Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from one-day internationals has left a huge void to fill. There will be no replacement for the milestone man armed with 463 ODIs and over 18,000 runs, 49 tons and 96 half-centuries. His career stats also include an unbeaten double ton.
Tendulkar not figuring in an Indian line-up was probably unimaginable. But is this indeed the case today? Probably not. The Indian team does not revolve around Tendulkar as was the case years ago.
The legendary batsman figured in just two ODIs out of the 27 that India played in 2010. In 2011, out of 34 games Tendulkar played in only 11. He came into the World Cup with only two games (against South Africa) under his belt. Tendulkar opted to play in 10 out of the 16 ODIs this year that featured MS Dhoni & Co.
Team India and the cricket-crazy Indians seemed to have accepted his absence over the last few years with Tendulkar’s pick-and-choose policy in order to give adequate recovery time to his ageing body that has endured more than two decades of international cricket.
“Sachin has got his timing right this time too by announcing his retirement from the one-dayers. He must have sensed that it is the right time to go after looking at the bench strength and new talent. He has definitely timed his retirement at the right time,” former India skipper Ajit Wadekar told
Wadekar as manager of the Indian team in the early 1990s was instrumental in transforming Tendulkar into an opening batsman during the 1993-94 tour of New Zealand.
Legendary Sunil Gavaskar also felt that even though people are used to Tendulkar’s absence, losing him is a big loss.
“I think the public, the team, the captain and the selectors are used to not seeing Tendulkar around in ODIs, but the fact that he is not there is a big loss,” Gavaskar told NDTV on Sunday.
Former chairman of selectors Kiran More said Tendulkar would be definitely missed. “Yes, he hasn’t played ODIs for a long time. He hasn’t been playing it regularly, but he will still be missed.
“Irrespective of whether he was playing or no, at the back of the mind you know he was there. That will not be the case anymore. Someone of his stature will be tough to replace,” the former India stumper said.
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