We Can’t Get Over Tendulkar

I’ve been mostly disappointed by the discussion about Tendulkar’s retirement. One problem is that we don’t have an appropriate baseline for comparison — after all, once you’ve declared man to be God, it’s hard to find the yardstick to measure immortality. So, some people say: Is Current Tendulkar not as good as Old Tendulkar? Others say, Is Tendulkar better than the alternative (i.e., a young, inexperienced player, but one with promise)? Still others say, Is Tendulkar better than Kallis or Ponting?

Part of the issue here is that we can’t compare Tendulkar to the merely good. Once we start to think that Tendulkar is as capable as, say, Gautam Gambhir or Andrew Strauss — both extremely competent players, but not likely to be part the pantheon — then we might as well admit that all is lost. It’s a strange and demanding dynamic. A Cricinfo writer whose name I forget argues that we should let Tendulkar play on because it would be more exciting to see him “struggle.” This is cruel — like that last scene in Gladiator where Russell Crowe’s character has to fight with a stab wound in his back. Besides, Tendulkar hasn’t been completely godly since at least 2006, when Wankhede booed him after another period of wretched form. We’ve seen the man cope ably with age, but we’ve seen him fall plenty in the past five years.

For what it’s worth, my test is: Is current Tendulkar good enough to play in the team? I try to borrow the blindfolds from Lady Justice and ask, “If this were another player — Player X — and I were handed his file as a selector, would I say, Let’s keep him going?” And looking at his record — no centuries in almost two years, an appalling 2012 average — I don’t see any reason to keep Player X in the team.

One thing, though: To see Ponting get his send-off reminded me of all that was wrong about the way Dravid and Laxman left. I’d hate to see another Indian retirement emanate from a news conference. Do it on the field, and do it right. We owe that much to you, and you owe it to us. Deal?


13 thoughts on “We Can’t Get Over Tendulkar

  1. Samir Chopra says:

    Dravid and Laxman deserved proper send-offs, I agree. A pity that could not happen. SRT missed the perfect one: during the World Cup final at home, in Mumbai. Knowing him and his handlers, he won’t retire during a press conference; it will happen at a game.

  2. A decent knock today, but not exactly a monster. He really needed to go on and it was a poor shot to get out to. For me, I’d give the new guard a chance at the end of this series, and look to build a side which could challenge over the next 5 years rather than the next 5 months.

  3. Golandaaz says:

    I think the question should be … “Is India better off investing in a Unmukt Chand (or similar) or Sachin”? Even if there is some cricket left in him, I feel its time to treat him just like any other building block that will create a winning team for the future

  4. Fake Saint Ricky says:

    Unmukt Chand needs to play atleast a couple of years of FC before you can invest on him in Test Cricket.

    Just because it sounds nice, you can’t go about lionising cubs.

    You could make a case for Rohit Sharma, Badrinath or most aptly, Manoj Tiwary over Tendular. But then, the bigger case is that Tiwary has a better claim than ODI star Kohli himself. That’s a bigger virus we have – preferring ODI stars over genuine FC potential. I dont see many people speaking against that. Only SRT obsession – either for or against him. Nothing much is going to come out of this SRT obsession

  5. Fake Saint Ricky says:

    I forgot Rahane, ofcourse.

  6. Fake Saint Ricky says:

    Rahane over Gambhir/Sehwag I mean. Bet you’ll not be so obsessed about fairness in that argument.

  7. Golandaaz says:

    Fake Saint Ricky, I think you missed the ‘or someone similar’ in my comment

  8. Fake Saint Ricky says:

    Who is that “someone similar”? You missed the “just because it sounds nice” part of my post.
    It does sound nice to say “Oldies must retire; invest in youth” but without appropriate talent to invest, it is not wise to do so.
    There is talent in India but nothing of the order to suffer from a few extra months of playing by Tendulkar.

    And given that Tednulkar was one of the greatest forces behind India actually havign a good few years, which was neither precedented nor followed after him and his good friends Dravid and Co., it is churlish to talk about creating a new winning team for India.

    Australia, England et al have a winnign culture(England had a blip for around 30 years but are back) so them taking a “let’s retire the fading star with promising youngster” makes sense.

    India are not going to build another team like what we just ahd for a long time to come – let’s h ope we dicuss this anotehr 2 0 years – so wake up and smell teh cofeee.Might as well let the old man wlak into the sunset at a time of his choosing…mark it from me, the kind of talent we just lost(SRT, SCG, RSD, VVS, ARK, and the fading of HS, ZK and MSD) is a once-in-a-lifetime generation. Your so-called young tigers are not going to reach those heights how mcuh ever grooming you give them. Just wait and watch

  9. Golandaaz says:

    India has bigger problems than Sachin lack of respect for himself. In any case the post wasn’t about whether SRT should retire so lets not get into the same arguments the post is disappointed about 🙂

  10. John Lee says:

    Tendulkar is the man who do anything for his team. he is an institute of cricket.If we want to talk about him it will be very less talk about him. He is an extraordinary player.

  11. Fake Saint Ricky says:

    That’s a straw man you are setting up RoundView 🙂
    I am not putting forward any emotional response – for or against. I am just pointing to you that you are on the side of the breast-beaters about a mythical winning indian team beign delayed by tendulkar’s presence. Some others are on the Tendulkar should never retire emotional side

    I am just saying, practically , he hasnt yet reached the Ponting level of uelessness. So, it is annoying when some of theartumnets are towards Ponting retired honourably, Sachin should too. If we apply Ponting standards, we have anotehr 2 years to go for Sachin irrespective of performance

    Practically, the most unemotional response is let him choose his timing. Even if that reduces his average, even if that means a few losses for India. It is not as if him retiring will solve everything at once.

    I believe that is in line with the post. Unlike the strawman yous etup and claimed

  12. Fake Saint Ricky says:

    And the post misses the Ponting point completely. Ponting hung on as mucha s he could. Only when it was clear that he couldnt any longer hang on, he flew and met the selectors and then announced that he will retire. It is clear as crystal what the selectors must have told him.

    I dont mind if Tendulkar hangs on like that.
    In my opinion, that doesnt tarnish any legacy – neither of Ponting nor of Tendulkar.

    Problem is ppl treat Ricky’s hanging on(worse than SRT’s) as heroic, while Tendulkar for lesser crimes is being slammed.

  13. test website says:

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