Has time caught up with Tendulkar?

Sachin Tendulkar is facing unprecedented calls to retire after a string of failures fuelled speculation that time had finally caught up with India's cricket icon.

Tendulkar, who is now 39, has shouldered the hopes of a nation for 23 years, in the process becoming the world's leading run-getter in both Test and one-day cricket with 100 international centuries.

But a string of recent poor scores -- combined with the manner of his dismissals -- has turned sections of the media and a once adoring public against him.

Sunil Gavaskar, the first man to reach the 10,000-run milestone in Tests, suggested during this week's second Test against New Zealand in Bangalore that Tendulkar's reflexes were on the slide.

"The dismissal that was most disturbing was that of the 'master' when he was bowled through the gate," Gavaskar wrote in his syndicated column.

Pressed further, on air during the second Test, Gavaskar said: "With age, the feet don't come to the pitch of the ball, the eyes don't pick up the ball early."

Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin also said Tendulkar's feet were not moving well in the crease and he was constantly playing across the line.

"It is clear his reflexes have slowed down," Azharuddin said.

Tendulkar has scored a record 51 Test centuries but he has now gone 25 innings without a hundred in the five-day game since making 146 against South Africa in Cape Town in January, 2011.

His top score in the recent series against the lowly Kiwis was 27, prompting The Times of India to post pictures of three of his dismissals -- all bowled -- on its front page under the headline: 'What's wrong with India's batting genius?'

An online poll in the Hindustan Times said 56 percent of respondents agreed that it was time for Tendulkar to retire.

The Mail Today asked in a front-page banner headline if it was the "End of the road for Sachin?" And the usually conservative Hindu newspaper also wondered if "Father Time was catching up with the maestro".

Tendulkar has consistently dismissed any thought of retirement and told reporters last week that he still loved the game and enjoyed playing at the top level.

He is the last remnant of a fabled Indian middle order after both Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman retired in the last 12 months. Sourav Ganguly, the other member of the quartet, quit in 2008.

Ganguly, who played alongside Tendulkar for almost two decades, said speculation over Tendulkar's future in the game was uncalled for.

He insisted that Tendulkar is still good enough to play at international level, ahead of visits by England and Australia later in the season.

"I honestly feel the time has not come for him to go," Ganguly said. "He is a legend and takes pride in his game and no one knows his game better than him.

Ganguly said lack of match practice contributed to Tendulkar's cheap dismissals against the Black Caps, and he expected him to be back in peak form when the four-Test series against England starts in mid-November.

"His ability has not declined, he just has not had enough time out in the middle," said Ganguly. "The problem is with his shot selection and that is because he has not played for the last few months."

Tendulkar had a rotten time in England and Australia last year, scoring just four half-centuries in 16 innings as India went down 4-0 against both rivals.

Alarm bells began ringing when Tendulkar took a year to move from 99 to 100 centuries, finally reaching the landmark during the Asia Cup one-day international against Bangladesh in March.

Hopes that the floodgates would then open have since evaporated.

But despite his recent woes, he can at least still rely on the unstinting support of his current captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Dhoni, asked by reporters on Monday if Tendulkar's form worried him, responded: "The good thing is that whenever people talk about his form, he comes up with a brilliant performance.

"I'm waiting for that. I don't really get worried about that."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Noy leaves for US
    Noy leaves for US

    President Aquino leaves today for the United States to begin his three-day North American trip that will culminate in a state visit to Canada. The President departs at 8 a.m. on a chartered Philippines Airlines flight to Chicago for a one-day working visit. From Chicago, the President will proceed to Canada where he and Prime Minister Stephen Harper will witness the signing of bilateral agreements on labor cooperation, development assistance and infrastructure development. Canada is home to …

  • China accuses Phl of violating South China Sea Code
    China accuses Phl of violating South China Sea Code

    China has accused the Philippines of violating a 13-year-old informal code of conduct in the South China Sea with its building work on disputed islets, firing back again after repeated criticism of China’s own construction work. China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an agreement in 2002 to refrain from occupying uninhabited reefs and shoals in the sea, and from building new structures that would complicate disputes. In a statement released just before …

  • Noul to bring stormy weather to central, northern Luzon
    Noul to bring stormy weather to central, northern Luzon

    Tropical storm  Noul  (international name) will bring stormy weather to the eastern section of Central and Northern Luzon this weekend, as it slightly gained strength and moved westward toward the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday. Rene Paciente, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) senior weather forecaster, said the eastern section of Central and Northern Luzon, including Aurora, Isabela and Cagayan, may experience rains with gusty …

  • House asked to allocate P500-M legal aid for OFWs
    House asked to allocate P500-M legal aid for OFWs

    The House of Representatives was asked yesterday to appropriate P500 million for legal assistance for distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Reprieved death convict Mary Jane Veloso mirrors the tragedy of many OFWs in search of better job opportunities abroad “who become victims of human and drug trafficking and other forms of exploitation,” according to Bill 5704 that the seven-member Makabayan bloc of lawmakers had filed. The lawmakers said Veloso’s family claims that they were not …

  • World’s best place to be a mom: Norway is tops; Phl 105th
    World’s best place to be a mom: Norway is tops; Phl 105th

    Norway ranks as the world’s best place to be a mother, well ahead of the United States, which dropped to the 33rd spot in the annual scorecard released by Save the Children on Monday. Somalia is the worst place, just below the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The Philippines placed 105th out of 179 countries, but the Save the Children report, which profiled Metro Manila among other cities, said that the National Capital Region has done better than most megacities …

  • Philippines' largest telco sees costly, painful fight
    Philippines' largest telco sees costly, painful fight

    Philippine Long Distance Telephone, the country's largest telecommunications firm, said Tuesday it expects to spend nearly $1 billion in a "painful" fight to survive the consumer shift to digital from traditional phone services. The listed company said net profit for the first three months of the year was flat at 9.4 billion pesos ($211 million), and the full-year net profit would likely fall below the 34.1 billion pesos it posted last year. "It's either we pivot or we perish," PLDT chairman …

  • China says Philippines violating South China Sea code

    China has accused the Philippines of violating a 13-year-old informal code of conduct in the South China Sea with its building work on disputed islets, firing back again after repeated criticism of China's own construction work. China and the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an agreement in 2002 to refrain from occupying uninhabited reefs and shoals in the sea, and from building new structures that would complicate disputes. In a statement just before midnight …

  • Mineski’s 2015 SEA grand finals to be held in Malaysia

    Twelve teams from seven countries will be participating in this year’s Mineski Pro-Gaming League South-East Asian Grand Finals (MPGL7 SEA Grand Finals), set to take place from May 9-10. For the first time, the finals will be held outside of the Philippines, instead taking place in Selangor, Malaysia as part of the 2015 Selangor Cyber Games. “The decision to move the grand finals from PH to Malaysia came into mind last year, right after the Season 6 grand finals,” said Marlon Marcelo, …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options