Former India skipper Anil Kumble lashed out at critics of batting star Sachin Tendulkar, saying that the veteran must be given the “emotional space” and respect he deserved. The spinner also said that instead of pointing fingers at Tendulkar when he was in the midst of a lean patch, people must support him.
“There have been instances when he has been the sole reason for India’s wins, but he has never been the sole reason for India’s losses. It’s best to leave it to him to deal with what is in front of him now, because no one else has been in his position. No one else has played 192 Tests, made 34,000 runs, or scored 100 centuries. Let’s not jump the gun, let’s give the man the respect he deserves,” Kumble wrote in a column for the ‘Week’ magazine.
“This is the time when you need to give him space for him to think about what he needs to rectify rather than put all kinds of negative thoughts in his mind. People are asking if it is time for him to go. That’s a question people ask in India when you cross 30; the only difference is that in Sachin’s case, it has come at 39.”
Tendulkar has not scored a half-century in his last 10 Test innings and has managed just 29 runs in the three innings he has played against England so far. However, Kumble exhorted people to show faith in the batsman. “For 23 years, he has helped people dream, he has made them feel better emotionally… all the more reason why we need to give him his emotional space now,” he wrote.
“This is the time for him to be left alone. He is such a great player that he doesn’t need anyone else’s advice on how to score runs. He just needs people to back off and allow him to work out what he needs to return to run-scoring ways, which I am confident he will,” he added.
‘Team doing badly’
Kumble also pointed out that it’s not just Tendulkar who is going through a bad phase and implying that the team is doing badly because of Tendulkar’s poor form would be highly unfair. “For the first time, people are questioning his place in the team. The expectations are that he should retire because his performances over the last year or so haven’t matched the standards he has set over the previous 22 years. Yes, we have not seen the best of Sachin in this phase, but it is not just him alone. If you look at the overall picture, the team has struggled in Test cricket, so are we suggesting that India are still a one-man army, still totally dependent on Sachin? I think not,” he said.