Where's the Tendulkar critique?
In the Outlook magazine, Suresh Menon wonders when intelligent speculation on Tendulkar's career will take place, when uncomfortable truths, like his involvement in the Sydney 2008 race row and the ball-tampering issue in South Africa, won't be glossed over.
Everybody plays safe with Tendulkar. His contemporary Sourav Ganguly was fair game (outside of Bengal), and copped criticism not just from the media but from ex-players too; Sachin had immunity from both. The writer Mukul Kesavan once wrote of the "fawningly good" press that Rahul Dravid always received, adding it would "embarrass a North Korean despot". Ditto, Tendulkar. For occasionally making a critical comment, I picked up an undeserved reputation for Sachin-bashing and enough hate mail to fill a book.
But it's not like there's no criticism. Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad, whose final international match was a World Cup quarter-final defeat to India, where he was booed by a partisan crowd in Bangalore, says Tendulkar has overstayed his welcome. "Some people are not going to like me for saying this, but there is always the right time to leave," Miandad told the Hindustan Times. "Just like how Pakistan didn't miss me when I left, India won't miss Sachin Tendulkar because there are plenty of good youngsters. I perhaps overstayed and that rubbed people the wrong way. Even in Sachin's case, people have been calling for retirement for the last two years... and he's finally going. Even if he leaves now, it won't matter much."
But it seems it will matter to some. The Mumbai Cricket Association hopes it can convince Tendulkar, who has not specified if he is quitting all forms of cricket, to stay on after his international retirement and play Ranji Trophy for the team this season. "In the first Ranji match [against Haryana this season], he saved Mumbai," Ravi Savant, the MCA vice-president, told PTI. "He has lot of cricket left in him. Lot of Mumbai senior cricketers have retired this year. Ajit Agarkar [retired], Ramesh Powar [is now playing for Rajasthan], Zaheer Khan is still trying [for an India spot]. If Zaheer goes out then there is no senior player. So Sachin's services are required."
In the Hindu, Zaheer talks about playing alongside Tendulkar and being mentored by him.
I remember bowling to Michael Vaughan in England. I was bowling over the wicket and Sachin suggested I go round the wicket. Sachin had studied how Vaughan was playing the line and realised he was letting the ball go because it was on the right side of his eye.
He wanted me to change the line so that Vaughan feels every ball was coming in.
Actually, that is why I started bowling more round the wicket in England. Through my discussions with him I realised how he could understand the angle and all, even better than the bowlers.
Can Tendulkar's brand become bigger after his retirement? The Times of India examines the case.