December 12, 2012

NEW DELHI – It’s time for Sachin Tendulkar to introspect and take a final call on his international career, feels former Pakistan pace legend, Wasim Akram. Akram feels Sachin Tendulkar has achieved everything in his cricketing career and now he must decide when to leave.

In an exclusive chat with espnstar.com, Akram said the pressure on Tendulkar was mounting and India’s twin defeats in the Test series against England was only making things difficult for the Little Master. “When your most experienced batsman hasn’t scored a Test century in almost two years, questions are bound to rise,” said Akram, indicating Ricky Ponting’s confession that he was quitting because of poor form has only heightened the Tendulkar’s misery.

Are the selectors of the BCCI too shy to ask Tendulkar his future plans? Akram agrees it’s a delicate situation because Tendulkar is “special” in Indian cricket. “It finally boils down to your own assessment as Ponting did,” opines Akram.

“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 a 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 added.

Team India is going through a transition period after the retirement of stalwarts like Rahul Dravid, Ganguly and VVS Laxman. The youngsters who have come into the team have a lot to prove before they can fill in the gap left by these legends.

Change is necessary, but Akram thinks it should be done with caution. “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 on what is his future plan and for how long does he want to continue,” suggests Akram. A definite answer will only enable Indian selectors find a replacement, he adds.

Akram thinks for a man who has achieved everything a cricketer desires for, Tendulkar is the best judge of his own future, “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.”

Courtesy: THE NATION



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