Related Link : Sachin Tendulkar
I thought I should move on from India and Sachin and write about Cricket in general but one article which I read today put me off so much. This is an article by Ian Chappell, considered to be amongst the best of thinkers of the game. The article had been about Sachin to review his future.
Sachin for one is revered by many as God and by others as a great batsman and anyone who is on that pedestal would not want to demean their name just for a couple more extra centuries. He has had it all. The name, the fame, the money, the cricketing records, his share of great knocks and his share of a dent the morale of bowlers. I don’t think he would be so naive to throw it all after 17 years of building it up. What more records does he need. He has seen it all. After almost 15K One day runs and 12 K test runs, I don’t think he is playing just to increase them by another thousand or so. I feel he will know better and earlier than most as to how and when would he retire.
During the 2003 World Cup, when he was asked to play down the order, he expressed his displeasure and stated his preference to open the innings. But four years older and definitely wiser, this time around, he didn’t mention any preference and was most happy to play down the order. Had he been playing for himself and the statistics, he would most definitely have preferred to open the innings and no one could have been against it. But Team India had a plan and for the plan to be successful (atleast on paper), it required Sachin to play at No 4 and he did that against his wishes. He has changed his style of play to suit the team. True, he has not met the standards , a very high one – mind you, that he had set for himself and he too would know that. This may indeed be the time that he has to quit or there could still be some time left for him to do some things which he has not done in the past 17 years. But that is not for others to decide.
Till this point, he has decided the course he has taken. He decided at 17 that he had it in him to make it to the top. He decided the shots he played and the deliveries he bowled. He decided to take the captaincy and then relinquish it. Just like all the things he has decided over the past 17 years, I think he would decide the time best for him to call it a day. After all, he has been our best batsman through the 90’s and the lack of form in the last four years has not displaced him much from his place as the very best.
Again, this could be the time to retire or to come back strongly with vengeance against the detractors, but whatever it is , it is for him to think and decide and not for others to pour their thoughts in. Whatever the decision is, we can be sure that it will be taken keeping Team India’s well being in mind. After all, he has done the same over the past 17 years. He has been there, seen it all.