Can Sachin Tendulkar’s Test career continue?

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    Sachin Tendulkar has an idea to improve cricket. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

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    Just like all cricket loving fans, especially Indians, I too have been captivated by the aura that surrounds Sachin Tendulkar.

    When asked who has been my mentor or player I love to watch, I have had no hesitation in stating that it’s Sachin.

    It’s not uncommon for me to cease doing whatever I am doing to watch Tendulkar bat. He has captivated my imagination and when I had the chance to meet the man (who may I say is not that much taller than myself) it reinforced all the perceptions I had formulated of him I had from afar – he is a genius.

    It’s no surprise that he is a player that has been so successful in all parts of the world despite the conditions he had faced and yet always looks so calm and in control.

    You might recall that I mentioned briefly in my article last week that the decision by the Indian selectors to replace Sehwag with Dhawan was brave and necessary.

    It would have been a difficult decision to drop one of the greats but Dhawan repaid their faith in the most impressive manner possible.

    His 187 runs on debut saw him collect the records of the fastest century by a debutant and the highest Test score by an Indian debutant – not bad at all!

    This causes me to wonder whether there will now be a create a louder conversation in India around Sachin’s place in the team and when would be an appropriate and fitting time for him to retire from Test cricket.

    Even during the last Test match the commentators began to ponder whether this would be Sachin’s last innings on home soil and the local crowd certainly gave him the ovation ‘just in case’ it was his last innings.

    Having looked at the current Test schedule, India’s next home series will be against West Indies in October 2014 when Sachin will be 41. Between that time India will travel abroad to South Africa, England and New Zealand.

    With India being such an inexperienced side in regards to playing abroad, no doubt he still has an important role within the team in terms of mentoring the younger players and sharing his experiences about how to perform at your best while being out of familiar and comfortable environment.

    Of course he may choose to retire while overseas, but I could just imagine the Indian fans’ disappointment if this was to
    happen.

    I am sure all of India, not just the true cricket fans, would hope he retires while playing at home so they can give him the fan fair, a tribute, the red carpet farewell that is one of the most extravagant sporting bon voyage anyone has ever witnessed.

    I wrote an article recently on my blog about how does an athlete know when is the right time to go? I was adamant that I wanted to leave on my terms (before the tap on the shoulder), still be at the top of my game and to not be holding up talent ready to blossom.

    These things mattered to me after having had the benefit of witnessing a number of players, male and female, that simply played on for too long and finished in a way that took some of the gloss off what had been an amazing career.

    I think all cricket lovers want to see the greats go out on top. A prime example that comes to mind is the retirement of Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Shane Warne from Test cricket compared to Ricky Ponting’s.

    McGrath, Langer and Warne all retired from Test cricket at the SCG after thrashing the English five-nil in the 06/07 Ashes series.

    If we compare this to Ponting, who had to deal with Australian media intensely calling for his blood for a couple of seasons before he eventually retired last season at the WACA, it just didn’t seem fitting for someone who has been Australia’s most successful batsmen to finish in those circumstances.

    Questions are certainly being asked about Sachin and whether he will choose to retire or be asked to step aside by the selectors.

    Given Sachin stops a nation whenever he does anything and has dominated cricket for over two decades, I highly doubt the selectors will drop him from the team.

    So, would Dhawan’s performance cause Tendulakar to ponder retirement soon? Only those close to him would know.

    I know for me, a performance like that would have me reflecting more intensely about if it was time to retire.

    My only question is what other young Indian batsmen are waiting in the wings for a chance to experience Test cricket?

    If Dhawan is any indication of what talent is waiting it can only be exciting times ahead, not only for Indian fans but for Test cricket as a whole, as with just one innings Dhawan has already captivated the audience with his impeccable timing and the twirling of his manicured moustache.

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • Roar Guru

      March 27th 2013 @ 7:38am
      JGK said | March 27th 2013 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      He’ll tour South Africa, get to 200 tests and if he can pull off a ton against the best team in the world then all the better. The fact that South Africa don’t really have a spinner will help.

      I think he’ll want to put as much space between himself and Kallis as well.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 9:33am
        clipper said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        JGK – Kallis has an average of 56.10 and Tendulkar stands at 53.86, so by playing on he risks worsening his average (it’s already come down from 57) and therefore putting more space between Kallis and him.

        • Roar Guru

          March 27th 2013 @ 11:21am
          JGK said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:21am | ! Report

          I am talking about run aggregates, not average.

          BB – Sachin seems to get out to spinners a lot these days. Lyon against us, Monty against England.

          • March 28th 2013 @ 10:02am
            clipper said | March 28th 2013 @ 10:02am | ! Report

            JGK – yes, I do realise that’s what you meant, but I was trying to illustrate that he risks lowering his average from the lofty heights it was at, like Ponting did, to one that, although still great, puts him in the company of many others. Of course the same thing may happen with Kallis too.

      • Roar Guru

        March 27th 2013 @ 10:37am
        biltongbek said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        It will help that we don’t have a spinner?

        • March 29th 2013 @ 11:31am
          ShakZulu said | March 29th 2013 @ 11:31am | ! Report

          They should pray that SA plays a spinner rather than another paceman. Those are the most friendly wickets in the world for pacemen!

    • March 27th 2013 @ 8:45am
      TedS said | March 27th 2013 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      Sachin did turn out to be an enigma for me. Sachin’s earlier greatness was very grounded. He was undoubtedly deity in India but he was every guy’s guy – man on the street could relate to him. I felt that in the latter part of his career that changed. We saw a more flashy version of the guy, working on his legacy, a new hairstyle, membership in the Parliament. It was like Sachin went from having an air of immortality to an Indian demigod desperately trying to turn back or at the minimum stop time. The ease with which he conducted himself in the beginning by the sheer beauty of its simplicity, now became forced. And whereas, the earlier Sachin seemed like he would retire at a reasonable age, this new stylish, human Sachin is looking a bit desperate.

      I believe he should have retired at winning the World Cup.

    • March 27th 2013 @ 9:18am
      Shugmao said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      He could continue forever if he plays for Australia,at least he’s to afraid of the ball……

    • March 27th 2013 @ 11:41am
      Brendon said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

      It was clear he has lost reflexes and that comes as old man time catches up with him, I can’t see him going any good away so for me he should have called it quits this series. India would have been arguably stronger for his absence if he hadn’t of played against Australia.

      Time to go Sachin me old mate, either that or risk what happened to Ponting, and I don’t think anyone wants to see that.

    • March 27th 2013 @ 8:48pm
      San said | March 27th 2013 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

      He definately wanted in the team to tour south africa… All of the other batsmen in the current team are flat track bulleys

      • Roar Guru

        March 28th 2013 @ 3:34am
        sheek said | March 28th 2013 @ 3:34am | ! Report

        Or more precisely, Aussie bowling bullies….. 😉

    • March 28th 2013 @ 12:28pm
      Krishnan said | March 28th 2013 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

      Even though, cricket is a team game and people say that personal milestones are not significant, in Tendulkar’s case he would probably be given the opportunity to get to 200 tests. But one guy who I would like to see in the Indian team is Ambati Rayudu. Playing in the ICL really cost him!

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