The buzz

Where's the Tendulkar critique?

Is it all just good press? Is there any reasonable examination of his career amid the hagiographies?
November 11, 2013

Javed Miandad believes India won't miss Tendulkar © BCCI
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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.

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Posted by RAJEESH on (November 13, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

"Even if he leaves now, it won't matter much." I think this is what sachin done right. The stated feeling arised when Rohit Sharma finally found himself. I am happy to see that Sachin did not left the team for his glory(retiring when he is in good form). He gave enough time for a good youngster to find his spot in the team. And look, Rohit finds form when sachin is in his last series, what a coincidence? A god's intervention.

Posted by Satish on (November 12, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

Interesting Mr.Menon thinks he was a Tendulkar-basher. I think his articles were the most balanced criticism of Tendulkar unlike Mr.Kesavan. Regarding Miandad's statements - the biggest difference I have seen between Pakistan's seniors and India's has been the way the Indian seniors have groomed the youngsters and taught them to be better players while the Pakistan seniors seem more busy stabbing each other in the back. So even if Tendulkar has delayed his retirement I am sure he has passed on a lot to the youngsters.

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 12, 2013, 0:21 GMT)

I would think that Sachin has a lot of cricket in him left even now. From my point of view he should retire now , bid farewell to cricket followers and the game and after 6 months or so come back.Not only will he be a rejuvenated young man fresh from retirement but will receive a red carpet welcome from the cricketing world and his glorious comeback will be garlanded by zeal and zest to happy fan followers the world over.

So more power to your persona

Posted by mee on (November 11, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

What 'uncomfortable truths' are you talking about vis a vis the race row and ball tampering allegations? I will take Sachin's word any day over that of Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds about the so called race row.

As for the alleged ball tampering incident, if you go back and view the footage, it shows Sachin clearing the dirt off the seam in full and open view, not hiding the ball within his palms or any such thing. No doubt, it was an utterly daft thing for Sachin to do, but to call it ball tampering was making a mountain of a molehill.

As for Miandad's comments, well, just today, The Hindu ran an article about Gary Kirsten and what he said of Sachin's mere presence in the dressing room being uplifting. The nay sayers can't seem to understand that if the team is doing well now, it's due in a significant measure to Sachin being around and helping the transition, even if it came at the cost of a dip in form and overall batting average. Now, that's real sacrifice, in my book.

Posted by Manoj on (November 11, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

If you look at data they can paint a picture you want them to be.....but with Sachin, it is much more than cricket data alone- it is sort of an expression he gave to a young nation and its youth, people like me who grew up watching him.....a confidence he created in a nation which otherwise had talented but mentalty fragile players........this is priceless and beyond measurable........a man who is perfect role model for on and off the field and whatever media bites you get on controversies are just bites....nothing more

Posted by Rashid on (November 11, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

May be India have the replacement when it comes to batting (not in the quality of Sachin though), but after this match, India will leave to SA with youngest team in two three decades. The most experienced batsman will be Kohli with 20 test matches. Dhoni will be the only man who played more matches in the team if Zaheer not recalled.

Posted by Sagayaraj on (November 11, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

"Even if he leaves now, it won't matter much." - It is not so, because it does matters. Just because India is winning many matches now, it does not mean that people will not miss Tendulkar. After the World Cup win, Sachin have not made big scores often, but it does not mean that he was happy just being in the team and not scoring big. In the past, there was no one who could make justice if he played in the place of Sachin. We have the players now and he is retiring at the right time.


The man whom cricket loved back

Sambit Bal: Tendulkar was the biggest worshipper the game could ever find, and in that lay the foundation of his greatness

Tendulkar's perfect balance

Sharda Ugra: While the team, the country and the sport changed around him, Tendulkar remained constant

Why do we insist on seeing the 'real' Sachin?

Rahul Bose: You can ask as much as you want for a more "human", more "feelable, touchable" Sachin, but he'll probably not change - and that's a good thing

Zaltz Stats

The approximate number of people in India today who had not been born when Sachin Tendulkar made his Test debut in 1989 (calculated from these figures). His batting has been so erotically outstanding that the global population has increased by almost 2 billion during his career, with the biggest increase, understandably, in India itself.

I have played cricket for 24 years, it has been only 24 hours since retirement, and I think I should get at least 24 days to relax before deciding these things.

Sachin Tendulkar doesn't want to think of what lies ahead just yet