Even skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni asked the media not to speculate on Tendulkar, who retired from ODIs last December. “Do not speculate on Sachin’s career. In 2005, you (media) said the same thing, but that never happened,” said Dhoni in the post-match press conference.
The cricketing world was abuzz with rumours that the fourth Test here would be last time Tendulkar will bat in a Test match on Indian soil or ever. Over the weekend, the Kotla witnessed a healthy turnout. Whenever he came out to bat or went back to the pavilion, the crowd gave Tendulkar a standing ovation. Given that India will not play another Test match in India for more than a year, speculation is rife about when Tendulkar will call it a day as, by the time he plays his Test on home soil, the legend will already be 41. Of late, he has also struggled with his form, being among the least run scorers amongst the Indian batsmen with his last Test century coming in January 2011 against South Africa.
Meanwhile, cricket historian Ramachandra Guha called for Tendulkar’s retirement from the game. He wrote in ESPN Cricinfo: “Even if Sachin does badly in South Africa, his standing among the fans shall remain intact. Even so, I think that once this Delhi Test ends it will be the time for him to go.”
Guha ended his piece by saying, “A group of fine young batsmen — Pujara, Kohli, Vijay, Dhawan — groomed and inspired by Sachin
himself, are scoring runs regularly and with assurance. Therefore, at the end of this Delhi Test, Sachin Tendulkar should do a Vijay Merchant and retire from international cricket.”