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Commentator, television presenter and writer

It's not just Tendulkar's decision

Champions, even when their faculties fade, are spurred on by their self belief, which is why they often get the timing of their exit wrong

Harsha Bhogle

December 21, 2012

Comments: 242 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar pulls, Australia v India, 4th Test, Sydney, 3rd day, January 4, 2004
In Sydney in 2004, Tendulkar relied on his immense ability to pull himself back into form Nick Laham / © Getty Images

I can think of few more thrilling things than to see an artist at the peak of his or her powers, where every situation is but a stage to perform on, every obstacle an opportunity to vanquish. Roger Federer has seen it and Lionel Messi is experiencing it now.

Sport dramatises skill but you see the impact of peak performance everywhere. Lata Mangeshkar hit every note that music composers could conceive of, some surgeons find ways of reaching tumours others may not know of, architects see beauty in a barren landscape.

With time, you can take skill for granted, maybe even ignore the factors that allowed your skill to dazzle. Inevitably you will know what to do when the next challenge surfaces, but that confluence of factors may have disappeared. The mind may be willing but the lungs might be weaker, the fingers shaky, the eyes not quite what they were. But the mind of a champion refuses to see those as indicators of weakness and fights on because that is what it's best at.

Players become champions because their response to adversity is always to fight, to seek to vanquish, to look it in the eye and say, "You think I can't?" You and I may not always understand that, because at some point we might have accepted limitations, might have bowed to the situation. But champions don't. They are not only gifted but are aware of their gifts - there's a fundamental difference - and use them as weapons to win battles. To overcome, to defeat, these are intoxicants that champions live on. There is an apparent limitlessness to their ability, an audacity to their thinking.

That is what allowed Sachin Tendulkar to even contemplate not driving a single ball through the off side in Sydney in 2004. It was the audacity of the thought and his belief in his ability that allowed him to carve out a double-century. It is the limitlessness of ability that sees a gap over a fielder where others would have hoped to hit between two men. It was Tendulkar's faith in himself that helped him rebound from 2007-08 to have the two best years of his career, in his late thirties. Why, in the final of the IPL in 2010, when he shouldn't have been holding a bat, he conjured up a fifty.

And so my thesis is that the very mindset that drives champions to heights that others feel are unattainable prevents them from accepting that the time has come. The peerless Mangeshkar continued to sing when her voice had begun to disobey her. She had the belief but not the tools to convert that belief into another great melody. So too with Ricky Ponting, with Ian Botham, with Kapil Dev.

And that is where Tendulkar is today. Possessed of an extraordinary mind, sublime skill and a very rare humility towards his sport, he has inhabited planets that we hadn't imagined, let alone seen from a distance. Thirty-four Test hundreds we thought would not be attained again; he has crossed that by 50%. He has almost twice the number of international centuries as the next best, and the 34,000 runs he has made in international cricket is the equivalent of scientists in the fifties thinking you could land on Mars. This audacity, this refusal to accept what everyone else thought were limits to accomplishment, is what made him the player of his generation.

My thesis is that the very mindset that drives champions to heights that others feel are unattainable prevents them from accepting that the time has come

He is still possessed of this audacity. It defines him. To say "I cannot anymore" would be an acceptance of defeat almost. In him there will be a voice and a spirit that says: "I've done it before, I can do it again". That is why people who say the decision to retire must be his and his alone, and that he will know when the time comes, are wrong. If Monty Panesar spins one past him, that cannot be the last moment of the contest. It must end with a cracking cover drive.

There is one other reason why so many sportspersons get the timing of their exit wrong. The faculties that make them unique start waning at 35 - in some sports much earlier. All their lives they have worked on that one skill; very few are good at anything else. But their peers, who were struggling with rejection and uncertainty at a time when the sportspersons were at the height of their powers, are just entering the best phase of their life. A lawyer, a corporate executive, a surgeon, an architect, they are all looking ahead at 35 or 40. That is our peak, our brightest phase. Can we even understand giving up what we have at 35? Accepting that everything else in life will now be second-best, maybe not even good at all?

The phase that Tendulkar is in is a difficult phase, and often one of denial. That is why someone else has to take that decision for him; not an autocratic one but one borne out of consultation. And Tendulkar needs the people closest to him to not be intimidated by him, to not keep quiet out of respect or fear but to use the strength of that friendship to talk to him. Now more than ever, Tendulkar cannot be lonely.

The moment when the selectors should talk to him is here. There may be another peak but it cannot be as large or as significant as those he has tamed. He cannot stumble on the path that lesser people are sprinting along on. His place in the cricket world, till such time as there is a world, is unchallenged.

But can a champion let go?

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by subhashmail4u on (December 24, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

@Sachin : Please reconsider the decision becoz cricket doesnt exists without you. You cant leave cricket like this. You are the person who made our nation as mad cricket loving nation. If you truly love cricket you should be there in that blue jersey back to the ground playing series not sitting at home watching it. Watching it you will be the painful person and we knw how much does that hurt. Becoz for me even after a day i am not able to digest what i heard yesterday. I hope that it was a worst dream which i had over night. We know you cant stay without cricket. We dont want you to quit like this and go out, we want you to play as much ever you can, no one has the ability or authority to question on your form. Becoz you are the GOD of cricket and GOD knows what to do and how to play. Please return back to ODI, otherwise ODI will RIP.

Posted by jay57870 on (December 24, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

Great champions push the limits of human endeavour. They thrive in certain sports like NFL football, ice-hockey & baseball. Here's a sample of 2 stars from each with retirement ages: George Blanda (47), Brett Favre (41); Gordie Howe (52), Steve Yzerman (41); Nolan Ryan (46), Randy Johnson (45). A few of their heroics: Favre made a record 297 continuous starts over 19 years as NFL quarterback, football's most difficult position. Howe survived a skull fracture in the 1950 playoffs & played in all 80 games in his final NHL season to make the 1980 playoffs! Cricket too has its "ageless wonders": Grace, Hobbs, Hammond & Bradman. Modern medicine is prolonging longevity. British scientist Stephen Hawkings turned 70, beating a deadly ALs disease he got at 21! The Rolling Stones at 50 keep playing on! And India's legend Pandit Ravi Shankar, the "godfather of world music", played on till the end at 92! I saw him perform in 2009, passing the mantle on to Anoushka to a standing ovation! Encore!!!

Posted by jay57870 on (December 24, 2012, 3:12 GMT)

Anand, the world chess champion, proved his nemesis Garry Kasparov wrong! The Russian retired at 41 in 2005 after 21 years as No.1 rated chess player & proclaimed world champions should retire after 40. He promptly cursed the quiet Anand: "I'm out, now you're the oldest!You're the dinosaur now!" What audacity! Anand debunked Garry's myth totally. He defended his world title this year at 42 by prevailing over an even older rival, Boris Gelfand (43) of Israel. Upon which he retorted that maybe Kasparov was frustrated & "regretted his decision to retire (prematurely)"! Anand treats chess as a "very strenuous sport" & follows a daily gym workout regimen to stay physically & mentally fit. Sachin & Vishy have many parallels. Yes, they've had lean patches, but it's their phenomenal Staying Power that's pushed them way ahead of the pack. Plus they've done it with integrity & humility. Like true legends, they've defied the odds & the gods! There are several such extraordinary cases, Harsha!

Posted by jay57870 on (December 24, 2012, 2:49 GMT)

Harsha - The Little Master retires from ODIs on his own terms! It's the right decision. Because it was just his decision. He did it his way! As Ganguly puts it: "I don't think there was any pressure of selectors on him. It is his own decision. No one can drop him"! That's why Harsha's thesis that "It's not just Tendulkar's decision" is misplaced. The notion that "someone else has to take that decision for him" is so misguided. Especially selectors? Really? When every columnist has been bashing them for their poor decision-making! Re: Age vs Performance, maybe Harsha is influenced by his mate Chappelli's half-baked "use-by-dates" theory. As if a champion is a perishable grocery item - like meat or banana - that must be consumed by its expiry date! Of course Sachin has debunked Ian's myth totally - ever since Ian made that silly "mirror, mirror on the wall" dictum in 2007! Do sportsmen really start losing their faculties at 35? Especially champions? Really? Just ask Vishy Anand, Harsha!

Posted by simonviller on (December 23, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

I'm afraid there's too much pressure on the great man . Wh en you're that great , eventually you're judged by your own standards .What is good for others is not good enough for you . Every time you go out to bat ,it's like facing a juge and jury ; keep the faith and believe in yourself Mr Tendulkar , I truly believe that good things are coming your way very soon .

Posted by BG4cricket on (December 23, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

@a7abhay - the point is every player needs to command their spot both based on what they have achieved (within say the last 18 mths) and what they can provide in the future. Sachin is a champion of the game but on these criteria he is done and should go gracefully

Posted by   on (December 23, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

Sachin has retired to concentrate on test cricket, the last phase of a batsman's career. The form depletion he has is internal. Comparing his current to his best. This often is looked upon as failure by people who have not reached his heights. Rather than just counting numbers... Let's look at it as a hardened battle warrior running out of things to prove, momentum to conquer and desire to dominate... You had one of the greatest careers in the ODI format. Wish u the best for the rest of the tests...a great send off would have been better... Too much to ask was it?

Posted by crickketlover on (December 23, 2012, 2:00 GMT)

An article from an Indian cricket commentator..what to expect? same boring stuff.. It is time to rebuild indian cricket team but the selectors/bcci do not have the courage and wisdom to do so.

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (December 23, 2012, 1:39 GMT)

I'm confused as to why he'd mention that their skills start to "wane" after 35 then also says that two of Tendulkar's best years were after that age. Another example is none other than Mr Cricket, Mike Hussey is in a real purple patch as well. Ponting had an outstanding 2012 if you take out the series v SA, two big centuries against India, decent scores in the West Indies where the track was far less than friendly and he was the highest run-scorer in Shield cricket before the start of the international summer. Looking to other sports such as Rugby League (which I assume most people reading this may never have heard of but it is really popular in Australia), one of the games greatest players retired last year in a real purple patch and he was well past 35.

Posted by JustMyOpinon on (December 23, 2012, 0:09 GMT)

The players who refuse to believe they are beaten, like Sachin, like Steve Waugh, like Allan Border, are the ones who never think their time has passed. None of them looks at things the way we disinterested (but not uninterested) types do. It is that drive to be the one who can fix things, to be the one who can save things, or turn around the fortunes, which led them to greatness and which means a strong hand has to take them aside and explain that although they think they can still do it... they better not. Waugh and Border both railed against time's inevitable ticking. (As we see Warne publicly doing in very recent times.) Tendulkar was a brilliant batsman, stunningly good... like watching a Formula One car going through its paces but his time, sadly, is past. It is sad for all of us, for it marks the passing of our time too.

Posted by CricFan0101 on (December 22, 2012, 23:23 GMT)

Harsha needs to maybe stop shilling for the BCCI who are trying their best to deflect from their own faults and those of their favorite captain Dhoni. BCCI is run by money and IPL and Harsha, Shastri and Gavaskar are run by the BCCI, the nation's cricket be damned.

Posted by a7abhay on (December 22, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

Harsha makes a point that even if another peak occurs it won't be nowhere compared to his previous feats. Why so ruthless?? You mean to say Sachin will never score @70 for a year or he won't score 600 in one series or no back to back hundreds. Who wants it?? Even if he gives his very poor form average 40 for a year it'll be considered a good average for a season for a batsman. How can you be so diabolic?? On one hand you say he should not be given free pass just because he is Sachin and on the other you want to call him a failure if he scores at NORMAL batsman's form. And about a young guy replacing him and getting a chance...!!! Rememner a guy named Sourav Ganguly?? If you don't he used to bat at number 6 for India and apparently we haven't found anybody to take his role in the squad at that batting position. So if one day we succeed at that we'll then find better replacements for Dravid and Laxman and after that we'll THINK about Sachin. What say??

Posted by a7abhay on (December 22, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

The article holds a nice literature value but less cricketing sense. First and foremost when Ganguly retired he said he is doing so to give Yuveraj a chance. 40 matches 1900 runs @33.92 is what Yuvi has done. He was replaced by Raina - 17 matches 768 runs @28.44 Currently Jadeja is in no comments on that. SO THE FACT IS WE STILL HAVE NOT FOUND A SUCCESSOR TO DADA AT NO 6 so forget about replacing Dravid and Laxman while Sachin's replacement is galaxies away. Now about gentlemen saying Sachin should be dropped. In last 3 years Gambhir 27 matches 1468 runs @31.91 while Dhoni averages 38 and in fact his innings in Nagpur was the first instance when he batted more than 200 balls. Sachin's WORST last 2 years average is 35.9 so again the fact is he is performing just as per the team standards. Now coming to Ponting. His average since 1st Jan 2009 is 37.76 (last 3 seasons around 37 per year) while Sachin's over the same period has been 54.50. Ricky was also demoted from his batting position.

Posted by Lara4life501 on (December 22, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

@Warnerbasher...well said,except I would take Lara over punter and Tendulkar anyway.

Lara is the batsman we will watch in heaven

Posted by deepa15 on (December 22, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

Black is black n white is white. U play for ur country n that is what selectors mind set in other countries is. Look d Aussies they went off their mind set wit Pointing n they got pointed to d right direction by d SA. Indian selectors have hidden agendas? ?? Give d youngest a chance let them fail only to succeed. It's d changing of d guard lets change d mind set n hold d front.

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

surely for someone who has lived his life in comebacks , it is not easy to say i m done, tendulkar will be wanting to come back to form but only time can tell if he will or wont but oe thing is for sure , if you drop him that wont stop , little master will keep on playing the domestics until you select him again or the passion just ends, you cannot stop him from playing until he stops enjoying it

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 20:09 GMT)

Sachin one of the good players India has ever produced. He has done his job. Now we have very good talents like Kholi, Raina, Jadeija so better to drop Sachin from Team. No need to suggest Sachin to quit or retire.. let him take his own decesion. Sewahg and Sachin can be used in rotation policy ..

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

no one can equalise the maestro in any aspect of the game he is a true champ;he loves to fight rather than saying i quit;still his innings in mcg and scg somewhere near a year ago goosebumps to me those flicks,upper cuts;drives just awesome;this is not my hope but i'm confident that master will certainly convert the stones which his critics have been throwing on him into milestones to give us more endless joyous memories;love u sachin!!!!!!!!

Posted by zoot on (December 22, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

The selectors should put the team first. If a player can't do it any more he should go. Likewise the player should be aware that his contributions are no longer good enough. It's not rocket science it's numbers in the book.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Ok. Two or three things here.

People said, Laxman and Dravid haven't got it in them and that they should retire. Both of em did. But now when they see Indian Team fail and they say," Dravid and Laxman should have been here to save India." I believe this is Hypocritical.

Sachin has become our beloved punch bag. Watever happens, blame him. Make him retire.

The so called Youngsters ( I don't understand why everyone is so obsessed wih em), Pujara, scored runs in a couple of matches, then Failed. Ashwin, Ojha, the rest of the spinners, couldn't even simply copy what Monty and Swann were doing. Raina, Yuvraj, Rohit, all of em were tried. They failed as well. The Bottomline, Do we have players of that caliber and can they come on suddenly without any transition.??

And people who say "Why do we have to replace Tendulkar or Kumble or Dravid? We gotta manage with the talent we have", It's not about Replacing ANYONE. It's about replacing the empty spot in the batting or the bowling order

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

Nice article! I too have been big fan of Tendulkar and do not want to see genius struggle like this. The out of form is too long and as you mentiooned even if he recovers that will not be long lasting. I do not how but better if He decides when to retire (after which series etc..). Definitley somebody should speak to him and I feel it will be a great help. 11 places in a team are precious and better to groom youngster who will develop and ready to play next world cup. If Tednulkar is failing in many games and series, better youngster fails and learn. This is my personal opinion.

Posted by rullal on (December 22, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

Why does SRT INSIST on opening in one dayers?. why did he not open in the 2nd innings at the Oval in 2011 after Dravid had carried his bat thru in Ist innings. Records dear Harsha. If Kallis or Ponting had opened in the one dayers SRT would probably have to play till super annuity to set their records straight. By then we would have papua new guniea as one the test teams. Why does BCCI reject DRS. SRT does not want it. It would cost him a lot of centuries.

Posted by rullal on (December 22, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

A typical Harsha Bhogle article; long on flowery prose but short on substance. after all it is an article on SRT who is god to Harsha, SMG and Ravi Shashtri. As usual Harsha says a lot without saying anything. Need to tread softly.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

you cannot drape grim reality in pretty phrases. he will never retire on his own because by doing so there is too much to lose financially for him. but of course you & others in the media cannot write that.

Posted by No1fan on (December 22, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

Bhogle does not call it out. Time for Sachin to name his retirement date. let everyone then rejoice on his joyful batting and his superior batting skills for one last match or one last series. Otherwise he risks a tarnished finale that will impact his legend - in other words, he should avoid the sad situation of a groping, fumbling Ponting of this summer.

Posted by wittee1 on (December 22, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

Vijay Merchant would say about retirement - retire when people ask 'why?' not 'why not?'. We need to stop this poinless hero worship and admit that SRT's playing days are over - just let him go and he should go gracefully. After all, India and her success is greater than anybody (and I mean ANYBODY!) and SRT being in the team is detrimental to India's success. Will the selectors think of India first and individuals later?

Posted by henchart on (December 22, 2012, 10:06 GMT)

SRT can score an odd fifty plus or a hundred in the tests but that consistency of 1990s is going to elude him .Fans who talk of there being a no replacement for SRT are ,as always,missing the larger and correct picture.Has Ind found replacement for Kumble? Has India found replacement for Dravid? Has India found a replacement for a Kapil or a Gavaskar? It is not about finding replacement but about adjusting with whatever talent is available and if possible allowing that talent to blossom. SRT looms larger than life on Indian cricket be it Selectors,co -players,Board and above all average public.Extraordinary as he has been,indispensable he is not .Sooner he and his sponsors realize this better for Indian cricket.There is talent in India but Selectors got to widen their horizon beyond the repeated few like Raina ,Rohit ,Badrinath ,Vijay and Yuvraj who all have not exactly crowned themselves in glory in Tests.

Posted by RahulAlwaysRight on (December 22, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

I don't know why we all putting pressure on Sachin. Retirement is individual decision... I would say get focus on Selection panel. What they are doing? They are asking players that you wanna play or not!! is that the way.. Judge performances on current bases give 2 or 3 series chance to player if he is not performing drop him and ask him to play domestic. Tell him play domestic matches show your talent and form again to us in domestic circuit. If you perform well from others. Surely you will again deserve place in team... But for now you are not in form. Others are performing well so go and play domestic cricket. No one is bigger than game. All have equal chance to be part of Indian Team. Records are always there and you will get appreciation and respect but its all after retirement. Till you are player you have to perform to be part of team.. Please selectors show right direction to youngsters.. Right now we all are going in wrong direction.. It will spoil the game and talent in India

Posted by switchmitch on (December 22, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

@Anish Swaminath...So, you suggest we continue with Tendulkar because no one else can "hold a torch"? How do you know? So, what happens if (a big if) Tendulkar scores a century in the next game? Should we play him for the next two years? Why don't we even think of giving younger players a long run in test matches.....(I mean as long as Tendulkar is currently being given). I am sure they will also come good in one match or the other. They have to be given an opportunity and a decently long run to prove themselves...which will not happen if we keep playing Tendulkar, who has become mediocre now. And no, I am not talking about Yuvraj, Raina and the rest of the people who have failed...I am talking about Rahane, Tiwari, Mukund, Bist and their ilk. Give them a long run in test cricket and see them blossom. Of course, we'll lose a few (which is no different to what is happening now) but at least the youngsters will learn and improve.

Posted by SixoverSlips on (December 22, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

A bit disappointing article from Harsha Bhogle. He is someone who knows Tendulkar a bit better than others. So, he should have known better than what he wrote. People who know him best leave him alone to figure this out himself. Tendulkar is more intelligent to know that this is more than the fighting attitude in him wanting him to keep going. He knows about retirement, what it takes to be in the Indian team, and the status of his own abilities and power. He is a much more balanced person that just someone who is caught in the narrow realms of fighting spirit and hanging the boots. He is a broad and stable thinker. He is the best person to know how to go about this. My feeling is he still meddles the ball well and may like to see how things go with the upcoming ODIs and Aus Tests.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Retire..retire...retire...guys...even I am not a huge fan of Sachin...but he also goes now and what else do we have...??? have u guys seen our batting line up lately...??? please don't compare with Waugh or Ponting retiring...they had a rich crop of talented youngsters waiting in the wings to take up the mantle...what do we have to replace him...??? M. Vijay...??? Badri...??? Rahane...??? can they even hold a candle to sachin even now...??? NOT...!

I'd say we need him more than ever now...he goes, bowling attacks will go LOL at our batting...now atleast that name is there to install fear in them...meanwhile lets see the progress of Kohli and Pujara...if Kohli and Pujara matures enough (SA series being their acid test) Sachin can leave in peace...!

Everyone were screaming for Rahul's and VVS retirement...now the result is for all to see...dont jump the gun guys...!

Posted by pradip1127 on (December 22, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

Sachin will come back strongly as he did in last 23 years.just dont forgot FORM IS TEMPORARY AND CLASS IS PERMANENT.All Indians want to see sachin will retire on High.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

Well written Harsha, no doubt you are one of the best game analyzer around, I am happy u used your great writing skill, to put across your thought indirectly, I am not very sure that u also want Master should take a call or not. Dont u love to play the cover drives, Yes he was out of from but will bounce back soon,

Posted by BULTY on (December 22, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

In this article, Harsha is trying to defend Sachin indirectly & has compared Tiger Woodfs & Federer. In case of Tiger Woods, after his personal problems & trauma associated with it, his game flopped, he went down so much in ranking, but he has overcome everything in shortest time span & he is now ranked No.3. In case of Federer, he has managed to stay in top three ranking despite his poor form & losing to much lesser ranked players repeatedly. Knowing their limitations (of which Harsha has described in length) they have adapted their playing style to stay atop. But sadly, in the case of Sachin, the arrogance "I'm a champion batsman, I don't need anybody's advice" has overtaken him and more sadly, the BCCI doesn't even dare to use "dropped" in his case. Records are not going to make him great again. It's time he's dropped from Test team & asked to pack his bags. He's played his last Test at Nagpur.

Posted by SpeedCricketThrills on (December 22, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

TV channel Headlines Today says Sachin has discussed with selectors and made a case for playing in ODIs and then the test series. Looks like he is hell bent on "leaving the game on a high" and will wait till he finds a new wave. He missed the last wave (post WC2011) and God know when it will happen. The general mood, going by the reaction to this article seems to be: "OK Sir, you've done a good job and we respect you. It doesn't matter to us if you do well or not in the next series, we want to see new faces coming up". But then, the master of chasing records is either not reading these posts or will not listen to anyone.

Posted by Dolci on (December 22, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

@Alay Shah, I couldn't have said it better. However (just like it was with Ponting) I wish people would leave him alone and RESPECT him for his achievements. The only point i have to make is, if there is somebody better than Sachin and can fill his position, then he should go, if not he should stay. The same logic can be applied to Media commentators. (Starting to get a bit sick of the dribble in HB's commentary).

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

To those above who say no one is above the country :: BCCI is not government-funded. Do not drag country into it. Players who think they play for the country have been misled to believe so. Others play for money. But in fact they all play for BCCI. The people of India may get a sense of happiness and achievement when BCCI's team fairs well in tourneys, but that's really all they get. BCCI works for profits. If it did not, it would not try to curb another society (ICL) for the development of cricket to continue its monopoly and it would not have opposed the RTI. Its not like it holds some national secrets in its accounts. We might as well know where the money goes since it claims to be a no profit society. As for Sachin::He's the reason I watch cricket. I don't watch it for BCCI's team( which by the way isn't India's team). I derive all my pleasure from viewing this sport through Sachin's batting. For me, nothing's at stake for the country except possibly the chance to see Sachin bat.

Posted by aarpee2 on (December 22, 2012, 6:10 GMT)

The difference lies in using one's head and heart ie., being objective and not subjective. No individual is greater than his team or the game.Personal milestones in a team game mean nothing if it has not contributed to saving a game and more importantly winning matches.By allowing him to pick and choose ODI series he is not contributing to the side but disrupting another settled opening pair. Gambhir is forced back to No3 even when he has played well with Sehwag.Irrespective of the dire straits the team finds itself [read England 2011] he will bat only at No 4 in Tests-superstition vs needs of the team.. Ten tests have not lasted five days ? He will not make it to the ODI WC squad for 2015. Secondly if he plays in the home series against Australia the opportunity to groom a younger player for the tests overseas is lost. Time to sacrifice personal interest for the sake of the future of the team and game. It is heartbreaking to see him walk back repeatedly dismissed with ease.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 5:05 GMT)

You either die a hero..or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.

Posted by Sunillovescricket on (December 22, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

@ abhay 8157... u are right he was genius but nobody is beyond the sport and the country.. past glories are just to remember, it will not improve your present performance whatsoever.... you don't have to be a player to comment or analyze. He should seriously think about it and its best for the country and the youngsters in the bench like Rahane, Tiwary.. He should retire. Period!

Posted by Sunillovescricket on (December 22, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

Sachin is a great player and I am a die-hard fan of his but everything has its expiry date. I don't want people posting negative comments about him because he is a champion. But sadly, the time has come and he should retire soon. Period!

Posted by mlkt on (December 22, 2012, 4:05 GMT)

c'mmon harsha...didnt u saw how STEVE WAUGH retired(saved a possible series defeat from india in his last)........didnt u saw how IMRAN KHAN retired.....or BRIAN LARA....or ADAM GILCHRIST......ur perspective hold good only if u think of the individual player......but a player of that calibre and greatness(which no doubt, SRT is), if he becomes a liabilty to team and his place in team becomes questionable, a painful and disgraceful retirement will then haunt him for years to come........remember ur own article u wrote after those defeats in eng and aus, when u said that these in legends will feel sorry for the losses and will feel a void that they could not win in their last atempt there......so now dont u think if SRT carry on like this and retire after the aus series or even SA series without contributing to team, his retirement will become more painful....if u think its not his decision...then whose???....selectors, bcci, dhoni, fletcher, who??

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

Excellent article by HB. But his thesis is incomplete till Sachin retires. let us wait !!

Posted by cricisme on (December 22, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

It is not just Tendulkar's decision? Ofcouse not, he is not above the country. The country comes first. If Tendulkar does not perform he should be dropped like any other player. No preferential treatment to the star of the past. Who is scared of who here? What will happen if BCCI drops Sachin? It will only make people and world respect Indians for being fair. Political pressures and corruption has taken over India and does not even spare one and only sport India plays. Makes me sick to my stomach. God help India.

Posted by Fraz_1982 on (December 22, 2012, 1:47 GMT)

Dear Harsha,

What was this article about? Was it to praise SRT's tenacity and perseverance? or plea to us, his fans, to support him? or a plea by us, his fans, to him to let go?

In any event, SRT has achieved everything any young cricketer dreams about. He needs to tell the selectors (and us) what is his goals are. Then the selectors need to decide if they are congruent with their plans to help Indian cricket become competitive again. And to think India won the WC only ~18 months ago.

Why is it that the Asian teams cannot sustain their competitive advantage? This happened to India after '83, Pak after '92, and SL after '96. I reckon it is due to the culture of star cricketers and not team based.

Posted by khatharnak on (December 22, 2012, 1:40 GMT)

Harsha's logic is champions are made of "Can do" spirit and the same spirit won't allow them to be "realistic". He missed a big point in his theory. Champions won't survive that long if they are not good assessing their strengths and weaknesses time and again and coming up with winning strategies time and again. That faculty is not something that diminishes with age, contrary to his theory. Yes, its not his call alone. Its Cricket India's call and Yes, Sachin needs to be consulted, people in his inner-circle must be talking to him, not with the interest of his retirement and when he should etc. That will defeat the purpose of the higher-level discusision that one should ne engaging with Sachin. Talk to him with in the interest of best bets for Indian cricket. The sentiment or higher purpose he will connect with is "doing the best thing for Indian cricket".

Some one needs to sit down and ask him what should be the strategy for Indian cricket for the next 10 years and how would an impl

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 1:31 GMT)

OK the long laboured story is unnecessary. Just say that it is time for Tendulkar to retire. Talk of euphemisms - this is one long tale of an euphemism!!

Posted by abhay8157 on (December 22, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

@ Bommakanti Harigopal Well said man..

Don may have been a great cricketer in his era.. no one who has seen him play and remembers is alive today, but he is remembered for his stats .. 99.9

You have to remember that he played only against 1 team mostly... England Yes, he does have 5 matches each against South Africa/India/West Indies with staggering averages.. but most of these matches are played in his own backyard...

Yes, Sachin is struggling now and even he would admit that... I just hope that these Indian people who are ready to outcast the great man.. show some respect once he hangs up his boots ...

He deserves a standing ovation .. and a guard of Honor in every match he plays now.. sadly that wont happen... and the justice the great man deserves for his service to his country will be lessened ...

For folks who criticize him .. I wonder .. have you even played a club level match in your life? He played his first when he was a mere 11 year old kid..

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

Difficult to understand why do we make it so complicated that Sachin should have been fired for all good sake. Sports journalists, commentators, media everyone make it so long story to write a simple one line !

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

While Roger Federer's decision affects only himself, Tendulkar's decision (or lack of one) affects an entrire team. If BCCI were owned by a private indivudual the decision would have been easier. Case in point is the severing of Dada's association with KKR by SRK. Unforutnately, there is poor accountability in a body such as the BCCI and so the drama continues. Just because his place in cricket history is reserved does not mean he should have a place reserved on the team despite repeated failures. The way things go in India, this drama may linger for some time yet.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 0:03 GMT)

Everybody talks about that Sachin cannot handle pressure. But I guarantee you and I or for the fact anyone in India or the World sport would have faced to alt least 1 /1000th of the pressure Sachin handles. So no one has the authority to comment or feel about the pressure this young man faces in this world. Hope you would heard this popular song in the stadium Sachin! Sachin! .... Sachin! Sachin!!!!!!. Be realistic boss..... :)

Posted by Ozboy on (December 21, 2012, 23:59 GMT)

Harsha, have you heard of Imran Khan, Clive Lloyd and Kallis........?

Posted by Crikoot on (December 21, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

Historically speaking -- from religion to cricket, India has always been driven by the past. Sooner the change takes place, in India's overall attitude -- would be good for not only for India, but also cricketing world at large. Even Tendulkar makes another couple of centuries -- so what?

Posted by tigernator on (December 21, 2012, 23:08 GMT)

When a horse cant run, they take it out of the race! Its very foolish to make it participate in the race because it won the races for you. This is competitive battle field and not a competition between two schools, but between the countries! He is a legend, served the country and he will get his respect outside the Cricket too. If you go with injured soldiers to a war, it will not only hurt the team but also endangers the people they are protecting. He loves the game and for sure age should not be a factor, he certainly can play domestic level and if doing good he can always make a comeback! There are 1000 Tendulkars waiting, every game he stays without performing, he is killing a Tendulkar!

Posted by Hyderabadi_Nawab on (December 21, 2012, 22:38 GMT)

Fair enough article, except that Harsha seems to be one of those who sugar coats his observations, making failings/short-comings in Sachin's personal traits seem like lofty ideals that are the exclusive domain of a champion sportsman. The bottomline is that Sachin is putting himself ahead of the team if he is continuing to fail and not able to swallow the bitter pill of retirement. The big innings will always be around the corner, so it is for any international player but not all have this luxury of continuing. Enough said let's just hope he makes a call that is in the interests of Indian cricket, I do not expect anything less from any test cricketer let alone a player of Tendulkar's calibre.

Posted by wake_up_india on (December 21, 2012, 21:51 GMT)

The drooling that continues in the Indian media over Tendulkar is positively sickening and is an insult to the real player who once existed but is no more. One reason he has so many centuries is that he has been kept in the team long after he would have been dropped by every other team. If he were playing for Australia he would have been dropped 10 years ago, even if he were scoring a century every 10th match. Brahman did Indian cricket a great disfavor by comparing Tendulkar to himself --he knew when to leave inspite of his genius. A whole generation of potential Tendulkars are growing old waiting for the great man to take his bow. This could only happen in India, where individual players are bigger than the team.

Posted by JITH_SREE on (December 21, 2012, 21:46 GMT)

I am big fan of Tendulkar but I think its way past his time. He had the best oppurtunity to bow out of Cricket. That was right after world cup win but for reason not known he did not. Most of the Indian cricketers (including Gavaskar, Kapil Dev) stayed way past their prime and did not time their exit. They should learn from Imran who excatly knew how to bow out with head held high.

There is more than cricketing reason why he is still contuning. May be the powers to be at BCCI are asking him to stay as a favor so that they can cash in even more. This has to stop. Its really pathetic to see him struggle..May be he might overcome this and may be he might score one century but all that at a cost of not allowing budding talent. He needs to think and decide and do whats right for Cricket (Not BCCI).

Posted by nyc_missile on (December 21, 2012, 21:17 GMT)

A brave and scintillating article! He does give an interesting perspective of why Sachin might still be interested in playing despite horrific form..I would also like to add that apart from hunger & passion,there is a small thing of market pressures and brand value riding on him.But i totally agree with Harsha,the selectors are paid to do a job and they have utterly failed to do it so far.Needless to say apart from dedicated fanboys,most feel that he is losing respect and credibility rapidly due to his ostrich approach and not recognizing his awful form and dip in fortunes..

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

so many records, so many achievement and still hungry for cricket... dats dedication but look at the other way - if tendulkar would have had retired a long back then .. we could have seen atleast 10 new batsman with sheer talent ... hmmm thats their bad luck... let c if tendular still plays for 10 more years... now a young batsman who is in his 20'S will make debut by 30's..

Posted by Haleos on (December 21, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

@jay.raj - agreed tht Srt is under pressure but to say he never handled pressure is ridiculous. forgot the time when he was one man army n we switched off the tv when he was out. talk sense man.

Posted by contreezyindia on (December 21, 2012, 20:15 GMT)

Question asked at the end, itself contains the answer. The way a 'Champion' is described in the article, suggests that the 'Champion' will not quit.

Everyone criticizing in 'neutral' terms, have no clue about the level of platform he is playing at. It's a matter of 2 good innings, and everyone will sit and watch an elegant straight drive (with 'adidas' logo flashing perpendicular to side screens) or a kookaburra ball flying over the 3rd man or a paddle sweep 2 yards outside off-stump or a flick flying past the leg-umpire's toe (may be two in a row, umpire's have 2 toes).....

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

Sachin is well past his prime. Although, he has stunning statistics but it is mainly because if India playing more cricket and Sachin being great players has played more cricket at his peak unlike other players like Muhammad Yousaf or Imran Khan or Arvinda De Silva etc. Indian, English, Australian and South African Players has this advantage of playing more cricket which help them improve their statistics. Alistair Cook and Pieterson are another example. In a short span they played more cricket and achieved better results. Sri Lankan, Pakistani and recently West Indian cricketers do not have this opportunity. Pakistan has been particularly unlucky. Hence, in my view players should be judged for their ability to win matches and not just scoring runs or taking wickets in a mechanistic manner. Time for Sachin to go in spite of those statistics

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

Time to drop old players, if india wants to develop some young fresh talent for future. Sachin is a legend but his time is over now.

Posted by Jay.Raj on (December 21, 2012, 18:59 GMT)

Well written article Harsha. Sachin is best at scoring runs when there is no pressure. But he didn't handle pressure well in the past overall. The Main reason he is struggling to score runs is because he is being pressured like no other time. Again, the history speaks, he cant handle pressure unfortunately.

Posted by VivSingh on (December 21, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

@sjohn: I totally agree with your thoughtful comments. Ed Smith's articles display insight, thought and sobriety. He was a good cricketer but I suspect he's a far better writer and thinker of the game.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 21, 2012, 18:48 GMT)

@ GokulGoks (December 21 2012, 15:57 PM GMT) You're overestimating Tendulkar's current ability as a batsman and under-recognising Panesar's quality as a spinner. Indian spinners have never or certainly not recently been able to turn the ball as much and such pace as Monty. The great Anil Kumble may have quicker than Panesar but wasn't as big a spinner as Monty. I'd happy if our spinners could bowl like Panesar and in fact when they tried, England racked up 413 in Mumbai and 523 in Kolkata. I'm old enough to remember Sachin's remarkable century as a 17 yr old at Old Trafford in 1990 in overcast seaming conditions and yes it's sad to see him play the way he does now but (1) unfortunately is now an all too familiar sight and (2) please credit where credit is due re England's bowlers.

Posted by VivSingh on (December 21, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

The fickleness of sports fans... I wonder how many of those who "elevate" Sachin to have been as good as Lara or Kallis are old enough to have observed his entire career? Kallis has the longevity but not the genius. Lara had the genius but not the longevity. Ponting played in a team full of greats. Sachin carried an India team that couldn't win away from India until Dravid, Ganguly... So many Indian fans quoting nonsense and many more India haters who are posting ever more pathetic comments. A "flat track bully"? (This catchy soundbite was never intended for him anyway) His runs never won India matches? He plays for money? Gooch thinks Cook can match him? Many people don't realise that their opinion was given to them by a fickle and frenzied media and I feel sorry that the people who berate him don't have the sense to realise this man is rivalled by no one other than Don Bradman. We will see batsmen who score many runs but we won't see something so special for a very, very long time.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

Amazes me that as a nation how much of focus and sporting sense we lack ..Ganguly left few years back and his replacement is no where to be seen, our bench quality is so bad, we have someone like raina and jadeja playing test. Its embarrasing. Coming to Sachin, he still is the only batsman in the team who can turn out and score runs at will..even in his worst batting form he avergaes 36!! look at gambhir,he avrages 22 in 20 months. For all those sceptics who thought his centuries were meaningless,his lack of a century in one of 23 years of pure grace is suddenly big deal now. Just cant help laughing at the lack of any sporting sense in people who think they can comment on cricket and sachin at will. Best thing is to have the core team. Sehwag, Gambhir,rahane, pujara, kohli , rohit, rayudu to play with the master for a while and let Sachin retire when he thinks its the right time. I would have been worried if we had great batting bench strength, our batting is butt of joke right now

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

What a wonderful expression of thoughts ! And crisp like a wonderful cover drive. Harsha ! Ur the best! *Respect*

Posted by NairUSA on (December 21, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Sachin's retirement is definitley a discussion topic. However, there are so many revenue related questions that will need to be settled before BCCI can make that call or Sachin himself hangs up his boots. Sachin's sponsors would want him to play contractually for at least couple of years. On the other hand, BCCI themselves would not want a blip in their domestic ticket revenues if their icon player is not in the Indian team anymore. It is a predicament and the cricket establishment including sponsors will let it ride for a while until they feel that the revenue impact is minimal.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

Hey Harsha, sachin is going to play 2015 odi iccwc and 2017 test championship SND HIS BEST IS YET TO COME. Note it

Posted by Hardy1 on (December 21, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

He can retire when he wants, that's his right. However he doesn't belong in the Indian team because he hasn't been good enough for a long time now and so the selectors should drop him, simple. If he starts scoring for fun in the Ranji trophy then a recall will be inevitable, simple. Forget everything he' s done in the past, this is sport and in sport you need the best players, is Sachin still better than Rahane, Rohit, Tiwary, Badrinath etc?

Posted by Tiger-Khan on (December 21, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

for most of the indian team and generally sub-continent teams but especially the indian team and sachin because they at-least have a proper batting unlike the others in asia, one word:


sachin, sehwag, gambhir, ashwin, Yuvraj (his is understandable), Zaheer khan (a fast bowler for God sake) and a few others...big bellys and such liabilities...if not for the gulf of fitness between the two teams india might have been able to if not beat at least draw against eng...right now there are where they deserve to be i.e. number 5th on the TEST rankings...

Posted by Balaji.B.Krishnan on (December 21, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

Come on harsha, why are you beating around the bush? why do you want to be just safe with "there may be another peak" sort of stuff thrown into your argument? If you feel its time for Sachin to retire, take up the stand like Chapell and write with that intent. There is so many cliches in the article with sachin's amazing statistics being pointed out. We all know these stats by heart. In your quest to get the article a balanced point of view and to avoid getting into " sachin !! retire immediately" bandwagon you end up with a feeble opinion. there is nothing wrong even if a columnist who has never played top class cricket, writes about the retirement of a superstar forcefully. We are mature enough to understand these things by now.Moderator, Please ensure that Harsha reads this post. We are fans of you as well Harsha, come on, we need you to be more forthcoming and blunt in your views.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

"It's not just Tendulkar's decision" - @Harsha, please remove "just" from the title of this piece. It is selection committee's and BCCI's decision. If they abdicate from their responsibilities, they should be taken to court via PIL. A bunch of weaklings can't be allowed to force non-best 11 players on the nation as it's national team. Why should India become a laughing stock because some guys do not have the guts to drop a has been? What's so difficult about telling the player in face ,"you were great once, but not good enough to represent the nation anymore"? That's the way life is - it's as simple as that.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 17:28 GMT)

i think sachin should retire..,chances hould be given to new comers...we can see hw he fair in test matches against england...

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

Instead of discussing what is best for Tendulkar, energy should be spent on what is best for Indian cricket. At any given point of time, the best 11 should represent the nation. Tendulkar is definitely one of them at the moment and hence he should be out of the platying eleven. It ought not be taken as an insult to a man - it's just the way it should be. Think not of past performances and contributions to select today's team - think of today's capabilities of a player. How so we know we have not missed a Dravid or Tendulkar because of our obsession with 'tried and tested'? It is not possible that a nation of 1.3 B could produce only one Tendulkar in 20 yesrs - I am sure many Tendulkars have been missed due to our sentimentality when it comes to choosing the players by selection committee. Pujara wouldn't have emerged as a1 dn player, had Dravid not retired. The talent in India must be so much that 10 teams like Sri Lankan team could be produced.

Posted by McGorium on (December 21, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

I find some of the logic put forth in the posts below a little odd. To summarize, it goes something like this: India's failures are due to their poor bowling. As Tendulkar is not to blame, there's not need for him to retire. SRT's retirement/dropping should be independent of the team's success/failure, and only dependent on his own performance. He's had an average of under 40 over the last year or so. He hasn't played a match winning or match saving knock in the last couple of years, maybe longer. Therefore, his contribution to the team would be no better than that of an inexperienced player chosen to replace him. India is sticking on with SRT for reasons other than his cricket. As Mukul Kesavan said more than a year ago, the BCCI, ad companies, etc. have a vested interest in keeping him in the team to postpone the drop in viewership once he is gone. There's too much money riding on his back (not the case with Dravid or VVS). These stakeholders aren't going to ask him to leave!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 21, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

What many Sachin fans forget conveniently is that there IS a young player somewhere in India who is missing out on an opportunity to represent the country. Tendulkar is nearly 40 and well past his prime. As with age his reflexes are not what it used to be, I am sure he is aware of that. I strongly feel Tendulkar needs to be spoken to by the selectors. Even if they don't want to, they HAVE to. This is about India's future as a test match team. The future has a big fat question mark in front of it and now is the time to act sensibly and pro-actively. I am also sure Sachin has a timeline on his mind. Perhaps, he wishes one last home series against Australia. If that's the case, I think he richly deserves that for all that he has done for India.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

To me what makes a batsman great is match winning performances . It will be interesting to compare the innings of Tendulkar Lara, Richard , Ponting , Bradman etc that led to the team winning the match.

Posted by Nandu_Athadu on (December 21, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

I am sensing that SACHIN will retire from ODIs after the Pakistan tour and will retire from Tests after the Australia tour....all those who say SACHIN scored meaning less centuries are the one who are following cricket from past 5-6 years...these poeple forget the basic thing that Cricket is team game and more than one player has to perform to win a game but not a single person...they quote examples of Pointing, Lara and Inzi of winning matches...If Aussies bowlers didnt bowl well in the 2003 final match they would have lost the game and ponting's 100 would be of no use...GROW up people...respect this man who has given loads of memories to US.....peace

Posted by loveNpeace on (December 21, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

sachin is a great player, but we all should admit that the best batsman of all time is ricky ponting. numbers dosent matter, it has to be the way a batsmen bat,how he contributed to team,how many matches he won for the team,how he handle the pressure situation of the match, is he there for the team when they need him, sachin made big runs but we never felt he was doing best to the team,

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

It is not his decision not to retire from all cricket that is baffling me as much as it is the one not to retire from one day cricket, which he hardly plays, because it gives the feeling he does not want the best for Indian Cricket. If he has a good reason to continue playing Test Cricket, which I don't think he has, he has surely none to carry on being an ODI player, especially as India needs to form a core group of young players that will play in the next World Cup.

That said, Harsha has clearly missed a point in failing to mention the champions who did retire at their peak, with the intention of making way for the next in line.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

I have seen, many people showcasing and praising the inning of Sydney. But think had there not been a flamboyant and fast scoring laxman in that match, Tendulkar would never ever have got that much of freedom to leave that many deliveries outside off stump.

Posted by blogossip on (December 21, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

I think its time for Sachin to go.. He may have a last hurrah or two but his biography will finish on a controversial note that he dragged on and didnt contribute to the team in the end. India's loss to England is also due to his batting failure and making 2-3 centuries at expense of blocking new talent is poor sportsmanship. Bottom line is it about tendulakr or Indian cricket? ones who support him are for the former!

Posted by GokulGoks on (December 21, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

I wonder how many of these Sachin=God fans will be willing to bet their money that Sachin will score a 100 against Australia (if he plays). Any takers?

I thought not... :-)

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

'.......Thirty-four Test hundreds we thought would not be attained again; he has crossed that by 50%. He has almost twice the number of international centuries as the next best, and the 34,000 runs he has made in international cricket ....'

even statisitcally, tendulkar is not the best. i can pick atleast 5 batsmen better than him. he owes his record to longevity. and his longevity has been helped to a certain degree by generosity from selectors. another country, he wouldnt be having all the records that he does now.

Posted by GokulGoks on (December 21, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

"Why this obsession with Tendulkar retirement?"

Some of it is selfishness. As a huge fan, it saddens me to see him struggle against bowlers like Panesar. To me he's more a 57-ish + batting-average batsman. So to see him drop down to 54 and perhaps to 52 if he plays 6-7 innings against the strong Aussie bowling, it's a tragedy.

Posted by GokulGoks on (December 21, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

"Really, again, SRT is not the standout player of his generation. It's Kallis."

Sachin played through 2-2.5 generations of batsmen. He was one of the best 3 players from the late 90s to the mid 2000s. In the last 3 years though, Kallis has been twice the batsman Sachin has been.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 21, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

@enthusiastic...Inzamam? Really? Another one talks about Kallis. Four champion batsmen of recent times are Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Greg Chappel and Sachin Tendulkar. Even Ponting doesn't belong there. After having started against Sri lanka in I think 95/96 Ponting couldn't really perform well in a good battle for almost 10 years. Even in the 2005 Ashes his performance was average. He finally gained some points by batting well in South Africa but that is not enough to lift him to place with Tendulkar. And how can anyone compare Kalli with Tendulkar? Kallis sleeps at the wicket! It is absurd to consider Kallis as a great player. He just doesn't have the disposition.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

I have followed game over the course of SRT's career. I am not sachin's greatest fan; but there was a time when only Sachin was scoring for India b4 dravids and Gangulys came along. Ppl like shane warne states that he is the best batsman he saw and some ppl put him alongside Lara. These are greats and their opinion count. It is absurd to say that Sachin has not won games for India; to say otherwise is just hate. @Shehzad Khalid Ghani. You think it is easy to last long?? The truth is that this is sachin's longest ever bad form ever. To have not many lean patches is a tribute to his skill. But I wud like Sachin to have retire with honor intact; bcoz ppl who r just seeing him without the early parts wud judge him with what they are seeing. And last and foremost thing is that I am and Indian first and then fan of any single cricketer, so I would like him to be dropped on current form. There is no "GOD" in cricket and there is no one greater than the game or nation. Jai Hind.

Posted by debashish82 on (December 21, 2012, 15:46 GMT)

India is on the decline and the pundits are looking at Tendulakar ! I think that is the reason why India Cricket is not gonna be healed in any time soon. All the critics of Sachin happened to be the worshiper and now rather than looking at the severe issues they are pointing fingers at him. Grow up India fans !

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

At first name a player to replace him and then suggest him to quit.. he may struggle a little in tests like other indians.. but in one day, he s still d best in india n world

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 21, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

The mental strength required for a player such as Tendulkar to succeed for so many years is a double-edged sword. They believe that they can succeed if they try long enough but with in Tendulkar's case he has been unconvincing for 4-5 years now although in that period he has scored centuries and became the first batsman to score a double century in ODIs. This is why if the BCCI does not drop him because he's deemed undroppable, his advisors are unlikely to advise him it's time to make way for him to go, and former players tiptoeing around the issue and his die-hard fans stil supporting his inclusion, Tendulkar may actually believe it's a temporary phase. So if Tendulkar can't see the reality and the selectors won't drop him, the inevitable is being delayed whilst another player's career stagnates on the bench waiting for his opportunity although I'm concerned at suggestions that Sehwag may move down the order.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 21, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

this is not an out of form status its life as we get older our reaction diminish its a fact of life. batting is part of his game, which is at best average. its him getting around the pitch catching the bowl. to say its up to him or he should set the time is nonsense. he should have been taken aside by a bcci Representative an told in 6 month we expect you to retire. it is my thinking that neither dravid and laxman fell on their swords si this guy could have played on for another 2 years if he had retired earlier. he must realize that he cannot go on forever

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

the fact of the matter is 'sachin has lost the x factor which made him the great player that he was...he has been playing without it for almost 8 or 9 years now...there are a few glimpses here and there but generally its been missing..the punch off the backfoot which he patented and made all his own..the pull shots...they are all gone...probabaly because of the injuries he suffered...what has replaced these shots of genius are dafty little nudges and flicks...if you really want to compare him with federer, which i dont think he deserves..coz federer is streets ahead of him in terms of talent...its like federer losing his single handed backhand which sets him apart from everyone else and makes him a joy to behold...thats the x factor and every brilliant sportsperson has it...messi has tht pace and ball control to mesmerise defenders...now coming to his stats...well i am afraid he might be only remembered for his stats and stats arent everything as allan border would probably vouch...

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

I think talking about sachin too often we are unduly putting pressure on him. Agree he has been a failure in 2012 but it doesn't mean he is completely out. He will bounce back to form in the home series against Australia. He knows his time has come and i am pretty sure after making some memorable performances in the upcoming series against Australia he will call it quits. There has been no batsmen in the world who has been so consistent in his 23 years illustrious career. We should respect the man who has done wonders for Indian cricket.

Posted by BellCurve on (December 21, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

His Test batting average is already down to 54. And he only has 43 Test centuries if you exclude Bangladesh and Zim. Kallis has 40 and may catch him before the end of the 2013. Really, again, SRT is not the standout player of his generation. It's Kallis.

Posted by SixoverSlips on (December 21, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

Why this obsession with Tendulkar retirement? Do we have six batsmen better than Tendulkar in India today? I can may be count two - Pujara and Kohli. If you answer is give chance to youngsters, then there are enough other spots for the youngster to show their mettle. We waited for three years after Ganguly exited to fill his spot (Kohli this year). We don't have replacements for Dravid and Tendulkar yet. Still, we are so intent on having Tendulkar retired.

Just leave the man alone. He is not India's problem, and his decision don't affect India's Test performance that much. Pace bowling, spin bowling, finding good batsmen for the already vacant spots would make the main difference.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Sachin noes wat to do n wen to do better dan ol of us..n datz y he is d GOD of cricket..!!

Posted by srikanths on (December 21, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

It is quite funny that in response to an article written by Harsha as to the possible reasons why a top class player finds it difficult to call time on his career, there are comments galore questioning Tendulkar's ability and some statistics picked to back up their claims. Statistics can be picked the way you want and presented the way to choose to establish any point. You can conclude that Ponting was below average player by coming out with the fact that in alien conditions, India, he was a failure wherreas SRT adjusted and played well in OZ. You can say that player like Kallis for all his records was a relative failure against OZ with an average of just over 41 .You can also conclude that Inzi , inspite of his record of having several 100 s in a winning cause was a flat track bully, he failed against OZ , the best team of the period and so on. SRT was one of the greatest players. Of course his time is up . He needs to realise and move but that recent failures does not change tha

Posted by enthusiastic on (December 21, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

I agree with Iwerneanffontmell, SRT is not in the same calibre as Viv or Lara or Ponting or Inzamam. They have all won games for their respective countries single handedly. With the exception of a couple of innings in Sharjah and at home, he hasn't really dominated bowling like the above. It's time SRT retires gracefully. SRT thank you for your contribution.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar please retire

Posted by almit on (December 21, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

the emotion is needless. Not true that sachin carried india team on his shoulders for 23 years, India carried him a good number of years too. Sachin has got phenomenal success and has been rewarded for that too. There is no debt that India owes, and it has not been different with the end of for any other great of the game. as for the craft, I think gavaskar, laxman, dravid and ganguly won or saved more games for us. its not sachin's prerogative as it was never for any of these greats.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

I think we're all complicating the issue too much. I agree it is a difficult decision to go on a low but if we stay it will only make it worse. Tendulkar should just quit.

Posted by pradip1127 on (December 21, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

SRT is best in the world and he will make century against AUS

Posted by Iwerneanffontmell on (December 21, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

I have to say that I have never considered Tendulkar to be as great as many seem to. He rarely seems to take a game by the scruff of the neck and few can think of a series where he has been the outstanding performer. Although he has undoubtedly been a great batsman he hasn't taken on the Aussies in their prime - almost singlehandedly - and beaten them like Brian Lara did - and more than once. Lara also bowed out (almost) at the top of his game when it became obvious that WI needed a change of captain and so he felt it was best for the team if he were to bow out completely. It is easy to forget that he was still playing well and any side in the world would have snapped him up if they could. Lara showed incredible humility and guts to walk away when he did and will always be admired for it. Tendulkar on the other hand is only damaging his legacy and I cannot agree with this article. There are many great players who have realised that their time was drawing to a close and acted on it.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Thank you Harsha for pointing out the problem of being a "SACHIN TENDULKAR" in India.... India has indeed enjoyed success for 2 decades, with Tendulkar doing so well on ground! The MASTER BLASTER is not blasting it anymore - and hence should gracefully exit the sport he has made adorable in India. I wonder(in your signature style...) if India had many Harsha Bhogles for various walks of life - Politics, Entertainment, Government, etc. To show the true mirror, honestly, yet tactfully.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (December 21, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Very good article. Sachin will retire in a year and half of time I would think. By the way all high scores by any batsman always comes on helping wicket and good conditions in five days of play.. Lara's 400, 375. Lara's 600 plus series in SL, Clark's 329, Bradman 334, 304 etc etc etc.etc..All mention here were against very weak bowling also and their highest scores..

Posted by perl57 on (December 21, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

Tendulkar sells and hence this article. As for legend, we do need to call HIM coz a few million out of a billion if they say No does not mean he is not. As for Sydney Innings, he played a mortal game. Not that he played a patient innings but he played like other humans in the game like Lara and Bradman. He has stepped on to the field to destroy bowlers like McGrath and Warne and Donald. But then such is the game that new people will come. This guy is definitely a galaxy. While others are sun and the moon.

Posted by hnlns on (December 21, 2012, 14:10 GMT)

Even accepting series of failures is a characteristic of great people and that is why SRT, if he has to be a called a true great, must accept graciously that the time for him has come NOW to pack off and leave the scene, rather than being forced out by selectors.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

Bravo Harsha! If only everyone else (Related to Indian Cricket) was as honest to the point as you... Indian Cricket needs a few pragmatists right now.

Posted by Aby_Jose on (December 21, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

The blog is well written. Point well said, with respect and diplomacy.One thing that i can be absolutely certain about Tendulkar is that he is a man who is convinced by his decissions. You cannot influence him if he decides to play in a certain fashion. We have seen it many a times, the bull headedness that defies logic.. Even when we think that it is not correct, he will do something which only he can understand and belive in.. I am no one to judge a great batsman like him.. But no one comes above my country, i loved cricket even before i loved tendulkar. We loved him for what he brought to the game, the free flow of willow, ability to take on bowlers, dominating opositions and above all, proving with his actions that he was different and special.. If he is not able to do that and wants to continue by accumulating runs at a still lower pace to get those extra runs , it will come at the cost of team targets. If so, then the time has come for Good bye, India is important than Tendulkar.

Posted by AdityaUpadhyay on (December 21, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

This is the 3rd or 4th article I am seeing on Sachin in the last one week. What will happen if Sachin retire or not ..will it be the end of world? Aren't there any other cricketer left in the world to write about. Harsha I used to be a good fan of your writing , but it seems your writing is becoming more prejudiced & biased. I was just waiting one good article will be written about Graeme Swann, or Pieterson or Matt Prior atleast some articles are expected to be written about the members of winning team. Similarly no article on Graeme Smith , Hashim Amla , Michael Clarke or Dale Steyn as the kind & level of cricket these players are playing. This is a complete biased reporting. Partial journalism at its best.. Cricinfo plz publish..

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 21, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

Tendulkar is the most over-rated cricketer of all time. He never plays when his team needs him most. On the other hand he never misses to score centuries against the likes of Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. In this series he could have saved India from defeat in Kolkatta match, but he just couldn't perform under pressure. In the last test at Nagpur, when India needed a win to level the series, we really needed our big shots to score heavily and put pressure on England. Instead what do our big shots do - Sehwag scored 0 while Tendulkar scored 2. If it wasn't for the gritty determination of Kohli and Dhoni, we would have lost the series 3-1, instead of 2-1. If we want to win, we need to keep Sehwag and Sachin out of the Indian team.

Posted by getgopi on (December 21, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

This comes across as one too many Tendulkar article.

Posted by RAJA_06 on (December 21, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

Why does Harsha still go in support of Sachin, he purely plays for records. His interview with the press expression his disappointment over missing his double ton again pak.,and his slow-rated 100th century against Bangla which costed us the match are clear examples. I wonder, why people are so supportive. Sachin is definitely a pale shadow of his formerself. Can't Lara wait for 30-40 odd runs to completed first crickter to finish 12000 runs and he might even have gone ahead of Sachin if he continued to play. Can't Murali take 1000 test wickets if he was willing to play for couple of years? Our selectors and writers just don't change. It's pure waste of time reading all these articles and watching cricket. Selfish....Selfish...

Posted by drdatla on (December 21, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

@abhinaik, the rip day has already arrived, because non ferformers r allowed to play

Posted by Gizza on (December 21, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

That Sydney pitch was definitely flat but I think it is hyperbole to say the Australian bowling attack in that match was the worst in fifteen years. There was no McGrath or Warne granted. But Gillespie, Brett Lee, Bracken and MacGill is still pretty strong. A better attack than Australia's current bowlers. The only real weak link is Bracken. On that point, Tendulkar batted like a veteran in that innings. He showed his mental strength and experience instead of any flamboyance. The innings reminds me of the novel " La Disparition" written in French without the letter e. And that mature, experienced innings was 9 years ago which gives you an idea of how old he is. He really should call it curtains now. He won't be able to make a hundred by not playing a particualr shot like the cover drive anymore. That time is gone like much of his batting.

Posted by cricketpurist on (December 21, 2012, 13:10 GMT)

What next for a champion- scoring "A Triple Ton" against dale steyn attack.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (December 21, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

Thats a brave article Harsha. Congragulations for taking on the topic & dealing with it so diplomatically. I dont think anyone can be more diplomatic. There will be some people who may feel offended by the fact that you are pointing out that the time has come for Sachin. But like the Champion himself there are also a lot of fans who continue to be in the denial mode. As far as the board of selectors is concerned i dont think anyone is ready or willing to take this issue on. A similer case but of lesser degree was that of Mohinder Amarnath sometime in 86-87 when Shivlal Yadav dropped Jimmy and included the inform Navjot Singh Siddhu (sherry), Jimmie's immediate reaction was harsh and the "Bucnh of Jockers" statement is quoted till date. Something similer is required but the intensity and gravity of the situation is many folds more. Looks like we need a Shivlal Yadav.

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

Harsha's articles are usually well written..but can't say the same about this one, which is melodramatic and sentimental...Harsha, are you saying that Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist who retired at the height of their powers, when they could have easily played for another two years, are not champion players? It is clear for anyone who seriously follows Indian cricket that Sachin is obscessed about records...regarding Sydney 2004, we should remember that if we had not waited for sachin's 200 and declared much earlier than at the ridiculous score of 700+..we might have won our first test series in Australia..

Posted by jb633 on (December 21, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

@sjohn- really not sure that is the case. When people say it is pressure etc these guys like Ponting and Sachin would not have got to the top if they couldn't handle it. IMO it is simply a matter of biology. Unfortunatley with age the refelxes slow down and the eyes begin to waver. It is just a natural process that happens to everyone. Cricket commentators and pundits can look for other reasons but they are denying the obvious. Why do elder players get bowled more and more. Why are they caught leaning over too much. They are trying to get closer to the ball as they no longer trust their eyes enough to stand bolt upright and rely on reflexes. It is why Ponting and Draving kept falling over their front pad and Sachin is missing straight balls. I have long admired Sachin Tendulkar but it really is time for him to retire. Father time has taken its toll on the little master.

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

"Limitless ability" and "audacious thinking" illustrated by a big innings at Sydney in 2003-04?

For goodness sake! The SCG has the lowest bounce on the Australian mainland and the most spin - it is almost subcontinental. And Glenn McGrath was out injured and Shane Warne was banned for a drug offence.

The Australian attack was the weakest for fifteen years, and India amassed a huge total, then failed to win.

If that was the high point of Sachin's away Test record, then he never was the player the Indian people thought he was.

Posted by Mr.Chandi on (December 21, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

The truth is that, like one person pointed out here, there r more fans of Sachin Tendulkar than Indian Cricket in India. This clouds our judgement. We can keep him on and suffer more..It's true that there are other non performers in the Indian team...you can't offload them all at the same time...cricketing god or not, it's time he went...even though i ,like the billions of my countrymen would be saddened by it

Posted by Indus11 on (December 21, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

Tendulkar will retire in another 574 runs. This prediction is based on his comments given on an interview on Yorkshire TV in 1991/ 1992. When asked how many test runs he expects to get in his career, he unabashedly replied "16000 test runs". In that year - Tendulkar spent a season playing with/ for Yorkshire. Pundits may remember that. Geoffrey Boycott - that stalwart of Yorkshire was subsequently asked to add to Tendulkars comments, stated that - yes it was all possible . . "considering the lads skills and the number of tests they are playing now."

Posted by krahuls on (December 21, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

Nice article Harsha..as usual. But it was like asking God to go away from the lives of the worshippers. It is like God going away from our hearts... I am still hopeful of him and think that he has a good reason to contribute to Indian cricket in next season where India will be playing all away Test cricket... guiding juniors like Pujara, Kohli, Rahane and Rohit !!! We still need Tendulkar, the God, to keep our faith in the cricket religion. Probably, 1 last Tendulkar show !!!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 21, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

The only tons that SRT chalks up these days are in the hundreds of comments about his retirement that articles on cricinfo attract! All the pundits are in on it! Merry Christmas, everyone!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

legends can take their own time to retire as they have given their lives for the indian cricket team and no one should even talk about sachin ramesh tendulkar retirement as we are no one to judge a great player just on the basis of one bad season people remember the falitures and tend to forget the number of happy momments he has given to india on tjhe wholw i just want to say that sachin dont leave this sport otherwise iyt will be a great lopss to the country

Posted by shahab2058 on (December 21, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

Only & only reason tendulkar is playing today cuz every single person in India.. public, selectors , writers , other BCCI official and players supports him cuz they all love him to bat no matter he performs or not. They all can even compromise team win for that. you will find many sachin fans like if you give them option that india will lose but sachin will score 100 or viceversa ...& they will go for the first option. He has hypnotized the whole cricketing world in India which really impresses me.

Harsha gave example of R.Fed who never went below top 5 rank so quite irrelevant...ofcourse for a period federer fall below his own standard but still he was among top 5 whereas sachin these days is not more than a below average player

Posted by Jacobchikku on (December 21, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

Its the massive pressure of the team that he is not able to handle at the twilight of his career, with Dravid, Laxman retiring and Shewag & Gambir in poor form the little master has to carry all the weight and that's causing half the troubles. It would have been ideal if he had retired from ODIs after winning that world cup but he definitely needs to take that decision now. This is the time for him to enjoy his cricket but instead he is struggling but as always he has got the mental strength and ability in him to come back and yet again he will put on the pads to prove his critics wrong.

Would have been great if someone like Ganguly is the captain of this side who knows how to bring the best out of his resources!

Posted by itismenithin on (December 21, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

I'm not worried about his retirement and that should be his personal decision. But it is upto to selectors to pick the best possible XI with an eye on the future of Indian cricket. if that means dropping him then it need to be done withought worrying about public backlash.

Posted by abby_cricketlover on (December 21, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

with due respect to you Harsha, Like to invite you to throw some lights on LAST 3 YR avergaes of Sehwag, Gambhir as well, with details, of method thier got out. I will be waiting for your report on it.

Posted by InvisiblePJs on (December 21, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

A well constructed article as always Harsha - congratulations. As an outsider (non-Indian) I think it a shame that SRT does not seem to be able to 'let go' and retire as many of his peers have done of late. While I do not consider him the finest batsman of recent times (personally I would select Dravid over SRT for reliability in a crisis) I certainly appreciate his contribution to the game, but to me it really seems time for SRT to be a big enough person to now make way for younger players for the long term benefit of Indian cricket.

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

@ Arun Masilamoi: Really? 200 tests? You make it sound as if the people of India owe him some sort of an unrepayable debt. They don't.

@arunonline47: Drop all of them if they don't perform. This whole discussion about Tendulkar's retirement wouldn't have come up if he had been scoring runs like he used to.

Posted by Mervo on (December 21, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

The selectors should have made the call earlier. He is an icon but that is all now that he represents on the cricket flield. Why not have a cardboard cut out instead? Many Australians lost respect for him when he did not tell the truth, as was later revealed, in the Harbajan Singh affair in with Andrew Symonds. That was his lowest point in terms of integrity. The time has come and passed. He is no Bradman and even he had to retire.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Tendulkar should retire from test cricket post his 200th test! In ODIs he still has his 50th ODI century left to score! moreover... he doesnt have anything left to achieve in tests except his 200th test... so if he retires from tests.. he can extend his ODI career for another year n a half to complete his 50th ODI century, 500 ODI appearances n 20000 ODI runs.

Posted by PKNYcricFan on (December 21, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

One of the best articles I have ever read on cricinfo. Excellent job.

Posted by Baundele on (December 21, 2012, 9:37 GMT)

The long introduction of the article made me tired of it. Stopped reading after the third paragraph.

Posted by Captain_Crick on (December 21, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

BCCI's current selection panel - Chairman (Sandeep Patil), North (Vikram Rathore), Central (Rajinder Hans), East (Saba Karim) and South (it is Roger Binny). Isn't there a selector from West?

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

SRT is the lone player who draws masses (as well as the BCCI) to Test cricket in India. He sets the standard for principled behaviour and exceptional character on and off the field (I dare say that his example reinforced the resolve of others in this regard: even Gilchrist, an Aussie, walked!) and especially in the dressing room. He alone has the wisdom and stature to advise his captain to recall a dismissed opposition batsman when it is the right thing to do. Further, in becoming the first millionaire cricketer, he showed the way for others to earn their due.

He made it feasible and respectable - even fashionable - for an Indian to pursue a career as a professional sportsman.

When he goes, we will see a marked decline in the standard of sportsmanship in world cricket. The Test match in India might die out.

I pray that he perseveres to 200 Tests. He deserves that as much as Bradman deserved 4 runs in his last Test innings. Will tragedy repeat itself?

Posted by SaintRajas on (December 21, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

No harsha in my opinion india needs sachin to play atleast 2-3 series more... we are in transition phase with pathetic MSD at helm there should be somebody as solid as sachin as reliable as sachin... with great powers comes great responsibility... he has to shoulder responsibility to help team india again for few more months...

as i see we are not grooming anybody to replace him... to replace dhoni as capt. so it seems unless we make those changes we should not even think of asking sachin to retire...!

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

I dont know how people by just reading/writing posts in cricinfo become pundits of cricket.. They know everything and they do selections and decide about the retirements of great cricketers... C'mon, most of the people who comment against International cricketers doesn't know how to hold a bat..

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

Mr. Harsha Bhogle, Sachin Tendulkar did not score a half-century in the final of IPL 2010. He scored 48. :)

Posted by arunonline47 on (December 21, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

SACHIN WILL RETIRE WHEN SEWAG ZAHEER and others who had not performed retires........ y single out the man ... y don we talk abt others....get a life ppl...

Posted by eng_mdkhan on (December 21, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

Bravo Bhogle! well done yet again. I sincerely hope that Sachin reads your article. I do not think that Sachin's situation could have been put in a better way, well written, concise and demands instrospection. Mr. Bhogle I have been reading your articles since my high school days and as they say you are ageing like wine. Indeed it is Sachin's decision and everybody knows what that is.

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (December 21, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

I completely agree with anuradha_d. Harsha needs to cut the fluff and refrain from over eulogising Tendulkar's accomplishments. We know what he has achieved.

We also know that in the past couple of years, he has struggled to average even 30 in tests. A number 8 batsman (namely Ashwin), heavily outscored him in the most recent test series that India played. His pursuit of his 100th international century cost us the Asia Cup because he was overly cautious and scored at a meager 73 runs per 100 balls even though the team scored 300+. His overall test match average is now 54 and dropping fast. His average in the 3rd and the 4th innings of all the test matches he has played is just 41 (and that includes runs made against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe).

More crucially, he is preventing a very very talented Ajinkya Rahane from making his test debut. It's time Mr. Tendulkar, it's time.

Thanks for all the memories and we wish to remember you as a very fine batsman who played this game.

Posted by Ayush_Chauhan on (December 21, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

@speedCricketThrills Sad, sad, just sad example. Awesome write up by Harsha, along the same lines of what Mike Nicholas(I guess) wrote recently on cricinfo.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

Harsha bhogle is my second fav person in the cricketing fraternity next to the GOD himself. Just like i awe sachin's batting, i awe harsha's remarks on anything.If ihave to watch cricket just fr commentary, first person up there would be harsha bhogle.Beautiful piece as ever.

Posted by ramli on (December 21, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

To say that fans will switch off after SRT reitres is all farce ... those days are over ... there are youngsters who could collectively deliver what SRT was doing alone ... end result is what is important in cricket .. not individuals ... when you don't deliver .. you try for sometime .. and still if you don't ... make way ... don't be a stumbling block just because you are a legend ... it is pathetic to see SRT struggle against bowler after bowler in recent days ... still if he conjures a 100 in the near future .. the wait will be even more longer to see another one ... India cannot afford such nonsense .. be realistic SRT ... and decide

Posted by venkatesh018 on (December 21, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

Sachin, give us a peek into your mind ! What is your next move ?

Posted by sam238in on (December 21, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

i accept that sachin has troubles now,but underestimating his service to indian cricket is unacceptable. how many members giving their views here have seen the final of 1983 world cup as live. because of sachin cricket had such a fame in india now. There were times, only because of sachin cricket had life in india. Indian culture itself a sentimental culture, will u ask ur father to go out of the home if he slightly trumbles because of age? He is not only weakness in the present team, only one or two are playing well. if all other 10 plays 1 weakness is not an issue. but now blames of all other 10 is focused towards sachin, it's not fair.he is not guest he is the base of the house, he deserves some respect. dont compare him with punter or kallis, lot of legends remind and remining in their team to lead even they fail to deliver, but how many we have? Because of his hardwork he earned the untochability no one else can do that. so just leave him and let him live his career.

Posted by cenitin on (December 21, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

@Fahad Jalil...Applying your logic on Dravid. He has scored 36 centuries out of which 15 have resulted in Test victory. Out of those 15, 4 are against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe. That leaves us with 11 centuries. Out of these 11, One is against NZ (NZ we all know have been inconsistent), 3 is against Pakistan ( Dead Pakistan pitches many centuries scored on the same match ), 3 is against West Indies (post 2000 WI) and one is against England (back in 2002) and 1 against SL (dead pitch Seh, Gam also scored centuries and out of 6 top order batsman 5 bastman scored more than 50 in same inng ) . On 2 Against OZ ( other batsman scored double centuries). Its not a shame that Indian cricket respect SRT more than Rahul Dravid but shame is that fans (of one player) like you belititle other player. I am fan of Sachin but I like Dravid too and for me both are legend. I don't cricticize Dravid for the sake of doing it.

Posted by chin-music on (December 21, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

Only in India can so many seemingly-sane people subscribe to as bizarre a theory as "he is the best one to decide when to go". Excuse me - the whole idea of having a selection panel for choosing a team - is that if players were left to judge their own merits & decide their own inclusion/ejection from the team , we would have to ask for special ICC permission to field cricket teams of 11 lac players instead of 11 players. Tendulkar, while being an exceptionally talented cricketer, is no better or no worse than any one else in this respect - & therefore , like everyone else, is supremely unsuited to decide himself on when he is not good enough to be in the team.

Posted by kharidra on (December 21, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

The article rightly points out the stuff that champions are made of. From the article it is also evident that Carving out plan B is also another important step that champions should begin making. Over the past few decades the issue of retirement has been analyzed and the oft repeated quote that emerged is that the Retirement be announced "when people ask WHY? and Not be timed such that people ask WHY NOT?" The difficulty is in the Complexity of Contrast. Retirement is an individual issue, the game is a team game. The right authorities - be it well wishers, guides, gurudevs or others - should provide the missing link into champions thought making process to remove clouds that shroud. Traditionally the messages of Gurdevs serve as timely interventions into the champion student minds and provide the blessed guidance through such phases. If all such links are intact with the champion students then there is no need of furthering analysis and the process will take care of itself.

Posted by anuradha_d on (December 21, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

Harsha....I think you should cut the fluff and make the point.....tendulkar needs to go. Period......also this approach of saying what you want too, without coating it with a dozen layers of sugar will help in you being taken more seriously in the commentary box also

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

He is a champion and it needs no proof. But in order to prove himself that he still can, he is hurting teams chances and a youngsters chance to cement a place in the XI.Sadly, cricket is no individual sport to place your personal egos above the teams interest.

Posted by nalapogunev on (December 21, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

There is a difference in comparison between Sachin and others like Lata Mangeshkar and Roger Federer. The two later performers were individual performers and a lack of performance would only add cause to their individual reputation. If cricket were an individual game, it would have been fine for Sachin to continue. If he loses only he loses and not the whole team. Unfortunately cricket is a team game. He has to think whether continuing his position just based on his believe is being nice to the team and to the nation. The selectors should have come out of their shell and help this man, to whom cricket is everything, to make a graceful exit. If not in an year's time we would see him 'rot' under criticism from all corners, go down in rating and then make an exit heads down.

Posted by din7 on (December 21, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

I think sachin shld accept the truth, if he doesnt have guts to accept it then he's not a true sportsman...watch what ricky did he would have easily continued agnct sri and would have scored many runs as their bowlin attck is too weak, but he realised it wont help team when they will play in ashes against eng in their home. Tendulkar nodoubt was never a team man and if given choice i would have dravid batting for my life than sachin.. So he cant chage that now and will never be able to but atleast he shld now realise hes earned enough money and fame and he's no GOD either as said by some foolish people and even if doesnt realise it now hes doing no good to his reputation..and well, his expiry date has already expired a while back!

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

There is a reason i only comment on your articles and re-tweet your tweets without hesitation - the reason is you write from the heart but at the same time - you read the situation very well.In a discussion with a friend i said - may be what SRT is missing is a goal - may be he should have a word with selectors and say - you know what - 2013 march(just an ex) if i can't score till then its time to go. As you said - he has come out of this situation many times and his natural instinct is to deny that he is unable to do so now. He needs people who would be at his side and tell him - its alright - set yourself a target and then let it be. Brilliant article and assessment of SRT drama - yet again Harsha sir.

Posted by kriketguru on (December 21, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Tendulkar should have gone years, I mean years ago.

He is absolutely of no value to the team.

India is already too late in developing a team now.

India cares about individuals more.

Greg Chappell was the best man who could bring changes, new Indian team.

But they removed him.

Tendulkar has no place whatsoever. Bring new blood please.

We need new Indian team and in some years can be ok test team.

BCCI, everyone cares about T20. India is in pretty bad shape TBH.

Posted by STRAIGHT_TALK on (December 21, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

SRT is inarguably the most over-hyped player in sport. He is probably one of the highly gifted cricketers of this era and his contribution to the team STOPPED after 1999. He remains the biggest sportsman who has successfully exploited the fans' emotions aided by his sponsors and over-friendly media to stretch his playing days. He remains one of the reasons why Indian fans cannot objectively evaluate any player and takes cover under his longevity. He is certainly the biggest Flat Track Bully of this generation and the least impact player for team victories. All the runs that he has scored are statisticians' delight and if one critically analyses records with some of his contemporaries, there are other players too across the world whose record is on equal terms. Alas, he has come to a stage where a majority are asking when will he go and why is he not reitiring?

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

People say sachin should retire.. it is true that time has come.. but for that nobody can cry for his head...

Let me ask every one "is tendulkar the only problem that india are facing???"

if harsha or any other have poited this article at a time when india are winning with help of all 3 departments i would have supported this article.. when team is down it is a natural tendency to give burden to a weakness(here it is tendulkar)...

there is no quality baatting quality bowling n fielding in this current indian team the how can we say it is sachin the main reason of indias lean patch....

Posted by faizan_feroz on (December 21, 2012, 7:58 GMT)

if those stats are coreect fahad jalil then i agree with u ! even though i consider kallis to be a better test batsman than srt !

Posted by srikanths on (December 21, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

It is one of those oft repeated and almost made to sound real that Lara has won more matches for WI than Tendulkar for India. Lara has won a couple high profile matches, that does not establish the fact. There is no denying that Lara along with Tendulkar were the best of his generation. Lara's 6 test innings contributed to WI victory and not 30 as is being made out.

Ponting played for one of the best teams of his time. The pressure was signifcantly less. The moment the best got out like Mcgrath, Warne and co, Ponting started losing against England. He lost to England three times, to SA once in OZ.

Tendulkar has scored more runs in Australia, cimpletely alient conditions , while Ponting has hardly troub led the scorers with runs. Ponting is definitely , though a gifted batsman is not in the same league as a Tendulkar or Lara. Kallis , of course , as an overall package is the best. SRT ,one does agree , should have retired with the NZ tour and has been a shadow of his past.

Posted by rajnish.sinha on (December 21, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

what about commentators?? there comes a time while watching cricket that you get so used to the commentators that you know in advance the very words they are going to use in a particular situation and those commentators cant reinvent themselves. i know at least three such indian commentators. how does a commentator decide when to retire?

Posted by McGorium on (December 21, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

Nobody gets anywhere in life without being tenacious and determined; passion is an attribute of any successful person. However, even the most driven doctor, professor, or musician must move on when their time has come. You woudn't want to be operated on by a 75 yr old surgeon, once at the top of his field, now arthritic and senile. Even a wolf-pack replaces its old leadership. Tendulkar is well past his sell-by date. That he is only 40 is a by-product of the profession he chose, something he was well aware of when he chose it. That a lawyer or doctor is in his/her prime at 40 is hardly a comparison: It takes much longer to develop/train the mind than the body. Have you heard of an 18 yr old neurosurgeon? Perhaps SRT is a bit like the Black Knight in the Monty Python movie in his refusal to accept defeat despite his missing limbs. 'Tis only a flesh wound, eh? India is best served by letting someone young like Rahane get confidence and match experience than let SRT embarass himself.

Posted by BKyogi on (December 21, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

Why are people getting involved in Sachin's retirement?. Leave him alone and he will retire when his inner voice says so. When he was at his best, he was treated like God, and when he fails in 2 series, he is treated as a devil. Such is the mentality of people. Let him decide and he will come to the correct decision. Most of the top players retired on their own, Border, Steve Waugh, Gavaskar to name a few.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

The day Tendulkar retires is the day Indian cricket will lose fans who are in it only to watch one man play. Thankfully, we'll be left with people who actually care about the future of Indian cricket and how it can prosper without its greatest superstar.

Posted by cricspeak on (December 21, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

Knowing very well that the outcome is not in your hands, you never want the coin to fall as 'tales' when what you have called for is a 'heads'. This mind can be really stubborn Harsha, especially when pitched against its over-hyped colleague - the heart.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

It is actually a shame to see Indian cricket respect SRT more than Rahul Dravid, a better team player, match winner and a thorough gentleman who played selflessly. With Sachin, as much of a treat to eye sight his batting may be, will. always be considered an individual winner. Please read below:

He has scored 51 centuries out of which 20 have resulted in Test victory. Out of those 20, 4 are against Bangladesh, 2 are against Zimbabwe, 2 are against pre 1996 Srilanka (which were effectively as bad as Bangaladesh). That leaves us with 12 centuries. Out of these 12, 4 are on away venues. One is against NZ (NZ we all know have been inconsistent), one is against Pakistan ( Dead Pakistan pitch the same match in which Sehwag scored 300), one is against West Indies (post 2000 WI) and one is against England (back in 2002).

Rahul Dravid is definitely the best Indian batsman of all time!

Posted by kaushaljajoo on (December 21, 2012, 7:20 GMT)

wonderfully written.. such a balanced way to put points like above.. thanks harsha

Posted by legfinedeep on (December 21, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

Why is there such a big deal made about the runs SRT has scored? Anyone who has played as long as he had, in a country where he would be undroppable, would have scored as much. In another country, he would have either been dropped or retired by now. But he is a flat track bully that just goes after records and more personal records. Unfortunately, it will only be one-eyed Indians who remember him with hyberbole like genius, best ever of all time etc. The rest of the world sees him as ONE OF the best batsmen in the world, but who lost a lost of the halo by long overstaying his welcome, and being more of an individual than team player. He cannot touch the likes of the great Lara, Ponting or King Kallis. But he will always be exalted because he is an Indian.

Posted by lee_man on (December 21, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

Very interesting article. I am also a fan of boxing and I hate when great champions stay on beyond their prime and keep getting beaten up by lesser fighters who they would have destroyed in their heyday.So likewise it is disturbing to see Sachin getting out to bowlers that in the past he would have no problems dealing with. I think he does have more runs in him but I don't expect him to score them consistently. Whether he retires now or not should also be a decision based on the other intangible contibutions (effect on dressing room, younger players etc,) to the team.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar :The God of Cricket. Dont try to advice the GOD!

Posted by SpeedCricketThrills on (December 21, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

A very dear relative or friend makes a rare visit to your house, you are delighted. So are other members in the family. The 'guest' has breakfast, lunch, dinner; you take him out and around, and he is interested to stay over for a few days and you are even more delighted! But then the 'guest' doesn't seem to be in a mood to 'check out' and one after the other everyone in the house begin to wonder when the 'guest' will leave. No one has the courage or heart to broach the topic, everyone getting restless; when the 'guest' is not around, everyone openly wonder when the 'guest' will leave. Hints are dropped but the 'guest' doesn't take the hint or ignores them. Someone decides 'enough is enough' and summons the courage to tell the 'guest' that's he's overstayed and they have other guests coming over. The 'guest' says "Wow, that's wonderful and it would be nice for me to meet him!" The "other guest" too arrives, and the 'guest' and "other guest" begin to have a great time! Pity the host!

Posted by skkh on (December 21, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

warnerbasher..spot on mate

Posted by KrishnaNagash on (December 21, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

Harsha- This is my first posting on Cricinfo in many many years. I made the effort to log-in to thank you for this article! It is very well written and makes me in someways sad that we have reached a point in our lives where we have to come to accept that Sachin will not play forever! As much as I hate the thought & as much as we dont want him to leave, we are not far away from the day. Thank you for this article

Posted by cenitin on (December 21, 2012, 6:57 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. Expert like Ian chappel saying that timing of their retirement is good. 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 poorer. How Sachin not in best 11 mert wise ?

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 6:50 GMT)

I hope Tendulkar reads this, and doesn't give up cricket.

He is needed in the team more than ever...........

Posted by Vamshi179 on (December 21, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

Very good articulated article, no love lost.


BTW: This article will definitively score band 9 in IELTS

Posted by Amit_13 on (December 21, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

Harsha, I think all this talk about him is unjustified. A man must be allowed his struggles. But more importantly, I believe what Akash Chopra said was quite revealing... One man can win you a game but he can never loose you one. The whole team has to play bad to loose. What about the unimaginative captaincy of Dhoni and the fact that the laziest of them all was literally standing in the slips when the ball came and hit him. Twice! The tendulkar question has to be answered. But the more important one is that of the team attitude. I think BCCI's attitude has now consumed the players. But the BCCI actually earns its keep. I am afraid we can't say the same about some of our players.

Posted by mysecretme on (December 21, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

Time is not right for his retirement yet. He has to stay at least until the South African series and then retire. By that time, Sehwag and Gambhir should have moved into the middle order and we should've found a couple of good openers.

Posted by Peck on (December 21, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

One of the best articles from Harsha. To those who argue that SRT scored runs but did not win enough matches,just think once again what you are saying. India did not won enough matches because we didn't have (and probably never will) world class bowling attack.There were nobody after him to see the team through to win.Thats why India stopped their tv's after SRT got out. But I agree that the SRT is long gone. Hopefully SRT calls it after series against Aussies.

Posted by skkh on (December 21, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

Harsha says.. "I cannot anymore" would be an acceptance of defeat almost. Well there is denying Sachin's class and his achievements. But there comes a time when the body is slowing down, reflexes are not what they used to be and the eye hand coordination are that fraction less. Anyone denying this would be living in a fools paradise. Sachin finds himself in that stage where the mind is willing but the body says come on buddy it is time you hang up your boots.His tenure at the crease are slowly becoming an embarrassment for himself. One cannot play on past laurels and it is high time for Sachin to make a call

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

A generally excellent article by the wonderful Harsha, but please avoid using hyperbole where numbers are involved. Sachin's 100 international hundreds is a long way ahead of the next, but Ponting's 71 makes Sachin's record nowhere near twice the number of the next best. It's 40% more, which is still amazing, and needs no hyperbolic inflation to still look impressive.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Harsha - the only problem we fans have is we cant see him fail - more so the way he's been playing - we dont want humiliation for him - we all know & are aware that his best (viz. destroying warne) will not come back, but he needs to reprise to his original approach thats been a hallmark of his success. Look a Rajini will never succeed in a role meant for Amol Palekar.. wud he? Despite of all talking of his solid, defensive change in his batting approach; he was born to rule the bowlers; that is missing big time; his impact has gone; for batsmen of different styles.. the bowlers 'fear' their approach & impact, like India feared Cook (a Dravid like player), as it was original; but in recent times this is primarily missing from Sachin.. he is NOT being ORIGINAL, i believe he should take charge & Aim to dominate bowlers, whatever the scores - cant get worse than present, but he will be truer to his natural self, stature & more so will restore his own self confidence & ours as well! right?

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

This is a common trait with champions from sub-continent with a possible exception of Gavaskar, Srinath and Kumble who left when people ask why ? and not why not ? Sachin should go - no body is bigger than the game and he is way past his prime..

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

Good article. But Tendulkar scored 48 in the IPL 2010 final, not a fifty. I still remember him being caught off Jakati's bowling attempting a 50.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

hats off to u harsha,excellent

Posted by Centuries2020 on (December 21, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

OMG!!! How many articles has been published in cricinfo time since sachin failed with bat? How many comments has been posted in cricinfo by the readers for his retirement. It only shows how much this Man belongs to the Cricketing Arena. No more words from me. Simply WOW & RESPECT!!!

Posted by Akshay_mehta1 on (December 21, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

As always Harsha have written one of the best and most minded article on ST present situation. I would like to say we all die heart Indian cricket fan's should push for Harsha to be part of Indian cricket team future planning, this is guy who is following and writing about Indian cricket from so long and have an out of the box thinking attitude which can be used to get India back on track to be No.1

Hope Someone in BCCI sees Harsha as an brilliant administrator for Cricket in India … …

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

Last checked his ten greatest innings. Nothing superlative for a guy who has played nearly 200 test matches and over 400 one day matches. There are so many meaningless centuries. What a waste. Enough of his 23 years service. Even Pravin Amre has done a lot during his short stint. Once this guy retires the team can truely rebuild. It may take a while but at least winning will be the only motto. There wont be other distractions, like waiting for declaration until a guy hits his double century at his comfort.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Harsha what an timing for this brilliant article that truly takes you insight of a champion..Ur undoubtedly one of the most intelligent orator I have heard in long time..With Tendulkar bashing at peak this article could have gone awry with feedback questioning your own integrity as a writer..and boy you have managed it so well that you can only be in awe of this poetic piece you have produced..Aaj aapne mujhe kharid liye..Keep this gems coming..

Posted by scorpian19 on (December 21, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

SRT is a gem, but with the time, everyone nees to change. I think its up to SRT to decide that can he give more to indian cricket or not? and when he will find not much helpful to indian cricket. surely he will let go it

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

Indian cricket is bigger than one individual. He are a nation of heroworshippers. I completely disagree with harsha . Great players like gilchrist, warne and mcgarth retired in their peak. Our own Sunil Gavaskar made a century in his match. Gilchrist dropped one catch in the India Aus test series and he knew that his time is up.It is painful and embarassing to see this SRT who is a pale shadow of himself. Nor does it do any good to block a youngsters place- saw Rahane play some beautiful authentic cricketing shots in the pune T20 reminiscient of SRT himself.

Posted by Swanand_Kul on (December 21, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

Again nice article from Harsha. Harsha, is it not possible for you to discuss with Sachin about his retirement?

Posted by Biophysicist on (December 21, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

It is a pity that Sachin did not retire on a high when Inda won the 2011 Word Cup. He could at least have retired after his so called 100th international hundred (which is any way a stupid and meaningless way of conjuring up a new statistic!). Alas, people will now remember him for the much delayed retirement (as they are doing it now about Kapil Dev) as for his unparalleled accomplishments as a batsman. At least in Kapil's case there was the record of highest no of test wickets to cross, which any way did not stand for very long. But for Tendulkar there is no such record to break.

Posted by ns_krishnan on (December 21, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

@SouthPaw: " Even here, for example, you conjure up statistics like "twice the number of international centuries" when you have Kallis at a reasonably close 2nd in tests and someone else in ODI." That IS precisely the point. He has some close behind in Tests and someone else in ODIs. But put them together everyone falls distant. Although ODI runs are much easier than Tests, denying anyone credit for their ODI reocrds is not fair as for almost two decades ODIs have been more than half the amount of cricket played.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

he is great player ,he did too much for cricket ,he get many records ,if he trying to get another record like he want to do 200 test matches ,he should remember classy cricketrs dont follow the records.and i think this time he has no more skill to continue making runs,

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 5:29 GMT)

At this point SRT is not good enough for test cricket and I think against pacy attack or bouncier pitches he will struggle in ODIs as well. In IPL also one could see he was not at his best. Odd 50 here and there wont do. So he must be dropped and selectors must move on. No player is bigger than the game, no player is bigger than nation.

Posted by menonspeak on (December 21, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

Harsha I've followed Sachin from 1989 and he has given millions of us great joy and pride,there's no denying that.However its painful to see a great player scratching around just for the sake of records,it seems.For the last couple of years its been downhill at an alarming rate.We saw glimpses of the old Sachin in Australia but after that its all gone down.Its fair to say he should hang up his boots after a run a ball test ton in the next series and sign off in style.There's no point hanging around like Kapil dev did to get his world record.Maybe the record of 200 test matches is weighing up in his mind.This is what we say that he only plays for records and that's a fair assesment.

Posted by sjohn on (December 21, 2012, 5:22 GMT)

Contd...Ponting scored big against India (even if India's attack was weak) just about 12 months back.I feel like if someone were to brainwash them to make them believe that they're still just 28 or 30 they may bounce back without much difficulty. These players have overcome all the kinds of pressures and rigors associated with competitive cricket from their younger days but never had to deal with performance being gauged and scrutinized through a lens which focuses more on age than performance. This may have a telling effect on eroding whatever confidence left in them and cast doubts on their on selves.

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

While I've got bored of Harsha's articles, Ed Smith's one is a refreshing perspective.Just a year back in spite of Tendulkar not scoring big in Australia, everyone agreed Tendulkar was still batting well. And that was evident also in the way he made his runs with control until he got out to either a good ball or a careless shot. But I don't know if a player will suddenly lose his ability because of age in just a matter of few months. With age ones performances come under more scrutiny and the magnitude of a failure is magnified when one's old more than when one's young. This I guess puts a kind of pressure players are not used to until the fag end of their careers. I guess this may drain the whatever inherent confidence left in them. Ricky Ponting scored reasonably well in the recent shield matches he played before the test seines against South Africa. And against South Africa most of his dismissals looked like he were tentative and not sure of himself. Contd...

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

Sachin should first stop playing one day cricket and make him unavailable or even retire from one dayers ,if not he should not be selected for one day legs of both Pak and Eng series ,He can use that time to relax and should play his best against Australia and will retire with a ton or even a tripple

Posted by varunrallapalli on (December 21, 2012, 5:18 GMT)

Now many people are of the view that he should retire after playing atleast 200 tests...thats a wrong notion.. Sachin is not playing for a statistician's delight.. he is playing for the country. If he thinks that he cannot contribute to the team any more he should retire then and there.

Posted by BeatTheChamps on (December 21, 2012, 5:18 GMT)

The sheer number of articles about Sachin's retirement by Indian as well as non-Indian authors and the thousands of people discussing about it goes to show the importance of this man in world cricket. He has to go when it's time but cricket will definitely be a lot poorer without him. Winning matches single handedly or not, he definitely gave us the confidence that we can DOMINATE. A perfect idol not only for his cricketing skills but for being the person that he is.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

I had waited for Harsha to speak on this.. for long.. He has to earn his spot in the team.. More than that.. Sachin himself knew.. his 100th 100 was a selfish one.. India lost that match.. where he consumed 20-25 balls for his 10-15 runs in slog overs.. thus after completing his 100 he was trying to justify it that .. he did it for the nation.. but he knows the truth.. His best 100 was when he flew back from his dad's funeral.. & hit a ton.. & India won... that made people cry.. Sachin..is the greatest thg happened to Indian cricket.. but he shd realize.. its better to die.. then fade away like this..

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

Good article Harsha. I guess Sachin will play another 1-2 years. We will all love him to make those cover drives between fielders and those straight drives that will somehow miss the the wicket at umpire's side and will race towards the boundary and the leg glance a ball that was on the off side

Posted by xylo on (December 21, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Write all you want. But ask him to go and play in the Ranji Trophy and score some runs before expecting to be selected in the squad. You say champions get their exit timing wrong - I would like to remind you not-champions-according-to-you cricketers - McGrath, Warne, Murali, Hayden, Boucher retired leaving fans asking for more. And then there were those that realized that age was catching up, and did not want to be see as anything less of their calibre - Dravid, Laxman, Strauss, Lee. For almost all players, their team winning was more important, except for your 'champion' who has been a drag on the team for a long time. His fans were hoping that he would leave after his much-unnecessarily-adorned 100th 100 which tellingly came in a losing cause, but no. The champion wants more. Does the 'champion' field like his peer who recently retired?No. Does he bat well?No. Does he bowl?No. Does it look like he cares about the team?No. Does he block a new star from budding? Yes. 'Champion' indeed!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Harsha, we need people like you to govern our Sports arena. We need one ManmohanSingh to guide India Sport Arena.

Posted by TheOrestes on (December 21, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Can we have Harsha's articles on a daily basis? I just hate it when I reach the end of his every article ... Keep writing harsha :)

Posted by thespire on (December 21, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

As every other Indian ( maybe not all because our people tend to forget past very easily) i would like to see Sachin go on a winning note leaving a smile on everyone's face and reminding how he has transformed cricket in our Country.....is very hard to give up on something you are good at...just look at our politicians even though they are not good they still hang on and we give them lots of chances lol

Posted by YogifromNY on (December 21, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

Brilliant article, Harsha, and empathetic too. Spot on. Now, will this team of Indian selectors do what Kris Srikkanth's could not and would not?

Posted by Cricblogger on (December 21, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

Very intelligently written Harsha. I believe Tendulkar should have called it a day atleast 2 years ago. Its must depressing for him to see so many people talk about his retirement. But now he is in a dilemma, whether to retire now on a loosing note or to waite for a really nice knock to happen and then retire.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

I never thought Harsha,you too would be among those who would be carving for Sachin's retirement..! I really thought you would understand the kind of things the champion might have been going through. I PITY YOU

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

What an audacious, yet factual article. Champions are made by their desire to conquer. To give up that fighting spirit is like saying " I no longer belong" In Tendulkar's case, whether he is oon the cricket field or off the cricket field, HE WOULD ALWAYS BELONG. PERIOD ! Harsha Bgle has been around and has seen Tendulkar over the mystro's career, his ups and his downs, and if Harsha is surmising that the time has come for Tendulkar to think of hanging up his cleats, then we should listen to what the writer/commmentator is saying. Sachin you have entertauned the cricketing world beyond anyone's expectation, bowing out would make you a bigger hero.

Posted by DEV_ME on (December 21, 2012, 4:35 GMT)

Harsha, The Champions have to let go to remain the champions they once were. As Gavaskar has reminded time and again - Letgo when people ask WHY instead of WHY NOT ? In the cricketing world, I can think of only Gavaskar who knew when to let go then and today, Rahul Dravid did the same. Else one has to look around, Kapil, Azhar, Vengsarkar, Javed Miandad, and the list is long .... they all think that they can come back / stay on and weave the same magic .... One should only look at the PGA tour to see the fickleness of the top position - Tiger is now one of the top players but NOT the top player ... the champions keep changing - its almost seasonal. A player has to know when to take the bow ......

Posted by vineetkarthi on (December 21, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

Indian cricket's best chance to redeem itself is here and now. By not selecting Sachin and focusing on the future, the BCCI and Selectors would have taken a giant step towards restoring Cricket in India to its place of pride - on top, above everything else like cricketers, money, politics, etc etc. And if they muster the courage needed to take this gigantic step, everything else will become easy and simple. If Sachin helps the authorities concerned through the process, he would have proved his worth yet again, even when away from the field. I am a huge Sachin fan and hence would not like to see him give his detractors so many opportunities to take potshots at him.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

Lot of people have been baking their bread on Sachin pyre. Yet another article suggesting Tendulkar to go. I am no Tendulkar fanatic, but I know that he is not the top weakness in the team. He is just a part. People are not serious about taking the team in right direction. If they were they would never have brought Yuvi or Bhajji back, they would not have let Ishant lingered around for so long. They would have kicked Zaheer out long back (for his fitness) or at least would have tried to use him wisely (no T20 or ODIs). They would have been serious about Sehwag or Gambhir! They would have been thinking about replacing Dhoni as captain (although I don't see a possible replacement. But that is not the case. They wouldn't do that for off the field reasons. A mere presence of Sachin in the team brings lot of viewership than an Indian victory. Its bitter but true. This is what we are - individualists, hero worshippers. And don't bring that INTERNATIONAL runs etc - you are better than that.

Posted by warnerbasher on (December 21, 2012, 4:20 GMT)

What a pile of sentimental claptrap. He's not up to it. Has not been up to it for a year or so and should be out of the team. Who cares how many runs he scored in his career. He's played alot more games than anyone else so he should have scored more runs. Give me Punter or Lara any day. They played with the team in mind rather than personal glory.

Posted by srikanths on (December 21, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

Just as , there was never a greater sight and delight than watching Tendulkar bat, there has never been a greater pain in watching the great man struggle in the last series.NZ could have been a trial , but it was quite clear that reflexes are down. He should have retired after NZ. The steep downslide started from the second half of OZ tour.

I recently watched clippings of his innings of 171 in Chelmsford against Eng A against bowlers lile Onions, Tremlett and Braod , virtually an English test bowling attack. Clinical and thrilling if the combination can go together at all. I have always felt that the great man, ifso much media and fans pressure had not been there, if he had been left to play his batural game, could have achieved a lot more and would have provided even greater joy to his fans. But now, just can;t stand the sight of the genius struggling. I have been following cricket for a little over 40 years. Undoubtedly the best batsman in the last 40 years in my view

Posted by AbhiNaik on (December 21, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

The day SRT retires is the day Indian Cricket will R.I.P

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

Sachin will wait till the test series with Australia and if he still cant perform, he will retire for sure

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

very true ..very well articulated

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

Fabulous! Gem of an article. The best you have ever posted. Love, Respect Harsha.

Posted by BDforever on (December 21, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

I still rate Tendulkar as a flat track bully though he's not bad as Sehwag

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

Records, money, and other benefits of playing the game are the factors that make him prolong his career at the cost of team, country, and other young players. He is opportunistic enough to capitalize on the unconditional support of the Indian fans and media. He failed against New Zeeland, and before the series against he said, he will take it series by series. He totally failed in this series. So, What is meant by taking series by series. Now, he wants to complete his 200 test matches, and Harsh Bhogle too wants that him to achieve like many other fans do. It he did not have this support, he would not have compiled so many records. Compare him to other players in the same number of matches, you will find that there are handful of batsmen who are having better records than him. He possess all those records because of longevity in his career. Such players either stepped down just at the hint of dip in performance or they were asked by their Board to go.

Posted by niteshpanchal on (December 21, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

Thanks Harsha for your article,

But the truth is that he is not the best anymore that you also have to accept about Sachin, also please look outside in the other world where so many young cricketers are waiting to get a chance to play for India & deliver the same, in the sports you can't deliver all the time & nobody is greater than the game. He had his past with him. I have watched his last few games & he is struggling a lot. He also knows that he is not the same anymore. Sachin, he is also a common person with great ability to deal with the game of Cricket. Ónly way to come up for him to change his technique which he is failing to do that. His basics are not that great anymore.His back leg is not moving anymore, he has to suffle a bit with his back leg so he can score some runs...

Please start looking around for another youngster who can fit in his boots... Cheers.

Posted by imeismail on (December 21, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

I have spent time sitting in office on a busy schedule day to read it completely-> then register an account with cricinfo-> and let Harsha know that possibly, i was the first one to read this... and this has been superbly written, or I would say superbly expressed...

There may come a day when a batsmen overtakes Tendulkar in all sorts, but never will come a sportsman who brought smiles to so many comman man so many times

Regards, Ismail

Posted by SouthPaw on (December 21, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

Harsha - this is better than most of your posts, at least you don't analyze cricket! The main thing however is that champions don't necessarily have leadership skills - those skills that tell you it is time; and this champion doesn't seem to have it. Therefore the very same fans who were presented with the greatest artistry are now being forced to witness mediocrity. For the champion, though, it is not evident. footnote: You media guys are to blame some for these situations. Even here, for example, you conjure up statistics like "twice the number of international centuries" when you have Kallis at a reasonably close 2nd in tests and someone else in ODI.

Posted by SShriniwas on (December 21, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

Iam not fan of SRT.But there r numerous situations where he made INDIA proud.ABOUT RETIREMENT OF SRT i feel one can not suggest to him,bcz v r just loving the sport but v really never played it...as far as former cricketers comments r considered it is upto SRT how much feed back his right brain takes..bcz if SIR VIV asks him to stay and SUNNY says to go then to whom will he respond?NO HUMAN BEING CAN ESCAPE FROM TIME...SRT is no exception ...GOD(NOT CRICKET GOD) KNOWS THE TRUTH BUT WAITS...

Posted by simonviller on (December 21, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

I think Tendulkar is that player who knows what's best for him . He still has the skills to continue making runs ,but it's the negative pressure being placed on him that's affecting him .After all he is still human and is subject to failure at some time . I wish that this great guy could continue for ever , cricket needs more Tendulkrs ,but all good things must come to an end . Tendulkar the gentleman,sportsman and superstar I wish nothing but the best for you at the crease until you decide to retire .

Posted by deepak_sholapurkar on (December 21, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

A very honest Article about Sachin at current phase of his carrier

Posted by N.Sundararajan on (December 21, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

N. Sundararajan from Chennai Brilliant Harsha ! I only hope the money-minded BCCI, the "Yours obediently" selectors, and the non-cricketing President of BCCI understand the sense of what you have said. Tendulkar should go on a high---it is sad and hurtful to see such a champion struggle, and to have ordinary mortals talking badly about him. Ricky Ponting has done right, Rahul and VVS have done right, Kumble did right, and Sachin still seems to live in illusion. What more is there to achieve? Let him not continue to be fodder for mindless critics ! Sachin, please retire rather than selectors advising you to ! Hats off for what you have done !

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

His place in the cricket world, till such time as there is a world, is unchallenged. - haha, there are many better players who have actually helped their teams win.. they are the true champions.

Posted by TheJake on (December 21, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

Good article Harsha, but you might want to check your stats: Sachin's number of international centuries are nowhere near "twice as many as the next best," which is Ricky Ponting with 71.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (December 21, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

Tendulkar is not particularly out of form. Not like what Ponting was. Tendulkar scored a half century this series, for heaven's sakes! Let's wait until he is actually out of form and then consider whether he needs to go. Right now he is still in the top 6 best batsmen in India, on current form.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2012, 3:25 GMT)

truth is if anyone played that long, we would have similar stats. So good thing about sachin is not his genius but his longevity

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

Well said, but some champions are wise enough to know when to leave. Shane Warne is one of them. They leave when they know they're past their best, but people still love them. In the case of Tendulkar, it's come to a point where people will be okay if he leaves the game now. That's what makes it so sad. If he'd retired after the world cup, people would have been asking him to come back.

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Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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