Tendulkar running out of form and time

Tendulkar running out of form and time

It’s not often that you hear former cricketers voice their concern with regard to Sachin Tendulkar’s presence in the Indian team. And if that voice happens to be of a certain Sunil Gavaskar, then one has to sit up and take note.

Without indicating in as many words that the time has come for the Mumbai veteran to plan his exit, the former India skipper suggested that the National selectors have a word with Tendulkar to know his future plans.  

“... At the end of the day, it is the selectors who will take the call. I think the selectors will probably have a word with Tendulkar about what his future plans are and then take a call,” the former Indian captain told a TV channel after Tendulkar got out for another low score against England in the second Test on Sunday.

Nearing 40 and in his 23rd year as an international cricketer, the right-hander has endured a prolonged lean patch since India’s tour of England in 2011. Tendulkar, since the Lord’s Test against England in July 2011, has managed just 720 runs in 13 matches at an average of 32.22, way less than his career average of 54.64. The hushed up talks for his retirement are gathering steam with each of his failures.

Given Tendulkar’s high standing in Indian cricket, there is no dearth of people who will stick their necks out in his support. Senior BCCI official and IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla was quick to say that one needs to look at Sachin’s “colossal record” before making any comment.

“He will hang up his boots when he thinks it’s time for him to go. He does not need any advice on this. Before making a comment on his performance, you have to see his colossal record and his past performance,” Shukla told reporters outside the Parliament House, adding the veteran cricketer would come back strongly in the coming matches.

Tendulkar has always bounced back whenever the knives have been out for him, but there is no denying that patience has been wearing thin. What has accentuated the situation is India’s unexpected defeat at the hands of England on Monday at Mumbai, Tendulkar’s backyard. The Master Blaster, who managed just 16 runs at the Wankhede before falling to the left-arm spin of Monty Panesar in both innings, has scored just 29 runs in the two-Test-old series. With youngsters like Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli proving their credentials at the highest level, there is a simmering consensus that Tendulkar should follow the examples of his long-time team-mates Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman who retired following India’s 0-4 defeat Down Under.

For someone who was referred to as a nightmare of bowlers, that is some fall in stature.
DH News Service

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