MUMBAI: Has Sachin Tendulkar made up his mind? Is it time for him to go?
Sections of the press, experts, former and current players have all recently thrown their weight behind the legendary Indian batsman but it seems the home side’s loss to England in the second Test in Mumbai has suddenly shifted the focus back on Tendulkar’s future.
The composition of MS Dhoni’s team, its over-reliance on spin and the subject of pitches and ‘home advantage’ have all taken a back seat.
Tendulkar’s reported meeting with Indian selectors, where he was asked about his future plans and his retirement from the game, has only added fuel to the fire. The selectors were apparently told by the record-setting batsman that it was their call to decide on his future.
According to a Times of India report, the BCCI, however, denied such a meeting. “I am not aware of it,” said BCCI secretary and senior selection panel convener Sanjay Jagdale when asked to react to the reports.
There is a sense of confusion surrounding the Indian camp after its defeat on a spinner’s paradise.
The Guardian’s Vic Marks puts it aptly: “There is flak for MS Dhoni, for his form and for his leadership. There is exasperation that England's spinners – by the admission of Dhoni himself – were so much more effective than those of the home side. India's captain was candid afterwards: Monty Panesar had been different and more difficult to play than the rest. Even so Dhoni insists that he wants turning tracks for the rest of the series despite England suddenly being blessed with Laker and Lock incarnate,” Marks writes
“Sourav Ganguly, one of a coterie of ex-captains on Indian television, disagrees with that policy. Bishan Bedi, never short of a word, wonders whether Dhoni should still be captain.”
On the Tendulkar issue he says: “Then there is the unmentionable matter of Sachin Tendulkar. Both Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have spoken – but in code. "It may be time for him to speak with the selectors," they say, which at least suggests the possibility of an exit strategy.”