As the pressure of retirement mounts on Tendulkar, Akram feels that Indian cricket is in a “delicate situation”.
“The question is who will bell the cat? Who will pop the question? Today, former cricketers are openly asking for Dhoni’s head. Can you do the same with Tendulkar? A lot of people, like Sourav Ganguly, feel he should retire, but Sachin himself might still want to continue for another six months or so. It’s difficult to give any advice to a legend like Sachin,” Akram was quoted as saying by ESPNStar.com
“It finally boils down to your own assessment as Ponting did,” he said.
The legendary fast bowler feels that Tendulkar has achieved everything in his cricketing career and now he himself must decide when to leave.
“When Sachin first stepped into international cricket, nobody would have thought that this lad would go on to score 100 tons and smash all batting records. If I was in his shoes I would have stepped down by now because there is nothing else left to achieve,” he said.
Akram said the pressure on Tendulkar was mounting and India’s twin defeats in the Test series against England were only making things difficult for him.
“When your most experienced batsman hasn’t scored a Test century in almost two years, questions are bound to rise,” said Akram.
As the Indian team goes through a period of transition with the retirement of stalwarts like Rahul Dravid, Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman, Akram said changes should be made carefully and it was high time that the selectors asked Tendulkar about his future plans.
“The changes have to be made carefully. One shouldn’t tamper too much with the team line-up. But the middle order needs a few new faces. And somebody needs to ask Sachin about his future plans and for how long does he want to continue,” suggested Akram.