Will Tendulkar go the Ponting way?
Ever since Sachin made his 99th international century against South Africa in a World Cup group match in March last year, all the attention was set on him getting his elusive ton of tons. Every time since that innings, the focus of the Indian
team management, the fans and followers alike are waiting for the record. There is too much of a burden on him to achieve the milestone.
But the times have changed. Not only has the Master Blaster become a fading star over the past 12 months, it seems age has finally caught up with him. Even the fans and the Indian team management have given up on him reaching 100 international centuries.
The focus now seems to be on, when the batting veteran call it quits? The pressing questions are, will be announce his retirement or will the BCCI selectors show him the door?
Circumstantially he might face the same fate as Ponting, who was dropped from the Australian ODI side, following poor scores. Retirement is never an easy decision for a player, especially for a player like Tendulkar, who has undoubtedly stood above his peers.
But it is a reality that every player has to face, and looking at history, it is replete of players finishing on a high. And maybe Tendulkar missed a trick, and a golden opportunity of calling time on his ODI career – he should have gone on a high following
the World Cup victory last year.
It would have been a befitting end had the Master Blaster quit international cricket right after India’s World Cup victory last year. That was the perfect time for the batsman to walk off into the sunset, fighting another day in Test cricket to reach the
record. After all the Australians regard him as a modern-day Bradman, and it is pertinent to mention here that Sir Bradman had called it a day with a career batting average of 99.6. He could have played one more Test, but he secured his image, and forever
he is etched in cricketing folklore.
Similar to Ponting, the Little Master might face the same treatment as the calls for his axe have been growning. Tendulkar’s one-day form has been under heavy scrutiny, especially during the ongoing tri-nation Commonwealth Bank series, where he has failed
to score a half century in the past six innings, and averages hardly 20, very low compared to the high standards he sets.
What further weakens his position in the side is the controversial rotation policy. The Indian management have kept rotating three senior openers, Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gambhir. It could be seen as a ploy to ease out the seniors, especially Tendulkar who
is unlikely to play the World Cup in 2015.
Rivals have also started sailing in the same boat, as many former crickets from other nations across the globe have suggested that the maestro should bid farewell to limited overs cricket, at least to keep his legacy intact.
It is not a suggestion that Sachin should quit all forms of cricket. With his retirement, cricket will lose a darling and the eventual loss will be not of Sachin’s but off crickets as a whole. He should play Test cricket, as he still has much to offer and
with it, have a chance of glory hunt the elusive 100th international ton.
However, the one suggestion for BCCI selectors is, please do not repeat the Ponting episode in case of the Indian batting prodigy, as it will hurt not only the cricket fans but more importantly it will be against the spirit of the sport. The veteran has
served the country as well as the sport for more than two decades, attracting crowds to the grounds, who have just come to watch him.
So let him decide for himself when he wants to quit. The batting legend surely, deserves a send-off befitting a legend.
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