfless and nation oriented game.

Posted by CricketChat on (December 19, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

A great batsman that SRT was, he or no one should be allowed to halt the progress of national team. Many greats in the past like GR Visvanath of the 80s (whose value to his team was indisputable), Border, S Waugh, Imzamam, Sanath and even Ponting (dropping from ODIs this year was the real catalyst that made him to contemplate eventual retirement from tests as well) were all shown the door when they showed prolonged decline accentuated by aging. May be SRT will wait until his son plays along with him in the Ind team. That would be another record for him!.

Posted by IndianSRTfan on (December 19, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

@rtruth90: Afraid of facing the best bowler? Conveniently left out Shane Warne and Muralitharan, whom Sachin dominated, did we?? What happened? Were they also not great in your book? Ok how about Wasim and Waqar? And lol the only reason Sachin was in a situation where his runs came for a losing cause because for the majority of his career, barring 2-3 players rest of the team was too pathetic to win. And craven? Go take a hard look at facts man. And Sir Viv, great batsman for sure but hello his addiction to dominate the game led to West Indies failing to chase a mere 183 in 1983 WC. Please admit you're a persistent tendulkar critic.

Posted by BellCurve on (December 19, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

This is the 3rd reference to the "Age of Tendulkar" I have encountered on this website. Please stop this nonsense. Tendulkar is not even the best batsman of his generation. This is the "Age of Indian Hegemony". I truly hope these dark times come to an end soon.

Posted by rashivkd on (December 19, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

I like the way Ed wrote about the transition. But the fact is professionalism is simply impossible without an amateurish setup, because of we are human beings. There may be some stages Sachin not scoring heavily, but the way he carried our hopes more than two decades, the way he behaved, the way he committed..., even in this stupid professional world, we loving you Sachin.

Like Ed mentioned, the economic revolution of India by Dr. Manmohan Singh was the turning point of Indian economy, unfortunately, now he is also attacking by the people like Sachin because of his new economic revolution and theories. But honestly, I believe Sachin knows his game and his fitness much better than any, and Dr. Manmohan Singh knows what he is doing better than any. But certainly, Sachin and Manmohan Singh are the legends, India found in its history.

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

@ rtruth90 my dear frnd i think you missed some of his match-winning efforts in that list...155 vs oz and 214 and 52 no vs oz are two single-handed match winning effort...the kind of innings that you are talking about is the 136 vs pak which he failed to finish..if it were any other team..the tail wont have choked the way our tail did..but sachin has this jinx..its not that lara's 153 was chanceless..had tendulkar been lucky..who knows he would have got india to victory..talking about knocks against great attacks:114 vs mcdermott and co.,111,169 vs donald,mcmillan,pollock,155vspollock and ntini,136 vs waqar and wasim,116,126 vs mcgrath and warne,155,177 vs warne and fleming,111,146vs steyn and morkel,179 vs walsh and ambrose....and talking about vivian richards average in test matches against pakistan was 41 with 2 centuries...and he averaged 44 vs australia..two of the best bowling line-ups of that era lillee,thomson and imran and nawaz..he averaged in mid forties..go and check stats

Posted by 777aditya on (December 19, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

beautifully put - really, no one has said this better!

Posted by maeneece on (December 19, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

@rtruth90: yes of course...all greats such as ponting, viv, waugh, lara are single handed match winners...i still can't forget the times when they scored all the runs of their team, took all 20 wickets day in day out during their heydays...heck tendulkar, timid & small, never managed that even once in his career, what can i say?? you know what...when ponting, lara etc the 'greats' score...the runs are added in their teams total...it's only the 'greedy' tendulkar's whose runs don't add to his team total & at the end of the day, he takes it home, hence depriving india by his "selfishness"!!!

Posted by slowbowler on (December 19, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

I would like to call upon my fellow patriotic Indians to pause, considering Tendulkar's records he is still human however much many of you might like to think of him as a GOD. Being human he is fallible and I for one don't want to see my idol in such circumstances, because of the simple fact that I was part of the era when he was INFALLIBLE. Yes, I believe he deserves a say in deciding his retirement but unfortunately the laws that govern our world don't work like that, even though it is cliched, the day and time our body retires from this world is not decided by us. Therefore, for the betterment of Indian cricket the time has come to ask one of our best to please vacate his spot, it is high time.

Posted by fan_of_good_cricket on (December 19, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

CricInfo: Can you please stop publishing these articles and comments that talk about Tendulkar retirement. This has become ridiculous. Why is this being talked so much about! If he's good enough to continue, all this talk is plain nonsense. If he's not good enough to play anymore, its the job of selectors to drop him, or he may call it a day himself. If this isn't happening, opponents should just enjoy seeing a 'weak' batsman in the Indian lineup. Whether or not he should retire/ be dropped ONLY matters to the people of India, because they are the ones who would like team India to get better. Whether this betterment requires Sachin to retire/be dropped should be immaterial to others. I've never seen Manjrekar/Harsha etc. writing about Ponting's retirement.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

Tendulkar is "JACK OF ALL TRADES BUT MASTER OF NONE" he has the most runs & centuries but DONT Forget PLEASE!! he has most number of matches & innings too.... not a single memorable series or innings to his credit, against a quality attack or in a big event, like 140* for Ponting in 2003 final or 149 for Gilchrist in 2007 final. For how long he will wait for that kind of knock??? may be not possible in in this life :(

Posted by Tigg on (December 19, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

@Suraj Nair Your comment is ridiculous.

It's Tendaulker who needs the runs...

Posted by TheOrestes on (December 19, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

@pandez : lol ... playing for 23 yrs continuously for India under such a tremendous pressure from fans, team members, selectors, internal politics( azhar era ) & above all not to forget opponents such as McGrath, Gillespie, Warne, waqar, akram etc is not a JOKE! If you do not understand simple facts then don't blame the legend. Great players go hand to hand, dravid is indeed great & so is sachin. So, playing for 23 yrs at an international level with such giants is not easy!

Posted by Adi2830 on (December 19, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

Great stuff !!

As boy and man, Tendulkar has made India feel proud. His achievements far transcend the sports field. Tendulkar has embodied the aspirations and achievements of a resurgent India

Posted by Nerk on (December 19, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Give Sachin a series against Australia. He scores runs, he stays, he doesn't he goes. He has been off the boil for a while now and there are players on the Indian domestic scene like Rahane scoring big runs consistently. Sachin is a legend of the game, no matter what happens, but he needs to score against Australia or leave.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

It comes as no surprise that Ed has been so dignified in the manner in which he has suggested Sachin should be dropped. But the second last sentence of the penultimate paragraph, throws open an interesting debate. Is Sachin among the XI best players that India has to offer today? Trust me, if the answer was a clear NO, I guess it would have made it easier for both Sachin and the selectors to come to a conclusion. Unfortunately that is not the case. First of all we do not have a No 6 batsman. Similarly Gambhir has not inspired much confidence either (although he did manage a couple of half centuries). Worse he has refused to acknowledge that he is out of form. Sehwag, turns up once in a blue moon. Even Virat struggled for almost the entire tour, save the last test at Nagpur. In these circumstances Sachin cannot be judged by only the runs he scores but the kind of determination he exudes off the field to get back to being the best. For example between the second and third test, there

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

@ pandez for a cricketer with 'decent' abilities with the bat to play for 23 long years ....i guess the cricketer has to be at least 16 year old.....please find me a 16 year old kid with ur so called 'decent' abilities so that he can perform for india not just in india but also overseas all be it at a tender age...really i want to see him break this mere 'decent' batsman's batting record both in odis and tests....

Posted by godatno4 on (December 19, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

Sachin can definitely retire from the ODI's, the team has settled down in some way or the other. In tests, the team definitely needs some senior player in the dressing room and in the middle to guide it through for the next 6-12 months. And do we have a fitting replacement, if yes, are the other players so much kicking in form and no one is getting younger by the day. So pls do not think of the age factor here.

Coming to statistics, there are always multiple ways of looking at it. The saner minds choose the correct way and the bashers always choose the opposite. I think it is just worthless taking about the matches he saved/won/lost for India.

Are the so called cricket lovers here much more knowledgeable than Sir Viv, Dravid, Kumble, Gilli, Warne, Ian et.al??

Posted by Romenevans on (December 19, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

No point writing articles or publishing news about his retirement. He won't retire because he wants to achieve 200 tests records which will only happen after India plays SA next year, where he will castled by steyn, morkal and now Philander.

Posted by rtruth90 on (December 19, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

@shadab732 Excuse me dear, we are talking about Winnings not about saving matches. A true fighting batsman can win matches. Saving matches is not a big deal. some tail end-es for some countries have achieved draws after batting out the final session. We are talking here about gutsy wins .Which Lara, Izamam, Steve Waugh, Richards and other great batsmen have achieved in the past not like craven tendulkar, always afraid of facing the best bowler of the attack and scores some greedy selfish runs when part timer or the weakest bowlers comes to bowling, He is opposite of Great Viv Richards where in Viv used to scored against the best bowler on any attack neither he scores cravenly but rather dominate the bowler and hit him all over the park .which tendulkar never did for sure in his entire career. please admit to it. I am conveying to all the world about tendulkar my 23 years observation on tendulkar. though he has best technique but performance wise he will come behind all the great batsme

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

Time to go Sachin instead of damaging ur Avg. in a respectable way..

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

well well welll Indian team without Sachin is hard to believe...... being a paki supporter I always pray to his dismissal as early as he could but What a great legend this little man is. I think sachin is a Institute to a young guns to perform like him or at-least act like him..... What a remarkable character Sir Sachin is..... Just left that guy alone and he decide what he thought for the India and for himself as well

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

@ Jagmohan Swain sachin is miles ahead than lara and dravid simply because he is not just a great test player but even a greater odi player...i mean in terms of average and strike rate he is better than lara in odis considering the amount of matches played by sachin is almost double than lara...please do not compare sachin with dravid in odis....its the abilities to achieve equally great in both test and odis that sets him apart from others...the next best can only be ponting judging by his records both in odis and tests....but again in terms of strike rates and average sachin is better than ponting in odis

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

who is this Ed smith? he has played "3" test matches for england and scored a total of 87 runs and he is judging one of the greatest cricketer to play the game..

go get some runs buddy!!

Posted by Udendra on (December 19, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

Is this such a tough call? I don't think so. People do age and with that their agility diminishes. That's a fact. So Sachin should retire. simple.

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 19, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

contd...for other greats you have mentioned.... Had they performed on as consistent basis as you have mentioned then their average would have been more than Bradman's. It is easier to point out the failures of any individual and harp about few successes of other individuals but anyone can point out many successes of Sachin.

Hoping that you are a level headed fellow, I would rather have you make any statement based on some stats or facts instead of any rhetoric.

Cricinfo...PLease publish.

Posted by sony_sr on (December 19, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

@gopzz, how well you wrote the mind of millions of indians. people are merely wasting their time comparing sachin with every tom, harry and dick.

Posted by TheScot on (December 19, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

I for one would not be very interested in Indian cricket post Tendulkar retirement, and I know some more like me. Does that mean Tendulkar should not retire? No, everything comes to end, and so would watching Tendulkar batting on the crease in Test match or One Day. Does that mean viewership of Indian cricket will go down? Yes, I suspect so. And I believe that Indian cricket & BCCI will go down from until they become as mediocre as they were pre Tendulkar. Even Kapils and Gavaskars could not pull as many Indians to telly as Tendulkar did. Does that mean Indian cricket team will be mediocre as well? I hope not, but I suspect that can be the case. It's the simple case of demand and supply. So what's the conclusion? BCCI will be very reluctant to drop Tendulkar until they manage to find another hero and star and more than that fantastic cricketers. Because they know, however popular Yuvrajs, Dhonis, Kohlis are, their lack of superlative talent and crafts man ship can make them box office

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

@ KiwiRocker according to you he failed in 1992 and 1996 world cups....plz go and check the stats...tendulkar single-handedly took india into the semifinals scoring 523 runs in 1996 world cup...even in that semifinal against sri lanka ...he got 65 runs under pressure...and no one else stood up...arvinda too scored a half century but they say arvinda played a match winning innings in semifinal and final...but they all forget that when sachin scored those 65 runs no one else performed....again in 2003 wc he single handedly took india into the finals....finally india won the world cup in 2011 and he got most runs for india 482 with match-winning efforts of 53 and 85 in the QF and SF against aus and pak

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 19, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

contd..check the data for other greats which you have mentioned.... It is easy to tell out failures of sachin or for that matter any individual in the hostory of the game but yeah the no of successes you have mentioned about these people, I can tell you many more for Sachin.....Though I do not believe in making any rhetoric and beleiving that you are a fair headed bloke...I would rather have you make any statement based on statistics or some facts.....

Posted by SurenShan on (December 19, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

People who are taking about his retrirement should keep in mind that he made a double hundred in ODI at 36. So age doesnt matter for sachin. He just need a one good match. This has happened/will happen to all the best players in the world. When you dont have Sachin you will not get best cricket.

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 19, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

@Kiwirocker : It is not only the poor bowling attack which led to India's poor performance, but also the fact that in much of the 90s when dravid and laxman had not come to the scene,India had a poor batting as well.... Srinath and Prasad were good but very great...Check for yourself, how many times India could bowl opponents out outside the continent. Kumble, the greatest bowler in hos own words admitted that he learnt to bowl outside sub continent only when he picked five for in Australia and that was as late as in 2004 series. As far as checking the statistics... you can check the see some data and make out your inferences to prove your opinion...for yourself check these statistics....you would not get them direct data but may be you can request cricinfo to furnish it for you. Data to be checked.... what was the contribution of other indian batsmen when sachin played a fine innings and india lost out also check the performance of indian bowlers. compare the same data for contd...

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Too Many Tendulkar worshippers.His contribution to Indian cricket is no more than Dravid and he is not a bteer batsman than Lara.He is not bigger than the game even in his own country.I demand Tendulkar be left out of future Indian team.Then he will retire.

Posted by shadab732 on (December 19, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

@ rtruth90 here are some of tendulkar's match-saving and match winning innings in test matches: 119 no (vs eng first test hundred) was a match saving one,165 vs eng@chennai,193vs eng@headingley,155no vs aus @chennai,117vs wi,160 vs nz@hamilton,146 vs sa@capetown,100no vs sri@ahmedabad,126vs aus@chennai,214 and 52 no(single-handed match winning effort)@bangalore vs oz,98 and 38vs aus@mohali,109 vs sri@delhi,176 vs wi@kolkata was in the second innings and a match saving one(india were 13 for 2 trailing wi by 100 runs or so),55vs oz@mumbai on a minefield,71 vs oz@perth,106 vs sa @kolkata,194 vs pak@multan,91 vs eng@trentbridge,104 no vs sri,142 vs sri,203 vs sri,103 no vs england,109 vs aus @nagpur,88 vs aus@mohali......these were some of his match-winning and match-saving efforts in test matches...in odis the list is longer...he is unarguably the greatest match-winner that india has produced in odis....

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

@Kiwirocker what qualities does younis khan has to be compared with Sachin,Lara and Ponting, will you agree if Ata ur Rehman is greater than Legend Wasim Akram, Please dont bluff in the name of writing to degrade sachin ,Lara and ponting. The whole world knows you are batting for Pak in the name of Kiwi's

Posted by varkay on (December 19, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

I feel even if Sachin wish to retire, he needs to consider the timing as the team would suffer otherwise. In the absence of Laxman and Dravid the team is already suffering. His presence would really help the youngters like Pujara and Kholi to play comfortably. If Sachin has to retire abruptly then India woudl become another westindies wherein all the greats retired at a same time and the team suffered for 2 decades. Sachin shoudl continue for another one year and in the due course, the team management should identify suitbale replacement for Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar by which it would be easy for them to take if forward.

He has to Retire anyway but should consider the broader prospective before making such call. I dont wanted a situation that Sewhag and Zaheer retires in next one year and Dhoni decides not to play Test cricket then we woudl be in a big problem.

My view is in the interest of Indian cricket and not vested or based on the question whether Sachin should retire

Posted by pandez on (December 19, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

Tendulkar is over rated. He is a self centered cricketer one will ever see. That shows whenever he was on 90's when he took eternity to get to his landmark. It also shows when he reacted on Dravid when the former declared the innings when he was on 190s. Tendulkar wore glasses that day to avoid eye contact with Dravid. If Tendulkar scored a century in one innings he will surely fail in the next one. History says that. We Indians have a tendency to make anyone God. Friends there is only one God and Tendulkar is merely an talented player. Give any one with descent ability 23 years and he will catch the record of Tendulkar.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

He should go now on high notes before selectors drop him

Posted by Rohan_K on (December 19, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

Dear Lilian Thomson, The phrase ""India are in trouble"" only came when Sachin got out so obviously when Dravid and Lax performed, it was only quoted the they performed when ""India was in trouble"". The moments ""India were not in trouble"" are Sachin's achievements. No offense with RD or Lax, its just Sachin far superior than them.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 19, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

rtruth90: Cheers for good analysis. This is exactly what I meant too. Tendulkar was a very vocal opponent of India Vs Pak ties in 90's to ensure that he does not have to face two of best fast bowlers cricket ever saw. His pathetic record against Wasim and Wqar speaks volumes. Neither rated him higher than Lara. Tendulkar scored a fine 136 in Madras but he choked and failed to win for India. Hence no one would remember that. As I said in my previous post that India did not have a bad bowling in 90's. if Srenath, Parsad and Kumble were bad then what is current lot? Laxman and Dravid played some fine innings to save or win matches that Tendulkar failed to do so. Younis Khan has an average of 54 in fourth innings of a test match when matches are won or saved and Tendulkar has an average of 35! Tendulkar's 100th test century cost India Asia cup. Tendulkar has been a great servent or Indian cricket and it will be utter saddness if his legacy becomes his ridicule. Its time to move on!

Posted by gopzz on (December 19, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

All being said and done, what everyone who feels compelled (for there is no other word for it) to have their say on Tendulkar resigning should bear in mind is this...Tendulkar is bigger than the game, and will always will be, for eternity..if not for other nations, most certainly for India. And his country needs him as long as he is willing to stay, for it will be poorer for his leaving, never the other way around. Those who cannot understand that and can only see things from a mere statistical viewpoint can, well, enough said.

Posted by sarath141 on (December 19, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

@ rtruth90, So you mean all those great players you mentioned are chokers in rest of the matches they played? You logic defies your argument. Go on with something you knew well rather than criticizing someone as big as Sachin!

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 19, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

I am sorry but I do not buy this argument that Tendulkar could not win matches for India due to poor Indian bowling attack. While, I do agree with the notion that cricket is a team game and bowlers win matches, but I completely disagree that Indian bowling was bad in those days. India had one of their best ever bowling paid Sreenath and Parsad bowling in those days but they failed. Anil Kumble was also around!Tendulkar failed in 1992, 1996 and 1999 world cups when it mattered. Tendulkar scored a good 136 against Pakistan in Madras but he failed to win for India. Look at Saeed Anwar who won Kalkutta test match for Pakistan or Afridi's 141. Tendulkar had many chances to win or save test matches but he failed. Trend continued in 2000's. Be it a Karachi test in 2006 or 4-0 loss in Australia or another 4-0 in England, reality is that Tendulkar never stood up. Inzemam Ul Haq scored 25 centuries and Pakistan won 18 of those tests. Thats called match winner and winning is what matters!

Posted by MrKricket on (December 19, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

I think Ponting was enjoying himself too but he got the tap on the shoulder from the selectors no doubt. No room for sentimentality in professional sport unless you are not 100% keen on winning. It must be so hard though - as people say, in the middle is the only place where SRT has some peace!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Being a diehard fan (wonder whether I would watch cricket after he calls it a day), I feel he has overstayed. It is not just scoring runs, but the way he gets out, very tentative against ordinary bowlers makes us feel his has well past his prime. He should be forthcoming with his plans in ODIs at least, retiring from this format with immediate effect. I guess maybe he wanted to have a go against his favorite side, Aussies and see where he stand. If he struggles again, then I think it is time of the selectors to do the job. No body is going to blame them for they will be fulfilling their duty.

Posted by zac_analyst on (December 19, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

@lillian thompson : I remember sanjay manjrekar making a veiled comment of similar nature in this website itself.In that article sanjay had remarked(in a positive way) how while everyone of his peers had changed over the years sachin continued to enjoy the same sort of jokes and do the same pranks they used to do when they were teenagers. So i believe that what is hurting sachin is more a lack of emotional intelligence rather than intelligence in the conventional sense. I also remember a T.V interview (in an indian news channel, NDTV) couple of years back where the interviewer asked sachin his opinion on something (match-fixing, if i remember right).After sachin gave his opinion , the anchor proceeded to show a video clip of him asking sachin the same quesion in an interview 15 years back and sachin's reply then was exactly the same as his present response!!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 8:57 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar is a legend no doubt. But people think he is divine. It is as if no one should question him. Sachin has done no more or no less than many other stalwarts before him.

Kapil Dev was India's captain in its greatest ever victory in cricket, the 83 World Cup. Sunil Gavaskar was India's Test stalwart for more than two decades where he was expected to face up to far more furious West Indies fast bowlers. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman gave India a new lease of life in its greatest ever test victory and shouldered the Indian middle-order for the better part of a decade. Sourav Ganguly gave India its new identity and made us relevant again. Anil Kumble was India's sole major spin bowler for an eternity.

What has Sachin done that makes him better than any of the aforementioned stalwarts? Nothing. He just has more records to his name. And fanboys who cannot think like proper cricket fans. It is high time the decision was made for him. He's not a God. He's just a gifted cricketer.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 19, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

There's so much that is unique about Tendulkar. There's so much that's unique about India & the nation's attitude towards her favourite son. In some curious & Eastern way these two distinct, unique entities seem to have mesmerised one another. SRT has transcended hero worship (that Eng expression is nowhere near strong enough to capture his hold on a billion people). Over the years, he seems to have become almost part of the architecture of the nation, permanent, not to be dismantled or knocked down. He's worshipped, beyond criticism & most certainly beyond rules that apply to lesser beings. He has done nothing in his life except bat sublimely for his nation. He has no other understanding of the world, including the enormous wealth he's generated. Within all of this mystical symbiosis there is an impasse: how can one exist without the other? Both seem to have lost the power of decision-making, so it's become a mutual enslavement. And both are still in their trances.Who will wake first?

Posted by Virajbekal on (December 19, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

Its High time 'Ed' you have to go back and check the stats before making some non sense comments about the legends. If you check the Stats you will get to know that 'Sachin was the Highest run getter in the World Cup 2011 from India and 2nd Highest Run getter overall just 18 runs less than Dilshan much higher than any other Indian Batsman(avg of 53.5 and strike rate of 92.' Whatelse do you expect from him. Just because he failed in Final people talk about his failure in World Cup. I agree he is going thru a Bad patch which the whole Team India is going thru....But I am sure he is still the most Hard working and Dedicated player in the whole team. And knowing what he is...He will surely not delay his retirement just for the heck of it...The day he feels its time....He will Announce his retirement. And my request to all the 'So called critics/Experts' to please keep their opinion to themselves till that time. Thanks in Advance.

Posted by Shazli on (December 19, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

I think Sachin should be retire form all kind of cricket, i believes he ever never played for his nation he always played for himself for example R Pointing , Lara, Warne, Inzi, Waseem, Waqar, Imran Khan, Kapil, SG, Rahul, Lxman and many leading player around the world quite themself, if they got chance to play 20 years like Sachin then they could also make & break so many records.... i don't seen any match wining inning which help team india....he should now join his teammate in commentary room...

Posted by SamRoy on (December 19, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

Exactly my point, its been a year now or at least close to a year that Sachin Tendulkar is no longer one of India's best six batsman and on those grounds alone he should be dropped (if he doesn't understand the simple fact). It won't diminish his status as India's biggest superstar.

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 19, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

contd... Much of the dominance of Australian and West Indies team can be explained on the basis of the fact that they had good team with them and not just one or two genious with them.

Having carried expectations of so many people, giving them hope is something which Sachin has done and hence deserve the respect he gets from majority of indians. Needless to point out that India was coming out of its own shadow at that time, breaking away all the shackles, gaining self confidence that they can do things. People like Sachin had a huge role to play in giving them the confidence and hope that they can.

I do not mean to say here that he might be the best batsman of all times. But certainly, he was one of the all time greats.

Posted by rtruth90 on (December 19, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

@adAdvani: Shut up ..There are many instances where batsman alone have delivered wins to their teams the best examples are Lara 153 * vs Australia 1999 with tail end-rs Ambrose and Walsh. Inzamam also won test match by his batting alone 128* with tail end-rs against Bangladesh in 2000's. Steve waugh 200 vs Windies in 1995 and Laxman 286 vs australia in Calcutta 2001 there are lot of examples where batsmen alone have won matches for their countries, the recent example is Cook 197 and clark 328, So shut up and admit that tendulkar is a choker who cant win matches.and he is always preoccupied with scoring usless selfish centuries and I request cricinfo to publish my comment.

Posted by vaibhavsharma100 on (December 19, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

@Lillian I will agree with whatever you have to say about poor run of India during 1990 even when Tendulkar was in the team and when all the other teams e.g. Pakistan, England , Australia were doing so good. But you have to consider that during this period, Indian team's performance solely depended on Sachin. If he performs well, India will win and if he does not then India will fail miserably. That is why thel all say that he has carried the burden of expectations of one billion people all this while. Dravid and Laxman, another greats came to the scene much late and it was a good fortune that they had others with them when they were playing which took lot of burden off them. You can understand what I am saying when you realize that performance of the team india improved a lot when Laxman and Dravid came into the picture and started contributing. Despite Tendulkar's genious, he can not single handedly win matches for his team in continuous basis as it is a team game. contd...

Posted by HK_Sachin on (December 19, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Would you Ed, write this article if Tendulkar scored 27 more runs in the 3rd test?

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 19, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

LillianThomson: You have said here what I have been saying for years. For me definition of any sportsman is 'winning'. English rugby team in 2003 was not the most talented but they won as they knew only winning mattered. Tendulya has scored worthless 18,000 runs that has won less matches for India as Laxman did with his few thousand runs. I absolutely agree that Dravid and Laxman were true match winners.Their fourth inning records are far superior than tendulya. Tendulya has an average of 35 runs in fourth innings of a test match.Tendulya has an average of 33 against McGrath, Wasim, Waqar and Donland.None of these bowlers rated him higher than Lara. I am often termed as a Pakistani supporter due to my comments, however, reality is that Pakistan is probably the best team out of Indian subcontinent due to their superior record outside subcontinent.Their ability to win matches from hopeless situations is no match. If Tendulkar will not retire now then his legacy will become his ridicule!

Posted by maeneece on (December 19, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

@ lilian thompson: tendulkar was a one man army when he was the captain...unlike 'normal' captains, he had an additional burden...try to win games his match fixing teammates were trying to lose..those 25% wins under such extreme circumstances shows his dedication & intellect

also what's up with this constant tendulkar bashing in this forum?? ponting was out of form for nearly 4 yrs and 30 tests...before the england series, dravid was out of form for almost similar time & tests...i didn't see anyone baying for their blood...in comes tendulkar, who's not scored a test century in over 20 months and has been out of sorts the last 8 tests...these vermins come out of the wood works

Posted by Tanvir110 on (December 19, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

i think cricket is his life... if he retire... its feeling like die... and no body wants to die.. why everyone forcing him to die..? let him carry on.. as much as he want...

Posted by avilashi on (December 19, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

I think we should cease gnawing his conscience cos he knows when it is to decide for the clarion call n we know that he is not the kind of figure who'd cow down simply because he's under-performed n critics have rained on him.He should not retire with this stigma that due his kind of jinx.......rather he should seal the lips of his critics with his final battle then.........................

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

Things can change so drastically when your form is not good, People start making up stories, Pointing fingers at the who they think are at fault. There have always been up and down in every player`s career, how he has emerged from it, shows his real character. And cometh the man, for he has risen from ashes every time he found himself down and out. Saying that, how long will that never-give-up spirit still give him mental strength to keep fighting, we don't know. When you have given your life to something you love, it stays with you in your mind all the time, you even start dreaming about it. And boy, he would be having nightmares right now, and he still finds the courage to get up, face the music all day, and repeat the horror the next. Believe me, the decision of putting his bat down, will have to be purely his and no one else !!

Posted by Sameer-hbk on (December 19, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

Ed Smith is absolutely right about selectors having to take the call. I do not think it is fair to expect people to 'drop' themselves and call it retirement. Having said that, if you are a part of the selection panel the only question I would ask is "who are my 6 best batsmen whom i back to get runs?". And it is just my opinion that Sachin Tendulkar is still among the 6 best batsmen in India without doubt, even without considering past record. His century in the Ranji match despite food poisoning the day before puts the Ranji record of the so called 'young guns' into perspective. The simple fact is there is no one to push him out of the team and really no world class player whom who is blocking out. People should just get off of his back and let the man do what he does best... Bat.

Posted by rtruth90 on (December 19, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

Till now so many people have commented on so many different websites, forums, comments sections, blogs etc etc about Tendulkar defaming him cursing and abusing him. I think no player in any sports has been center of discussion so much. I have said it so many times in the past, now also i am saying that Tendulkar is an overrated batsman, he scores useless runs against weak blowers of any bowling attack, always chokes in big situations, never won matches with his batting. Always preoccupied with scoring worthless centuries which never give India victory. I request cricinfo to publish my old comments also they have not publish. there is no abusing language in my comment as well. I do admit that tendulkar has best technique in the world. But he not better than Richards,Lara,Sobers,Bradman,Steve Waugh,Ponting,Hayden,Inzamam,Langer,Gilchrist,Saeed Anwer,Kallis,De villers,Miandad,De Silva, Because all the mentioned players won matches for their country unlike tendulkar. this is the truth

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 19, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

@AbAdvani You seem to absolve Tendulkar from blame from endless Test away defeats 1989-2001 and 2010-12 by saying "Bowlers Win Matches".

They do. But great batsmen SAVE Test matches.

Tendulkar failed to save India in Australia (unlike FAF du Plessis) in 91-92, 99-00, 2007-8 or 2011-12. He only managed a drawn series in 2003-4 when McGrath and Warne were absent - the ultimate hollow "victory".

Great Indians have saved Test matches against overwhelming odds. Jimmy Amarnath did so in astonishing style in the West Indies in 82-83, just as Allan Border did there twelve months later. Tendulkar never in his life hit those rearguard heights in Test cricket against a top attack on lethal wickets.

Similarly, Laxman twice turned certain home defeats against Australia into astonishing victories. Tendulkar never did.

So he used to be a very fine player. But he could never be relied upon to save India in difficult Test series outside the subcontinent. Which is why Dravid and Laxman were greats.

Posted by FAB_ALI on (December 19, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

I m disturbed because now whenever he will retire people will say 'Thank God! Now we don't have Sachin" whereas it should have been "Oh God! we don't have Sachin now'. For me, its already too late for him to retire with grace or pride.

Posted by 10dulkarfanvijay on (December 19, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

When Ganguli retired ..India loose aggression, When Laxman retired...India loose Very very special (VVS) batsman, When Dravid retired...India loose wall which stands against any attack.

Now If Tendulkar retires....BCCI will loose spectators (money) coming to watch the match only for sachin.

So I think Sachin want retirement but BCCI will not allow him to take such type of hard decision. (Afterall it is matter of huge money taken from broadcasters, etc.............................)

Posted by SOHEALPTEN on (December 19, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

Superbly written Article. And I can only say if this continues, like people and great former cricketers say its his call, its his decision. Then very soon we'll hear while he is batting that, Empires are no one to decide if he has nicked the ball, or if he is LBW its Tendulkar's call to say HE IS OUT OR HE IS NOT OUT.

Posted by cricfanraj on (December 19, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

Not a great article. Not because it is against Tendulkar but current Indian team problem is not Tendulkar. Because he might quit in next series or may be in an year. .It is just the hype from media Chorus to create some hype. The actual problem is depleted bowling attack ,a weak batting lineup for Testcricket and poor Fitness of Players. Unless these core issues are solved always we end up finding wrong reasons for the failure. My last ocmment some analysis is made by INHOUSE self claimed expert in this forum and made a comment peopel who are old enough will not consider Tendulkar as great. I couldn't control my laugh. If anyone watched cricket during 90's and made such comment .. hahahah... You are joking. All my school and college days TV's used to switch on when Tendulkar Batting and switch off once he got out. Wasim Akram said - We knock Tendulkar over means We knock India over. In 90's Indian team was just Tendulkar supported by some decent players. Cricinfo Pl publish

Posted by nav84 on (December 19, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

And I ask again, how many articles has anyone come across, written by an Indian giving his expert opinion on when any non Indian cricketer should retire? I am sure not too many. All these non Indian writers earn their bread and butter by writing on Indian cricket and cricketers and will still be the first ones to blame Indian cricket for all the wrong things in cricket.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (December 19, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

Tendulkar is in my book the greatest batsman to have played after Sir Don. Since there is very little to dispute his technique or temperament or Records.....people come up with Indian wins when he scores well.

I might remind people that winning or losing isn't dependent on a individual except if T20 is your cup of tea.

Ponting has more than 100 test wins as a player, but i am sure not even 20 were due to his own batting.

As for his retirement, i believe that that his time is up. And i say that not because i hate him, but because he's my favourite cricketer and i cannot see fail any longer...and it he's been doing so for a year and half.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 7:27 GMT)

Team India has the weakest bowling attack in all 10 Test Playing countries , and they always won by strong batting lineup and Sachin is the backbone of batting line up , responsibility of loosing match cannot be put on Sachin only !

Posted by nav84 on (December 19, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

continued.. @LillianThomson : For people like you, who only see stats and do not watch cricket, even Lara is a failure cos only 8 out of his 34 100's won match for WI and only 3 out of those 8 were away victories. one against Zimbabwe. But for all those who lived watching cricket through out 90's would know what gems Lara and SRT were and no one, be it Dravid, Ponting or Kallis can match either of them. I hope you too start watching some cricket soon :)

Posted by Sameer_Tatake on (December 19, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

Ed Smith, You sumply have no Idea what Tendulkar has been to Indians. I remember in 1990s many people only watched cricket only for Tendulkar and used to turn off the TV when he used to get out. People just pray for him to get to his century or just pray that even if Indian Team (Team BCCI) loses, SRT should score. I am one amongst them and I will stop watching most of the cricket matches once he stops. He made us believe that even a small middle class person can achieve what is used to be the affluent classes cup of tea. Just for the sake for writing something, please do not write.

Posted by nav84 on (December 19, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

@LillianThomson you are a classic example of those who have not watched any cricket and base their arguments on cricinfo stats. 1990: England 0-1 Its was SRT's century that saved a test match for India. 91-92: Australia 0-4 - Again SRT scored 2 100s in the series. At the age of 19. 92-93: South Africa 0-1 - A 100 by SRT in johhanesburg when remaining failed to score 20. 1996: England 0-1 - SRT scored 2 100s. Scored 120 in first test in which team's total was 220. 96-97: South Africa 0-2 - 169 at capetown which Allan Donald thinks is the best innings he has ever seen. 98-99: New Zealand 0-1 - first match played on tough pitch and every1 but for SRT and Azhar (including your dravid) failed. india loses. next 2 matches played on flattest of pitches and every1 including venkatesh prasad score runs. both tests draw. 99-00: Australia: 0-3. - SRT was the MOS while your dravid failed to score 100 runs in the tour. FYI i watched all these series. tbc

Posted by Advin on (December 19, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

Ed,this is the best article on this subject I have read..Most of the Indian responses here are based on sentiment than logic.I cannot understand people saying that Sachin is still amongst the top batsmen in team.How do you know that when you have not given a chance to Rahane and others ?

P.S- Lillian Thomson - you are spot on with your comments

Posted by nitinlakhanpal on (December 19, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

he is legend no doubt ...but his time is over now and should retire for sake of India.... he already served for the nation...now he just defaming himself .... i always wish to go him at his peak...unfortunately he just going other way .....

Posted by AbAdvani on (December 19, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

To my friend Lillian, I would like to remind 1) Cricket is a team game -you win Test Matches only if you have bowlers to take 20 wickets -It is not Tendulkar's fault that he scored in heaps and the team lost because the Indian bowling attack was awful. Just look at Lara's last Test Series in SriLanka -Lara scored a century in each of the three tests but Windies lost 0-3 to SriLanka. Does that mean we discount Lara's centuries because it didn't help since his team was still thrashed 0-3 ? I remember Tendulkars 241* on Sydney -India had enough time to bowl out Australia in the second innings yet they could not win that match -that is not Tendulkar's fault, is it ? 2) Why does one look at only Win/loss record all the time ? Tendulkar has saved the team from certain defeats in so many Test Matches -why are his test saving centuries not recognized ?

Posted by kh1902 on (December 19, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

As usual, an outstanding piece by Ed. The decision is not Tendulkar's to make and its up to the selectors to make the call. However the selectors also have to ensure that Tendulkar's replacement has a genuine hunger for test cricket and has emerged through the proper channels, namely the domestic Ranji trophy competition, not the IPL. Too many young Indian players who are suggested as replacements have attitudinal problems, eg Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, etc

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 6:50 GMT)

@LillianThomson correct as usual even if the truth is unpalatable to the vast hoards of the Indian fanatical fans. His longivity was a marvel his all time high rateing of 26th best test batsman may reflect how good he really was

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 6:50 GMT)

The common chain of thought seems to be either that it should be only Tendulkar to decide when he calls it a day or that the team needs his experience during the difficult times. The first idea has been very nicely demolished by Ed Smith. The second opinion compeltely forgets the fact that Tendulkar's form (the lack of it actually) has been amongst the primary reasons for the state in which the Indian team finds itself. His record in the last couple of seasons is ample testimony to the fact that it is time he shows the grace that Dravid and Laxman did. All this idea of "service to the nation" is over-doing the sentimental thing a bit too much. For heaven's sakes, he is not in the armed forces! And it is stupid to forget how handlsomely he has been compensated for his efforts. This is a professional sportsman we are talking about, not some social activist.

Posted by shuddu66 on (December 19, 2012, 6:50 GMT)

Tendulkar has been a great ambassador of the game, but like ED suggests, its time for a pragmatic decsion. He should not linger on like Kapil Dev did.

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (December 19, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

@ LillianThomson ..wahoo what a great analysis..........you shown true words...

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

Only thing i wanted to point out :

" That is why my second Tendulkar memory does not, for once, feature a great innings by the little master. When India won the World Cup final in Mumbai in 2011, Indian players queued up to thank Tendulkar - even though he had failed with the bat. "

Come on Ed get know to some stats before coming up with an article like that.Sachin 2 centuries in WorldCup against SA and England and a couple of 50s against Pak and Australia..what more do you want ??? its people like you who are the major problem for sachin.!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

Tendulkar know's whats best for the team and himself, having committed himself to the team for over 20 years. The so called critics must accept the fact that he will call it a day when he feels he cannot contribute to the team anymore. A bad tour, which he has had a few in all these years doesn't necessarily mean the selectors and critics should be calling for his head. He will make the right call once he knows its time and he won't be able to compete internationally. Period.

Posted by SouthPaw on (December 19, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar is a great batsman, without any shred of doubt (& I don't want to get into analysis or comparison as done by @LillianThomson!). If you ask him to retire, his answer will be what he's been saying already, that he would continue to play as long as he enjoys playing. There is nothing wrong with that. So, why do you need selectors? One can ask every player to continue playing as long as they enjoy playing the game!

Isn't it time for the selectors to understand this & put an end to this farce by telling him that his is going to be dropped based on current form and performance and so, would he rather announce his retirement prior to that!

All good things come to an end. We have to move on even as very big fans of the very accomplished batsman!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

Look, it isn't as if we have a great bench. Pujara faded, Kohli was sketchy, Gambhir struggled, Sehwag limped across, and Yuvraj/Jadeja was kinda sad.

This is not the Tendulkar of old, but if he can play through the Saffer series, so be it.

I suspect though that he'll retire before that

Posted by sibiburhan on (December 19, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

If sachin goes ..it will be a real loss for indian team . Thier is no one available now as exp. as sachin have.Even who critisize him,that person also not played that much cricket what he played. He loves cricket and our prays are he should be thier for india,till he feels that he is not physically fit for cricket. Please leave a legend from controversies.We love to see him all the time playing for india.He will come up with good innings..show some patience and leave him to play without disturbing on retirment issue.

Posted by astopal on (December 19, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

ED , Dear Friend. It is hilarious you are asking Indian selectors to take a call on Sachin's retirement, while these bunch of people (read as selectors) make so bizarre choices that you will fall of a cliff laughing. These are the same people who have selected Sir Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla in a test squad while plethora of real test talent is being wasted around. Honestly do not get too sentimental in sending Tendulkar off. When his time will be up he will go. Right now he needs to be there for at least a year to guide the youngsters in couple of foreign tours. You cannot expect Dhoni and the likes to mentor someone in test arena.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 6:11 GMT)

A couple of things ill point out here. First, no selector has, yet, shown any signs that suggest that Sachin is not a beffiting option to take field for India anymore. And it isnt the scenario like a Dravid or Laxman's retirement where the replacements for them had proven more than just promise (read: pujara and kohli), after Sachin, no batsmen as pf now has shown the consistency a test place would require. Yes i agree that some talents havent had enough chances as yet, but the immediate solution for that isnt an abrupt retirement but rather a planned transition by giving chances in place of an out of form batsmen, during a series and not completely dropping a player completely out of the 15. Case in point, the dropping of yuvraj and harbhajan was absolutely unnecessary. Instead the players that were already a part of the 15 should have jst taken their place in the 11. Dropping them sends a wrong signal. And this transition REQUIRES the experience of a Tendulkar.

Posted by sportofpain on (December 19, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

@Lillian Thompson: Interesting theory. But then how would one explain Tendulkar not playing a single T20 game for India? Or limiting his ODI matches significantly after the 2011 WC? Or skipping the West Indies tour. Aren't these signs of someone who is deliberate about his career and what he can do? Is that reflective of a limited mind?

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 19, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

To those disputing my comment about Tendulkar and India's away Test performances in the 90s, here is Tendulkar - and India's - full record for outside the subcontinent excluding Zimbabwe.

1990: England 0-1 91-92: Australia 0-4 92-93: South Africa 0-1 93-94: New Zealand 0-0 (one-off Test) 1996: England 0-1 96-97: South Africa 0-2 98-99: New Zealand 0-1 99-00: Australia: 0-3.

In other words, Tendulkar and India in the 1990s outside the subcontinent and excluding Zimbabwe LOST EVERY SINGLE AWAY TEST SERIES.

They won 0 Tests. They lost 12 Tests.

That is why those of us who are old enough to remember those days do not consider Tendulkar to be as great as Dravid, and arguably Laxman.

And for the record - and I'm not Pakistani - in the same decade Pakistan won series in England (twice) and New Zealand (twice) and also won Test matches in both Australia and South Africa.

So why celebrate Sachin's longevity, when the first 12 years were endless failures?

Posted by bipulkumar on (December 19, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

@Lillian - I completely agree with you. You have analyzed it quite well.

Posted by cricketkumar on (December 19, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

He won't retire till he achieves his 200th test cap. It's amazing he hasn't bid farewell even to ODIs because he is still waiting for that 50th ton. He only plays for his personal milestones. Who can deny the fact that his 100th hundred cost India a berth in the Asia Cup final.

Posted by gmsjgmsj on (December 19, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

There are many other aspects that come to mind on reading this article: 1) India is doing a great service to Sachin by allowing him to come back to form and maybe witness a swansong much like a great film that ends with a vestige of a shot that lingers in the eyes even after you leave the theatre. All this talk of disservice must be seen in that proper context. 2) Retirement from cricket from Sachin's career should be viewed in two facets. Tests and ODIs. It is insulting to talk of retiring completely when one has not viewed it properly in the prism of both formats. Maybe he can retire from ODIs (is he not the greatest ODI batsman ever now?) and concentrate on tests or vice versa? 3) Doesnt it strike our minds that Sachin himself knows that he can offer more like Federer? Wont he have taken the decision in April 2011 itself if he wanted to retire? Please ponder it like Sachin would have pondered! What the team needs to do is to clarify his role now for say next 6-12 months.

Posted by Juniorklassy on (December 19, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

LillianThomson : just to clarify : Dravid / Warne too were not great captains isnt it ?? hence they too are limited thinkers ?? isnt it ?? just because they retired are they good thinkers n more educated than Tendulkar ??? dont you think its CRAP ??? then what bout Warne ?? was he well educated ??? he was the onyl cricketer from the above lot to have been known for things / incidents other than the Cricket ?? time to think hard guys.. :-)

Posted by thegoodgame on (December 19, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

Nice article, and very true too. Tendulkar has to be dropped - and a new generation has to be brought in. Whether they are as successful or not only time can tell. The circle of life does not wait for anyone, even the greatest have to go one day. I'm of the generation which had the same anxiety when Gavaskar, Vengsarkar, Azharuddin, Kapil etc retired - but the next generation proved their mettle. I'm sure given enough backing, the new crop will do well though it may take a few years.

Posted by sony_sr on (December 19, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

I don't think anybody other than an Indian can understand the current situation. Please don't try to put normal logical things for this case as you would do for any other player in the world. This is different. As Dravid said yesterday, THE DECISION IS ENTIRELY HIS AND 1.2 BILLION PEOPLE WILL ACCEPT IT IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT IT IS.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

We all know he is an god of cricket.. but time for youngster. when senior players are not willing to move. then you cannot get new player. Indian need more new entries for an change.

Posted by godatno4 on (December 19, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

@ Lillian: Well if you are not aware or haven't read the article thoroughly, Sachin hit his first 100 when he was 17 in England. The early part of the 90's, he was the one driving the Indian team. And if you play cricket, you would definitely know its a team game with 11 players and not an individual's game. In the latter part of the 90's, we had other stalwarts like Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman. And your second point that Sachin scored against the second rung players of Aus in 03-04, let me ask you from when has Brett Lee, Andy Bichel, Gillespie, McGill et.al became second rung players??

The great man now realizes that his time is up. Give him a good couple of months and he will announce his retirement. Also, you allow every player to have a lean patch and Sachin is just going through a bad one now. If you do not support your legends, then who else would. These greats have given their time and life to the game. The least anyone could ever do is just RESPECT.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

@LillianThomson: Seems like you had hardly followed any Indian cricket matches of the 90's & the early 2000's. & if your knowledge is no inadequate,stop tagging your perception on Tendulkar as correct.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

well every great player has great states, so does sachin, but what makes others true greats is that when ever they play, they play at their best, and when theyu retire, people ask why. I m sorry but thats the diference between sachin, and Lara, ponting, inzmam , saeed anwar, arvinda and even drrrravid _ ganguli. They all left the field when they had runs in them, n people kept asking n remembring them. But sachin, i m afraid is only statisically the great batsman. best time was with the 2011 world cup victory, where he won d match against Pak , but you know how did he struggled. n this will be d story in future also, so sachin please please sit in coomentry box not in d ground,as ur stats r remarkable, but someone will defintly break it, i guess Alister Cook in tests or Virat Kohly in ODIs, remember my words

Posted by Shafi79 on (December 19, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

I think sachin (the great player that he is) needs to take a leaf from Warne, Murali and Lara, they went out graccefully. Go whilst people still remember some of the best in you ... dont limp out like Sanath or Ponting please. Maybe he can have a fairytale ending if he announces his retirement like Murali did, annonuced his retirement and went on to take 8 wickets to get to 800 wickets in his last game ... now thats special! Maybe thats what sachin needs to get that final 100! If he knows its his last innings ....

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 19, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

There is another issue, which the example of Tendulkar's muted response to his first Test century raises. I'm a psychiatrist, and I'll tell you my theory.....

Dravid and Laxman were highly intelligent and educated men. They were thinkers - as was Shane Warne, in spite of his limited education.

I think that Tendulkar was born with an extraordinary gift for batting, but lacks the intellect or outside interests of the others. On the one hand, it makes him the Boy Prince, who just wants to bat forever and not have to think about any other life.

But it also means that he cannot reflect like a more intelligent or educated man could. That's why he was a poor captain. That's why he can't bring himself to retire, because 45 more years without a cricket bat in his hand is a frightening prospect.

When Tendulkar scored that first Test ton, of course he was proud, happy. But then he knew nothing else to do but bat on and on and on.

A supremely gifted batsman. But a limited thinker.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (December 19, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

Great article Ed. Tendulkar is an amazing player and I guess it is difficult for non-Indians to understand what he means to their country but watching his steady decline is almost as sad for me as watching Ricky being dismissed cheaply by bowlers who in days gone by wouldn't have stood a chance of taking the great man's wicket. It will be sad to watch Tendulkar go, but I really think the selectors should end his career; it would be a mercy killing after all. Sachin should not be brought down to the mortal plane through more disappointing scores, he belongs in that limited pantheon of modern batting Gods along with RT Ponting and BC Lara.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

IF Tendulkar not retiring then it is requested to Mr. Sunil Gavaskar to come out of retirement and play with him. It will be nice to see both of them playing

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

Let tendulkar be. He is a legend, a legend from a time when the team was mediocre. He saw the rise, now it is time for others to step up. Even today he is atleast the 3rd best Bat in the Indian Cricket Team.... given the horrendous form of everybody else.

Posted by sjohn on (December 19, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

Excellent article, refreshing one after getting bored of the regulars' predictable articles.

Posted by SriUSA on (December 19, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

We should let Tendulkar go on a high. After all he gave so much to the country, fans and cricket. I think that is what he wants to do as well. He inspired so many of us to dream, achieve and be on top. A small correction - In 1991 the Prime Minister of India was PV Narasimha Rao under who the reforms happened and Manmohan Singh was the FM. Thank you.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 4:51 GMT)

WONDERFUL article this. Captures the emotions of ardent admirers of Sachin now struggling to come to terms with his current performances for over 18 months. I completely agree with Ed Smith that no player should be left to make such decisions. Its stupid to say that he deserves the right to make the decision because of what he has done over the years.

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (December 19, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

Al_Bundy1:Can you plz describe what do you mean by LBW?Bundy came for advice without knowing anything about cricket.By this comments you have proved that you have never in your life seen a cricket bat.Better can have a chat in home with parents and wife instead of commenting here dear.

Posted by Muthu_Team on (December 19, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

Awesome writing EdSmith... You haven't moved out of topic for one moment. As you say, I too wish Tendulkar has to be selected only based on merit not just because he is "TENDULKAR". Hope our beleaguered Indian selectors are thinking in this way rather than the other way....

Posted by CricIndia208 on (December 19, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

It does not matter, Sachin is the GREATEST CRICKETER EVER. Apart from what he did on the field, off it he has done more social work than any other cricket player in history.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

Now the time has come for him to decide immediately as move out from the team with having already a great honour after representing the county for a marathon 23 years. Eventhough in domestic season his role nopt been the significant one, but people would smoothly realise his absence in terms of legendary appearance. He should either resign from his own or national selectors should have to come across get through the decision what now the entire nation expects from them. SR Tendulkar, please leave the team NOW.....

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 19, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

I see two major issues here.

Firstly, the thing about Test cricket is that it is all too rare to have a FAF du Plessis or Mike Hussey or Mark Waugh ready and waiting to play at that level. Far more often, you pick a promising tyro like Joe Root (4 first-class centuries, average 38) and he acquires Test experience and develops to a higher level.

Secondly, I dispute that Tendulkar was actually greater than Dravid or even Laxman. He was more gifted. He had the hunger to score ODI centuries against dibbly-dobbly bowling with defensive field placings.

But India with Tendulkar lurched from Test defeat to defeat in the 1990s against Donald, Pollock, McGrath, Wasim, Waqar et al. Dravid and Laxman played extraordinary Test innings in adversity, whereas Tendulkar cashed in, for example, against Australia's reserve bowlers in 2003-4.

The greatness of Dravid and Laxman was the extra 50% they could sometimes find when the team was in trouble. I rarely if ever saw that with Tendulkar.

Posted by Longmemory on (December 19, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

I am not sure the "general view" is that Sachin should get to decide when he'll hang up his boots. I don't where you get that idea from. Among many cricket fans that I interact with, the consensus is that he is done as a top-level test batsman - bowlers no longer fear him and his reflexes have dropped to the point where he is no longer a threat in anything other than ideal batting conditions and maybe not even there. The same was true of Rahul Dravid or Laxman as was evident in Australia. Those two recognized that reality and retired. For whatever reasons, Sachin seems unable to do so. Ergo: the selectors have to do the job for him. Of course, if Indian selectors ever had the balls to do such a thing, they would not have been selected to be selectors in the first place.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

Well there is no doubt that Tendulkar is one of the greats of history of cricket but then nobody stays forever. Bradman went, Richards went, Lara, Wasim, Waqar, Imran, Waughs, Ponting well every one finally went after ruling the field for years. So, Tendulkar also has to go one day.. To me the appropriate thing to do for any great player is to go with pride rather than been thrown away by the selectors.

Posted by mcsenthil on (December 19, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

If Tendulkar is so great, should he not go if there are so many questions being asked? Where is the integrity? I don't think we need to let him go, HE should go.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (December 19, 2012, 4:18 GMT)

i think it's time for Sachin to make runs and keep on playing. he is the only player of 1980's. it's not time to retire, it's time to make big runs. come on tendu.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

I think we are being very sceptical and unjust to a man who has served the country, been a mainstay of the batting and helped India win numerous matches. He should play as long as he wants to and we the fans can atleast support him during his difficult times - the same way he has done when Indian batting suffered. Is he not even allowed to play one game without we judging him?

Posted by KPWij on (December 19, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

Thank you for such a fantastic article Ed. In particular the last paragraph was a remark that I think a lot of people have been feeling. It is near on impossible for Tendulkar to call time so the selectors must stand up and make the decision. It is sad that no matter how brilliant he was, slowly he is becoming a liability within the team. Being a Sri Lankan, it is a similar scenario to that of Sanath Jayasuriya. He will always remain a legend but he probably played a few years beyond his time. Excellent article!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 4:07 GMT)

he must go give chance to youngster

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 19, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

Tendulkar hasn't performed in 2012 at all. We need to let him go. If he still wants to play cricket, he can play in Ranji Trophy and prove himself. Positions in Team India should be filled on merit, not seniority. It's true that Tendulkar served Indian cricket well in the past, but then he was also served well by cricket. Thanks to cricket, he's a mulit-millionaire. He needs to retire and enjoy his millions.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

If you tell who you think are the best 11 players in india, then you would understand that sachin is still there on merit.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (December 19, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

I am a big fan of Sachin and Yes I agree with your article..however, the 2nd last line of your article sums it up.."The moment should never arrive when Tendulkar takes the field for India without being one of the best 11 players. It would be beneath him"

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

Who ever big star or hero in the current India team, I open TV only for Tendulkar. Watching his game worthy! He will be retried, believe me, very seldom I will follow the team India . Would you tell me; whom should I follow?

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

It is very unrealistic to say that it is his decision to stay or to go. It is purely the decision of the selectors and the BCCI to keep him or drop him. No individual is above the game or the interests of the team.

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