The legend that is Sachin Tendulkar first came to the public eye whilst in schools cricket. The first of many records was his 664 run partnership with Vinod Kambli, a record which has only just been broken.
He made his international début against arch rivals Pakistan, in that series he showed some glimpses of what was to come, although his scores were low. His first test century came at Old Trafford against England but his most notable early performance came against Australia two years later at the WACA. Many people still believe this as the best innings played in Australia.
Since making his debut at 16 years of age he has gone on to play another 22 years. This 22 years has been a breath taking ride, which has transformed Sachin into a superstar. Some of his many records include 51 test centuries, 49 ODI centuries. The highest scorer cricket has ever seen and the first man to score 100 international centuries. What makes his record even better is the fact that he only scored his first ODI century in the 79th match. Tendulkar is also the first man to score a double century in a ODI, and I am sure winning the world cup on his home ground is the highlight of his career.
Where ever he has played, be it team mates or opposition love and respect him. The first foreign man to play for Yorkshire, he was accepted like one of their own. Incredibly Tendulkar started playing when I had just turned 2 years old, he is still going well.
Players such as Lara, Warne and Ponting have all come and gone, but Sachin Tendulkar is still performing well. He has played with 3/4 generations of Indian players:
1. Players much older than he was: Ravi Shashtri, Kapil Dev, Srikkanth, Azurudhin
2. Players his own age: Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble, Laxman
3. Players slightly his junior: Yuvraj, Zaheer, Sehwag, Dhoni
4. Players who were just babies when he started: Kohli, Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yadav
Sachin has played to such a high standard that he has become a GOD like figure for some in India. Today was the first time that he has ever commented on a potential retirement. His exact words were “I don’t think I have plenty of cricket left in me.” This could be an early warning for his fans, so it doesn’t come as a total shock to his fans when he does.
This is something pretty important as when he does go, it will not be blamed on him being pushed out. Without these hints of retirement there will always be a minority of people who will think these thoughts.
The day he does call it a day will be a sad day for cricket, as it will lose one of the all time greats of the game. I just do not want to see him go out of the game on a low.
Comparisons can be made with Dravid, they way that he was bowled in all his innings in Australia. Later Dravid stated that this could be due to his diminished ability to see the ball. This must surely have played a part in Tendulkar stating this today, as he himself has been bowled in his last 3 innings.
If Tendulkar believes it has nothing to do with his eye sight and only concentration he should play on. I personally believe a player who has achieved what he has could have retired on top, this would have been after the world cup. Although I understand that this should be the players own judgement depending on how they see their body.
A possible option for him is to play on only tests after the England series, this especially as there is the possibility of Pakistan coming up. I think it is more likely that he will cut out both the forms of the games which he currently plays after the England series. His retirement would be a blow for India after loosing Laxman and Dravid recently.
I just hope he makes a decision which is best for his legacy and best for Indian cricket. The perfect ending would be to go out after scoring a few centuries, adding to his records.