March 24, 2013

Why Tendulkar must retire now

Like the other great Bombay batsmen of the past, he should time his exit right. It can't get better than ending with a series against Australia
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In December 1951, after a Test match against England in New Delhi, the founder of the Bombay School of Batsmanship retired from international cricket. Vijay Merchant had scored a flawless hundred, and yet he chose to hang up his boots (and his bat). When a friend asked why, he said he didn't want to wait for the time when people would ask: why not?

Merchant was the greatest Indian batsman until the arrival of Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar grew up hearing stories about Merchant at the crease. Merchant had played for India with Gavaskar's uncle, Madhav Mantri, and it was Merchant who selected Gavaskar to play for India. When the time came for Gavaskar to leave the game, he chose the method laid out by his mentor. In the winter of 1986-87, Gavaskar played what he, and many others, regarded as his best-ever Test innings, against Pakistan in Bangalore. Later that year he retired, after batting well (and surprisingly briskly) through most of the 1987 World Cup.

The Bombay School of Batsmanship features many high hills and three mighty mountains: Merchant, Gavaskar, and Sachin Tendulkar. In choosing his moment of departure, will Sachin be as wise or as lucky as his predecessors? There was, in fact, a moment, in the fairly recent past, when he could have gone, to universal acclaim and the highest of honours. To be more specific, if Sachin had retired after the 2011 World Cup, which India won in part because of his 85 against Pakistan in the semi-final, he would surely have been honoured with the Bharat Ratna.

But he played on, a decision no one begrudged him, for he was batting well. In the two years since, though, his game has slipped. While touring England and Australia he batted well only in patches. Against New Zealand and England at home he was bowled far too often for a player of his genius. He went back to the Ranji Trophy, rediscovered some of his form, and has batted moderately well in the series against Australia currently underway. This prompts the question: should he retire at the end of this, the fourth and last Test of the series?

Every Indian cricket fan claims a special kinship with Sachin. Mine is this: he made his Test debut in 1989, and we acquired a colour television in the same year. Ever since, I have had my life enriched by the magic of Sachin Tendulkar at the crease. I have watched him bat many times live, and many other times on the box. I have marvelled at the range of his strokeplay, at his commanding control of both the Test and the one-day game, at his extraordinary ability to master different wickets, grounds and bowling attacks, and above all at the cool authority and understated calm with which he has borne, for this past quarter of a century, the absurdly inflated and sometimes maniacal expectations of millions of his countrymen.

Although I have followed him closely since 1989, I have never spoken to Sachin. We have not even ever been in the same room. Those who have think that he might yet be tempted to go to South Africa so that he plays 200 Tests (he is currently two short). Others speak of the ecosystem of sponsors, supporters and plain old-fashioned chamchas (hangers-on) who will not let him go. To this we must add the tendency of most sportsmen, indeed most men, to think that they alone are ageless, that the attritional forces of biology and history do not operate on them with the same intensity as they would on other mortals.

Even if Sachin does badly in South Africa, his standing among the fans will remain intact. Even so, I think that now is the time for him to go

The British writer Enoch Powell, himself a long-serving Member of Parliament, once remarked that all political lives end in failure. This is mostly true. Politicians tend to stay on far too long for the good of their reputation (and the good of their country). Winston Churchill should have retired as soon as the Second World War ended. Instead, he contested and lost the elections of 1945, coming back a few years later in his dotage, to serve a disastrous last term as prime minister.

Closer home, had Manmohan Singh left public life in 2009, at the completion of his first term as prime minister, history - and the people of India - would have remembered him very differently.

In this respect, sportsmen are somewhat luckier than politicians. Their fans tend to remember their best days, not their decline. The fact that John McEnroe won no major tournaments in his last few years as a player has not stopped us from remembering him as the most gifted shotmaker of his generation. That Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman batted so poorly on their last tour will not stop us from being grateful for all they did for and in front of us.

By this token, even if Sachin does badly in South Africa, his standing among the fans shall remain intact. Even so, I think that once this Delhi Test ends it will be the time for him to go.

Throughout his career it has been the rivalry with Australia that has been definitive, for him and for the cricketing history of the world. From those two brilliant hundreds on his first tour Down Under, to the superlative 155 in Chennai that demolished Warne and won a series six years later, to those magnificent one-day innings he has played against Australia in various countries, the image one carries - and will carry to one's grave - is of a little man with a flashing bat taking on a pack of tall, fearsome Aussie fast bowlers and their even more deadly wristspinning companion as well.

When Sachin went in to bat for the first time in the present series, the game hung in the balance. Australia had posted an impressive first-innings score (350-plus), while India had just lost two quick wickets. Sachin hit the dangerous James Pattinson for three boundaries, forcing Michael Clarke to take the bowler off. Those strokes reassured Sachin's partner, Virat Kohli, and together they steadied the innings, preparing the way for MS Dhoni's savage onslaught the next day.

Had Sachin fallen early in that first Test, however, the series may well have turned out differently.

In the event, India won that Test easily, and the next two as well. As I write this, on the second afternoon of the final Test, the match lies slightly in India's favour. But whatever happens over the next three days, we know for sure that in this series the mighty Australians have been vanquished. A group of fine young batsmen - Pujara, Kohli, Vijay, Dhawan - groomed and inspired by Sachin himself, are scoring runs regularly and with assurance. Therefore, at the end of this Delhi Test, Sachin Tendulkar should do a Vijay Merchant and retire from international cricket.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Pinarsh255 on | March 25, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Once again a great article sir. Neither an unconditional praise nor a full page brutal criticism. Perfectly balanced article as the stance of Sachin.

    Lets accept that he did not time his ODI retirement as he times his drives. I cannot blame him if he feels the urge to retire as a hero, scoring a double ton against the best bowling attack. He is also a human. But as Dravid said one can not plan a fairytale story. The last thing a Sachin fan wants to see bowlers like Lyon, Boult breaking his defence. I can not bear the sight. Make the call now. You have made us proud. You have given us hope, respect, smile. Nothing remains to be achieved. 200 tests is just a number. You don't need any more numbers. India has found the gen-next batsmen. They are eager to cement their places. Do not make life difficult for the selectors. If not now, then when? If not you, then who?

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    1145 Runs from 21 test matches at an average of 31.80 without any centuries.

    This is Tendulkar's test batting record for the last two years. From March 2011 till now. His overall average has gone down by more than three points in the mean time. It was 56.94 then and 53.86 currently.

    Now, keeping the numbers and stats aside and going by match scenarios, it is clear that it is not just lack of form or touch. But, a clear decline of reflexes that is evident from the high percentage of bowleds and LBWs in this period (The fact that, he is still scoring hundreds with ease in Ranji matches only confirms this point as his reflexes are still good against lesser bowling attacks compared to International standard)

    The greatest batsman India has ever produced, without any doubt. However, now it is the time to call it a day for sure.

  • POSTED BY Dhanno on | March 24, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Mr. Guha thanks for a nice article. The Bombay school of batsmanship and hwo it molded more than a generation of batsmen.

    I was too young to understand cricket, but still felt compelled to ask why Gavaskar is retiring (he had just scored a 100 in ODI, taking india to WC semis?). 100 was a big deal then, I was also told that was his first in ODI and that the guy is genius in test (as much a 6-7 yr old can understand those things). So it looked surprising he was retiring. Then came the curly haired boy from mumbai, about whom everyone was speaking highly, almost dismissing that legend who had retired barely 2 years ago. They said this boy, who had barely finished is 10th grade would go on and break all the batting records in coming years. I do not believe there has been such a prophesy about a sportsman before he made even debut. It was magical 15-20 years and it did turn true. Hope SRT sees this from our eyes takes the right decision.

  • POSTED BY Sir.Ivor on | March 24, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    I myself have watched Sachin Tendulkar's evolution from his school days through excellent Ranji,Duleep and Irani debuts to international baptism by fire against Imran,Wasim and Waqar. I saw all the while how much he loved the game. For such a man, I reckon it is painful to just hang his boots like Merchant and Gavaskar did when still playing well. I have watched Sachin for most of the 24 years that he has been around. I watched him more in the exciting possibility of another masterpiece from him. Not the kind of reassurance that someone like Gavaskar or Amarnath or Dravid brought. I saw first hand the 96 Gavaskar scored against Pakistan in Feb 1987 on a vicious turner against Iqbal Qasim and Toufeeq Ahmed. It was his last Test innings. Yet he made the kind of adjustments to score those 96 invaluable runs. Yesterday, I expected Sachin to play a similar innings. It was not to be and I was left very disappointed. With his uncertainty. I felt it was time for him to say good bye.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | March 27, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    Mr. Guha, The Fans & the Journalists may have their own opinion on Sachin's retirement. But Sachin himself must decide when he is ready to retire. In my opinion, he should have retired after India returned from Australian with 4-0 white wash. SRT is a legend like Wayne Gretzky was in the Ice Hockey. But sadly, age catches up with all of us. It is especially important for the Legends to quit so that people remember you for what you were at your peak. By staying on past your best years, you leave memories of a washed out batsman. SRT's Test average has dipped at least 4 points over the past 2 years & is still dipping! India has lot of talent in guys like Pujara, Kohli & Tiwary to take the spots vacated by Dravid, SRT & Laxman. There is also a new generation of younger guys like U.Chand (20) + others like R.Sharma, Raina, Rahane, in the middle order. SRT has achieved all the records & there is nothing more to be gained. Our life itself is a Game of Cricket - SRT, so lets play the Game!

  • POSTED BY bailey8210 on | March 27, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    hi its going to be sad to see sachin retire but his outstanding record wont be beaten for a long time we will miss him. one thing i would like to see is if anyone was to replace sachin it would have to be rohit sharma the young man needs the opportunity and this would be the only indian cricket could move on and win games over seas that would be with rohit sharma.

  • POSTED BY on | March 27, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    Perhaps the 2 tests spanning the same dates showed why. While in one his reputation influenced the umpire, apparently the reason why his camp (read he) objects to DRS, the other witnessed some drastic reviews, but for which the big chase for draw would have ended in a result, yet a dull one (most such chases end midway as they put umpires under extra pressure). It's another matter Oz's inability to capitalize on such breakthroughs may still have left them in trouble. He of course had once had his share of bad luck with umpiring , but that's no excuse for leaving Hugheses, Cowans, Pujaras or Kohlis at the mercy of instinctive umpiring when technology is available. It's horrible feeling when you see a drastic decision was just a howler.

  • POSTED BY Smithie on | March 26, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    There is one most compelling reason why he must retire now. So that all of the cricket world can have consistency and use DRS in all ICC Test Nation matches. His reluctance to support DRS has been a blot on his impressive career. Hopefully his retirement will allow Srinivasan to save face and support DRS fully.

  • POSTED BY on | March 26, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Dear Sir, i am agree with you but i think indian batsmen have proved themsleves in indian conditions. In SA and NZ they have to face the seaming and bouncing conditions, in such case they require the experience of Sachin I believe for their motivation Sachin must retain in team, and irrespective of any result their he should retire from cricket after that. But any way master has made us proud so, Cheers for Sachin

  • POSTED BY henchart on | March 26, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    SRT is his own worst enemy or at least is becoming so.Where are those booming extracover drives,use of feet to smother spin ,ferocious pulls,deft cuts?Probably in old videos ,repeatedly aired on Channels.SRT has to overhaul his approach to give one last fillip to his career.I guess he wont play another test in India.SRT is going the Kapil not Gavaskar way into retirement.People were asking when would Kapil break Hadlee's record and pave way for Srinath whereas masses were left yearning for more of Gavaskar after his superb 96 on a crumbling pitch at Bangalore.

  • POSTED BY Pinarsh255 on | March 25, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Once again a great article sir. Neither an unconditional praise nor a full page brutal criticism. Perfectly balanced article as the stance of Sachin.

    Lets accept that he did not time his ODI retirement as he times his drives. I cannot blame him if he feels the urge to retire as a hero, scoring a double ton against the best bowling attack. He is also a human. But as Dravid said one can not plan a fairytale story. The last thing a Sachin fan wants to see bowlers like Lyon, Boult breaking his defence. I can not bear the sight. Make the call now. You have made us proud. You have given us hope, respect, smile. Nothing remains to be achieved. 200 tests is just a number. You don't need any more numbers. India has found the gen-next batsmen. They are eager to cement their places. Do not make life difficult for the selectors. If not now, then when? If not you, then who?

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    1145 Runs from 21 test matches at an average of 31.80 without any centuries.

    This is Tendulkar's test batting record for the last two years. From March 2011 till now. His overall average has gone down by more than three points in the mean time. It was 56.94 then and 53.86 currently.

    Now, keeping the numbers and stats aside and going by match scenarios, it is clear that it is not just lack of form or touch. But, a clear decline of reflexes that is evident from the high percentage of bowleds and LBWs in this period (The fact that, he is still scoring hundreds with ease in Ranji matches only confirms this point as his reflexes are still good against lesser bowling attacks compared to International standard)

    The greatest batsman India has ever produced, without any doubt. However, now it is the time to call it a day for sure.

  • POSTED BY Dhanno on | March 24, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Mr. Guha thanks for a nice article. The Bombay school of batsmanship and hwo it molded more than a generation of batsmen.

    I was too young to understand cricket, but still felt compelled to ask why Gavaskar is retiring (he had just scored a 100 in ODI, taking india to WC semis?). 100 was a big deal then, I was also told that was his first in ODI and that the guy is genius in test (as much a 6-7 yr old can understand those things). So it looked surprising he was retiring. Then came the curly haired boy from mumbai, about whom everyone was speaking highly, almost dismissing that legend who had retired barely 2 years ago. They said this boy, who had barely finished is 10th grade would go on and break all the batting records in coming years. I do not believe there has been such a prophesy about a sportsman before he made even debut. It was magical 15-20 years and it did turn true. Hope SRT sees this from our eyes takes the right decision.

  • POSTED BY Sir.Ivor on | March 24, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    I myself have watched Sachin Tendulkar's evolution from his school days through excellent Ranji,Duleep and Irani debuts to international baptism by fire against Imran,Wasim and Waqar. I saw all the while how much he loved the game. For such a man, I reckon it is painful to just hang his boots like Merchant and Gavaskar did when still playing well. I have watched Sachin for most of the 24 years that he has been around. I watched him more in the exciting possibility of another masterpiece from him. Not the kind of reassurance that someone like Gavaskar or Amarnath or Dravid brought. I saw first hand the 96 Gavaskar scored against Pakistan in Feb 1987 on a vicious turner against Iqbal Qasim and Toufeeq Ahmed. It was his last Test innings. Yet he made the kind of adjustments to score those 96 invaluable runs. Yesterday, I expected Sachin to play a similar innings. It was not to be and I was left very disappointed. With his uncertainty. I felt it was time for him to say good bye.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | March 27, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    Mr. Guha, The Fans & the Journalists may have their own opinion on Sachin's retirement. But Sachin himself must decide when he is ready to retire. In my opinion, he should have retired after India returned from Australian with 4-0 white wash. SRT is a legend like Wayne Gretzky was in the Ice Hockey. But sadly, age catches up with all of us. It is especially important for the Legends to quit so that people remember you for what you were at your peak. By staying on past your best years, you leave memories of a washed out batsman. SRT's Test average has dipped at least 4 points over the past 2 years & is still dipping! India has lot of talent in guys like Pujara, Kohli & Tiwary to take the spots vacated by Dravid, SRT & Laxman. There is also a new generation of younger guys like U.Chand (20) + others like R.Sharma, Raina, Rahane, in the middle order. SRT has achieved all the records & there is nothing more to be gained. Our life itself is a Game of Cricket - SRT, so lets play the Game!

  • POSTED BY bailey8210 on | March 27, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    hi its going to be sad to see sachin retire but his outstanding record wont be beaten for a long time we will miss him. one thing i would like to see is if anyone was to replace sachin it would have to be rohit sharma the young man needs the opportunity and this would be the only indian cricket could move on and win games over seas that would be with rohit sharma.

  • POSTED BY on | March 27, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    Perhaps the 2 tests spanning the same dates showed why. While in one his reputation influenced the umpire, apparently the reason why his camp (read he) objects to DRS, the other witnessed some drastic reviews, but for which the big chase for draw would have ended in a result, yet a dull one (most such chases end midway as they put umpires under extra pressure). It's another matter Oz's inability to capitalize on such breakthroughs may still have left them in trouble. He of course had once had his share of bad luck with umpiring , but that's no excuse for leaving Hugheses, Cowans, Pujaras or Kohlis at the mercy of instinctive umpiring when technology is available. It's horrible feeling when you see a drastic decision was just a howler.

  • POSTED BY Smithie on | March 26, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    There is one most compelling reason why he must retire now. So that all of the cricket world can have consistency and use DRS in all ICC Test Nation matches. His reluctance to support DRS has been a blot on his impressive career. Hopefully his retirement will allow Srinivasan to save face and support DRS fully.

  • POSTED BY on | March 26, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Dear Sir, i am agree with you but i think indian batsmen have proved themsleves in indian conditions. In SA and NZ they have to face the seaming and bouncing conditions, in such case they require the experience of Sachin I believe for their motivation Sachin must retain in team, and irrespective of any result their he should retire from cricket after that. But any way master has made us proud so, Cheers for Sachin

  • POSTED BY henchart on | March 26, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    SRT is his own worst enemy or at least is becoming so.Where are those booming extracover drives,use of feet to smother spin ,ferocious pulls,deft cuts?Probably in old videos ,repeatedly aired on Channels.SRT has to overhaul his approach to give one last fillip to his career.I guess he wont play another test in India.SRT is going the Kapil not Gavaskar way into retirement.People were asking when would Kapil break Hadlee's record and pave way for Srinath whereas masses were left yearning for more of Gavaskar after his superb 96 on a crumbling pitch at Bangalore.

  • POSTED BY on | March 26, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    This article is laughable!! To think Dhawan, Vijay, Dhoni would score like they did in this series when India tours SA or Aus would be foolish. When is the last time an Indian batsman other than Sehwag played an innings like Dhawan's outside of India?? Sachin should retire, but he should wait till the SA tour atleast - the youngsters would benefit tremendously from his words of wisdom when touring outside of India!!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 26, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    Importantly, Tendulkar's value to the team goes beyond stats & charts. "Sachin Paaji" is a pillar of strength. His reassuring presence brings out the best in his young teammates. Shikhar Dhawan said: "Sachin Paaji told me to be gutsy" as he received his test cap from the senior man. Shock & Awe! Was he "gutsy" with his breakout 187! We saw stellar performances from Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Jadeja & Ashwin. Dhawan & Kumar are promising rookies. But can they perform at the same level overseas, especially SA? Can they step up & fill the void left by Rahul, VVS, Zaheer & possibly Viru & Bhajji? Can the team handle the pressures of a tough SA tour with a young side? As we well know, fortunes can turn adversely with injuries, fatigue, personnel issues, not to mention alien conditions & pitches! Can Dhoni lead alone? That's where his "sporting hero" Sachin Paaji could help. At this critical transformational stage, it's something for Sachin to ponder, one more time. He'll make the right choice!!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 26, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    Guha - Tendulkar has said he will consider his options, series by series. The next series is in SA. The choice is his. He'll surely consult with his innermost circle of trusted advisers, family & friends. The biggest question will be: Is Team India back on its feet to go without him? Or does it need him one more time? No easy answers. First & foremost is his fitness & form. By all accounts, he still qualifies in the top XI. Yes, his performance may have declined from his lofty standards, but he's got enough in the tank to justify a place in the playing XI. As Guha attests: "Had Sachin fallen early in that first Test, however, the series may well have turned out differently"! Yes, his 81 & partnerships with Pujara & Kohli, after a poor 2 for 12 start, set the stage for Dhoni & Kohli to drive the big 1st innings lead & win. He also had useful partnerships in Mohali & Delhi in the early stages of the game. It's crucial to build an innings through good partnerships. And Sachin can do it!

  • POSTED BY krahuls on | March 26, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    No, Mr. Guha. I do not think it is right time to retire for Sachin. Sachin is a team man and if he would have been selfish, he would have retired after the World Cup on a high but he has a job to finish and that is to groom teh next set of young batsman and cricketers. He has a big role to play in Indian Cricket to groom th eyoung talents like Pujaras, Kohlis, Rahanes and Sharmas (Rohit). I wlould want him to go SA and play his natural insticts - attack the best SA bowlers so that other young batsman can play their innings. On a lighter side, reading your article, it makes me wonder whether Tendulkar waiting for the next Mumbai batsmanship to cement and then retire... are you listening Rahane and Rohit?

  • POSTED BY on | March 26, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    sachin said his idol is vivian richards. the former west indies great in his later years was repeatedly getting out 2 bowlers he would have smashed out of the park in his hey days,but he refused 2 retire until the selectors were forced 2 drop him. hope sachin does'nt copy his idol in this aspect.

  • POSTED BY on | March 26, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Sachin has done many things rendered impossible by commoners. To bounce back in 2007-08 and adjusting so beautifully to changing physique and reflexes was equally delighting as his prime. Right now also we are witness to a great battle- Age versus determination and abilities. Can he pull it back once again? I fill if he is determined to fight, it is chance worth taking. 3 years having him play again easily outweigh the odds of so called failure or loss of opportunity to retire in dignity. I personally would like him to retire fighting every odds- be it form, age rather than passing to lure of dignity. He is fit, middling the ball,running hard and most of all enjoying the game. Burden of ODIs is reduced so he can still delight us in many ways. No one scored 200 in ODIs, no one scored 100 hundreds, can anyone play at 45? Can Mr Guha oblige us by going through record of Boycott, after 40, from history ? Surely if Boycott can do it in first-class, Sachin can in Tests.

  • POSTED BY gmsjgmsj on | March 26, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    Mr.Guha, though i'm an admirer of your articles, i was amazed to note that you too have joined the Sachin-must-go bandwagon. Why this haste to send him off? All agree that whatever Sachin may or may not score in the next set of test matches, he will still be in the pantheon of greats. So why this plethora of articles advising him to go? Did the media ask him to take to cricket, help him make his debut, coach him, stood by him when he went into bad form? Why do you people ask him to go now. Its HIS decision to go just like it was his decision to play cricket or debut against Wasim & Co in Pak.. Why do we need to goad him, harangue him to retire when he may still feel he can contribute more? Please leave him in peace to make the judgment by himself. All along his career he has been subject to a microscope. Allow him now to don that equipment. Please.

  • POSTED BY shaantanu on | March 26, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    You have given us many moments to savor.You have made many Indians happy in depressing days.when our team as a whole was poor but you were the saving grace.I respect you for that sir.....but every good things must come to an end eventually.We have put you in a pedestal unlike anybody else.Please dont disappoint us.Its time you left gracefully.Because you deserve it......you also need to leave gracefully because some else deserves to serve Indian cricket whose place you are occupying.I have been a fan of yours like most Indians.Please let me remain a fan always.i wont be able to bear seeing you fail more often than not n hear people critisizing you for your selfishness........Please leave when the time is right.I think you have already missed the time

  • POSTED BY Farce-Follower on | March 26, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    The Proteas must be loving this. Almost all of Sachin fans screaming that Vijay, Kohli and gang will fail in SA and thus SRT is most important. With such 'fans', India is headed for disaster in the future. Let me put this on record. Please pick SRT for Australia tour in 2019. He has a good record there.

  • POSTED BY on | March 26, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Dude - You say it again - retirement for tendulkar and I will personally see that you cannot say the word retirement again..!!

  • POSTED BY Kart_in_Quartz on | March 26, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    He s 2 tests short of 200... About 160 short of 16000 runs in tests... He can achieve the ideal double in South Africa and call it quits... Another milestone of a kind and a fittingly perfect end !

  • POSTED BY on | March 26, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    No disrespect but how does a person get to decide if Sachin has to retire?

    How does one fundamentally assume that he has a say in someone else's personal choice by doing an analysis on how people have retired in the past?

    If he is not in form he would not be selected. Rather the equation lies between him and the selection board which may perhaps be a separate discussion in itself.

    Statistics applies for a group of entities... not an individual entity!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 26, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Guha - Tendulkar is not Merchant. Tendulkar is Tendulkar, one in a billion! That's why Powell's "political lives end in failure" analogy is off base - like apples & oranges. Unlike Powell who self-destructed with his imprudent speeches, Sachin's phenomenal Staying Power over 23 years has defied all odds & gods. With integrity, loyalty & passion, he has pushed the limits of human performance. So are his past two years really "disastrous" (as Churchill's last term) that he should quit? The same man, Guha says, "would surely have been honoured with the Bharat Ratna" had he retired after WC 2011! The award is given for lifetime service to the nation! Guha's own timing is off. Just in January, he was pushing for a "Sachin Tendulkar Trophy" to commemorate & promote India-Pakistan cricket. Guha's rush to print this column is puzzling too. Look how the Kotla crowd treated Sachin: They wanted (local hero) Kohli out to see (international hero) Tendulkar in! Just wait, Guha!!

  • POSTED BY Manush on | March 26, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    Extending his stay is neither helping his image and tally nor the team with better performers. Please hang your boots before people write you off. Though out of context I must say Sehwag must be given a better exit for his contributions to Indian success and claiming to No.1 spot. Must be included for the SA tour.

  • POSTED BY perl57 on | March 25, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    Guha, I agree with you that Sachin should retire. But what is not coming out clearly is, who is resisting? Sachin or Dhoni and BCCI? Is BCCI still scared that they cannot tour SA without Sachin? I doubt. Is BCCI thinking too far ahead that Sachin must and should be there, that is the question. Ever since Merchant days, till Now Sachin, people have been talking of retirement. If people get a chance they always will speak of Murali Vijay's retirement. Sachin must and should retire. Now. But, let us see. This one man has always been THE DARK KNIGHT of cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    I am really surprised to read all these blogs… why cant we look at the other of the man who has done so much for Indian cricket.. being a captain when he never wanted… changing his batting positions as an when team needed (remember 1990's and early2000's??).. standing upto guys like Bal Thakrey on matters of nationalism.. this phase of his career is again "self less"… it has always been story of this little master.. it is always more then what meets the eye.. this is time when Indian needs him.. so called "transition" period is still not over.. ask murli vijays, pujaras and kohlis and they will tell you he is a guiding light to them.. or are we so hind sighted that we want batsmen like Dhoni (who himself do not deserve place in tests) to guide young indian batsmen.. we need him in South Africa or team will be in shatters.. and once team does well der, i am sure he would have done his work and said good bye…

  • POSTED BY Rajiv9979 on | March 25, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    People please stop talking about sachins retirement. You are not in his situation to judge, unless you have scored even half as much as sachin has. Is ther anyone who has done what sachin has? None right? S lets not judge him or speculate his retirement. Enjoy him and the game! Afterall he taught us to watch this game with so much love.

  • POSTED BY Dhanno on | March 25, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    @Ipsy. Thank you. That was very useful.

    Most runs in an over and highest strike rate. These are things test aficionados have been talking about for years. Truly thankful for your input.

  • POSTED BY uddeshmukh on | March 25, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    Although I agree to most of the views in this article....I do not think it is right for me or the author or for anyone to comment on Sachin's retirement. For Sachin, it has never been about himself. What has always come first is his Country and Team. He will take the decision at the time he feels it is right. And as fans, if we have to give him something it would be

    "Leave the Decision to Sachin and Respect it whenever it Comes".

  • POSTED BY krishna_j on | March 25, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    Guha - time for you to retire as well - when u are still on top

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    I completely agree with what you wrote.As hard as it may be for a fan like me, the fact is he should have retired from International Cricket after the world cup on a high. I believe the reason Sachin still is in the team is to make sure our team transitions properly from the likes of Dravid, Laxman, Sachin to youngsters like Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara. But, given the way our youngsters are playing it makes no sense for sachin to be prolonging the decision rather than giving more opportunities to youngsters such as Dhawan, Pujara.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Surprised to read some of the things about Mr. Gavaskar in your article. One, Mr. Merchant didnt select Sunil Gavaskar on his own, Mr. Merchant was Chairman and part of a committee who made the selection. Secondly, Mr. Gavaskar never rated or commented that his Bangalore innings was his best. He has often stated that his 57 at Old Trafford in 1971 was his best. From a historian of your repute, this bit of research or lack of it doesnt really reflect well.

  • POSTED BY vsssarma on | March 25, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    One way of measuring domination of a batsman is by looking at the percentage of runs he scored in the series he played. DON scored 12.68% of all the runs scored by all the batsmen in the series he played. Sachin scored 7.56% of all the runs in the series he played. Second to DON is Lara at 9.70 percent. Sachin's contemporaries like Sanga, Jayawardene, Cook, Kallis, Dravid, Amla, Graeme Smith have higher percetages. Sachin's best came against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY iluvunited on | March 25, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    Hummm...Mr. Guha's suggestion has elicited emotive responses that are so very typical of Indian psyche. As a player, passion and love for the game are necessary but what is more important is to be able to consistently contribute meaningfully to the team's cause. I have thoroughly enjoyed growing up watching one of the game's all-time greats and will be eternally thankful to Sachin for this. However I do believe it is time for him to say goodbye and not chase inconsequential records. He is undoubtedly the greatest batsman India has ever produced and will ever do so in a long long time to come. If he stays on he will only rob some deserving youngster from making a timely debut. The world will miss you, Sachin...sooner or later....no doubt about that...the choice is entirely yours...

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    Tendulker is all about records, and he is 2 tests away from being the first cricketer to have played 200 tests, and 27 matches from the first cricketer to have played 500 ODI. He is also 2 years away from being the oldest test cricketer to play test after Vinoo Mankad and 1500 runs away from being the first to 20,000 ODI runs. If Jayasuria retired when he was 42, so Tendulker can play another 10 years

  • POSTED BY Akanchi on | March 25, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    Many started watching cricket because of this man; many started playing cricket because of this man. Please don't forget those days when people would switch off their TV sets when Sachin gets out. After playing for 23 years it's not very easy for any individual to think or realize that the time has come. Moreover it's not good for the Indian team to have a whole new bunch of fresh blood in the camp. They can learn the behavioral ethics, only from these great people. So with due all respect let's give this master to go on till he wants. Thank you.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    Well...I totally disagree. Cricket maybe fun n game for you and me but for this man called the great "Sachin Tendulkar" it's his life. He understands the game better than you, me or anyother. For a great legend who has played for over 23 terrific years, it's absurd when someone suggests him to retire. So, the best person to talk about his retirement is he himself. What ever time he choose to retire that will be the best time. I think you must focus writing on the next gen player rather than writing on this kinda stuffs. Regards, Jagadish

  • POSTED BY acshedage on | March 25, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Guha - you are the best journalist. we read you understand you. but I am not getting why after winning each and every series we are discussing this topic? and do you really think we whomever we are have right to talk about his retirement. Cricket is not an article for him written on laptop while drinking the cold drink with AC of room is on. Cricket is far more for him that we normal, common people not going to understand. So just chill have some beer & enjoy 4-0 lead & let him play till he want. I bet there are more runs we are going to see from him. He will come with some new defense, some new shots & some new energy.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    "Sachin is probably the greatest cricketer India has ever produced. I don't think it is wise to sit and analyse his performance series wise," Srinivasan it is a good decision taken by Bcci Chief , Dear Sir Mr. Ramachandra Guha I am a Hardest fan of Sachin and (also I have named to my Son Sachin Nrupatunga) your fan and same I have read the your every article in Prajavani Kannada Newspaper. But this article very hard to accept Please, left the retirement decision to Great Batsman.,

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    Tendulkar's fitness is certainly FAR better than many in the team, especially guys like Ojha & Ashwin. Whether you arrange a 50 m or 100 m sprint, among Indian cricketers, he will be a 'front-runner', no doubt. Though not the winner. In spirit & drive to play for the country, he won't be behind any one. But the problem is with his batting -- for which he had been the best for many years. But no more. His physical prowesses (other than sprinting) have wained. Quit a few in the 'waiting list' are far better batsmen, AS OF NOW, and is likely to be so FOR FUTURE. We don't select a great player like Sachin for substitute fielding! Do we?

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    I disagree that the series would have turned out differently. Australia batted poorly against spin and that would not have changed. India batted well and thus won the series. Let Tendulkar come to SA for the tests. This is not India where the ball goes gunbarrel straight and players can just hit through the line from balls that only bouce waist high. Its gonna be a test for Pujara and co to do well in SA. PS. I lost my respect for tendulkar for not walking the day he edged the ball and did not walk. If you pretend to be honest then play honest.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    With all due respect to the Author and the article. I don't understand why people are so bothered about Sachin's retirement. If he knows to play cricket for the past 23 years, I am sure he would definitely know when to stop playing the game. Leave him alone, he is also an individual though for many he is God. Respect him for what he has done till 2011. I can see lot of people commenting on his performance after March 2011. Be happy that you were able to see a great batsman like him play. Don't blame him for what he has done in the past two years but respect him for what he has done till 2011. Thank you.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    Sachin should have retired on a high after WC 2011 victory, though he said if he had retired then, he would have taken away the limelight from The Cup to himself. However, I feel his fans are mature and would have bid him heartiest farewell. What is happening with him now, is really tough to see. I would not like to see Sachin being cleaned up by newbies every series. Hence, he should hang his gloves at least now, else it will be a fall of legend that no one would like to witness.

  • POSTED BY Princepurple1979 on | March 25, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    1998 : Warnie bowling; Sachin dances down the track and hits him for six. 2012 / 13 : Bowlers ; Lyon, Panesar, Swann ; Sachin plays like a rabbit in front of jackal, scared to come out of the crease and gets out LBW. What more you want to know that Sachin's time is up and he is now only blocking a youngsters chance! He needs to retire else the selectors need to develop a spine!

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    Many great sport persons will retire at the height of their career for fans to remember their peak. They do not choose a bad season to retire. Why should it be done. sachin has the guts and name to retire anytime he wants. He does not need recommendations from anyone. If he believes he has still cricket left in him, he will play. Kindly allow him to retire when he wants or if the BCCI has guts, let them drop him for lack of form or not scoring runs. When great cricketers even after retiring, they want to be a commentator or coach or manager for the team to be a part of Indian cricket team. Why Sachin the greatest, be as a player of the team.

  • POSTED BY KingKongIn on | March 25, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Mr Guha, I disagree with you! I want to see him play one more time one mre series...want to see him bat on 100 one more time ...and once he complete this one more....I'll desire again one more time, one more series and one more 100. we still enjoy watching him play...we don't want him to resign beacue he is 4o now...be we still enjoy when he play straigh drive, reverse sweep, paddle sweep, and some times pull shot.

  • POSTED BY Ahmed.Sharfuddin on | March 25, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Take your retirement and give chance to new guys mere bhai... many young talented players are not getting chance to prove their potential.....

  • POSTED BY NALINWIJ on | March 25, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    I AGREE WITH MR.GUHA THAT IT IS TIME FOR SACHIN TO RETIRE.REASONS ARE 1.declining form 2.Emergence and maturation of young successors to replace the fab four and SACHIN has helped INDIA in this transitional period and the job is done and Sachin has no farther obligations. 3.SACHIN has no more mountains to climb.4.There will be no glorious finish befitting a great career than defeating the greatest adversary 4-0 [note that BRADMAN retired after 4-0 win against England].

  • POSTED BY avb_sachin on | March 25, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    sir your information is well collected and well said. But one thing i can say from my experience is that if Sachin Tendulkar sir retires before South Africa series then surely INDIA will be in the same position as AUS is now. The proteas will beat us like we did aus.....

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    You're right, he should have gone after the World Cup. Sadly, too many people have been discussing when he will go for too long. He's like so many great boxers who came back and got humiliated and needs better advice.

  • POSTED BY McGorium on | March 25, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    @crazy_heads: I'm sure SM Gavaskar has the passion and desire to negotiate a skilled pace bowling attack too. Sachin has lost the physical ability to play at the highest level. He's seldom been a good player on day 4-5 tracks in the subcontinent, but his short stint at the crease yesterday (and earlier ones this series) revealed a man whose physical skills had deserted him; in fact they deserted him nearly 2 years ago. Anyone else would have been dropped a lot earlier (see Sehwag and Gambhir), but dropping SRT would mean that the TV viewership, advert revenue, and crowd at the stadium would drop in half. Sugar-water bottlers would lose their most prized endorser in India, as would MNC sport equipment manufacturers. After all, money talks. BCCI won't/can't drop him fearing major losses, and he's clearly not seeing the writing on the wall. All we can do is wait until his performances becomes so unbearably hopeless that he himself leaves; I expect he has at least some self-respect.

  • POSTED BY k.pandurangarao on | March 25, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Mr Guha wrote that Virat kohli was SACHIN'S partner when sachin came to bat for the first time in the series;where as the fact is it was cheteswar pujara who was at the other end when Sachin came to bat .

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    its already been too long......i.e. every 1 asking WHY NOT now for the last 2-3 series......so whenever he decides to quit (if not kicked out) it wont something like he's favoring indian cricket or the cricket world.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    I honestly do not know how playing on at the risk of dimishing your career average can be seen as selfish! Foolish, perhaps, selfish, definitely not! I also could not see why someone should not aspire for a lot of runs (or wickets)... it is after all going to reflect highly on his skills and as a professional he would be justified in showcasing them, is it not? Sachin's run rate had always been good enough (much better than the rest) and I do not see any merit in claiming his runs did not matter to India when, especially in tests, it is more often the bowlers who win matches...! India never had a fearsome attack for a long time now... many of Sachin's innings did not result in wins for India since he never had a good supporting cast (batting/bowling)... we started winning more when Dravid, VVS and Saurav come into their own... the collective batting ammunition of the fabulous four was enough to offset bowling inadequacies.

  • POSTED BY ozind95 on | March 25, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Sachin seemed to play as if he was having difficulty "seeing " the deliveries and this to me is vey negative approach for someone who hold most batting records .He should be going out to bat playing his natural attacking shots and that I feel will bring back his mojo.

  • POSTED BY HennopsRiverEnd on | March 25, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    No we want to see him for one last time here in SA and give him a proper send off that he deserves which the cricketing world is trying to deny him. Good man and great player.

  • POSTED BY GauravReddy on | March 25, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    It would be incredibly selfish of Sachin if he were to retire now having played through the entire home season. None of India's current top six bar him have played in South Africa or New Zealand and he needs to be in the team when India tours there.

  • POSTED BY sunil186 on | March 25, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Sorry to say this, but frankly we r not 1/10000000 th of SRT's standards in cricketing brilliance and excellence....leave it to the man. So no one here has the right to decide on SRT's retirement, no one.... including Mr. Ramachandra Guha...

  • POSTED BY raghoo1 on | March 25, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    I dont think anyone has the right to ask Sachin to retire. Sachin, and in fact any sports person, should decide on retirement for himself. However, the national selectors can and should decide to drop him. Going by Sachin's current form and the crop of talented youngsters waiting in line, I dont think Sachin deserves a place in the current team. He can retire when he wants, continuing to play for Mumbai / West zone or whatever team he can be picked into based on merit, in the meanwhile.

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | March 25, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    @gokul kenath : well said man , like you said he is scoring 100's in ranji ,so obviously his form is not bad , its just that age has finally caught up with the great man and to speak the plain truth he is simply not up to international standards anymore , he might play few more of those beautiful straight drives, cover drives and show sparks of his magical ability , but i don't think those big match winning 100's are going to come anymore. same thing happened to Ricky ponting too (he is still scoring tons of runs in domestic cricket)

  • POSTED BY philvic on | March 25, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    The Indian selectors must be praying he retires. He is now the weakest member of the Indian batting lineup but they cannot drop him because of his status. As an SA fan it would be good to have him in the Indian team for the tour in December, but as a cricket fan I think witnessing his downward spiral is rather sad.

  • POSTED BY Sitting-on-a-gate on | March 25, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    When Gavaskar in the past and Ganguly & Dravid retired, the question was "Why now?". When Kapil retired the question was "Why so late?". In the case of Tendulkar it is clear that he is a shadow of himself. It would be best if he retires now so that people will say - "He left with the team on a high".

  • POSTED BY Punters_Mate on | March 25, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    If it had been any other batsman than SRT averaging a tick over 30 for the last 2 years we would not be having the discussion. Preferential treatment? You bet and any one else with his recent form would have been long gone courtesy of the selectors doing their job. Didn't realise that he also picks the team.

  • POSTED BY princepoddar007 on | March 25, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    I think Mr. Guha has put it nicely, but with a sense of providing his own judgement (which might very well be biased). The bottomline is that what Sachin has given to the Indian Cricket and its fans, we are nothing more but lesser mortals to comment whether he should leave or not. He has always played for the team + for his love of cricket. While his love of the game may bias his decision, I think that's fine too for a person of his stature.

  • POSTED BY GRVJPR on | March 25, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    @ashik Sali Who is missing Sehwag, Laxman and Dravid?? All averaged below 30 in south africa. These youngsters will average better.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Mr. Guha, I thought you wrote recently against Sachin retiring. So, why this sudden change of stance?

    Sachin is clearly struggling at the crease. Why is he still hanging around? A great batsman like him should know when his time is up. It is sad that Sachin, coming from the State of Vijay Merchant and Sunil Gavaskar, does not know how to retire gracefully. Post his reirement, people will remember his struggles during his last few years than the many great innings that he played over the years. Remember what happened to Kapil Dev?

  • POSTED BY mickey76 on | March 25, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Team that India beat in the Test Series, Australia should be used asthe prime example of what happens when you have too many inexperience players in test team.having Sachin around for one more year will not hurt team India..Dhawan , Rahane has played 1 test each..M Vijay has hardly done anything out of India..Kohli,Pujara,Sachin and Dhoni are the only ones who have played outside of India.while Gambhir and Sehwag were woefully out of form.Please Suresh Raina is not a test player.Cricinfo could not wait to start the Sachin should retire crap..for team India Sachin being in the squad for one more year will only help and not hurt..youngsters are coming along nicely and you need grizzled veterans to help them along..

  • POSTED BY cricket_frenzy on | March 25, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    my guess- Sachin will call it quits after playing the SA series this year end. And i also think the,after the SA series, BCCI may invite a foreign team and may play the match in mumbai as a farewell match.

  • POSTED BY rajeshkrathor on | March 25, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    Hi, Thanks for this article but as you had saw Sachin called off for ODI at sudden, and all in the country is still in sock and still not recover from that and you are talking to give a heart attack to whole country. You can do a poll and will see the result that viewership is going down of cricket. People are not able to accept cricket without there Heros like DRAVID , LAXMAN, SAURAV, SEHWAG and now you talking for SACHIN too. If people will not watch matches then a good inning will only remain for commentators , media and writers like you.

    Most Important thing , you like drinking water since you born and suddenly some one came to you and said don't drink it then what you will think? Cricket for Sachin just like that and I don't think people like you try to advice him what and when to do?

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    It was good to see that this article as the last link related to this series and not forming the main headlines. If you guys can empathize with Sachin, people like you who have build so much pressure on him and created a situation such that the moment he fails there are talks about retirement, one of the big reason for his ordinary show than just his reflexes. To me the success of this series is a not a real measure of how we are going to do in SA, Eng and NZ without the likes of Tendulkar and Dravid. Something similar was done to Ponting, there more by the selectors, who came with such a form coming to SA series and fared so badly. And wee see now what happened to Australia. The no. 7 slot have not be sealed since the time Ganguly retired and we again go back to Raina and Yuvraj time and again. This is the bench strength we have. I feel we need Tendulkar in SA to guide the youngsters and contribute. And as for age, there are few names and the article's limit does not allow me to name.

  • POSTED BY Batmanian on | March 25, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    It would be a shame should India, having carried him for two or three years now, not carry him for two more Tests! It would be a waste of sentimentality. RSA are the best team in the world; worth opponents to go out against (this Australian team, with no Clarke, not so much...).

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    Ramchandra Guha is right of course It is time for Tendulkar to retire.However for Merchant there was the Hindustan Mills, for Sunil Gavaskar a long career in broadcasting but Tendulkar would rather play cricket than be seen in the Rajya Sabha. And who is the competitor for that middle order slot any way? Not Rahane from the look of it at whatever little opportunity one had to see him at the Kotla over the weekend.Not Raina.Only if Sehwag could get rid of some of his hubris.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Dont just count the team's success in sub-continent. We don't have Laxman and Dravid anymore in the team. This team with no seniors will be in confused state and will run out of ideas. Sachin's presence is more required on SA tour.

  • POSTED BY Dattakrupa on | March 25, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    Sachin will retire only after completing 25 years(silver jubilee) of international cricket which he will complete in 2014....He is also just 2 short of 200 tests which no international players have played.He is also 167 runs short of 16,000 test runs.All these 3 landmarks are making him to delay his returment in tests.

  • POSTED BY kapilesh23 on | March 25, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    But who will bat at number four. Kohli? would it be wise to put pressure on a youngster like Kohli who is slowly improving his test skills and experience. and thrust him with the pressure of batting at number four the place where the great Sachin batted. I don't think its good idea. If Sachin retires and kohli fails to make a difference at no.4 than everyone will go after Kohlis head and calling him no replacement for Sachin. Lets not put pressure on Kohli so soon. First he needs to become a permanent settled Indian Test player. I don't think Sachin should retire, only he can cope the pressure of no.4 even if he does not perform.

  • POSTED BY Ahamed_Dammy on | March 25, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Sachin scored the 50th and 51st ton in SA during India's last trip and saved us from the jaws of death to level the series against the mighty Proteas then.. I think without any senior's presence and despite being not in good form he shall travel one last time to SA and guide the Juniors ahead to handle the mighty pace attack.. He can call it quits once after the conclusion of that series... All the Best Wishes to the Greatest Player of All Time (All formats)..

  • POSTED BY SouthPaw on | March 25, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    Sachin should retire so that a deserving youngster can get the opportunity to play for India and make a mark. Who knows, the newcomer might even do better than Sachin, although we don't know it. Right now, Sachin is being totally selfish and denying a promising youngster an opportunity. Sachin should realize that the Indian team is not his personal franchise to think that he can "play as long as the passion is alive".

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    Sachin should go to South Africa to guide the younger players how to face the fiery Proteas pace bowlers. Doesnt matter if doesnt score runs there, but he should be there to help the youngsters

  • POSTED BY Farce-Follower on | March 25, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    The last time Gavaskar visited the West Indies he hit a century. So does it make him an ideal candidate for selection to a Windies tour. Most 'fans' rationalising Sachin's selfish motives seem to miss the point that it is India's performance that is more important than an individuals meaningless records.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Sachin should have retired after the 2011 World Cup but chose to play on selfishly. We must allow the youngsters to play with freedom and it cant happen with Sachin in the side. The greatness of all eminent cricketers is in the manner they choose to make their exit, Sachin has not shown that maturity till now.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    I dont think any of you even have the right to talk about sachin. He is not like any other player or batsman.. He is the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen.. He will know when to hang his boots as he did with ODI retirement. He thought India should prepare for next world cup and so he retired from ODIs. He has a reason behind playing Test cricket and i dont think you people didnt even play state level cricket and i know for sure you will talk with stats and blah blah blah..So, let him finish his career by himself and dont cry over it. And dont say that reason is anything regarding selfishness because if he was selfish, he wouldnt have retired from ODIs with 49 centuries if he was selfish and he would have played other T20 leagues for money rather than playing for India

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Yes. It has been a great series with India going up 4-0 against australia. If Sachin wants to retire, he would be going out on a high. However, if he wants to continue and play few more tests, he would be the first batsman to play more than 200 tests. definitely a stupendous achievement and also going out on a high.

  • POSTED BY vkolluri on | March 25, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Why should anyone hang up his boots when he's playing so well ? For me, that's a tad selfish although I understand what a proper exit means to players of such stature. If one is in good form and helping the team win matches, then he should continue for the sake of the nation, and not retire. Sachin's retirement - Well, he's the only senior batsmen left in the line-up, and the rest of the players preach him. We've always seen players telling media that Sachin helped me in decoding that bowler, or Sachin helped me understanding overseas pitches. We don't know what good he's doing to the young players in the Dressing room. We don't know how they are getting benefited by the presence of such a player. I agree that his performance is more important than all of these, but for a person who has done so much good to the Cricket by himself, and by inspiring tons of other players who we see in the line-up today - let him take the decision, and not suggest when and how he needs to retire.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    Sachin knows better than anybody else. Never been a huge fan of his, but still cannot help but admire his passion and commitment for the team. Look at the way he was shouting from the balcony when India annihilated Aus 4-0. He is unassumingly modest despite knwing the fact that nobody in the history of the game walked on to a cricket pitch with such enormity of cricketing talent and attitude as he has done for the past 24 years.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    Mr Guha... What sort of logic is that???

  • POSTED BY crazy_heads on | March 25, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    I can't comment on sachin retirement but watching the proteas rip thru the opponents with an all pace-swing-bounce attack I strongly feel sachin should be part of the team that tours SA. He may or may not score but he has the passion n desire to negotiate and fight...

  • POSTED BY drdatla on | March 25, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    hope sachin wont retire very soon,' am thorougly enjoying his pathetic show.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    A very untimely article on Sachin's retirement. He needs to go to SA especially we miss Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    I agree that its time Sachin called it a day from Test cricket...the next test series is so far away that it would be difficult for him to keep himself fit and motivated. I hope that he has a good IPL season...maybe even play some Ranji cricket next season for Mumbai...

  • POSTED BY JustAnIndianCricFan on | March 25, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    IMHO, its best left to the master to decide when its the right time to hang up his boots. I agree with all the stats provided here, but the burning desire to play for the nation and the satisfaction it provides for somebody like Sachin is unmatched. We could argue that his mind and body is aging and the delay in retirement is blocking an youngster to prove his worth, but his presence is also a morale booster. Trip to SA will be very challenging and we need somebody who has already been there to just provide that extra bit of support and comfort!

  • POSTED BY rabsusa on | March 25, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    I was praying that somehow the little master wud make that elusive last century - but alas like Bradman's last 4 runs it was not to be - please retire now,,,,,, its come time, we can all argue abt how long overdue it might or might not be, but now is the time. I agree with Gokul Kenath 's commentary - Any other batsman of these stats over the last 2 years would have been dropped a long time ago, hang up your boots & enjoy retirement ST, i d hate to see those cheers turn to boo;s & jeering that wud be very sad!

  • POSTED BY S.Seshachalam on | March 25, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    SRT has achieved so much for Indian cricket. The hard fact is now his time is up and he looks totally out of place in Team India which currently boasts of young energetic performers. Let him not block deserving youngsters from debuting. Imagine if Dravid, Dada and VVS also would have continued the same way like SRT. We would not have seen the emergence of the current crop of performers and India would have definitely lost 4-0 to Australia!! When we lost 4-0 to Australia in 2011-12, there were several articles including the one from the present "straight drive" presider of Star Cricket that VVS must go!! Now why is he keeping quiet on SRT!! All our former cricketers including BCCI are really biased applying different yardsticks for different people. For South Africa the selectors should ensure that none of the old players who were dropped during the australian series are picked!. Also SRT has to be dropped if he does not retire by then. He can accompany the team to SA as a mentor.

  • POSTED BY GHemrajani on | March 25, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    I would like Tendulkar to play another 2 years till his average drops below 50. An average of 50 is considered as the dividing line between a great versus a good player. At least, his average less the runs against the lesser known countries (minnows) will surely fall below 50 bringing him down to just a good player in statistical records. Then Dravid and Gavaskar will surely rank above him in terms of greatness.

  • POSTED BY Cricket_apostle on | March 25, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Who apart from pujara and kohli has some remote chance of surviving savage spells of steyn and morkel? not to forget philander .The one match old dhawan or the man in form vijay? we all know how dhoni bats outside subcontinent. Dhoni for all the talent he has got, struggles to be the street smart batsman he is in fast pitches. The team needs Sachin one more time. Replacing him with rahane will be like throwing the poor benchwarmer to a pack of wolves. He will be like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

  • POSTED BY randyfrmcan on | March 25, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    I dont understand why people is so anxious about his retirement. Sachin knows his game. He will be having more targets to achieve from cricket or may be guiding the youngsters to settle down.So we dont know what exactly his role in the team and I believe he is preparing for something big in South Africa. May be he is looking for a test series victory at South Africa some thing which India has not achieved yet.I still believe he have something really big to deliver for his team and nobody have the right to say on his retirement.Its not easy to understand his dedication to cricket for anyone else .So I suggest to let him play his game in SA rather than giving him pressure by highlighting his current averages or his age

  • POSTED BY Cricket_apostle on | March 25, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    All of you asking for sachin's head..yes i do understand many of you adores him and respects him..but please..you are the biggest hypocrites...you still sit on the edge of your seat when he walks in to bat..you are not all that dissapointed when the number#2 gets out because a part of your heart craves to see him bat..craves to see him score another century..you are more tensed when he is in the 70's and not when pujara is on 99...yes his form has declined..but he still is good for test cricket..he did find form in the ranji trophy . now you might argue that bowling standards were not as good as international stuff but those bowlers were not bus conductors or office clerks either.If he goes on to play the SA tour(which i doubt) and if he scores big in it you will be the first to cheer him and text your sachin hater friends saying "i told you so"...stick by him if you are a true fan.

  • POSTED BY rar_ind on | March 25, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    It is understandable that many people see this as the right time to retire for Sachin. The team's young talent have done well to vindicate their growth but the performance of the new talents has not been tested outside India. In the present team, Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Rahane (in tests) have not played tests for India in other countries. Foreign conditions, bouncy/seaming wickets and different atmosphere are variables that the new talent has to tackle when they go out of India. With the recent exits of Sehwag & Gambhir, Dhoni n Kohli are the only batsmen who has experience outside India. Sachin's presence is very much required at least for the south-african tour. His inputs will be very important otherwise we can very well get ready to mourn for another whitewash. I hope, media and public don't clamor for sachin's retirement until the end of the year, just for the above mentioned reasons.

  • POSTED BY HNREDDY on | March 25, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    Well I think it is best left to the guy and the selectors to sit and decide about Sachin Tendulkar, than for all the Pundits to give their opinion on this and speculate about the timing. It is high time we stop speculating about his retirement and enjoy the game, rather than bring it up again and again.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    Sachin should realize that his he is blocking another youngster from getting into the team. Guys like Tiwary, Raidu, Raina, Rohit are all in their prime and they will learn a lot while touring South Africa.

  • POSTED BY FoollyFedUp on | March 25, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    Nice article, Mr. Guha. Don't understand the 'Sachin must decide' chorus. What are the selectors and captain for? Sachin is clearly blocking a potential star from establishing himself. This is selfishness. Pure and simple.

  • POSTED BY Yarms on | March 25, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    ........ I wonder you all saw the subtle guesture Sachin made to the Delhi crowd form the balcomy of the dressing room... it was like a good bye wave... I think an announcement in going to come shortly.

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | March 25, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    The selectors should make a decision and put SRT out of his misery. The solution is simple - drop him. Would you keep a top order batsman in your team who has averaged 31 in last 2 years. Absolutely NOT! Just let him know that he was great in his prime, but now he is not good enough to plays as a batsman for India.

  • POSTED BY Reggaecricket on | March 25, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    Goodnight Mr, Tendulkar, you were a legend, but age catches up with all of us. The odd 50 among a series of poor scores is hardly justification for keeping a youngster out. You played since age 15. We mean to disrespect, but you should have retired two years ago with Dravid. You and Sanath Jayasuriya should both have quit on a hig and taken up your politics. As it is now, you don't have time for the commitment you made to politics, but neither do you serve India cricket in any useful manner.

  • POSTED BY tests_the_best on | March 25, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    Sachin made a statement a while ago - "It's selfish to retire when at the top of one's game." I have great respect for Sachin for making that remark. Instead of hanging up his boots at the point of great success, basking in the glory and not risking any potential decline in form, he instead chose to play on thinking as long as he could contribute to the team's cause, he would. He himself knows whether he can contribute more or not as he's obviously not chasing any records after all this time.

    Coming to the question of his retirement, one must keep in mind he scored 2 centuries last time in SA, including a match-saving one in the 3rd test. Although the youngsters have performed well in this series, it might not be right to throw them to the wolves in the form of Steyn & Co without atleast one experienced batsman in the side (one must note that there's a chance Sehwag/Gambhir might not play in SA). So Sachin should probably play on atleast till the SA tour and maybe retire after that.

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 2:01 GMT

    Some of the comments here talk about his reflexes getting slower. I also agree that these days he kind of glides the ball instead of giving it a full monty. At the same time, I feel that he should go to South Africa and call it a day after the test series. Winning 4-0 against Aussies doesn't change the daunting prospect to facing top class bowling attack at their peak. Tendulkar's mere presence will give the team a much needed calming demeanor.

    P.S. : I still can't imagine the day when he retires from Test cricket as we all have grown up with him. Game would be never be the same again.

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | March 25, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    I dont understand the obsession of retiring on a high just because u want to be remembered as a great. Thats actually being selfish in my books. If u think u can still contribute to the teams success then u should not retire. Reminds me of the selfish Imran Khan who retired at 35 when he was inhis prime just because he wanted to go in a high and had to be talked to out of retirement because the team needed him. 4 years later he won the world cup for pak. If the is not good do not pick him but dont tel him when to retire, he knows better than all us here.

  • POSTED BY VoxPopuli on | March 25, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    For Tendulkar, the moment of "Why not (retire yet)?" moment came to pass a while ago. Sachin seems to be obvlious to it and some of his supporters and lobbiests seem to be blind to it!

  • POSTED BY on | March 25, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    Sachin will retire after the South African tests. With his passion for hundreds, it is not easy for him to let go of the lure of the double hundred of tests. He is now so close to 200 Tests - something others will probably never equal or better. Or would he want to continue after that to take the bow after a Test on Indian soil?

  • POSTED BY Angry_Bowler on | March 25, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    The very argument of his legacy and his place in the team, defies the logic of country first and team's interest is supreme. Who is Sachin? Is he bigger than team? Before one answers these questions, one must understand that there were, are and will be better players than him, but the question is about a player who is not fit nor in form should be in the team at all or he should occupy the place simply because he made some records in the past. Another ridiculous argument is his experience will be useful or will help the young players in performing in away series which makes no sence simply because if it really helps then he can just travel with the team and mentor or become an assistance coach some thing like that and no need to be in the playing XI when there are so many better players than him are sitting on the bench, when I say better I am not talking about records but the form and fitness.

  • POSTED BY seeknshare on | March 25, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    I am huge fan of Sachin (well...who isn't) but given that "his reflexes have slowed down considerably", I think he should retire and let another youngster grow in test matches.

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | March 24, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    I am mystified by the suggestion that "only Sachin can know when to quit, as no-one else has played as many games or scored as many runs".

    Pardon? He has already shown concusively that he is an appalling judge of when to leave, unable to muster the grace and common-sense of Dravid, Laxman or even Ganguly.

    Pujara, Kohli and Vijay are now established, and there is no longer a vacancy for an elder statesman to guide them into their Test careers.

    Tendulkar used to be a great batsman. But it's already 2 years since the 99th century, since which time he has only managed a match-losing ton against mighty Bangladesh. He no more deserves to play the tests in South Africa than Kapil Dev or Gavaskar do.

    In India Sachin still has a great brand. Everywhere else he is a joke, a parody of his former self. He needs to get out while his average hasn't quite dropped out of the All-Time Top 20. It's ironic that now he's fallen below Vinod Kambli's average!

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    We fans are a mercurial lot. Amongst the current crop of batsmen, only Virat Kohli has been tested on foreign soil. All others have not played a test match on fast bouncy pitches. I hope I am proven wrong but I doubt if the heavy scoring Pujaras, Vijays and theDhawans of the world would last very long facing upto Steyn and Co. I am certain the chin music won't be well liked by these highly skilled batsmen that we have so quickly placed on a high pedestal. We would be desperately wishing the presence of a Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman to bail us out of trouble. Of course, if we want to gift away the series to South Africa, please by all means drop Tendulkar. But please for God's sake.....give him some space and let him decide for himself. Just treat his performance from a very objective lens and not get carried away just because he is not scoring the big hundreds we are used to seeing from the great man...please please please!!

  • POSTED BY CricketFanIndUS on | March 24, 2013, 23:41 GMT

    The great Tendulkar is still needed in the upcoming overseas test tours as we have little experience in our Test cricket batting against pace bowling overseas. I am sure that Sachin's retirement will be based on what the country needs. I still remember when Gavaskar retired our batsmen were bowled relatively easily by most teams for a couple of years and we lost many Test matches. Our team could not face pace bowling. Sachin did not fare well against spin this year, but he has done beautifully in Chennai against the Australian pace attack. We may need him dearly in the upcoming overseas tours. For sure Sachin will keep his country first in his evaluation of the timing of his retirement. Once a player retires it is almost impossible to make a comeback, except for Sachin perhaps.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | March 24, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    Outside of his wanting to still play the game, the only reason that I can see for Tendulkar continuing is the fact that India have a tour of SA coming up and a relatively inexperienced side. They've done well against Australia at home but the bowling was all spin so that says nothing about how they'll go away from home and the batsmen, while obviously talented, will be sorely tested by the SA bowlers on home turf. As for Tendulkar himself, just like Ponting, he may still get a score or two but, overall, it's hard to see him recapturing the magic. This has not been a good series for him by his standards but going out on India's first ever 4-0 series win would be the best exit he's going to get now.

  • POSTED BY abhinavpraneet on | March 24, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    I am sure this is a topic that finds (at least in last couple of years) both its supporters and detractors. Right up with any discussion on politics and religion!

    While it would be sobering to know that one of the most beloved and respected cricketer in history of this sport will be hanging his boots, the grace and honor in doing of your own accord is beyond measure.

    Any artist, sportsperson or an actor/actress going beyond their time only tarnish their well built reputation and respect.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    Ramachandra Guha has woven the precedents of Vijay Merchant, Sunil Gavaskar and the Bombay school of whatever to guide Sachin Tendulkar towards a grand proclamation of retirement. What if Sachin Tendulkar has bigger and worthier idols? Merchant and Gavaskar are surely among the very big. That does not preclude the existence of people who have accomplished a whole lot more. Moreover, why should precedent be any peg at all to hang a story or to hang one's boot or to hang anyone at all? Isn't it an assumption that Sachin Tendulkar would love to play his 200th test? It's the writer's pain! That is what the commentators did when Pragyan Ojha was on wicket number 99, so-called waiting for wicket number 100. The commentators were in pain at some 99 and transferred that pain to Pragyan Ojha.

  • POSTED BY skchai on | March 24, 2013, 23:12 GMT

    The main question is not whether Sachin should retire very soon, but whether he should wait until after the SA series. With Sehwag and Gambhir out of the side, there is only one batsman (Dhoni) who has had more than one test series experience on the bouncy pitches of Aus, SA, and/or England. This seems a very risky situation, despite the fine performances of the young batsmen on Indian pitches. We all know how home averages can be misleading, particularly for batsmen inexperienced at the top level. It is true that Kohli did relatively well during his debut series in Australia, but this is a small sample size, and he is only one additional batsman. Of course, it far from certain that Sachin will score well in SA, but it is a much safer bet (particularly given the influence he can have on the younger batsmen) than going in with a batting lineup made largely of overseas debutantes.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    Ramachandra Guha thinks this is the right time for Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (SRT) to retire. The 4-0 against Australia is the trigger. Here is a contrarian view: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD) has a clutch of young, motivated performers. Therefore, MSD does not require SRT for his runs. But MSD can now afford to have SRT for his enormous experience, enthusiasm and energy. SRT will be Gary Kirsten plus Paddy Upton when MSD's boys play some fierce and entertaining cricket in South Africa.

  • POSTED BY Hardy1 on | March 24, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    I still maintain he should have the right to retire when he wants, but the board should have the right (and the guts) to drop him after a long stretch of poor form. He can keep playing domestic cricket if he wants, but the selectors need to recognise that this is absolutely unacceptable.

    Of course India's too emotional a country to realise that there are, quite simply, better batsmen than Sachin in India now, but they haven't had the chance to show it. I'm going to take the opposite stance of the traditional 'how dare you speak of Sachin that way' and say how dare the national team deny chances to guys like Rahane & Tiwary for a consistent underperformer?

    I do wonder whether Sachin's ever actually been dropped from the Indian team during his career, and if not, I suppose it's not surprising that the selectors don't have the heart to do it. If he goes back to domestic cricket and scores for fun then bring him back by all means, but for now at least he has to go.

  • POSTED BY nursery_ender on | March 24, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    Posted by mayurnandan on (March 24, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

    ...in every players career a tough phase comes, if we can give so many chances to other players why not sachin

    Who are these other batsmen who have gone more than two years without a test hundred and without getting dropped?

  • POSTED BY Un_Citoyen_Indien on | March 24, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Sack him if he won't go. In India, being over emotional has often been our single greatest weakness. And with regards to Tendulkar being our best batsman ever, I beg to differ. When it comes to test match batting he can't hold a candle to Sunil Gavaskar. Tendulkar's batting average in the 3rd and 4th innings of test matches is a mere 43 compared to Gavaskar's 51. Tendulkar also had the luxury of facing the older ball throughout his career (he stubbornly hung on to that number 4 position) while Gavaskar had to play the likes of Marshall, Hadlee, Lillee, Khan, Thomson, Snow, Willis, Garner, Holding, Roberts etc. while they were most lethal (i.e. fresh and with the hard new ball). Most good batsmen will score 51 test 100s if they play 180 odd test matches. The other reason why I rate Gavaskar so highly is because he left while he was still playing his best cricket.

  • POSTED BY funkybluesman on | March 24, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    Ricky Ponting's international decline happened while still able to dominate at first class level. This season he was the dominant shield player after retiring from international cricket. Age just slows the body down enough so that while still able to handle first class level bowlers, the step up to tests finds you out.

    Sachin is likely the same. He feels he's hitting the ball well in the nets and scores well at first class level, but the body just can't quite do what it once did.

    Sachin has played test cricket for 24 years, that's incredible. There have been several times in the past where we thought he was probably on the way out and he managed to come good and play some more great innings, but this time I think it probably is time to go.

  • POSTED BY AjaySridharan on | March 24, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    I don't care if he retires or not...that is his prerogative. Asking him to step aside because he is pushing 40 is ageism, and liable to litigation in any other corporate sector. If he is not up to scratch based on form, drop him from the side...just like how Sehwag and Gambhir have been axed. If you are going to be "professional" be impartial as well. It is no secret that Sachin dictates his terms and no one can touch him. With Ambani on his side and the weight MI has in IPL, no one can dare raise a finger against Sachin. I can't see anyone having the spine to drop Sachin. So they are passively waiting for him to declare his career! What is however more flabbergasting for me is his reluctance to even move out of the No.4 slot when the team situation demands it. He hasn't been setting the stage of fire at No.4 anyway, barring the rare innings of 81 in Chennai.

  • POSTED BY johnal on | March 24, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    why all the hurry for sachin to retire . the only person to tell sachin to hang up his bat is himself.the advice sachin can pass on to pujara.rahane.dhawan .kumar.jadeja and others is priceless.with no dravid .sehwag.laxman. around anymore sachin role is even bigger dhoni alone will not be able to handle that pressure away from home .

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 21:50 GMT

    @Gokul Kenath. Great research and you are right. But with an average of over 31 in the last two years, he'd be welcomed as a high scorer in the current Aussie team. Half jokes aside, I think he should have retired a couple of years ago. Certainly when Dravid and VVS pulled the pin. Now that his good friend Sehwag is gone, perhaps he should join him for a post Test career beer!

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    The day sachin retires test cricket will die

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    He is so close to the unprecedented milestone of 200 test matches, that he should keep going a bit longer. Maybe a bit selfish, but if anyone has earned it, it's Sachin.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | March 24, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    Honestly, I'm sick of this "Sachin should retire" thing...... Not playing well - Retire. Playing well - Finish on a high. Seriously, we all know that Sachin Tendulkar is a national obsession but this is utter crap to keep talking only about this. Legacy, finishing on a high, all these are for fairy tales not real life tales. I would rather see Indian's greatest sportsman give it all he has, till the last drop, rather than see him go on a 'high'. As Viv Richards rightly said "Once you are retired, you are going to be retired for a long time". No one can play forever but as long as he plays just enjoy seeing Sachin. You will never see the like of him ever again........

  • POSTED BY T-800 on | March 24, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    While I appreciate the factual correctness of the article and in some of the comments about Sachin's average over the past two years, I still think the man needs to be given the respect and unfortunately this is another article that adds to the disrespect to the little master. Look, the great man himself is probably more self aware about all these facts about his averages. He has already quit T20 long time ago and one dayers too recently if I am not mistaken. This article like other articles similar to this is like repeatedly asking a guest when he will leave the house. I appreciate the Australian way where even legends are gently and sometimes not so gently nudged out but that is not the Indian way. When its time to quit, the great man will quit. I have faith in him

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Let us face this - Sachin is a walking wicket right now and if the opposing teams want him to continue, it is only because they dont see him as a threat and easily gettable wicket. forget all the hype created by Ravi sastry et al, Sachin slowed down and need to go. He is in the way of another youngster who could play with the same passion as Sachin for 24 years. SRT and his commercial supporters should see the writing on the wall and take the right decision. If SRT chooses to go to SA in Nvember, mark my words - he wont be able to put his bat to ball and will disgrace himself.

  • POSTED BY deegowd on | March 24, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Before everyone gets so worked up about his form dipping since WC, he is still among the top 5 run-getters in test cricket for India during the period. Among the top 10, Dravid and Laxman are no longer playing. Sehwag and Gambhir are out of the team (and rightly so). The most experienced batsman in the team will be Dhoni (whom many do not even consider a good test batsman). Sachin's value in the line-up and dressing room is more than just the sum of his runs, now more than ever. Did anyone notice that apart from Sachin, the sum total of the aggregate runs of the rest of the top 4 doesn't exceed the aggregate of Dhoni at #6 in the last Indian line-up for 2 tests? No amount of practice can get you better than a session of playing with Sachin in a test match for the youngsters in this team. His knowledge of the conditions and bowlers will be sorely missed if he decides to hang up his shoes now. He must travel with the team to SA, Eng and Aus and then make way for a youngster.

  • POSTED BY amieka on | March 24, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    I still remember the first time I saw Sachin (his first test match to be exact), the first time he opened in ODI, and many other first times. Yes, I used to follow his records and performance crazy. And now, I just wait to hear the news of him hanging the boot and bat. It's just pathetic to see him hanging around. Playing for India, More runs, still hungry - complete rubbish. Is it for the sponsorship requirement? Come on Sachin, you had earned and achieved enough. To see people talking about his right time to go is already a humliation for a player of his stature.

  • POSTED BY pronoysircar on | March 24, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    So many commenters here seem to think that the performance in this series is indicative of what will happen in South Africa, it is kind of sad. Another 3-0 to proteas is on the cards. As for our young batsmen making hundreds left, right and center as someone here seemed to suggest, something tells me its not going to be all that simple.

  • POSTED BY IPSY on | March 24, 2013, 20:13 GMT

    Srikkanths, look at the multiplicity of records I presented earlier. Please research the truth about them for yourself and let the other readers know whether or not they are true. Then tell us whether or not you still stick to your subjective suggestion that Sachin is the best batsman in the last 30 to 40 years; even after the the records confirm for you that he only holds just the TWO least important of these records (most runs and most 100s; but this is due only to the OBVIOUS reason that he has batted in so many more matches and innings than anyone else. I guess that exercise would help everybody to be more clear about the only modern batsman, the Gt Brian Lara who it was that challenged the Bradman legacy. At the same time, it is you Sachin-crazy fans who fooled the Little Master and told him he is God. You are all blaspheming now by telling him to retire. Sachin is reminding you all that "God does not retire". In fact, he is saying that, "mortals do not tell Gods what to do"!

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    I would like to ask a question to you Sir Ramachandra. Let's assume you must have encountered writer's block at some point in your career or probably you didn't manage to come up with an exceptional article when you knew you had the ability to deliver more. What would be your next step. My assumption is you would make all the possible attempts to take it to highest level next time around. Where does that assumption come from? From a belief that you possess those skills and you have done it before so why can't you do it again. Besides skills you obviously have passion to achieve your target. You can regain your skills only if you have passion. Would you stop being a writer because you are 55 today? Again I assume you would not unless you have lost the love and passion for writing. Would you retire tomorrow from writing because 70% people disagree with your article?

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman This is with reference to comments posted by Dhutugemunu on March 24,2013.

    There is no doubt that Sachin has created lot of records in cricket but no more please.Let us all bless together Sachin with full earnestness that will enable him to fall in line with the timely suggestion through Sri.Ramachandra Guha's column brought in Espn Cricinfo of date.

    V.Sethuraman.(Sethu)

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    First we put a man on pedestal and worship him. Then we expect him to behave acording to our dictat. Sorry guys, Sachin as a player is 1000 times more skilled than us, but as a man, he is just like us. So please do not expect him to do the "right" thing. It is for the bunch of jokers as Jimmy calls them, to do the "right" thing. And I believe they must already be in a huddle, trying to figure out how to put the idea across regarding the tests, just as they did for the ODIs. Wouldn't be surprised if there is a "meeting" soon for "no special purpose", but SRT making a statement after few days of that.

  • POSTED BY mayurnandan on | March 24, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    Finishing on a high is something which i don't believe in. If u r playing well then contribute it for ur country rather than retiring and sitting home. We all knw he is not playing as well as he should, but he is sachin, he is not any other player, in every players career a tough phase comes, if we can give so many chances to other players why not sachin. I can assure u one thing if India didn't do well in SA and in between sachin retires than all d media persons n others people who r asking for his retirement will say- "Didn't sachin retired a bit early, should't he stayed on till this tough SA tour." The conclusion is dat there is only one experienced player left in our batting line-up, which we require to guide these youngsters on foreign tours and he is not taking any youngsters place in d side bcoz our batting line-up is full of youngsters only.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    The Tendulkar saga is just that... His supporters who are so blind to the fact that his prowess has now diminished so that he no better than a below average test batsman (look at the stats for the last two years) rather than the excellent one he once was, will find any excuse to justify his place in the side. Ask yourselves this, did his supposed greatness save India from defeat in England, in Australia, and against England in India ? No it did not. How much to did he contribute to the whitewash of Australia ? Very little. He is a busted flush and it's time he moved on and made way for someone younger.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    In modern Indian history of cricket (history being defined by my age), only Sunny Gavaskar hung his boots at the top of his form. I still remember his words when he was asked why he retired, and he said that he felt like a person who had a hearty meal and had no appetite left. As a 16-year old impressionable young chap who idolized (and still does) Sunny, those were words which left an indelible mark on my life.

    Later we ended up seeing another legend of Indian cricket, Kapil Dev, drag his body for at least 3 years more than what he should have, in search of the world record. In the process, a worthy young man called Srinath, lost out on a lot of home test matches.

    Sachin, unfortunately, is also dragging his feet. He is tarnishing a fantastic legacy by pushing himself and his body. His continuing persistence is also costing a youngster an opportunity to exhibit his skills.

    We love you Sachin, and we respect you no end. But time now is for you to go. Lest you start to lose respect.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Why the debate of 'Sachin's retirement' again making his presence. What's the problem with you guys if he wants to play." :o ...Sachin should play as long as he wants to

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Gokul Kenath has made a very strong statement by wonderful stats that were provided. Please Sachin, retire now. We Indians were saying if Australia had a bradman we have Sachin but your performance is getting down and down. Yes Bradman played Tests only and you played Tests, ODIs and T-20s ( IPL). Although your avg. was much less but you faced a diversity in attacks, played for a longer time starting when immature and played a lots and lots of cricket. Your opinion would always be valued by your fans which number in millions. I ask you not to give them any opportunity to say that you played for your own's sake for records in end.

  • POSTED BY BBrianBlair on | March 24, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    There's no shame in fighting and failing, but there's no honor in not fighting at all. Sachin knows that very well. He would rather struggle in hard conditions than retire quietly to be remembered as a ''legend.''

  • POSTED BY riverlime on | March 24, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    What would people say about Sachin if he goes to SA and scratches around for another average of 30, when his younger colleagues are making hundreds left, right, and centre? That would destroy his legacy and ruin the great name he has built . Please let him see sense and retire while still at home. I still look up to him and i would hate to see him humiliated any further.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    Its high time he quits...should have gone a long tym ago!!! Hope he retires with some pride...And as far as grooming youngsters goes, he can do it from outside the team as well....Someone from the team management has to sit down and have a talk with him...

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Gokul Kenath has made a very strong statement by wonderful stats that were provided. Please Sachin, retire now. We Indians were saying if Australia had a bradman we have Sachin but your performance is getting down and down. Yes Bradman played Tests only and you played Tests, ODIs and T-20s ( IPL). Although your avg. was much less but you faced a diversity in attacks, played for a longer time starting when immature and played a lots and lots of cricket. Your opinion would always be valued by your fans which number in millions. I ask you not to give them any opportunity to say that you played for your own's sake for records in end.

  • POSTED BY rhtkumar672 on | March 24, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Pujara may be scoring runs in India but he is still not tested overseas.Same goes for Kohli. Dhawan is just one match old. You can't expect him to score at will against Steyn and Co. in alien South African conditions. Although fading away,Sachin is still our best bet in SA.

  • POSTED BY Dhutugemunu on | March 24, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Let him play two more matches. He will be the first Test player to play 200 matches. Unbreakable record.

  • POSTED BY balajik1968 on | March 24, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    I agree. Time to go. He has'nt contributed with the bat except for the odd innings. Somewhere in his mind, things have unravelled after the 2011 World Cup. He does not seem to recognize it. He was sublime until then. It is painful to watch him now. Someone close to him has to take this in hand, because for someone who has lived cricket for close to 30 years, it is difficult to let go.

  • POSTED BY SantoshGhirnikar on | March 24, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    To all those who say "let the great man decide," I ask, why? Yes, he was a genius, served India with the greatest distinction, but at the end of the day he is not greater than the game or the team. Can anyone guarantee there is not another Sachin waiting in the wings cooling his heals? Would we have discovered Pujara, Kohli and Dhawan if the selectors had not made the right decision to drop Sehwag and Gambhir. The great Dravid and VVS retired at the right time paving the way for Pujara and Kohli. Even Dada hung up his boots at the right time. And this talk of retiring when one is playing well is selfish and unpatriotic is absolute rubbish! Sachin is NOT playing well. He is getting bowled or LBW to trundlers.

  • POSTED BY ListenToMe on | March 24, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    Mr Guha has forgotten that India have won in India. India have been doing well in India always except for past few tests. The real test will be in SA, where an experienced player like Sachin can help other new players. I too know that Sachin is not playing well recently, but I wish he could score and retire. He will do that in SA and I hope he will retire just after that. Please don't put pressure on him. He is not blocking any great preforming new player now. Atleast give him his some time to perform the way we all are familiar with. He should be waiting for that one innings before retiring. Let us wait for that and give him a very good farewell.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    Mr. Guha, Indian needs SRT in South Africa to stop the 8-0 away Test match run! Away Cricket against World Number-1 side is entirely a different ball-game. He deserves this long rope because he has earned it.

  • POSTED BY bharath74 on | March 24, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    why should he? a man who scored 100 centuries dont know when to retire?? just let him decide what he want to, nobody is qualified enough to say " its time for sachin to retire"

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    Let the Great Man decide for himself.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Mr. Guha ...well a nice article but i disagree with your thoughts. This guy has single handedly made cricket as a religion for our generation people. All through nineties and mid of 2005...we always watched cricket because Sachin was playing. In fact the present generation of cricketers were nothing as compared to him. He has gained a stature of God and only God can decide when to start an act or leave it. People in the current dressing room of Indian cricket has seriously no experience of Steyn and African bowlers. His presence is absolutely necessary for African series.So its a request Mr. Guha ...please continue your writing excellent articles and spare Mr. Tendulkar..at his own discretion. God Bless you and Tendulkar!!!

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | March 24, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    I say let SRT go to South Africa. Only when he is completely humiliated by Steyn and company will he come to his senses and retire. His fanboys have raised his ego so high that he probably believes he is GOD of cricket. I would like to see how he deals with the absolute humiliation that awaits him in South Africa.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    I was a Gavaskar fan and was in tears after his 96 against Pak in Bangalore since we knew that this was his last test. Gavaskar wanted to announce his retirement after the MCC match at Lords where he scored a century.

    Now again being a Sachin fan, I am sure this is his last test innings in India and may be his last test innings if he decides to retire. This is the right time for Sachin to retire rather than wait for a tough test where he could fail in South Africa.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    Venky, not retiring when you are past your best...just because there are sponsorship contracts & money at stake for you personally, abusing the public's worship for your god-given talent is the ultimate in selfishness. Sachin has chosen to demonstrate that, recklessly destroying Rohit Sharma by not vacating a slot for him in the middle order, when Rohit was in form in Australia. I would like Cricinfo to forward this request from me to Sandeep Patil - notify Sachin - you have time to retire voluntarily, till we announce the Indian team for SA. In case you actually want to play another 2 tests, we will do you a favor & select you, to let you bat at No. 11 (Steyn will get you the way most bowlers used to get B S Chandrasekhar out).

  • POSTED BY crickketlover on | March 24, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    When Sewag and Gambhir are going to be in Team India for South Africa series, why not Tendulkar? I think SRT wants to score one more test century before he retires. It will happen and until that happens he will be playing for India. No one has the guts to remove him.

  • POSTED BY the_complete_batsman on | March 24, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    While many opine that players are their own best judges, it is also true that it is difficult for a player to be dispassionate and objective about his own career. Therefore these decisions are best left to the selectors. Great players should be remembered as such, and they should ideally step down when they retain the ability to enthrall and excite. It is sad to see a great career tarnished, however slightly, by declining abilities at the very end. Tendulkar is probably the greatest batsman of his generation, and among the top three or four guys of all time. Best to step down while the legacy is relatively intact.

  • POSTED BY IPSY on | March 24, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Dhanno, of the 51 meaningful established batting records in test cricket, SRT only has "TWO". So where you get this idea of him "breaking all the batting records"? Here's a list of many: Most runs in a career; Most runs in an innings, Most runs in a match; Most runs in a series; Most runs in a calendar year; Most runs in a single batting position; Most runs in a match on the losing side; Most runs in an over; Most runs in a day; Highest career avge; Highest strike rate in a career; Double 100 on debut; 100 on debut; Most runs on debut; Most 100s in career; Most double 100s; Double 100 and single 100 in a match; 100 in each innings of a match; Most triple 100s; Most quadruple 100s; Most runns in an innings by position; Most runs on a single ground; 100 in a session; Fastest 100; Fastest double 100; Fastest triple 100; 100s in consecutive matches. It's sad to note that SRT only two holds and not in top 30 for any more. Lara is the holder of most and competes in the top 3 for almost all.

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | March 24, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    Fine article from India's finest cricket historian.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Wonder if you remember me from Dehra Dun and Delhi University, Ram. I think Tendulkar should tour South Africa if only to show the way to the youngsters in those tough conditions. In any case, who do we have to replace him at no. 4? Sachin Tendulkar is what he is because he thinks like Sachin Tendulkar. An ordinary mortal would have retired about six or seven seasons ago. But he battled on to see India climb to no. 1 in Tests, win the 2011 World Cup, and now hand out this 4-0 drubbing to the Aussies, something unprecedented in the annals of Indian cricket. Of course, in the process he has built up a stupendous personal record. True, Sachin has not got the really big scores after the 2011 World Cup, but he has played some crucial innings, like in the first Test at Chennai, as you have rightly pointed out. If he felt he did not have it in him to continue performing, he would have put away his chunky willow. True to type, he apparently wants to take up the South African challenge.

  • POSTED BY SpeedCricketThrills on | March 24, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    Like the many Indians who go to US with the intent to return after X years, Sachin too must have contempleted way back in 2005 about retiring after X years. Again, like the Indians in US who change X to X+1 every year, Sachin too has been postponing it by 1 year every year - and now that it is almost approaching the end, he is postponing by 1 series after every series. No, he will not retire. He will always have one more landmark to cross before he hangs up his boots. But I think this set of selectors are closing in and may soon ask him to make the announcement.

  • POSTED BY naresh.partani on | March 24, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    I couldn't agree with you more Mr Guha. As they say, all good things come to an end and I dare say, this wonderful thing needs to end too. If his career is dragged any further, the retirement will become a mere eventuality for an Indian fan rather than a celebration. There was time when in India people use to turn their television sets off after Tendulkar's dismissal. I still remember how shocked I was when Jayasuriya got him during the WC '96 semifinal. I still remember I almost had tears in my eyes when he fell to Saqlain Mustaq during the Chennai test which cost India the match. Moments like these for me signify his greatness and I want to always keep these fresh in my memory. Things are different in Indian cricket now. He has been a quintessential batsmen who has probably inspired uncountable number of Indians. We now have the Kohlis and the Pujaras to carry the baton. The young Indian brigade still needs to prove themselves but this is a bullet that Indian cricket needs to bite!

  • POSTED BY RoshanZameer14847 on | March 24, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Although it is evident by performance that Tendulkar has become a real burdon on Team India & also a path-blocker for new emerging lads , He must play in South Africa series. At least it would convince die-hard fans of SRT to zip their mouths ..... but at the cost of ane more away- series.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    What we think about players in their prime - wow, what kind of batting display can we expect from him today? What we think about players past their prime - I hope he doesn't get out bowled/lbw and reduce his Test average even further.

  • POSTED BY cricos06 on | March 24, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    Aptly said, Mr. Guha. But as we know the amount of money the cricketers make, it is impossible for them to behave like a Dravid or Laxman. They are cricketers turned politicians. Even the great Gavaskar waited till he got his ODI hundred. Why ? Records and records. People easily forget the bad cricketers do to cricket. Otherwise someone would mention the 36 n.o. Gavaskar made in the 1975 WC match batting for the whole 60 overs. Or is it courtesy ? Well whatever it is, I hope Tendulkar gets the idea. I am sure he does not have time to read such bold and worthy article like yours. We live on past glory. So most probably it will fall on deaf ears.

  • POSTED BY FLIPPER_99 on | March 24, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    well this generations greatest cricketer no doubt & he possibly still would be a force to reckon with but the only thing is that him continuing would decrease the immense value the places on his wicket which results in great joy for whomever dismisses him. it would be a shame if a day would arise where getting SRT's wicket wouldnt mean much in the context of a game so in that view i hope he retires now with full honours in his backpack-SL fan

  • POSTED BY Venky210 on | March 24, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    Very shallow article.. There is no new arguement here.. Mr.Guhu, Sachin has always maintained that retiring at the peak of ones batting abilities is being selfish and not giving the best for the nation. At least he is practising what he preaches.. Let him be.. Let the great man retire when he wants to.. Thats the least we can do for him.. I understand he is not the same Sachin, but its ok.. The country and critics can afford to give him a bit of space and time to decide..

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    Both the commentators and fans use kid gloves in talking about Sachin's retirement, with the result, the great Sachin is unable to read the writing on the wall.

    Secondly, in his own admission, cricket is all that he knows; and his mind is holding him back from venturing into the unknown. This is where the cricket administrators could have done something. They could have made him India's batting coach, instead of renewing Fletcher's contract! He has the skills, the knowledge, and good rapport with the younger breed..

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    if on cricketing view, yes he should retire but not before South Africa tour.. coz the pacy and bouncy wicket there will need experience. and no one is as experienced as the little man is. the craziest of fans in me wants him to keep playing forever..but truth can't be ignored that Age & reflexes can't be young and fresh always. yes, off course he has it in him. but the expectations are always more than high from that little man. when i saw him coming for batting in 2nd innings at kotla, it was looking the shoulders have been tired to carry on the responsibility.. though he would be really with the likes of Pujara, Kohli able to bring solidity in the middle order and thus he would not be feeling that much burdened now. but even he knows that he can't get any younger.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    wow what a beautiful article Ramchandra Guha Sir.Sir u have done a great job. Sir as we are people of India everyone is thinking about them as great heroes so that we can talk about anyone and we can comment on anyone whether he may be a legend or celebrity. According to India's constitution people have right to freedom of speech and expression in india . So everyone is enjoying in commenting others and giving articles. You people before commenting or giving articles about SACHIN please think about yourself first that you are eligible to suggest HIM to retire or not. I personally think no one in the world have the right's to suggest him or to ask him retire. Everyone please do your work properly.

  • POSTED BY rajattiwaari on | March 24, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    I am getting very emotional while writing this comment. I was born 2 years after SACHIN made his debut and ever since I started watching and understanding cricket,he has brought joy and happiness to me and many others like me.SACHIN's 100 has always been a cause of celebration,a reason to distribute sweets,a reason to sleep with a smile,a reason to bunk classes,a reason to bear my father's anger because of not studying. But I am afraid,he is past his prime now.His best is behind him. Before every game,I kept telling myself that SACHIN will score a 100,but alas!! I want to see SRT taking his helmet off and raising his bat to the crowd for ONE LAST TIME.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    yes, of course he should retire, but not before South African series. and again i and many others would love to get known of his farewell test as everybody wants to see him walking last time towards pavilion. doesn't matter out or not out. the craziest of fans in me says he should not retire at all. but time and reflexes can't be like that. love and affection for the greatest batsman will remain in our heart forever. but only one wish want to send him off on the field.. want to see him walking back to pavilion knowing that he has played his last innings.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    Remember him saying "If you choose to leave when you are on top of your game. You are Selfish" You should contribute more to your country when you are on top.

  • POSTED BY realfan on | March 24, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    SRT first of all RESPECT TO YOU...... you have show us everything in cricket.... you are the text book of cricket.... we have seen those gorgeous straight drives, we have seen those jaw dropping back foot drive to covers, we have seen how to play short pitch ball, we have also seen some excellence in fielding, we have seen some great captaincy, we have seen great bowling spells from you, i might have missed your keeping ( but i am sure you have done that too ) thanks for giving those never forgettable memories..... what we really miss from you is a retirement..... please provide the satisfaction of seeing that also.....

    respect to you again....legend...

  • POSTED BY MAX2213 on | March 24, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    @Chebolu Srinivas - I completely agree with you dude... !!! he has excellent foot work against the quickies and he will score a biggie in SA....

  • POSTED BY CricFan_I on | March 24, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    Apt article Mr Guha. I was discussing this yesterday with friends. Age definitely tells..its really a sorrow sight to see one of my favourite Indian player getting bowled, LBW and getting out consistently. Its the manner of the dismissal that is hurting me and I am sure, Sachin as well. What else is there for him to conquer? 200th test match? I am sure he will be a father figure in South Africa leading the way for the lads. Sometimes we see the quality of any player will be lowered when playing "weaker" opposition. Perhaps he may show one more master-class batsman ship vs SA and sign off in style? I only wish that for him. I have had endless discussions with my ardent cricket friends - in the last 3-6 months, I have always fought for Sachin to stay on. Now his recent innings have pushed me past the brink. Sir Sachin - you are now effectively blocking the pathway for another youngster. You may feel fish out of water for sometime. But there would be other avenues for you to walk on.

  • POSTED BY MAX2213 on | March 24, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    @ shrastogi - You are imagining too many things dude!!... If u go and ask each individual in the Indian team they will proudly say that the presence of Sachin in the dressing room boosts their moral, gives them complete strength to face the challenges ahead. None of these youngsters have ever played a test in SA.. so they all need Sachin to lead and take as much pressure on himself so that the team members play well. Sachin will leave cricket when he knows the team is groomed with all the required experience. Can't you see how Aussies are asking Hussey to join them back for the Ashes?? Fear buddy.. they need experience and that single player with experience will naturally take away the fear from the team...

  • POSTED BY gotmymojo on | March 24, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    The longer he stays, the more will yougsters be deprived of playing for India. His fielding is pathetic, batting mediocre. One get's the impression that he was let off several times by the umpires for lbw's as they want to be in the good books of the BCCI or else they won't be allowed in the IPL! Same goes for the commentator chamcha's who won't say one word about his poor performance. Any unbiased observer of the game can see that. Also, there is no way he will retire till he gets to the next milestone i.e. 200 test played. In a country like India, where there are more crooks per square inch with the possible exception of Nigeria, he can play for another ten years and nobody will object. Throw in the Bharat Ratna too. The whole thing is a disgrace.

    Someone should tell him that he will never be better than Lara or Viv Richards.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    The great cricketers are themselves saying that he still has it in him..I know it's taking a long time..but in your heart of hearts, you know that it's just a matter of time..the purple patch will come..AGAIN..just like in the past..he will silence you all..AGAIN..the widest and the mightiest bat will speak..AGAIN..the world will rejoice looking at HIS incredible batting...AGAIN!!!

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | March 24, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    I have a feeling he would like to carry on, but may be swayed into leaving. He did not bat badly against Australia, and with nos 1 - 3 scoring so heavily, SRT's perky 30s were perfectly adequate contributions. But can he still score centuries?I was kind of hoping SRT would do a Mike Hussey and at least warn us before he retires. I would make a special effort to watch his last innings. He made his test debut in the same year (1989) as I switched from following football to following cricket, and we are the same age. I have never known cricket without the little master, so something will certainly be gone for ever once he goes.

  • POSTED BY Munish.Kalia on | March 24, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    Well this is not just another article in the discussion of Tendulkar's retirement, specially when it comes from Guha. But evidently, the time is somewhere round the corner for the Fat lady to sing. All are speculating about the big D day but only one person knows. I am always a fan on motion, to let Sachin to decide for himself. A great arrangement would be Sachin never retires and choose which test he wants to play and all the doors will be opened for him to play. I love even the imagination of 10 years down the road, Sachin tells selectors, I want to play a particular test and he will come and play, I can bet the ticket sales and endorsement will go high like never before. So let's stop speculating and let the God (Sachin) to decide when he wants to call it a D day. We are already lucky enough to be living in a generation to see Sachin play live in flesh. Sachin, Please keep playing as long as you can.

  • POSTED BY riverlime on | March 24, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    when he was hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates at the end of the 2011 world cup, it was the pinnacle of a great career. now it feels like he is coming down to the foothills again. The selectors owe him the dignity of retiring with his records, without having millions of former fans turning away from him.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    Every comment that I have read about SRT retiring, have missed one key element: His continued place in the team, deprives another young qualified guy, a place in the team!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    ..and what happened today add substance to Guha's views. He was pathetically out playing only five deliveries. He was out LBW to Lyon in the first innings also, and he was definitely "OUT" twice before also in that innings , but the umpire was magnanimous. I feel that whole country wants him to retire. Hope he does.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Well, I don't know, I really don't know. Sachin Tendulkar has been a part of ones life for the last 20 odd years, there is a sound logic if Sachin takes the call to go, but I think people would want more from the master even if he's on a decline.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    I think one has to see how he is batting against fast bowlers, and he is doing fine against them even when the ball is reversing. he got out to spin a lot in this series and in SA batting against fast bowlers only will matter

  • POSTED BY indianpunter on | March 24, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    After the 2011 WC win, he was asked if it was time to retire and his response was " when you are playing well, its selfish to retire then". What then is, NOT retiring when NOT playing well? Your place in the pantheon of all time greats is assured. But you have left this far too late. the stats over the past 2 yrs are damning.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    He won't. He is wary of Kallis and Cook breaking his records and will play as long as possible... till the selectors muster the courage and order him to "hang up". I used to be a fan but unfortunately he does play for records.

  • POSTED BY Desiboi80 on | March 24, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    To all those asking Sachin to retire in glory, right after he scores many runs in a series, have not understood Sachin in last 23 years at all. He has been saying all along that going on a High is not what he is looking for. For all those who think he plays for records, you are sadly mistaken as he didn't play a single ODI for remaining year when he scored 200 in One-day. He could have easily scored few hundreds in that year. He wanted to give chance to other players to be ready for WC. It is us who wants to see him score big and then retire, it is us who want him to retire in all his glory. He on the other hand is thinking about team balance, effect his presence has in the dressing room. If the selectors feel he is not good enough they can always show him the exit door. Much talked about Rahane was founded in this game. Tendulkar is still better in the middle then all his replacements RIGHT NOW. Stop with the Age discrimination and show that "There is a country for old men".

  • POSTED BY itsthewayuplay on | March 24, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Whether Tendulkar should stay or go has polarised support. I was once a 'I don't care if India loses as Sachin bats well'. With the exception of a boundary off Starc in the second innings at Mohali, those days are long gone. Even Dravid called timed after 3 centuries in 8-0 away defeats and yet Tendulkar with no meaningful contribution in years felt he was good enough to continue playing in tests. This would not be an issue if the selectors were made of sterner stuff and made the decision to drop him for poor performance. Only his die-hard fans will continue to make excuses and argue that no century for over 2 years batting at number 4 is irrelevant. And this brings me to my next point. Dravid moved up the where SRT who was the only other batsmen with the experience and technique for English conditions stayed in his hallowed batting spot whilst Laxman was promoted to 3. The last 8 home tests have been wasted keeping SRT in and someone else out. What a sad end, if it is.

  • POSTED BY cxiv on | March 24, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Plz let him complete 200 test matches. He deserves this. Regards from Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY torsha on | March 24, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Indian people and media put so pressure on players that any players can accept failure so easily. Why can't they let a player decide when he needs to hang up his boots? If SRT feels he is not at his best, he will himself decide the way he did in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Aftr every series that Ind has completed in the past 2 years since the world cup, irrespective of the outcome and how Sachin has performed, the only point of discussion is "IS THIS THE TIME TO RETIRE?" Come on man, it hsnt been 2 hours since India have achieved their biggest ever test victory, u ask what next for Sachin.... Agreed he isnt in form as he used to be and the big scores arent coming. But if you look at the reflexes, this series he got starts and played bowlers at 150 kmph very easily. Plus he hs couple of hundreds @ Ranji last month.

    The most important thing whether he should take a cal is tht v need him more now than ever. India goes to South Africa next, an overseas tour without Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman aftr 16 years. Yes, Kohli and Pujara are future stars of Indian cricket but Sachin is very much needed in South African conditions and then NZ. As it is he plays only tests so he can afford atleast a couple of series. Ultimately its his call. Nobody else can comment.

  • POSTED BY Sameer-hbk on | March 24, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    I have always wondered why cricket audience/writers have such an unhealthy obsession of 'players retiring at top of their game'. How is that helping anyone in a 'team sport'? I can understand a Federer or Sampras or Bjorg doing it. That is an individual game. But if Gavaskar or Merchant could score more runs for their country, they should have. How is leaving the team when you are perfectly capable of producing match-winning innings (which you say they could at that time) a good thing? This mentality of looking out for one's 'personal legacy' in a team sport should not be glorified. Yes, Sachin is past his best. But he is trying to work as hard as possible to score runs again for his side. He is willing put his 'legacy' or 'stature' on the line in order to help his side in a transition phase and to continue to simply play a game he loves. Age is catching up, but if he wants to fight; there is no disgrace in it at all.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    No doubt many Indians cannot conceive their test side being without the little master.. Personally I'll not be sorry to see the back of him... All this paise, adulation and worship is nauseating.. Every time he simply retrieves a ball in the field the crowd goes into spasms of ecstacy... the cameras lingers on him longer than is necessary... the commentators laud his every move as if were dancing a ballet. The sooner he goes and brings some sanity back the Indian commentary box and to the spectators the better...

  • POSTED BY sudhindranath on | March 24, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    Looks like Tendulkar will only retire after a very poor series. A series average of 15 or so in an away Test series in South Africa against the best pace bowling attack in the world might just be the way this is destined to end...

  • POSTED BY vkishore on | March 24, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    Hi Sachin, You batted excellently in the past. Now how long do you want to bat this miserably boasting about what you did in the past??? If you can tell that perhaps some young batsmen whose spot you are occupying will stop dreaming about playing cricket. And the ironic thing is that if Gavaskar, Amarnath, Ravi and others before you did not retire unlike you, you would not have got a chance. Also you might end tarnishing mumbaikar's reputation worldwide.

    Moral of the story- Dont live on past glory.

  • POSTED BY shrastogi on | March 24, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    I was hoping that Tendulkar would score some runs if not hundred and would retire gracefully. If young guys in the team are delivering then Sachin should see writing on the wall and retire. Today's his dismissal cost India two wickets. He couldnt take India to victory himself which as the senior most player in the test he should have and the pressure that his dismissal created caused Rahane to play a non stroke and give away his wickets. Rahane was a complete pressure wicket. He couldnt handle the pressure which was caused by Tendulkar's early departure. India shouldnt suffer like this and hence Tendulkar should retire. He is doing great injustice to the team. The team has so many youngsters and their hope is that if needed Sachin would raise his game and that is not happening. If his experience is to be utilised is the thinking of BCCI then make him mentor but as a cricketer his days are clearly over.

  • POSTED BY hkiran1 on | March 24, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    SRT should keep his hand over his heart, pledge that he will be true to himself, close his eyes and think about South Africa series and their bowlers and wickets. Also think about the place he is blocking unproductively in the Indian Test side and all the struggling youngsters waiting in sidelines because of that. If what he loves truly is cricket, Mumbai Ranji side and Mumbai Indians can always accommodate him and he is still good at that level and can help the new talents coming up. True that he gave so much to Indian cricket, but is it less that what Indian people gave him back and still and always will? So it is his duty to Indian Cricket and People that he doesn't further degrade his records. A plea from an adherent fan.

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | March 24, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Indians have many gods in their psyche so no one would dare to touch him.However he like Jayasuriya to Lankans brought such joy should get some consideration in return. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Mr Guha I support your statement, The Bombay school of batsmenship has produced gorgeous cricketers like Merchant, Gavaskar & Tendulkar, I started watching cricket from a very early age say from 6 years, d only person who i have seen & admired the most from my childhood is d little master SRT , his batting style ,his positive approach has influenced me as well as many youngsters and i can proudly say i'm lucky to be born in this generation of cricketers like SRT, most of us talk about his retirement and we draw criticisms on him because of his recent performances, all of us have no right to judge a player who has made enormous contribution 4 our nation & Tendulkar didn't want to quit after the world cup because he knew that he is in a good position & his contribution is very essential & his recent records are much better than Viru & Gambhir, he is essential in SA due to diff conditions and he will be a motivation for many of our youngsters who have inexperience in those conditions

  • POSTED BY sulav.dahal on | March 24, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    As always, Ramchandra Guha writes balancing his views, and being to the point! I had read his book 'India After Gandhi', and was superb. It described, and analysed about India, and its rise very effectively better than Patrick French's book 'India'.

    Coming to Sachin, I am quite convinced that he should retire now, otherwise he may have the fate of politicians who didn't left the field when they were successful. I must say that, by making my heart rigid, and still, he should nurture Indian young talents rather than occupying their place in Indian team. As we can see, Indian team lacked pace bowlers with variations, now they got Bhuvaneswor Kumar, who can swing well in difficult pitches. Saching played long, and great at the same time. He is already a legend, and what he wants to achieve more? What will we call him if he continues to play? Legend of legend, or something else? In my view, he should empty the seat for youngsters like Dhawan, Rahane, and other unheard batsmens!

  • POSTED BY moBlue on | March 24, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    i suspect sachin has always wanted to win a test series for IND in SA!!! heaven knows he has tried many times! [the 2002 breathtaking hundred in the first inning of the first test - in which he also shepherded the debutant, sehwag, to his first test hundred, and the 2010 cape town test hundred come to mind.]

    ...which is probably why - and not because he is playing 200 tests - sachin wants to play for IND against SA in SA!

    i don't see a better #4 batter to take on the fearsome SA attack in their den at the moment! besides, sachin has earned the right to call it quits on his own terms! so, no matter what y'all say, if sachin wants to play for IND in SA, i say, all power to sachin and he should play!!!

  • POSTED BY iluvtest on | March 24, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    It seems that the commitments to the ad's that is forcing him to play.If that is true he may be playing on till 2015 and quits after his forward contracts end whether you like it or not.He can not announce his retirement and the selectors are not bold enough to call for his ouster fearing the wrath of the public who will be duly instigated by vexed interests of media.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Mr. Ramachandra Guha, I guess you know as well Sachin is playing cricket for his passion towards the game and not for anything else. He will quit once his body does not co-operate. Then why do you bother.

  • POSTED BY cric009 on | March 24, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Unfortunately no one in management will remove him due to his past glory alone. And he probably won't retire it seems he wants to break another record of playing with his son when he is into the team. That's how family dynasty and burro racy works in our country..

  • POSTED BY IndCricFan2013 on | March 24, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    I would be fine if Sachin decided to go now. It is also fine if Sachin decided to take one series at a time from now on. Sachin should travel to SA tour, not only to play his 200th test, but with all the young batsman they need to still prove a point in overseas conditions. Having him for SA tour would be help. We should not get carried away by the sucess of one whitewash tour in India. Let us say, if India does decently well in SA, then Sachin can possibly retire after that tour. Or he can be rested for the NZ tour and added back to England tour. Hence Selectors and Sachin needs to have a chat and agree that Sachin's time is from now till WI tour of India in 2014. Depending on how well Young India is doing overseas, Sachin and India should be prepared for Sachin's retire any time.

  • POSTED BY Rugsy on | March 24, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Ram Guha has hit the spot. If for nothing else, Sachin should retire as his recent performances are taking the sheen off all the magnificent and remarkable achievements of a glorious career. All Indians would like to remember him as the most brilliant of batsmen that ever graced a cricket field, not as another ordinary cricketer who struggled with human frailties. All good things must come to an end........

  • POSTED BY mysecretme on | March 24, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Mr. Guha, there is one more hurdle that Sachin needs to make these young guns cross. The one of an overseas victory. Once he does that, he can retire. Otherwise, team India will go on an overseas tour without a single batsman who faced an overseas tour with assurance. India needs Sachin to be on that plane to SA. This is not the time to look for personal glory and platitudes from people like you. I think Sachin understands that himself.

  • POSTED BY Nishit_Vadhavkar on | March 24, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    Sachin has the distinction of playing with 5 generations of Indian cricketers. He came as a baby amongst Vengsarkar, Srikkanth and the Kapil Devs of the world. He played with wthe Azhar, Sidhu and Shastri era. next, he led the team with his own generation of Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman. The 4th generation he played with was the Shewag, Zaheer, Harbhajan era which has also almost faded away. The 5th and the last generation of the Indian team are the Kohlis and the Pujaras.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    While it is true that Vijay Merchant and Gavasakar retired gracefully, it is very seldom that cricketers of this age retire willingly with the exception of Srinath. Kumble , V Prasad and more recently, Dravid -( all from Karnataka). Tis is because of the monetary stakes involved in sponsorships apart from what BCCI pays them. Sachin may say that he is yet playing because he "enjoys" the game. He has to face the truth that his reflexes are slower and even after retirement, he will yet be regarded as a hero. As Guha suggests perhaps this series win of which he was a part, seems to be the ideal time before he has to wear spectacles to play!! Sachin, you will always remain India's favourite hero!

  • POSTED BY USIndianFan on | March 24, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    I keep hearing comments of why Sachin should go. However, it was Sachin who came in in the first test and took the initiative away from the Australian bowlers prior to Dhoni's onslaught. Without that, this series would have looked very different. IMHO that he should stay for a while. However, as the team progresses (the only big gap is a good tear away pace bowler), and Jadeja matures in his batting, and hopefully Gambhir or Sehwag settle in in the middle order, India are still a little weak in batting. The South Africa series will help blood the younger players, and after a couple of series, I am sure he will retire by himself. Hope he gets a few hundreds in the meantime though.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | March 24, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    I reckon the write raises a fair point but the only pertinent issue is does India have a replacement for Sachin the current batter NOT Sachin the god, which obviously no one has a replacement for. You only need to look at the last guys in to the India team (Dhawan, Pujara, Kholi and Vijay) and the answer is simple - they have all outscored Sachin so the answer is yes there is a replacement. If its puraly cricketing reasons, as it should be, its time for Sachin to retire but the reality is Sachin is way above purely cricketing reasons hence the debate will continue. I must say with all the cricket around this weekend, it was a choice of which game to watch. Even for a non-indian like me it was only a choice if Sachin wasnt batting, if he was there was only one choice and that was to watch Sachin. It'll never be a pure cricketing reason with Sachin.

  • POSTED BY ManharPatelGujrati on | March 24, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    You cannot compare Marchant - Gavaskar days. If Vijay Merchant or Gavasker is playing today, they would not retire because of the money. Sachin still better than others.

  • POSTED BY PK_dilli on | March 24, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    i was in stadium yesterday. There was a huge applause when Virat Kohli got out in his home town Delhi, where he has status of rock star. I think Mr. Guha at least people want to see him playing. If people want to see him play nobody has right to loot the pleasure from us

  • POSTED BY East_West on | March 24, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    Much respect to Mr Guha for this piece! I have read a majority of your books, and you are the boldest and the righteous (A corner of a foreign field is still my favorite) writer I have ever read! Coming to Sachin - if he has any respect for the younger generation of cricketers and future of indian cricket and the healthy aspects of the sport, then he SHOULD RETIRE! His contributions in the past are exemplary but he is past his shelf live and killing time, and wasting others entry into the team. Unfortunately, our fanatic love towards him is the problem as well! and there is no "I in the TEAM, but Sachin has become very self-centered! I feel for cricketers like BADRI and others!

  • POSTED BY Darshi007 on | March 24, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    If Sachin had to retire then it had to be after the England series loss at home as then it would have given a new guy a few games to settle in international cricket.Now even after another mediocre series against Australia at home where he clearly struggled against mediocre spinners,the questions will definitely come up again.Even when Viru,Gauti were continuously failing there were talks that no one in the fringes was good enough to replace them.We just need to have a look what Vijay and Dhawan did this series to have our answer.Its right that their real test still lies abroad but still these guys did better than what Viru and Gauti managed against teams like WI or NZ at home last year.Regarding replacement for Sachin,I feel Rayudu and Manoj are ready for international cricket and Rahane despite his failure this game is a long term option too.Now the ball is in Sachin's court to decide his own future.We saw him for the last time at home for sure.Experience may just get him a spot forSA

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    I guess Sachin's continuance in this series prevented the "settle-down" process of some one like Rahane. As has been so amply demonstrated the only thing that the Indian youngsters wanted was an opportunity. Who would have thought Pujara, Vijay and Dhavan would score core of our runs with such an impact that it would actually win us games.

    And to say that our selectors selected the same oldies in australia despite being repeatedly humiliated. The moral of the story is to continue with Sachin should now be criminal.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Even if Sachin does badly in South Africa, his standing among the fans shall remain intact.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    SRT is the big white elephant in the room, the selectors or the media dare to touch him, Gavaskar and Shastri..pls show some guts to call it out instead of praising him.. plus pressure from his sponsors..SRT has been the greatest cricketer in our life time ..perfect and genuinenly simple. It would be wise to pick Shewag for SRT for the SA tour. Viru is more effective despite his lack of form.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    I was one of the biggest fans of Sachin till the middle of the recently concluded series at home against England, and as the series came to conclusion I was of the firm opinion that it is time to let it go. And his performance in the just concluded series confirmed that opinion. It is only the blind [fanatics] who are unable to analyze his performance. Indian cricket is no body'st personal property. Fans must accept that it is not in the best interest of Team India for Sachin to continue even one more match. As for "show me his replacement" make a good decision and nurture and develop a talent rather cause despair. I can more than guarantee that these same fanatics will go at the selectors for keeping Sachin for so long.

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | March 24, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    Having played all his life for records, I guess we will have to endure him for another series so he can reach the 200 match milestone. I don't think any selector would have the courage to drop him so why not organise a quick 2 match test series with Bangladesh or Sri Lanka as his farewell gift so he can go on a high? There have been too many middle order collapses in this series and its time to blood in some new players before the South Africa tour.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | March 24, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    has nothing on the genius of punter, hussey and lara. Needs to retire before he further embarrasses himself.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    He does not possess the wisdom of Gavaskar. He should have retired after the World cup win when he was carried on the shoulder of his team mates.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Why is hanging on? Shame! If not retired now, throw him out.

  • POSTED BY sangram1000 on | March 24, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Sachin tendulkar, the only way you can prove that your your country before you is to call it a day. I have seen you playing since you were 14 and i can tell without any hesitation that you must go as you have nothing to offer.

    Rahane is not test class and Pujara is the most underrated cricketer in the world and deserved the man of the series.

  • POSTED BY AvidCricFan on | March 24, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    We all have been waiting for that spark whenever Sachin comes to bat. However, it has been most disappointments after disappoints for almost three years now. Sachin is well past timing his exit right. He is hanging on based his past glories and reputation and not performance. There is not much he has produced in terms of results in the last four series other than 3-4 fifties. At this point, if he retires, most of the Indian cricket lovers will feel relief. If he doesn't retire, it will be better for selectors to drop him. The young players are evolving good and will not do any worse than big guns. The Indian cricket didn't end when Shewag and Gambhir were dropped. It would not end if SRT is dropped.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Can we use something logical instead of emotional to determine whether or not it's time for Tendulkar to leave the cricket pitches as a Test player as follows? What is his batting average in the past 3 series? If it's not above what one would consider acceptable, then he should go. What is his motivation for sticking around - 200 tests, most runs record that can't be broken? Perhaps the 200 records would stand but the most runs will be scored by a Kallis, Cook or someone else eventually. Does he not realize that he is stumping growth of young Indian cricketers who deserve to be given a chance to grow and learn from the experience? My vote is that he is being selfish and needs to move on. Thanks for the memories but every good thing must come to an end - the straight drive, flick off the hip, slog six to midwicket and punch to the cover boundary off the backfoot.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    It is high time he retires. It is pathetic to see such a great player completely at sea against mediocre Aussie bowling and getting out either bowled or lbw time and time again. He should retire before the generally fickle public start baying for his blood.

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | March 24, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    India won the series because the selectors made some tough calls like dropping Sehwag, Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh. Tendulkar has been playing on borrowed time for past 2 years. In this series, we have seen the brilliance of some younger batsmen like Pujara/Vijay/Dhawan who would never have got a chance if Dravid and Laxman were still playing for India. I think the time has come when instead of asking whether Tendulkar should retire, we should be asking whether he should be dropped from the team so players like Unmukt Chand or Manoj Tiwari can get a game when they are still in their prime.

  • POSTED BY Go_F.Alonso on | March 24, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    @waspsting, sir you are of the very best quality. Padma Vibhushan SRT has scored 2 50s and no 100s in the last 20 innings with an Ave of 22.52 (admittedly boosted by 1 not out). The honorable MP hasn't scored a 100 in over 26 months (ave 31.80 in 31 innings. Vijay, Kohli and Pujara have all done better than the Group Captain in the IAF. I'm not including either Dhawan or Rahane - as one match isn't the best indicator. I don't understand what people expect in a "potential" replacement. 1000s of runs in 1st class? Rahane surely fits this one. They're all much younger, meaning they can only improve. The Honorary Member of the Order of Australia who'll be 40 in a month's time is certainly not the future. And let's face it, he can get all his money from the IPL well into his 50s. Let's just pray that Bharat Ratna is one thing he can leave alone.

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | March 24, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    People saying who are the youngsters capable of replacing sachin obviously have no idea what they are talking about , the youngsters who come might fail a few times but they gain experience and improve their skills that way , how else are they supposed to improve ? look at philip hughes of australia, he was completely out of his depth in the beginning of tour but towards the second half he really improved and made some good scores (might have done better if not for some bad calls from umpire) same holds true for our rohit sharma/tiwary etc..

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    I think SRT should have quit in 2010 ie. after the 100th 100. His movement of legs are not dancing according to merit of the ball as it was earlier. I am saying not just because of his poor performances off late and in the present series. Ups and down are common in ones carrier. But, the way he struggled to get these runs (since 2010 to date) would tell he is not a complete batsman. No doubt, his 1st inngs stay at the crease created panic among the rest of the team in this particular match, that lead to a collapse (Nothing wrong with the pitch). The way he got out is pretty similar to that of a Gully Cricketer kind. He missed the opportunity of making way out while "run shine". He cannot waste any more time for this.

  • POSTED BY BlackKnight on | March 24, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    Everyone has a right to expression his "opinion". But only someone who has played 199 test matches or scored 16,000 test runs or scored 52 test centuries should "advise" Sachin Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    I think Sachin was waiting to get a hundred and than call it quit. Unfortunately it did not happen. His good memories are fading away. There are many young talented players who have been deprived of their chances to play. If other seniors players were dropped from the team based upon their current performance, Sachin's name should have been first on the list. It's not Sachin, but the selectors who have failed again and again. Cricket India may not even skip a beat without Sachin. I will like to have Suchin's image as winner, not as a LOOSER. Now that the series have been won 4-0, announce your retirement.

  • POSTED BY akashchandran on | March 24, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Sachin is clearly not at his best but even then he is still good enough to tackle bowlers like Pattinson and Siddle when they are bowling well, only thing he is getting out after making good starts, especially to spinners. Next Test series for India is in South Africa with a win possibly giving them back the No.1 status but a 3-0 defeat is a real possibility. If Sachin retires now none of the six batsmen that are likely to play in South Africa would have much experience in such fast bowler friendly conditions. Dhoni's overseas record is also not great. So ideally, Sachin should play the 3 Tests in South Africa, complete 200 Test Matches and 16000 Test runs(he is only 163 short) and then retire so that an youngster replacing him can gain overseas experience in the less demandiing New Zealand series immediately after.

  • POSTED BY CricPissu on | March 24, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    The irony is that he falls now to spinners very often. That's the area he used to play with his eyes closed. I think he has to go after this series to make room for youngsters as its very clear that this series was won by youngsters and not old guards. Sachin, Shewag and Ghambir should be dropped.

  • POSTED BY PrinceLokesh on | March 24, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Dear all posters,nobody is the right person to talk about his retirement except sachin,as some body told,he is no less than god...think thrice before comment.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    We need to get some perspective here. In last two years, only Dhoni and Kohli from the current team have made more runs than Sachin. So that makes him #3 in terms of runs. He has made 8 half centuries and has made over 30 runs on an average everytime he has gone out to bat. Is that really so bad to ask him to step down? The performance of Indian test team has not been very good generally over the last two years. I think we should leave him alone and let him decide when his time is up.

  • POSTED BY riverlime on | March 24, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    goodbye Sachin....but hello Dhawan, Pujara, and Vijay, three batsman who should be able to combine efforts to replace the might that was once tendulkar, but now feels like onedulkar.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    With all written and all said, if Sachin's goal is to play two hundred tests matches, so it will be. What ever his average will be or even if his fans would rather seeing him stay, it will be up to Sachin and the board to bring the curtains down.

    I believe two hundred test matches will be another record under his belt which will never be broken as test matches are being drastically reduced world wide.

  • POSTED BY mark2011 on | March 24, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    I dont know why ppl are so much worry about SRT's exit.. if he wants to play and making some good performance let him play. Let selectors decide whether he is required or can young player be replaced. over the period of time any batsman's skills and ability would be reduced or come down.thats common for everyone. There's no need that sachin shud be playing as the way he was playing some 10yrs befroe. that is stupid thinkig. if he is making considerable contribution , that's it. leave him. The decision belong to Sachin, please others stay away making decision for another person.

  • POSTED BY ajar on | March 24, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    No matter what the match result people always want to make their living out of sachin's retirement. I'm bored and sick of these discussions every time, sachin will retire when he wants not when critics wants him. And critics will retire when he retires so it will be never ending. But one thing for sure, real test for this Indian team comes when they play outside India. Until then cherish this victory, as india is not playing any tests at home untill 2014.

  • POSTED BY lararichards on | March 24, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Sachin will go when it is best for him. It was always thus. This is a man who steadfastly refuses to move from HIS batting postion of number 4 regardless of the needs of the team or the staus of the match. Remember the England tour 2 years ago. Injuries galore and form issues. Team re-jigged time and time again to accomodate the one constant - Sachin will bat at number 4. I get the impression that the dressing room attendant would get a game as long it preserves his right to bat at 4.

  • POSTED BY durvesh001 on | March 24, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    Dear Sachin Tendulkar, Since whn i was a kid...you have entertained me to an extent you wont believe...wenever u used to walk on ground i used to take bat in hand and run in my hall so that you score more n more :) Since then till date you are integral part of my life ... m sincerely grateful to you for being der !! you are not less than god ...n god never retires... please dont retire !!! :(

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    I think that there are STILL various reasons for "SIR" Tendulkar to continue: 1. "SIR" Tendulkar has not been able to score a tripple (300) whereas certain lesser mortals have achieved this feat. And a highest Test score of 248 (and that too against the mighty BD) must be hurting "SIR" n "Master" Tendulkar day in day out (till retirement) 2. He has yet to play a unique landmark of playing 200 test matches which is only a stroke away... 3. He (in the views of his fans) has not got any "Real" replacement in team (refer comments from a die-hard fan -let him die-hard...lol) that when a younger new batsman cant perform what "SIR" tandulkar can do at 40+ 4. His non-ending thirst n hunger for......... 5.... 6... 7..... above slots for some other "SIR" tendulkar's fans / foes to fill... PS: cricinfo..pls publish / dont publish as per yr own unbiased / biased standards applicable..

  • POSTED BY waspsting on | March 24, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    The glamorization of Tendulkar, IMO, confuses the fundamnetal principles on which such an issue (retirement) should be made.

    frankly, I don't care if he isn't the player he used to be - its completely irrelevent. the only important question is - is his potential replacement better than him?

    Its about team India, not Tendulkar.

    I'd keep Tendulkar in the side for South Africa. I think others could do his job in India as well (better, truth be told), but am not sure if that holds for foreign conditions - esp. Eng, Aus and SA.

    In fact, i'd back him to top the averages in SA (not that it mattters much, India will lose heavily anyway) - and hence, feel he still has a place in the team

    I want to stress the practical and not sentimental way of looking at the matter - but in reality, Tendulkar is so far gone in the sentimentality that's been created around him that the decision (whatever it is) is unlikey to be made for the right reasons

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    to those who think it is entirely "sachin's call" to decide when to go. sachin has played the last 20 tests for an average of 30 runs per dismissal. that is a very ordinary number for a top order batsman, let alone tendulkar. the likes of ponting and waugh have been shown the door. what is sachin? to those who think sachin's guidance in south africa will be important... what did he do in the current series apart from the first innings of madras test? did the kids need his guidance to play on turning tracks?

  • POSTED BY nickvegas on | March 24, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Let's be honest. Tendulkar is more interested in his own records than anything else, eg. the team winning. He is playing on to be the first, and possibly the only to play 200 tests.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    sachin is great man as well as player. let him decide .. he knows better to when ...

  • POSTED BY GreenDeviln on | March 24, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    21 Test Matches, 37 Test Innings @avg of just 31. That too at No.4 position which usually team's best batsman position, if he continues this in SA India are bound to lose. Even Ashwin is better batsman than Sachin these days. If he doesn't retire still, his records will be shadowed by his selfishness.

  • POSTED BY crick_admirer on | March 24, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    @ Guruprasad Shastri: Change your query to the last 3 years and compare Sachin vs Sehwag and Sahchin vs Gambhir... I don't see the double standard you are talking about!!! Especially with Gambhir which is why he was not selected for the series but Sehwag was... Sachin performed in Chennai but Sehwag didn't... Also, when a spot opened up, Gambhir was considered but he fell sick!!! Please try to think twice before you post such crap!

    ttp://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=batting_average;spanmax2=24+Mar+2013;spanmin2=24+Mar+2010;spanval2=span;team=6;template=results;type=batting

  • POSTED BY The_Wog on | March 24, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    Ponting said "I'm no longer good enough" and left.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    Why is pressure being put on Sachin about his exit? There are 5 wise men out there whose job it should be also to take the decided call is it not? It cant be that they won't take the call and expect Sachin to do that for them. Don't know if they even broach this issue with SRT?

  • POSTED BY Beazle on | March 24, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    I have watched his precious average continue to fall to a point now where it sits exactly the same as that of Greg Chappell, who throughout his career played against greater bowlers than Tendulkar.

    I hope he continues to play on and with time, his average will dip below 50.

  • POSTED BY srikanths on | March 24, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    It is quit clear that Tendulkar is way below his best . He still manages to play okay against Pace but is a walking wicket to even mediocre spinners. Been a great admirer of the master , the way he tamed the best bowlers and way he adapted to various formats . Precipitous decline started against England and OZ tours , went down further against NZ, England and against OZ except for a good 81 has looked ordinary especially against Lyon.While Lyon looks a good spinner who could imprve with time, he is no warne, who incidentally was handled very well by Tendulkar. He has been the best all round batsman across formats, be in ODI or a test . Was very against the best of the day, Australia, in my view without doubt the best batsman in the last 30-40 years . Ir is sad to see the great man struggle. He has won a world cup and has got back against OZ, agree with Mr Ram Guha , he shud call time.

  • POSTED BY AlbertPintoGussaHua on | March 24, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    SRT has already overstayed his welcome but his die-hard fans are so blinded by his erstwhile, but now missing brilliance, that they just cannot read the writing on the wall. If Sehwag can be axed what is so sacrosanct about Sachin? He should gracefully exit now before more people start asking why not? Go enjoy your retirement Tendulkar. Goodbye!

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | March 24, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Well written Ramachandra! Yes its time for the whole of India's HABIT to retire. When India was set the target of 155 to win this test, one thing was for sure it wont be from Sachin's huge contribution if India are to win this game. Let him retire now and have some critisism away from him

  • POSTED BY Biophysicist on | March 24, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Mr. Guha, I think instead of writing 'Sachin should retire now' you should write asking the selection committee to 'Drop Sachin, now' because it appears that no matter what anyone might say Tendulkar would not retire until after he has played 200 tests, or until Arjun Tendulkar starts playing for India. Unfortunately even senior players like Gavaskar would not make a comment that it is time he retires or is dropped.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | March 24, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    In REALITY we all love SACHIN but the time to retire has arrived. Definitely he will be leaving the team in good hands. We have ready candidates for the Indian middle order.Come on Indian fans lets bade the master farewell to the game. He has done enough for India and was even there for both world cup victory and India reaching the top of test cricket. These are moments we the fans can cherish and also the master.

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | March 24, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar looked unusually emotional when he came out to bat & also took a while to come out.The waves goodbye might be a sign that today will be the last time we see the greatest batsmen of all time.

  • POSTED BY RahulGandhi on | March 24, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    @Guruprasad Shastri : Its one thing knowing that what Statistics reveal is suggestive what they conceal is important, its another thing understanding it. A non-cricketer but a statistician in you can never understand what Sachin still brings to Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY suvopartho on | March 24, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    No one should suggest Sachin about his retirement. First, look at yourself and then write any advice for Sachin. He knows better the game that us and also he knows when he should retire.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    If Sachin retires and that 'group of young Indian batsmen' looks helpless in South Africa.....then it will be hilarious to see the crcket pundits crying for him!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Sachin is the worst of the Indian batsmen in the current team with the exception of Jadeja. He is now the weak link....

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    @ Ankit Ashok Rungta : What is this nonsense about retiring on a high? You think Sachin is batting at his best now? Since his last hundred 2 years ago, he has averaged a poor 32, not much better than Gambhir and Sehwag who have averaged 28 and 30 respectively. Why is there always a double standard when it comes to judging Tendulkar? When selectors feel Gambhir and Sehwag aren't good enough, why should they feel differently about a 40 year old who hasn't done any better?? It is high time he quit the game before he becomes an embarrassment and a laughing stock.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=batting_average;spanmin1=15+Mar+2011;spanval1=span;team=6;template=results;type=batting

  • POSTED BY riverlime on | March 24, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    I have been blessed to grow up in the years when both Lara and Tendulkar flowered and burst onto the world stage. I believe that Lara retired too soon, and I grieve for the lost gems of batsmanship Icould have witnessed. I also believe that Sachin is retiring too late and I am saddened by the cheap, imitation jewellery that I have been given.

  • POSTED BY timtom on | March 24, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    Well Mr Guha .. It would be indeed graceful if this was your last article and that you retire from all professional service with immediate effect..Like you I`m also an armchair expert but I guess you will take my advice seriously just like how this article expects it to be taken so....

  • POSTED BY sakethp2006 on | March 24, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    @KiwiRocker for your info Sachin was not rated high by his peers except warne?? donald, lara, ponting,hayden rated him high Mcgrath and murali rated him next to lara from seniors king of cricket richards rated him high actually none as rated him low

  • POSTED BY legfinedeep on | March 24, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    @wondercloak - "Players also have the future financial security of themselves and their families to consider so why stop just because some bored journalist has nothing better to write about? >>>you are concerned about SRTs financial security???? LOL so we are supposed to keep an underperforming player who has long ago overstayed his welcome, so he can add to the milllions he has - in fact, he has as many million as centuries, if not more. what a ridiculous argument. The national cricket team is not a charity to keep players only to enrich their coffers for their family. For many outside India, SRT will never be a legend but a faded fallen hero who didnt know when to quit. No one in BCCI or whole of India as the guts to ask him to quit, so I am willing to bet that 100% he will be in SA going for the 200-test record. SRT sure does individual records.

  • POSTED BY 4test90 on | March 24, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    For some years now I have wondered if Sachin could equal what I believe is the most incredible record in the whole history of cricket - Wilfred Rhodes played Test cricket in 5 decades (1899-1930) - I honestly thought that Sachin was a chance until about 12 months ago to go another 7 years and equal that -now, it seems most unlikely.

  • POSTED BY sakethp2006 on | March 24, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    with all due respect to the guha sir It is not he should retire....It should be as He can retire with a great win against australia he may not dominated as early of his career but as senior batsman he is performing to a par which he should and He is in good touch so there is no necessity for him to retire now

    But as his retirement is arriving he can chose it now so that he can be remembered that his last series is a whitewash for australia

  • POSTED BY AkhilSivadas on | March 24, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    He knows when he should retire.. No one else does! Those who feel otherwise, do not understand what Sport is! what Cricket is!

  • POSTED BY IndiaChampspakchumps on | March 24, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Sachin started his ODI career against pakistan and his last ODI was against pakistan - he scored 52 in a match in which India completely destroyed pakistan. If India plays pakistan in August, then Sachin should play that series are retire after that. India will anyway thrash pakistan in that series too.

  • POSTED BY ansram on | March 24, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    I can foresee Sachin and his son to playing together for India. :)

    Seriously, he should have already retired. Right after WC 2011.

  • POSTED BY KiranMJ on | March 24, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Dear Sir, It is an honour to write to you through this website.

    Regarding Sachin's retirement, it is best to leave the decision to him. As you could easily acknowledge his form and contribution to the current Test series, it is not fair to seek his retirement now. Let there be a better batsman who can take his place, then we can expect his retirement. When a 25 year old young man cannot do what he can do at 40+, then there is no point in even discussing his retirement. The fans who see the game through the mindless 20-20 era, cannot enjoy cricket at its true colours. Thank you.

  • POSTED BY Rajgopalan on | March 24, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Mr Guha You may be a good historian But you are a very poor reader of what majority of common people of India feel about Sachin For the past two decades as a Senior Citizen I have not come across one Indian who has done us feel proud in any discipline in a large way in the International arena Many commoners like me want to see Sachin play as long as he enjoys and is fit enough to play To hell with these publicity seekers who write or comment solely for grabbing attention Rajgopalan

  • POSTED BY haalithjr on | March 24, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    As everyone knows he is a legend and he knows when he must retire since rely on competence to serve country better, however he must give up his place to youngsters who croaks to be part of Indian team. I wish he should announce his retirement soon after he reaches his 200th test matches and 500th ODI.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    #respect sir you are one the greatest cricketer on India & international cricket . I love see your batting whenever you come for batting . I leave my every work for you . I want to see you as long as you can cricket . But most you should take care of your health . I'll more happy see health & fit n fine than to see you in field . Sir you should see your health and according to that take retirement. Till that I'll enjoy every movement of cricket with you in TV & sometimes in Wankhede

  • POSTED BY IG123 on | March 24, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    Tendulkar hasn't scored a hundred in how many Tests? 20 -21? He should have retired quite a while ago. Blocking India's progress with young players is all he is doing at the moment. Sehwag and Tendulkar both expired goods.

  • POSTED BY RoshanZameer14847 on | March 24, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    I believe SRT should continue playing Test Cricket until he is able to drive his wheelchair by himself. He is the Greatest playerof all times ............ people come to grounds only to see him ... he scores or doesn't score is a secondary issue . New emerging players can wait or play in Ranjhi trophy & IPL too but they should forget to take SRT place in Indian National team ..............Thinking to replace SRT is like a Sin.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    I completely agree with Guha article and echo what TRAM, Johnny_129, KiwiRocker and many others stated. Tendulkar must have retired at least a couple of years ago. But you know what, he will not retire until he has played his 200th Test, mark my words.

    He has always been a person who thinks of his personal records than comes the team's interests for him. Of several hundreds he scored in the ODIs, India lost those matches more than 60% of time. In tests, his hundreds are not big hundreds, as Viru, Lara, Hashim Amla etc., the reason is after scoring his hundred, he is no longer interested in playing for his team and score more runs. He rather save his energy and try and score another hundred in another innings/match. If by chance, he scores a big hundred, he would try to convert it to a double so that there is another milestone.

    He is purely a man who is obsessed in having personal milestones... !!! Mark my words...!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    Sachin lost all his teenage & enjoyments for cricket but i don't think he'll sacrifice cricket for some peoples suggestions

  • POSTED BY pulkit10 on | March 24, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    He retires when he wants to stop playing - it is as simple as that. He has already done that for the ODIs; just sent a soft word out saying he won't be playing them anymore and it was done. Why is this so hard for people to accept? I feel privileged to watch him play every time he comes on the crease. Even he knows that he won't last long now so why the haste? Isn't this entirely his decision?

    As things currently stand, I don't think it is a big deal for him. He wants to play and has the drive to do so and thus, remains in the team. The day he looses that drive, he will retire. A very simple thing really. All this nonsense about him holding up a spot is untrue as well as purely on the basis of merit, he deserves to be in the team (more so than a few that shall go unmentioned). Just let him be, he's not here to create a special legacy...he just wants to play.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    with gr8 restraint i decide not 2 utter d choicest expletives at such 'arm-chair' writers.i wud advise dese ppl 2 stop deriding icons just becoz dey hav a flair 4 writing..dey might as well spend their energy on worthwhile articles on social issues..already he's bearing the burdens of millions..now he's been coerced 2 retire on the other side by ppl who cant even stand 2 a single delivery hurled at dem..where are those charlatans who vanished after delibrating on 'ENDULKAR' 6 yrs ago..any player shudn't be forced..its within their own jurisdiction..so keep your views 2 urself..its not d tenure of each innings,bt d utter ease and d fluidity in that short stay..he doesnt need 2 vanquish critics with huge scores..he already has many 2 flaunt..if Ind go without him 2 RSA dey will get beaten black and blue...Dhoni will have 2 suffer d ignominy of another whitewash and fletcher will b effectively dumped...so cricket scribes ,STOP PUBLISHING OBITUARY ARTICLES

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    I dont think anyone of us can decide when Sachin or for that matter any of the player should retire. Did we decide for them to join the team? They are in the team bcoz of their talent and their abilities. Should we not leave them in their space and just enjoy the game as cricket lovers. And for SRT no matter he retires after a good team win or not he will always be remembered as a legend!

  • POSTED BY phunny_game on | March 24, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    I agree that Sachin is not the player that he once was, and 2011 WC was probably the best moment for him to announce his retirement... But not even the slightest of degree can i agree that he should retire now. We need him in SA. His experience will be invaluable in SA, since most of the batsmen, infact except Dhoni and Kohli, everyone is new to such pitches.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Whether he really has groomed the younger batsmen would be truly evident in SA. If they do perform well in SA, Sachin could retire on a high, regardless of his performance during the series, and also reach a highly deserving achievement, 200 tests. Coming so far with average form in the past couple of years, he rather simply play the two more tests for 200.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    I love Sachin. I think he has been a far better player than most going around. Watching him bat is still special. There is still something magical about just the way he plays his straight drive or his cover drive that still just thrill the heart. Now, however, is the time for him to end on a high. Nothing could be better than to end on a high with a series win against the Aussies, for so long his arch-nemeses. Having played the game now for a few years myself, I understand how hard it is to sustain greatness for as long as someone as Tendulkar has. Now, though, he has the chance to earn the undying respect of all Aussies and retire nobly having a long and glorious career. Sachin, mate, you're a legend, and all Aussies respect you. Don't tarnish your legacy by hanging around too long.

  • POSTED BY NP_NY on | March 24, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    @KiwiRocker: Still can't handle the fact that Sachin is the best in the world? Pretty sad for you because that's about 20 years of denial :). So your point is India doesn't have any good batsman or bowler. Yet they are the world cup champions in one-dayers and were Test # 1 for two years very recently. This article says Sachin, a great player, can retire now because there is enough young talent in India's side. Your comments have no relevance to Sachin's retirement. All you have to say is Sachin AND all the other Indian players are average. There are biased comments and then there are your comments. Hilarious and pointless as always :).

  • POSTED BY vish2020 on | March 24, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    I don't agree. Sachin please don't mind this and just stay. There is no one else to groom because as we have seen many times they will come and fall and for next million years we will keep looking for Sachin. It will start a day after u retire so please stay and let me enjoy you in cricket and let me not think I have gotten so old that sachin is not playing...

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    i dont know wats wrong with people. sachin will decide when he feels like retiring. its not for the honors tht sachin has started playing cricket (with reference to the authors mention about bharat ratna). ITS ABOUT PASSION and thts driving him even at this age.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    I love these articles. Will 800 million that dont care for football, rugby or hockey or for that matter and other sport other that this game, you would like they have some talent. Which they do. Yet every one of these boys comment on this articke have this gay affair with Tendullkar. Chose someone your own age.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    Batting in india and batting overseas is a differnt matter. WE will need sachin to provide that balance in SA and NZ

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Leave the game, stranded on 199 (tests)?

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    With all respect to you sir, whatever you have written might be correct as per the convention. But then this is what makes Sachin different from others. He has always defied it. When everyone here believed that one should retire on high, he believed one should retire when he knows he cannot serve his country anymore. Sachin doesn't crave for fame. Forget what is best for him. The best thing for us is to forget about his retirement and enjoy his game till the time he is playing.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    I don't know man, I think he should have retired already! By retiring anytime starting at the end of this tour (this test) would be good. For me, if you are not indispensable, you should go, at this level.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Who, we are to decide the retirement of Sachin?, he is in good touch now.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    Who the hell said these words.......there z lot more to see from sachin Dont force him to get retire.......it would be much better if u encourage him

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Sachin has never played the game for records or for money, he plays it because he loves playing cricket. He still has the same boy like exuberance like he had in 1989, so till he can perform and contribute he should keep playing. And he is selfless enough to himself know, when he can't do it any more, so all these cricket pundits who start to wag their tongues during every series, deeming it to be Sachins last should spend their energy for a more constructive purpose.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    I agree with the title but not with the reasons stated by the author. He has hunted for reasons. We see the plight of the Australians in India, missing the services of Mike Hussey, in that context there is nothing wrong when Sachin plays against South Africa to face them in their own backyard and moreover now the number one side in all dimensions of the game. His inputs will be valuable as that of Fletcher's. Nevertheless when Harbhajan got a go for his 100th test, why not Sachin for his 200th. Now a days it takes one to stir up such a storm and someone else from the same platform to regret for it later. Think and come out with articles that carries solid stuff justifying its cause and which does not get faded way with time or else hunt more for a little while.

  • POSTED BY deep2sha on | March 24, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    well being a die hard fan of sachin i think the time has come to retire for him....while watching him bat all my life its painful for me to see him struggling against ordinary bowlers....for me cricket is sachin.....he has given so much memories which we cannot forget....but seeing others scoring so easily and he looking shadow of himself i want him to retire....i dont want to see other questioning his place...he has achieved everything and wether he scores or not he will be national icon and a demi god for all indians.....long live sachin but time to go.....

  • POSTED BY shaolinfist on | March 24, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    Your points are valid, but Tendulkar should still continue for 1 more year because: 1. Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer, Harbhajan, Kaif, Ishant, etc. have failed miserably in the last 2.5 years despite their prior success and potential and these were meant to be their prime years! With Dravid & VVS also retired, it is noble for Tendulkar to stay on to guide the youngsters 2. Whilst Tendulkar isn't himself of the 90s he still makes useful contributions and guides others. 3. Most cricketers today won't last more than 5-7 years but the Tendulkar generation had a different work ethic due to which they can play for longer. 4. Ideally Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman should have retired after WC 2011, but by not doing so they complicated things and now unfortunately Tendulkar will have to stay on to fix it!

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    Why is people like you still commenting on whether Sachin should retire or not. Everyone knows the passion and commitment Sachin has for the game, you can still see his reflexes not to forget he is the greatest EVER ambassador of the game.

    No one in the world is greater than Sachin when it comes to cricket and no one is experience enough to comment on his retirement. A sight of Sachin playing cricket is what an INDIAN wants to see the most in cricket Let him decide whether he will continue to play or quit.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    You are So unfair for the greatest cricket ever. I don't think he needs writers suggestion. He has every right to decide his time to go whether its now or SA. Since he dint announce in Delhi, he has every right to taste Series victory in SA.

  • POSTED BY buntyj on | March 24, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    very well written. i would only add that all of india's fab 6 batsmen have sub-par stats in RSA, despite odd centuries.this is over too many years and tours not to raise eyebrows when considering their places in the games all time greats. not entirely surprising since overall for the past 20 years or so rsa have pretty much had the fastest/bounciest tracks and over all the best pace attacks (though other teams may have had better individual fast bowlers for periods within this). SRT alone averages just about 40 (like bradman averaging 56 in the bodyline series), sub-par for him but just about respectable. It appears unlikely that he will maintain this 40 average after another tour of RSA at this stage of his career. As we get away from contemporary fan critics to critics who will look at the fab 6 with more perspective the sub par stats in RSA over time are likely to lead to more critical examination of the fab 6's place in the games overall greats.only SRT's 40 may be safei

  • POSTED BY Hardy1 on | March 24, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Sehwag-Gambhir-Dravid-Ganguly-VVS-Harbhajan-Kumble-Zaheer. That's 8 first teamers India have had to replace for some reason or another within a relatively short space of time & if Tendulkar goes, that will leave Dhoni as the sole experienced player in the Test side (presuming none of the active players on that list come back, seeing as they haven't done anything to merit it).

    Therefore I can see the merits of wanting him to continue, but I'd like to see India just go for it & give these guys like Rahane & Tiwary a chance to prove themselves, 'cos frankly 2 years of averaging 32 for a batsman doesn't warrant a spot in a major Test side, even if it is Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY 2overpar on | March 24, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    I'm not sure what your reasoning is. That Sachin should retire so that people can say why and not why not? That would be self-serving of him: Retire simply to protect his legacy when his country may need him. Even if we don't consider the benefits of his experience in the locker room, there is only one criteria on which he should retire or be dropped and that is that he's not good enough to play for India. And that means there are obviously 4 or 5 five middle-order batsmen (assuming 3-6 are interchangeable) who are better than him. Batters knocking on the door about whom selectors are reasonably sure that they would do better than Sachin in SA. Can you name them? I can't.

    Also, why this call for Sachin to retire? If he's not good enough, write an open letter to the selectors saying that, sentiment be damned, drop him. He's holding up XYZ youngster. And, by the way, while you're at it, provide some statistics to back yourself. Good luck.

  • POSTED BY Hardy1 on | March 24, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    I think it's a bit late to claim he can 'do a Vijay Merchant' by retiring at the end of this match considering he hasn't scored a Test hundred in over 2 years. We all kinda knew the 2011 WC would have been the right time to call it quits, but I don't blame him for choosing to carry on (it's his choice after all).

    I do however blame the selectors for repeatedly picking him when he hasn't been making the runs, and clearly they'll pick him for SA too 'cos this series hasn't been worse for him than the others since the WC. I can kinda understand why too 'cos when you've let it come this far, it's hard to select a debutant to play against Steyn, Philander & Morkel in favourable conditions, but sometimes that kind of thing's necessary & youngsters can thrive in that environment too.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    Ramachandra Guha, Sachin enjoys playing. Let him decide when he should quit. Have you been a player? How do you know how a player feels? Sachin is still a better fielder than many in the team. Including Kohli, Pujara, Vijay, Ojha, Ishant and obviously wide body Ashwin. Sachin is still a better entertainer than most in the current team. Stop worrying about Sachin's retirement and write something interesting.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    100 international hundreds and 200 test matches are two of some of the reasons that Sachin continued to play after India's triumph in 2011 world cup. Records have always been dear to Sachin and he has clearly demonstrated that many times. I will mention some instances here. Sachin refused an offer of Sangarkkara and Jayawardane to call off a test match when there was no result possible as he was approaching a hundred. He shook hands and agreed to call off only after his hundred. Sachin will go to South Africa and complete 200 test matches, and he should be allowed to do that, as he has been allowed greater liberties all his career, by everyone involved. But there is another record in the offing. The record for becoming the batsman to be bowled most number of times. I guess he is at #2, behind Dravid who broke Allan Border's record to be bowled most number of times, and you must have seen how he was covering stumps in 1st innings of the ongoing test match. He is aware of all records.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Precisely what I find as a negative point in Guha. The same way he wrote India After Gandhi, he seems to be, to me, thinking that he is the only person who knows cricket and Tendulkar. Let me tell you Mr. Guha, the Aussies are far from vanquished and when the selectors do not have a problem with playing Tendulkar as senior member of the team, why do your soles itch for his retirement? My view- Since there is a plethora of opinions already, why waste words? Enjoy his game while you still can.

  • POSTED BY suvam.ask on | March 24, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    i don't agree....true player never play for respect or glory...they played for their passion, their love, dedication for the game....they born with the game and want to play it until the end....and playing for the nation is the best platform for that.............................Sachin is doing till now right...his ODI's retirement was a setback(though I think he was forced to do so after no selection in Pak series)....

    also as Gayle said......"YOU RETIRED ONLY ONCE"..........

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | March 24, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    I absolutely agree that now is the time for SRT to go out in style at home.

  • POSTED BY PratUSA on | March 24, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Another forced article with weird series of logic. But point is correct. Sachin should retire because he is not contributing with the bat for long time now when every younger player is doing far better than him and he is not only blocking a young Indian batsman to join the new generation, he is also hurting the team now. As for off the field contributions and all, those are overrated at this point. Even Gavaskar and Kapil or Dravid and Laxam could contribute in the dressing room so enough of that argument. It's already too late for Sachin to do a Merchant or Gavaskar but he can still do a Ponting, otherwise he'll end up doing a Kapil.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    he will go soon he is the best ever indian cricketer

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    I am sure the elusive triple is in the back of his mind which by now even he knows won't happen. Seeing his penchant for individual records, I don't think he will miss the opportunity to play 200 Tests. I am pretty sure, BCCI would arrange a home series after SA tour or whenever Sachin plans to retire with his last match at Mumbai.

    Sadly, No one is bigger than the game is not applicable to SRT.

  • POSTED BY baskar_guha on | March 24, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    This idea of a dignified departure may do a lot for writers and experts but I think the player should do it for the right reasons which really have to do with why he plays the sport in the first place. I am quite sure Sachin will know when he is done and it wont be necessarily after a sublime innings.

  • POSTED BY Sahil.Jain on | March 24, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    It is just like saying "Hey, i bought a pet dog when it was raining, you should hav one too as its pouring now" or "Hey, i brought a Ferrari at 40, you should get one now that you are 40".. Retiring before the Australian series would have still made some sense as that would have given Indian think tank a chance to decide on a batting order before departing for SA but to retire just after the Australian series would be ridiculous. One must not forget that in the recent past, three home victories in tests series (Two against relatively lesser oppositions) are nothing to write off when it comes to touring abroad. Given the various advantages and disadvantages of the Indian cricket, i would say that it shall be best for the future of Indian cricket that Sachin guides the youngsters for atleast two out of the three consecutive test series scheduled abroad (SA, ENG and NZ). In the absence of Rahul, VVS and Anil, Sachin is the one man who can anchor the ship like no one else can.

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | March 24, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    SRT should have retired on a high after World Cup 2011. Even now he has a chance to retire on a high after winning the test series against Oz. But then, there's a reason millions of people call him Selfishkar. If he wants to go to South Africa - fine. Let him get completely humiliated by Steyn and Company.

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    well it would have been prefect had he retired on the day of world cup glory. But now let him have a final go with steyn and co..

  • POSTED BY wondercloak on | March 24, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    I hate these arrogant 'you should retire' pieces. Who's right is it to tell any sportsman when they should stop? International sportsmen train and aspire to be the best they can in a discipline they (usually) love. Why stop doing the thing you love if you're good at it and you're still good enough to be selected for a place? Players also have the future financial security of themselves and their families to consider so why stop just because some bored journalist has nothing better to write about? Some sportsmen also struggle to adapt to life after a long, competitive career. You have no idea about the mental and emotional make up of each individual, so why assume that you have any insight into it and that it's okay tell them their time's up when they may not feel it is. Get over yourself man...just enjoy watching Sachin play while he's still enjoying himself. Why would you wish to see less of one of the world's great sportsmen?

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | March 24, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    That is one fine article by Guha. It is a shame that so much is being written about a player who never won anything of substance for India. Sachin tendulkar averages 34 in fouth inngs of a test match and none of his peers rate high very highly with the exception of Warne who has vested interest in India due to IPL. I fully agree with everything that Guha has written. Sachin tendulkar's so called legacy is already tarnished and it will be further tarnished if he decides to go to SA. Lets be honest, SA bowling is very lethal on their own pitches. I do not agree this comment in article Pujara, Kohli, Vijay, Dhawan has scored regularly? Where? Pujara played one test in SA and he was smoked by Steyn. Kohli was a moderate success in Australia. Vijay has failed everywhere outside India and Dhawan has yet to play? R.Ashwin has played 3 tests outside India and had 9 wickets at an average of 63. While Ojha who already has 100 wickets has never played outside India! Can we stop the hype please?

  • POSTED BY Johnny_129 on | March 24, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    If SRT told his team-mates today that he will retire after the ongoing Test, INDIA WILL WIN the match! This is because the team will lift to give him a fitting farewell and players like Jadeja and Rehane would raise to another level to secure their spots. And yes, what better way to retire than a 4-0 sweep against AUS who have been the best team for most of SRT's career and indeed the history of cricket. SRT has been a GREAT servant of Indian cricket and he deserves a fitting farewell. The ODI retirement should have occurred right after the WC win but that's okay - he played a few more matches. BUT now IS THE RIGHT TIME for SRT to call it a day.

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | March 24, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    The fact that so many people have to request,write, cry, yell, plead, beg, pray, etc etc that he should retire - says all. He should have retired many years back. Why ? He is not fielding good. Period. That alone is a complete reason why he should retire. Last many years, his batting is a survival batting and not dominating batting. If he continues to bat, nothing will happen to his fame & name. But everything will happen to Indian cricket (BCCI). There is no shame worse than a non-performer aged 40+ can not be touched by the administrators. I dont think even Bradman could have made his board this shameful.

  • POSTED BY dcaprio on | March 24, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    You provide no reason ....do you seriously beleive M Vijay will be able to reach double figures in SA.?India needs Sachin..and Viru too in place of Vijay..

  • POSTED BY mainul079080 on | March 24, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    I think Sachin wont retire before playing 200 test matches whatever happens around him.With all the respect to him, i want to say he is always greedy of personal records & milestones. Otherwise he would have retired in World Cup winning stage in 2011.That would have been the best timing of retirement for the great.Another great Imran Khan also thinks so.

  • POSTED BY AniketSinkar on | March 24, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    He has overplayed the game for almost 2 years. He might leave as well now , its always sad to see a fallen hero.

  • POSTED BY indianpunter on | March 24, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    I sound like a broken tape saying this all over again. Sachin has to go NOW! He really should have gone after the disaster down under ( 4-0 in Australia), but he chose to stay to "guide" the youngsters. He is still good for a token 50 once in a series ( as he duly completed against eng and aus), but is that what we want from him? Dhawan scoring a blistering hundred on debut made us realise the folly of persisting with Sehwag for such a long time. If he ends up going to SA, he will be more sorry than his fans. Wake up to reality, Sachin. You have lost me as a fan.

  • POSTED BY indianpunter on | March 24, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    I sound like a broken tape saying this all over again. Sachin has to go NOW! He really should have gone after the disaster down under ( 4-0 in Australia), but he chose to stay to "guide" the youngsters. He is still good for a token 50 once in a series ( as he duly completed against eng and aus), but is that what we want from him? Dhawan scoring a blistering hundred on debut made us realise the folly of persisting with Sehwag for such a long time. If he ends up going to SA, he will be more sorry than his fans. Wake up to reality, Sachin. You have lost me as a fan.

  • POSTED BY AniketSinkar on | March 24, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    He has overplayed the game for almost 2 years. He might leave as well now , its always sad to see a fallen hero.

  • POSTED BY mainul079080 on | March 24, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    I think Sachin wont retire before playing 200 test matches whatever happens around him.With all the respect to him, i want to say he is always greedy of personal records & milestones. Otherwise he would have retired in World Cup winning stage in 2011.That would have been the best timing of retirement for the great.Another great Imran Khan also thinks so.

  • POSTED BY dcaprio on | March 24, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    You provide no reason ....do you seriously beleive M Vijay will be able to reach double figures in SA.?India needs Sachin..and Viru too in place of Vijay..

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | March 24, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    The fact that so many people have to request,write, cry, yell, plead, beg, pray, etc etc that he should retire - says all. He should have retired many years back. Why ? He is not fielding good. Period. That alone is a complete reason why he should retire. Last many years, his batting is a survival batting and not dominating batting. If he continues to bat, nothing will happen to his fame & name. But everything will happen to Indian cricket (BCCI). There is no shame worse than a non-performer aged 40+ can not be touched by the administrators. I dont think even Bradman could have made his board this shameful.

  • POSTED BY Johnny_129 on | March 24, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    If SRT told his team-mates today that he will retire after the ongoing Test, INDIA WILL WIN the match! This is because the team will lift to give him a fitting farewell and players like Jadeja and Rehane would raise to another level to secure their spots. And yes, what better way to retire than a 4-0 sweep against AUS who have been the best team for most of SRT's career and indeed the history of cricket. SRT has been a GREAT servant of Indian cricket and he deserves a fitting farewell. The ODI retirement should have occurred right after the WC win but that's okay - he played a few more matches. BUT now IS THE RIGHT TIME for SRT to call it a day.

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | March 24, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    That is one fine article by Guha. It is a shame that so much is being written about a player who never won anything of substance for India. Sachin tendulkar averages 34 in fouth inngs of a test match and none of his peers rate high very highly with the exception of Warne who has vested interest in India due to IPL. I fully agree with everything that Guha has written. Sachin tendulkar's so called legacy is already tarnished and it will be further tarnished if he decides to go to SA. Lets be honest, SA bowling is very lethal on their own pitches. I do not agree this comment in article Pujara, Kohli, Vijay, Dhawan has scored regularly? Where? Pujara played one test in SA and he was smoked by Steyn. Kohli was a moderate success in Australia. Vijay has failed everywhere outside India and Dhawan has yet to play? R.Ashwin has played 3 tests outside India and had 9 wickets at an average of 63. While Ojha who already has 100 wickets has never played outside India! Can we stop the hype please?

  • POSTED BY wondercloak on | March 24, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    I hate these arrogant 'you should retire' pieces. Who's right is it to tell any sportsman when they should stop? International sportsmen train and aspire to be the best they can in a discipline they (usually) love. Why stop doing the thing you love if you're good at it and you're still good enough to be selected for a place? Players also have the future financial security of themselves and their families to consider so why stop just because some bored journalist has nothing better to write about? Some sportsmen also struggle to adapt to life after a long, competitive career. You have no idea about the mental and emotional make up of each individual, so why assume that you have any insight into it and that it's okay tell them their time's up when they may not feel it is. Get over yourself man...just enjoy watching Sachin play while he's still enjoying himself. Why would you wish to see less of one of the world's great sportsmen?

  • POSTED BY on | March 24, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    well it would have been prefect had he retired on the day of world cup glory. But now let him have a final go with steyn and co..

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | March 24, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    SRT should have retired on a high after World Cup 2011. Even now he has a chance to retire on a high after winning the test series against Oz. But then, there's a reason millions of people call him Selfishkar. If he wants to go to South Africa - fine. Let him get completely humiliated by Steyn and Company.