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.

  • ‘Get SAF 44 killers before BBL passage’
    ‘Get SAF 44 killers before BBL passage’

    Lawmakers are demanding the arrest of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters involved in the killing of 44 policemen in Mamasapano before the approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress. Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the 75-member ad hoc committee in the House of Representatives deliberating on the BBL, prodded the Department of Justice (DOJ) to speed up its investigation and file charges against the MILF guerrillas as the Aquino administration …

  • Pinoys dance for Earth Hour
    Pinoys dance for Earth Hour

    The Philippines once again displayed its support Saturday night for the worldwide observance of Earth Hour by hosting a dance party after turning the lights off from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. to save energy and make a statement on various environmental issues. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said widespread participation proved anew that no individual action on climate change is too small and that no collective vision is too big with celebrations in over 7,000 hubs in 170 countries. The WWF said …

  • Phl offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China
    Phl offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China

    The Philippines has offered to downgrade its claim on Sabah in exchange for Malaysia’s support for its case against China before the United Nations. The quid pro quo was contained in a note verbale the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) handed to a representative of the Malaysian embassy last week, a week after the visit of Malaysian Defense Minister Dato  Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. The note verbale, a copy of which was obtained by VERA Files, referred to the May 6, 2009 joint submission …

  • Maysak to enter Phl Wednesday
    Maysak to enter Phl Wednesday

    A typhoon with international name Maysak is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday and bring rains over Northern Luzon by weekend, the state weather bureau said yesterday. Aldczar Aurelio, weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the typhoon was 2,810 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 10 a.m. yesterday. “This typhoon is still too far to affect any part of the country,” the weather …

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options