The timing of Sachin Tendulkar’s Test retirement will continue to remain a mystery. This after chief national selector Sandeep Patil refused to tell reporters if the Master Blaster’s farewell series was forced upon the star batsman due to continuous poor form.
Did Patil burn his bridges with his fellow-Mumbaikar Sachin Tendulkar in November 2013?
“The only sad thing about being a selector is that you end up losing some of your friends. But that’s part of the game,” Patil said, not elaborating on this list of ‘lost friends.’
Tendulkar retired from Test cricket after a hurriedly-arranged home series versus the West Indies. Tendulkar played his last Test at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on November 14, 2013. He scored 74 as India won the spin-dominated second Test by an innings and 126 runs.
By Tendulkar’s lofty standards, he had clearly lost his Midas touch with the bat. He hadn’t scored a century since January 2011, was out twice in the Nineties the same year and in his last 20 innings, scored just three fifties. Clearly, he was getting a very long rope by dint of his stature in Indian cricket.
With several young batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara making their mark in the top order in 2012-13 season, Tendulkar was no more an automatic choice at No. 4. Therefore, was the Little Master’s honourable exit planned?
Patil smartly defended the question in Mumbai on Monday. He simply refused to spill the beans.
“There are some matters between the selectors and BCCI which should remain confidential and cannot be revealed,” said Patil.
While several international superstars like Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Jacques Kallis planned their farewell series well, stars from the sub-continent usually struggle with their timing. Hence speculative stories often do the rounds when retirement seems to be forced upon superstars.
There are very few Asian players like Kumar Sangakkara who chose to retire on a high and still in demand. Sangakkara continues to play competitive cricket around the world with distinction.
Patil, whose four-year tenure ends this September, was part of a successful selection panel that saw India attaining the No. 1 ranking in Tests.
“We have taken some bold and tough decisions looking at the future of Indian cricket. We are very happy at the end of our term that the team is doing well in all three formats,” he said.
…Source NDTV sports