Discussing the eventual retirement of India’s greatest ever cricketer has for years been a hushed taboo on the sub continent, but the realisation that Sachin Tendulkar’s career is drawing to a close has suddenly come to light ahead of India’s Test series with England this winter.
Tendulkar, 39, has been in the Test side for over two decades and recently admitted his time at the India wicket is shortening amid growing concerns he does not have the ability to play cricket at the highest level any more. A subject never spoken about even three years ago is finally coming to the fore and Tendulkar is keen to outline his thoughts on retirement.
“I don’t think I have plenty of cricket left in me,” Tendulkar told BBC Sport.
“I am still the best judge of what happens to my mind and body. When I feel it is time, I will take a call. It is going to be a tough call nevertheless, because this is what I have been doing all my life.”
Indeed, very few of us have the experience to know when their game is up like Tendulkar. Over 15,000 Test runs and 100 international centuries puts the right-hander down as Indian cricket’s undisputed legend and punters betting on cricket would certainly like him to stride out into the middle a few more times. Yet over the past two years the toll of traveling and training has got to the veteran superstar. Just last month the senior batsman was clean bowled three times by a mediocre New Zealand attack and although India went on to win the series Tendulkar did very little to aid their efforts.
This winter the 1989 debutant has a serious decision to make. He will be up against a drained England attack hurting from their series loss to South Africa this summer and hefty outsiders according to the latest England v India betting odds. But Tendulkar must be switched on if he is to rekindle his own flame and give Indian spectators one last magic moment before retirement.
However, should he fail to live up to expectations against England, Tendulkar’s career will be over and much maligned for his insistence of stretching it too far.