West Indies pace great Andy Roberts (62) wants to see Sachin Tendulkar in full flight against the men from his part of the world in November’s two-Test series. The Caribbeans’ visit, which was announced only on Sunday by the Indian cricket board, also includes a three-match one-day international series.
The second Test of that series affords an opportunity for Tendulkar to achieve the unprecedented feat of 200 Tests. Roberts said he was happy that Tendulkar gets a chance to achieve the feat at home against the West Indies, a team which he coached during the 1996 World Cup where Tendulkar averaged 87.17 (70 vs West Indies at Gwalior).
“I am hoping for Sachin’s sake that he doesn’t allow his cricket to deteriorate. He is too great a player to be struggling at this time. Whatever he needs to accomplish, he should accomplish and move on,” said Roberts from Antigua.
SA no worries
Tendulkar would have played his 200th Test in South Africa had the BCCI not arranged the series against West Indies. Roberts does not see India’s opposition as easy fodder. Nor does he reckon South Africa would have been tougher for Tendulkar to have a successful 200th Test.
“A great player will always be a great player and Sachin is a great player. I don’t think he will have a problem anywhere he goes. But as I said, whatever he wants to achieve, he needs to get it out of the way,” said Roberts.
While Roberts welcomed the series against India, he is not pleased with a two-Test series. “Two-Test series don’t make any sense. The focus these days is on one-day cricket because that’s where all the money is coming from. West Indies should be playing more Test cricket.”
The Antiguan coached the St Lucia team in the Caribbean Premier League which was won by Jamaica recently. He played 47 Tests for the West Indies between 1974 and 1983. Thirty-two of his 202 Test wickets were claimed in the 1974-75 series in India. He played the last Test of his career against India in Chennai in 1983.