Sourav Ganguly has said Sachin Tendulkar needs to reconsider his decision to keep playing one-day cricket. Ganguly said Tendulkar should only continue his ODI career if he thought he was capable of playing one-dayers regularly because it would not help Tendulkar or the team if he only played every eight or nine months.
"Sachin has to ask himself whether he is good enough to play one-day cricket day in and day out; whether it's helping him missing tournaments and playing a one-day series after eight-nine months," Ganguly told news channel Headlines Today, "whether it's helping him as a one-day player or if it's helping the Indian one-day team. If Sachin can't get an answer to these questions, he has to go."
Tendulkar is playing the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia after not having played an ODI since the World Cup final in April 2011. "It affects everyone's form if Tendulkar keeps coming in and going out of one-day tournaments," Ganguly said. "I said after the World Cup that Sachin needs to look at his one-day career because he has achieved everything in one-day cricket."
Ganguly's comments come after another former India captain, Kapil Dev, said Tendulkar should have quit one-day cricket after the World Cup. Another former captain, Sunil Gavaskar, said the selectors should tell Tendulkar if they felt he did not have a future as a one-day cricketer. "Maybe if the selection committee feels that Sachin Tendulkar doesn't have a future in the Indian one-day team, they should take him aside and speak with him," Gavaskar said on NDTV. "They should allow him to call it a day."
Ganguly, however, said it was unrealistic to expect the Indian selectors to tell someone of Tendulkar's stature that he needed to retire. "I don't see any of the selectors stepping in," Ganguly said. "They are not going to stand in front of Sachin Tendulkar and say 'Listen little champ, you need to go'. That is never going to happen."
Gavaskar said Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of selectors, was the right man to have a word with Tendulkar since he captained Tendulkar. "I think Srikkanth can do it. He was Tendulkar's first captain," Gavaskar said. "Tendulkar made his debut under him and today Srikkanth is the chairman of selectors. If his selection committee feels Sachin has no one-day future, then Srikkanth is just the right man to tell Sachin that."
Tendulkar has averaged 18.00 in five games in the CB series so far. In the same tournament, Ricky Ponting averaged 3.60 in as many games, and was dropped from the Australia side, causing him to announce retirement from ODIs.
India's form in the CB series has dipped after they won two of their first three games, and they are now bottom of the table. Ganguly said India needed a separate captain for ODIs. "The time has come for the selectors to decide three captains for three formats," he said. "At the moment there is too much cricket, too many formats."
Ganguly also did not agree with MS Dhoni's reasoning that Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir could not play in the same XI because they were too slow in the field. The three openers have been rotated during the CB series. "Dhoni can't just jump and say these guys can't field so they are being rotated," Ganguly said. "If a guy who can field averages 15 on the tour, what sense does it make? We have to find a way to balance players and make a team."
Dhoni has backed the young India players and given them the opportunity to play as many games as possible in the CB series, keeping in mind the 2015 World Cup is in Australia and New Zealand. Ganguly, however, said Dhoni needed to stop being fixated on certain players.
"Every captain will feel that this player is more talented than the other. The point is he is too stuck on someone for too long because of his mindset. [Suresh] Raina has to go but the problem with Dhoni is that he is thinking too far ahead: the 2015 World Cup.
"I bet if Raina doesn't improve his technique then he is going to struggle in the 2015 World Cup in Australia. People are going to bounce him out. Nobody is going to pitch the ball up to him. The selectors will have to look at young players who can perform."
Edited by Dustin Silgardo